You’ve probably heard about Silicon Valley, but have your heard about Silicon Wadi? Silicon Wadi is an area in Israel with a number of booming tech industries. In fact, Israel is quickly on the rise to become one of the tech capitals in the world. From drones to automotive companies, Israel is producing a huge volume of revolutionary tech. So how exactly did Israel become such a big tech hub? Here are a few reasons behind the nation’s success.
The lack of natural resources
According to political commentator Fareed Zakaria, an abundance of natural resources can hinder both economic growth and political modernization. Aside from recent gas discoveries west of Haifa the Levantine basin, the only sources of energy Israel has been able to rely on were alternative ones as well as gas exports. Israel has also been struggling with drought for years, but has been able to solve this problem using aggressive desalination techniques. Israel is now leading the world in desalination and is water-independent thanks to technology.
Israeli culture is considered to by a melange of Jewish, sub-ethnic Levantine, European, and American traditions, but it is constantly shifting. Israel has a culture of individualism that is shown through its self-reliance, it’s lack of imposed authority, and its casual attitude toward rules and regulations. The country’s highly skilled labor force, combined with its collective resistance to authority has created a society of strong-minded entrepreneurs. Israeli society is extremely diverse in terms of ethnicity and religion. Divisions certainly exist, but in the Israeli private sector they do not play a large role. Nepotism is present, but the sector is largely meritocratic in its basic nature.
Many tech startups, such as Outbrain and Nice, have founders that served in 8200, an Israeli Intelligence Corps unit. This unit collects signal intelligence as well as code decryption. Unit 8200, and the Israel Defense Forces as a whole, has produced number of CEOs and founders. 8200 used to be a highly secretive unit, but it has since become a popular pool for companies looking for talent in communication, engineering, and other tech areas. The army is not only creating innovation in tech, but also in areas like design, branding, and marketing. The Israel Defense Forces allow smart people to be heard and promoted based on their skills. Young people are given accountability and responsibility, which they bring to the work force.
Overall, there are a number of factors that have lead to Israel gaining its status as one of the growing tech hubs of the world. The world is eager to see what tech innovations come out of Israel in the next few years.