“When it comes to U.S. military rÃ©sumÃ©s, Silicon Valley is illiterate. Itâ€™s a shame. What a waste of the kick-ass leadership talent coming out of Iraq and Afghanistan.â€
Although it goes humbly un-boasted â€“ perhaps due to antisemitism and worldwide Zionist bashing â€“ Israel has managed to thrive during the recent global economic crisis. Actually Israel’s economy “has the highest concentration of innovation and entrepreneurial ism in the world today”.
What is at the root of Israel’s steadfast success? Is it because a country of G-D’s Chosen people in their homeland is bound to kick ass? Is it the subtle socialist shadows, inspired by the likes of Theodore Herzl, which are still sort of cast over a competitive and modern national work ethic, which encourages capitalism?
These factors may play a role, but upon recent analysis done and expert consensus, the main factor seems to be its very unique government policies having to do with immigration, disproportionate research and development spending and last but not least its universal military training and national service program.
While teenagers in other countries, namely the United States are sweating over which college they can get accepted to, Israelis are racking their brains to be accepted to one of the country’s top military units. In fact, in Israeli culture, the most elite military units are the equivalent of the Ivy League, in the United States. In the Jewish country, which brigade and what duties an applicant was involved with in the army holds the most weight and is the most influential factor in a job interview.
An 18 year old British navy veteran named Gary Shainberg, who is now the vice president of technology and innovation for British Telecom said:
There is something about the DNA of Israeli innovation that is unexplainable. I think it comes down to maturity. Thatâ€™s because nowhere else in the world where people work in a center of technology innovation do they also have to do national service.â€
Ever since the State of Israel won its independence in 1948, the future of its existence has been in question. Such a threat has an amazing effect on an economy and gives individuals a psychological incentive to succeed. Life in Israel is fast-paced in every sector of secular culture; therefore ideas get drawn up faster and put into execution faster.
According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) 45% of Israelis have a university education, which is among the highest percentages of nations worldwide; this data goes without mentioning an even higher percentage of military experience among citizens, nearly unanimous, which also has a positive influence on the economy’s attitude.
According to a recent study in theIMD World Competitiveness Yearbook, Israel was ranked 2nd out of 60 developed nations on the criterion of whether â€œuniversity education meets the needs of a competitive economy.”
To date, Israel’s economy has the highest concentration of innovation and entrepreneurial ism in the world. She is the world leader in the percentage of a nation’s economy which is spent on research and development, and the pay back is huge.
In 2008, when the recession was beginning, per capita venture investments in Israel were 2.5 times greater than in the U.S.
That’s more than 30 times greater than in all of Europe, and 80 times larger than in China; while 350 times bigger than in India.
Currently there are a total of 3,850 successful start-up companies in Israel. That’s one for every 1,844 Israelis. More Israeli companies trade on the NASDAQ than companies for all of Japan, Korea, China, India and Europe, put together!