Israel: Not Just The Startup Nation But The Happy, Safe & Satisfied Nation
If you haven’t guessed by now, a core part of the welaunch mission is to educate the world regarding Israel as, “The Startup Nation,” and it’s inspired startup ecosystem and inspirational technological innovations. However, in order to understand The Startup Nation it’s imperative to understand the people who started up, and continue to lift up, this nation. And to understand them you have to understand their lives, their culture, their calendar, their values, their psyche – all of which I hope to explore in forthcoming blogs.
For now, here’s an insight into the psyche of the Startup Nation. In a recent population survey, reportedly 88% of Israelis express an overall satisfaction with their life. That is amazing!
It’s amazing because that is an unbelievably high number by every measure. Israeli’s earn roughly half of what Americans earn, and often pay more for housing, transportation and groceries, and yet, they are nearly 3x more satisfied than Americans (obviously these Israelis have never been to a Super Target – satisfaction in a big box store!)
Here’s another shocking statistic (not to me as I live in Israel but certainly to my friends in America who think I’m raising my kids in worn torn Chechnya), Israel ranks #11 on the annual World Happiness Report (the U.S. came in at 17th). Obviously the report wasn’t done at rush hour en route to Tel Aviv, not sure we would have ranked if that were the case.
And speaking of kids, Israel came in as the 3rd best place in the world to raise children, something I’m reminded of every time my 9 year old daughter walks home by herself well after dark. The freedom, independence and safety of children in this country is simply staggering, and a topic we’ll be sure to revisit again as it’s part and parcel of why Israel is The Startup Nation.
Lastly, tonight throughout the Jewish homeland, begins the holiday of Simchat Torah, where Jews traditionally celebrate the gift of country, community, Judaism and life (all bound up within our Torah – the Hebrew Bible) through dancing wildly with Torah in hand. Beyond religion (most Israelis are secular) it’s a time of letting go, loving life, and in Tel Aviv (yep, also ranked by the Lonely planet as The World’s Top 10 Best Party Scenes), partying the night away.
Look, Israel is far from utopia with lots of sadness, sorrow and misery to report upon (you don’t need this blog for that). But the truth of the matter is, compared to utopia, every country stinks. However, far from the misconceptions and false images too many have about Israel, kilo for kilo, it is an amazing, mostly satisfying (except when it’s not), and incredibly joyous (especially tonight) place to live.
Yes, Israel is the Startup Nation, however, that, in no small measure has grown out of these timeless Israeli and Jewish values of living life, loving life and celebrating life. That is what this country is all about – and that is truly satisfying!