There is one thing Silicon Valley has in abundance that Israel lacks. Once we develop this asset, we will be able to stand toe to toe with the giant of hi-tech, and compete on their level. We can become as big as them, even bigger.
There are so many wonderful ways to describe the Israeli hi-tech juggernaut. Miraculous, innovative, unprecedented, and more. For those who want to see Israel take the next leap forward, there is a better way to describe it:
A failed success.
Failure is the buried treasure of commerce. In Israel, we say, “fail quickly.” Do something new and find out all the problems as fast as you can so you can improve upon them and enjoy the real returns on this new idea. The best result of any success is the failure it uncovers, and the next level of prosperity it enables.
The success of Israeli hi-tech is in its R&D manpower. We boast the greatest web and software developers on earth. We can design, develop, perform quality assurance on, and rapidly release and re-release the best digital products on earth. That is the success.
So where is the failure?
We can’t sell it. The majority of funded companies in Israel have their development operations here, but their sales, marketing, advertising, tech support, and account management personnel work in offices in the United States. Developers in Israel working for Apple, Microsoft, and Google are the brains behind the best and most sophisticated products these companies offer.
There are companies like Outbrain, founded by an Israeli living in New York, which has its headquarters in Manhattan, and its programmers in Netanya. As the company gets bigger, the lion’s share of the growth will be absorbed by its offices in America.
There are also companies like Perfecto Mobile, which first opened in Israel. They staffed their sales and marketing teams with so many Americans they eventually left, and in relocating to Massachusetts, took several of our brightest R&D talents with them. They are poised to IPO on a major stock market, bringing prosperity and jobs to the good people of Burlington and Wakefield.
The Solution Is Right in Front of Us
Silicon Valley is full of American citizens who know their culture. They are native English speakers who can effectively communicate with the 1.5 billion English speaking people who make up a $24 trillion economy. They are the best salespeople and marketers simply because they know the wants and needs of the people in their markets.
That’s what Israel needs to compete.
The manpower does exist in Israel to create a like minded sales and marketing force. There are over 200,000 Israelis who were born in the United States or England, and moved here. They are the seeds of a national marketing and sales asset that will be as effective in their field as our homegrown software developers.
I am proof. About five years ago, I suffered a financial setback forcing me to earn a livelihood in Israel. Very quickly, I learned sales, marketing, social media, SEO, lead generation, content development, content management, and web development from scratch.
As a result, I work to generate traffic, leads, and sales for Israeli companies. I represent what will be the final piece of the Israeli hi-tech puzzle, and the key to a trillion-dollar economy. Whether by training Anglo Israelis in a new career, or offering opportunities in these fields to young Jews living abroad, we can develop a national sales force to sell Israeli hi-tech to the English-speaking world self-sufficiently.
These initiatives can originate by some bold entrepreneurs, but it needs to be spearheaded by government action. We need our leadership to set aside $3-4 billion of its sovereign wealth fund towards investing in local startups. However, for every business we pour money into, we attach one condition: at least 95% of the staff must be in Israel. This simple action will develop a new generation of Israeli start-up that does everything locally.
It’s the missing ingredient to surpassing Silicon Valley as the number one in hi-tech.
David Ben Horin is looking forward to his next challenge. You can download a Word version of my resume directly at www.davidbenhorin.com. My ideal job is in Digital Marketing (SEO, content, social media, lead generation) where I can wake up each morning with the excitement that “Today I will make your company a million dollars!”