The Unstop­pable Start­up: Mas­ter­ing Israel’s Secret Rules of Chutzpah

September 1, 2019


Vet­er­an ven­ture cap­i­tal­ist Uri Adoni shares the secrets to Israel’s incred­i­ble track record of suc­cess in this new guide that will help make any start­up unstop­pable. More than half of all star­tups fail‚ often dur­ing the cru­cial ear­ly stages of devel­op­ment when they need to prove their via­bil­i­ty on a lim­it­ed bud­get. But when it comes to start­up suc­cess, one coun­try stands out: Israel. Even though it is a rel­a­tive­ly small coun­try with a pop­u­la­tion of just over nine mil­lion inhab­i­tants, Israel has one of the high­est con­cen­tra­tions of star­tups in the world, has the high­est ven­ture cap­i­tal per capi­ta, is one of the top coun­tries in terms of the num­ber of com­pa­nies list­ed on NAS­DAQ, and is well rec­og­nized as a glob­al leader in research and devel­op­ment. In The Unstop­pable Start­up, Uri Adoni goes behind the scenes to explain the prin­ci­ples and prac­tices that can make any start­up, any­where in the world, become an unstop­pable one.

Discussion Questions

When most peo­ple think of star­tups, they think of Face­book, Uber, and Sil­i­con Val­ley. When Uri Adoni thinks of star­tups, he thinks of chutz­pah, Israel, and a core expres­sion of Jew­ish iden­ti­ty. In his book The Unstop­pable Start­up: Mas­ter­ing Israel’s Secret Rules of Chutz­pah, Adoni pro­vides read­ers with a win­dow to the world of Israeli tech star­tups and the ele­ments of Israeli cul­ture that unique­ly posi­tion these star­tups for glob­al success.

At first glance, Adoni’s work reads like a how-to man­u­al for indi­vid­u­als inter­est­ed in build­ing suc­cess­ful star­tups. The work takes the read­er through a set of norms and rules that suc­cess­ful star­tups hold fast to in shap­ing their cul­ture and employ­ee dynam­ics. Then, the work illus­trates the dif­fer­ent stages of devel­op­ment and growth that takes place in star­tups as they nav­i­gate inter­nal growth, work with ven­ture cap­i­tal groups, and even­tu­al­ly evolve into multi­na­tion­al cor­po­ra­tions. Through each stage, Adoni dives into dif­fer­ent chal­lenges star­tups will like­ly face and pro­vides coach­ing on how to nav­i­gate these obsta­cles based on his twen­ty years of expe­ri­ence in the field. As it con­cludes, his work shifts to a broad­er reflec­tion on the types of ecosys­tems dif­fer­ent coun­tries and cul­tures pro­vide, which are more or less con­ducive to entre­pre­neur­ial success.

Beyond the insight this work may pro­vide to those inter­est­ed in tech start­up work, Adoni pro­vides a rich and pow­er­ful win­dow into Israeli cul­ture. Each chap­ter offers nar­ra­tives and illus­tra­tive exam­ples of suc­cess­ful Israeli star­tups and the ways they have been shaped by Israeli val­ues and cul­tur­al norms. The book offers exten­sive reflec­tions on the nature of chutz­pah, the impact that lessons from? and the shared expe­ri­ence of IDF ser­vice have on com­pa­nies, the way star­tups reflect a deep Jew­ish com­mit­ment to edu­ca­tion, and the ways a host of Israeli polit­i­cal and eco­nom­ic fac­tors cre­ate an ecosys­tem ripe for start­up success.

Ulti­mate­ly, The Unstop­pable Start­up pro­vides a valu­able resource for Jew­ish edu­ca­tors and stu­dents of Jew­ish and Israeli­iden­ti­ty look­ing to diver­si­fy their por­tray­al of the state of Israel. The book offers a sub­stan­tive, non­con­tro­ver­sial, and acces­si­ble look at a fas­ci­nat­ing ele­ment of Israeli cul­ture. Through this book the read­er will learn not only what makes Israel an espe­cial­ly suc­cess­ful ecosys­tem for star­tups, but also gain an under­stand­ing of what makes Israel special.