I just returned from a trip to Israel where I met with Intel teams (we have over 7K employees in Israel), government officials (Israel EPA) and an Industry Round Table, nicely documented by Elaine Cohen. What jumped out at me on my trip was the amount of innovation and creativity coming out of Israel. It reminded me of something I read once about start-up companies, that if they had too much funding and resources, it could hinder their chances for success. The inherent constraints in starting up a new business, could actually be a good thing. That’s where I see the analogy with Israel and hence the title of my blog. The enormous challenges that Israel faces from geo-political to natural resources (water, energy, etc.) may drive a culture of “thinking out-of-the-box” and innovation. Not to say these challenges are desirable, but they may hasten the development the new ideas and innovation. After starting this blog, I did a quick Google scan on this topic and I noticed there was a lot written on the topic of Israel as a Start-up Nation. Obviously, I’m not the first to propose this idea, but I did reach the same conclusion on my own.
One really interesting part of my trip was a visit to “Better Place“, a company that believes they can turn the dream of mass-selling electric cars into reality. Better Place delivers services to enable the adoption and use of electric vehicles (EV), by building and operating the infrastructure and systems to make the EV really work for typical drivers. You can see a Ted talk on the idea here by the founder, Shai Agassi. In addition to a great learning experience, I was able to drive one of the Renault EVs. It was really quiet, as expected, but it had really fast acceleration!