Are you one of the billions of people around the world who uses Waze? Well, you have the State of Israel to thank for that. Waze, created in Israel, and now owned by Google, is one of the most used apps in the world. It is amazing what an impact it has brought to the lives of so many hundreds of millions of users. What is so amazing about Waze is how accurate it seems to be time and again. Every little adjustment to the popular app can save millions of hours for travelers each month. Small additions, such as carpool options, will bring the number of cars on the road down by a significant amount. Well, here is the man who drives the product development at this app.
What is the secret of what has been coined, “The Start-Up Nation?” There are many theories. If one looks at Israel’s economic policies that favor start-up companies in the hi-tech market, that does not sufficiently explain the rapid rise in hi-tech companies over the last few decades. Israel has made great strides at ridding some of the layers of red tape. But, there are certainly other countries with better terms for a hi-tech start-up.
So, is it the superior education? Well, that is perhaps one of the factors. But, Israel certainly has had a less than perfect record in math and science standardized tests over the last few years. So, is the secret the Army units of cyber technology that serve as breeding grounds for many hi-tech companies? Well, that is also a part of it, but not the whole picture. There are many leaders in the field of hi-tech who had no involvement whatsoever in the cyber units of the Israeli Army.
It would seem to me that the main factors that drive Israeli ingenuity are a genuine drive to both better the world, make a worldwide impact, and good old capitalism. The Chosen People have always had an inner sense that they have a more global role than the average people on the planet. They genuinely care about the welfare of the world. Add tens of thousands of well-educated Russian-born engineers into the mix and the promise of potential wealth, and you get Israel’s version of Silicon Valley in Tel-Aviv and a few other industrial areas around the State of Israel.