Aliyah Manifesto: Start-Up Nation

The road from comedy to start-up entrepreneur isn't as smooth as you would think
Illustrative. A software developer at an Israeli start-up working on a project. (Gili Yaari/Flash90)
Illustrative. A software developer at an Israeli start-up working on a project. (Gili Yaari/Flash90)

‘I am not part of the Start-up Nation’
None of these jobs involve credentials. And to come up with an idea does not take a degree. You hire those people.

I am an ideas guy.
Most people say that because they are lazy, and they want to piss-off small business owners, who work real hard on ideas that do not make money. I am an ideas guy because I have no chance of making any of my ideas happen, and I don’t want to be left out of conversations. I find that people disrespect you unless you have something worthless to say.
I never believed in my ideas enough to hire people to develop them. I don’t feel it is right to get somebody else to invest when I don’t even believe in them enough to work on them myself. But there is no shame over here, in Israel. We are now known as the Start-up Nation. We will work on a project just long enough to get rid of it. Then, it is your problem.

I still think that a device that can inject gas into your car, without you having to get out of your car, would be an amazing invention. And I am not talking about people filling up your tank who are not citizens of your country, or residents of New Jersey. Great invention and I will still use it for dinner party conversation.

May I add, I will never be the ideas guy who lets somebody know how his idea can be better. That is not an ideas person. That is just a random guy who likes frustrating people. ‘You have been working in your field for a good fifteen years. I have a couple of minutes, and I have thought about it just now. You should bring down the price on your cost…If there is anything else you haven’t thought of for ten hours a day, over the past fifteen years, I am here for you. If work doesn’t bother you enough, I have more ideas for how you can make it better…’ That is what it sounds like when you are giving advice, Mr. I Have An Idea That Can Help You.
Venture capital, consultant, start-up. Does anybody work nowadays?
And may I add, if you are giving me advice on my business and calling it consulting, that is a scam.

That is what Start-up Nation means. Our country is full of a bunch of people who like bothering people who are working hard at their profession. A bunch of people who give useless advice at dinner parties, to people who do not want to talk about their business, which they just got back home from. Somebody turned this dinner talk into a profession. And then, some guy who had money decided that he wanted to stop hearing these unique ideas which have been done. He threw the guy a few shekel to shut up. And then the dinner continued and nobody had to listen to anymore talk about making the internet faster. Until five years later, when the guy with all the advice sold his business for 40 million dollars.

I hate dinner parties.

I still think my gas idea is brilliant. Patent. Even so, I have still not figured out how to make money off my lack of credentials.
The closest I came to a job with no credentials was my first job in Israel. I was as a full time substitute teacher. That meant I had to sleep all day. It was hard to keep up. Sometimes I want to wake up in the daytime. I was committed to the craft of being a new immigrant substitute teacher for the Israeli youth.

As a substitute, the school made sure to call me when they were extremely desperate, and I had to be ready. My staying in was a necessity. I was on call. The general calls I got were, ‘We need you today…the 95 year old we had to wheel in yesterday lost his wheelchair…teach the Israeli kids Hebrew.’ I did not feel as useful in that position, as I was in ulpan at the time. Teaching the kids their language when I was trying to learn it, while disciplining them in the language I had not learned yet, was a challenge. But they needed somebody to come in and stop fights. And my challenge was not as hard as the man in the wheelchair pushing his way up 20 stairs to get to the school.
They were high school kids and they were crazy. They were different than the American kind of high school kids. They spoke Hebrew.
They did not want to learn, which made them normal. I had to blame it on them. As a substitute, my job was to blame and discipline. I had one lesson that I taught, and it was the same lesson every time. My lesson was ‘If you do not quiet down and behave, then we are not going to get through today’s lesson.’ It was a valuable lesson, and my threat worked. There was no lesson. Those kids went home feeling really stupid, knowing they missed out on learning something.

I definitely set a fine example as to what you will have to do if you don’t find a way to get money from the rich people in the Start-up Nation. And I am sure they would not want to deal with themselves.
In a way, I feel like I did my part in the Start-up Nation. I started a lesson which didn’t take place. I started up a game of dodgeball. I even started up a line to the principle’s office.

I had to move onto a different job. As part of the Start-up Nation, I came in, did my thing and I was ready to pass it on to somebody else before I learned how to do it. And I will tell you that since then, I have had many dinner conversations about teenagers.

-Do not work too hard or you will make no money.
-People respect other people who have ideas, even if they are yours.
-If you can’t make it, become a substitute. Not being able to successfully discipline children, while only working once a week, makes you feel like you have made it in the Start-up Nation.
-Some people never take the best ideas. Such as the gas injector idea.

About the Author
David Kilimnick: Jerusalem's Comedian performs at his Off The Wall Comedy Basement- Jerusalem's first comedy club, every Thursday in English and every Wednesday in Hebrew, in downtown Jerusalem. David may also be contacted to perform for tour groups in Israel & Synagogue fundraisers around the world, and for your private parties. Contact: 972(50)875-5688 David Kilimnick, dubbed Israel's father of Anglo comedy by the Jerusalem Post, is leading the new pack of English-speaking stand-up comics in Israel . At his Off the Wall Comedy Basement club in Jerusalem (the first of its kind), Kilimnick has been offering up penetrating observations of life in his turbulent adopted country. Tourists and native Israelis alike have been flocking to his cozy, intimate club and raving about his unique ability to transform the daily chaos and aggravation of Israeli life into an evening full of laughter. Kilimnick's material covers the rocky transition from his "New York Cocoon" to his new life as an "Oleh Chadash" or Israeli newcomer. Still single, Kilimnick touches on his religious upbringing, his rabbinic insights, the injustices of Jewish grammar school and Jewish summer camp, and the looks he gets from his Jewish mother because he isn't married yet. Meanwhile, Kilimnick's universal humor takes you on a tour of funny through the Holy Land. Incorporating routines from his shows 'The Aliyah Monologues Classic 1 & 2','Find Me A Wife,' 'Frum From Birth: Religious Manifesto', his music show 'Avtala Band' & more, David Kilimnick justifies his Aliyah (move to Israel), while taking you through the reality of life as a single immigrant, Israel experiences, holidays & family left behind. You are sure to walk away entertained, enlightened, or with David. David has recently appeared on "Bip" Israel's comedy network, צחוק מעבודב and has been hailed by the tough Israeli media as a rising star who possesses Seinfeldian charm when he takes to the stage.
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