• Start-Up Nation

  • The Story of Israel's Economic Miracle
  • By: Dan Senor, Saul Singer
  • Narrated by: Sean Pratt
  • Length: 8 hrs and 24 mins
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars (1,432 ratings)

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Start-Up Nation

By: Dan Senor,Saul Singer
Narrated by: Sean Pratt
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Publisher's Summary

Start-Up Nation addresses the trillion-dollar question: How is it that Israel - a country of 7.1 million, only 60 years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources - produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, China, India, Korea, Canada, and the UK?

With the savvy of foreign policy insiders, Senor and Singer examine the lessons of the country's adversity-driven culture, which flattens hierarchy and elevates informality - all backed up by government policies focused on innovation. In a world where economies as diverse as Ireland, Singapore, and Dubai have tried to re-create the "Israel effect", there are entrepreneurial lessons well worth noting. As America reboots its own economy and can-do spirit, there's never been a better time to look at this remarkable and resilient nation for some impressive, surprising clues.

©2009 Dan Senor and Saul Singer (P)2009 Gildan Media Corp

Critic Reviews

"There is a great deal for America to learn from the very impressive Israeli Entrepreneurial model - beginning with a culture of leadership and risk management. Start-Up Nation is a playbook for every CEO who wants to develop the next generation of corporate leaders." (Tom Brokaw)
"No one else, in my judgment, has written regularly about Israel in recent years with more clarity than Singer." (William Kristol, Editor, The Weekly Standard)

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What listeners say about Start-Up Nation

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  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Interesting and worth the time

I found this book very interesting and an easy listen. The authors use analysis and anecdote to show how and why Israel's startup culture has become a major success story. Israelis thrive on chaos, controversy and risk and are not afraid to fail. Unfortunately, I found one major drawback with the audiobook: Just about every Hebrew name is appallingly mispronounced. This is especially annoying since 90% of this book's content consists of naming people, places and companies. It seems strange that the publishers did not bother to have the audio track reviewed by a Hebrew-speaking editor. Despite this major failing, I did find the book worth the listening time.

20 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A Remarkable Audio!

A fascinating insightful audio book and a remarkable story of the entrepreneurial spirit of a people surrounded by enemies in a land with no natural resources, who produce more start up companies than any other nation. A great audio!

11 people found this helpful

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underwhelming, and confusing

The book has 16 chapters, it is not until chapter 7 that the authors stop focusing almost exclusively on extolling the virtues is the Israeli military.

Few books I have read had have so quickly been overtaken by events. As a non Israeli I struggle to see what is should take away from reading this book apart from 'you should be more Jewish in character'. A lot of the rest just seems like post hoc analysis of cherry picked Israeli successes.

One potential learning could be that immigration is good for growth, but it is hard to justify going through the whole book to synthesis this.

4 people found this helpful

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Excellent read!

Informative, extremely current, and well written.

4 people found this helpful

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A bit dated...

The lead example is a company now bankrupt but this does not detract. The narrator had such poor command of Hebrew and Yiddish that is was painfully distracting. He could not even get the names correct.

3 people found this helpful

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Deeply insightful

Start up nation is a fabulous introduction to a nation many don't understand. Never one sided, it looks into factors that are unique to the culture, and weaves them together to better understand how a nation so small could have so much impact. Well done.

3 people found this helpful

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Lots of great information and ideas!

Personally, as an israeli, I’m familiar with most of the stories in this book, but to here them all together gave me the chance to think of it in a different ways. I see now why we didn’t have a choice but to become a startup nation. We had to develop faster than anyone else in order to survive a really tough reality. Altogether, when people make risks they make a difference. Thank you.

2 people found this helpful

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Great book

amazing book, i loved the content and the performance of sean pratt. really recomend it

2 people found this helpful

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Excellent book to help you improve your country

Great read. Simply put. good narration and quick listen. if you're keen on improving yourself and your country, I would recommend you listen to this.

2 people found this helpful

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Is it Chutzpah or Davka

Is the success of Israel's business startups a case of Chutzpah (Yiddish for audacity, brazen nerve, courage, effrontery, incredible 'guts,' mettle, presumption topped off with a little (or large) touch of arrogance) or Davka (Yiddish for despite everything or 'Just because you want me to disappear from the face of the earth, I will not').

The authors of Startup Nation argue the case of chutzpah quite strongly, and they are right. The people of Israel have had to "make do" in a land with few natural resources, surrounded by hostile nations. Due, in part to this, they have become the "go to" place for emerging technologies the computer, science, ecology, medicine, and a host of other fields.

But these successes are as much due to Davka (often defined as despite everything or Just because you want me to disappear from the face of the earth - I will not - emphasis on the last three words) - the insistence on surviving whatever is thrown at them and turning lemons (or the fruit of trees growing in salt water) into lemonade.

While the general media from around the world is not reporting the successes of Israeli technology to impact their nations, in many ways people the world daily touch products of the Israeli minds.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Nabi
  • 09-30-19

Where is the substance?

This is purely a love letter to Israel and not a guide to how it achieved technological success, I would skip this book if you're looking for insights and a captivating story of innovation.

1 person found this helpful

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  • AS
  • 08-24-21

I really liked it

Very informative and well documented, if you like the topic. The last part might have been shorter, while still succeeding in proving the point.
Go for it, in any case.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-05-20

Must read

excellen audio book. for someone who is keen to learn about the success of Israel this is great

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-16-19

Just great.

I love this book, including its content and cover. The voice is good too. Thanks!

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  • merlin d magician
  • 05-15-19

very insightful.... has helped me understand isrea

working with Israelis every day, this book has opened my eyes as to the driving forces that influence my colleagues in isreal. I now have a greater understanding and thus can now have better emphatic communication and working relations. I thoroughly recommend this book to any one working with or wishing to work with Israeli people,it will help immensely.

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  • Uche
  • 10-12-18

Beautiful book - Definitely a keeper

Narration was great and the book was superb.

I'm religious and have always believed that Jews/Israel's success could be counted as one of those amazing miracles we see in the bible & continue to see in a nation whose very existence defies any logical explanation. This book however presents a very persuasive narrative with well-documented examples (which I googled of course) to drive home the point about this very unique country being a perfect hub for startup.

I also love the evaluative approach which took apart piece by piece why other similar countries failed to achieve any comparable result to Israel; and how this great country could lose its edge if care is not taken to anticipate the next wave of innovation. Definitely recommend this as a good read.

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  • Lebo
  • 03-25-18

super

informative and great book. It's well put together and tells a very complicated story with such ease

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  • MrAJldn
  • 07-16-17

Informative and well written

Very well put together and inspiring. However I do think that, perhaps, too much attention was paid for the military service aspect of Israeli society. A good summation of the history of tech and the things that will affect it in the future.

Audio was clear, crisp and without glitches. This has clearly been read as an audiobook not a spoken book - phraseology like "early in this audio book" which is good to hear.

All round a very interesting insight into Israeli society and business. Well worth a credit. I was also able to listen to it at x2 speed because of the quality of the speech.

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  • DrNick
  • 04-26-17

Briliantly-written and easy to listen to

Would you consider the audio edition of Start-Up Nation to be better than the print version?

A great deal of anecdotal and interview-based material that provides a compelling and enthralling listening experience.Genuinely excellent right until the end.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-30-19

an eye opener

it's truly memerizing how a small country like Israel is pioneering in R&D, start-ups and innovation despite it's limited resources and hostile neighbors

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-28-17

Overall It's a good book to listen for

It's all about the the the Israeli culture and the entrepreneurship sprit.

Overall It's a good book to listen for.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-24-20

Informative and interesting. Highly recommend.

This book gives a fantastic insight into Israel and its people. Very easy to listen to.

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  • Vicky Finn
  • 10-21-16

Brilliant insights.

This is a must read. Insights into Israel and what it means to be a startup culture.