Anyone who pays attention to Israeli society inevitably knows about its “startup” culture. Israel is one of the world’s entrepreneurial hubs, with the highest number of startups per capita in the world. How did a tiny country in a hostile neighborhood with no natural resources become such an economic prowess?
The gist of the answer lies in the social networks and leadership training developed by Israeli’s mandatory military service--significant decision-making responsibility is placed on young soldiers at a young age. However, while compulsory military service is certainly a major component of Israel’s economic miracle, it doesn’t tell the complete story. A culture that is rooted in critique and fostered by centuries of Jewish tradition encourages people to challenge authority and embrace risk taking. Israelis are not afraid to fail, so long as they fail forward.