How to succeed in business
Israel’s economy is booming, thanks to its entrepreneurial spirit. That’s something you can’t teach. Or can you?
to change the world, of doing something that no one has done before. These are the characteristics of the Israeli entrepreneur. They don’t set out to make money, although they like the money. What they want to do is to change the world. They start company after company.
“It helps that we are a non-hierarchical society. There is less distance between people in Israel. Youcanapproachtheceo of a company who might be your mate from the army. You would talk to him on a first-name basis andshoutwithhimif you didn’t agree with him.”
Whether it is the students, the institution itself or perhaps the Israeli air, clearly the atmosphere is one which encouragesachievement. The Technion can boast three Nobel prizes, the latest of which was won by chemist Daniel Shechtman in 2011. And at the end of last year, Lavie discovered that the university had beaten 40 others in a competition to build a high-tech research institute in New York to rival Silicon Valley.
Not everything is in the garden is rosy, however. The Israeligovernmenthasdroppedfundingby30percent over the past decade, meaning that faculty staff have had to be reduced by 100. Meanwhile, Lavie has needed to keep up a campaign overseas for funds to secure developments. He gives the example of the Churchill auditorium on campus which is 40 years old and badly in need of renovation. He is hoping that, given the name, a British donor might be found. “Our friends around the world are very generous . For us it is lifesaving.”
Lavie has plenty of plans for the future. Not all of them will succeed, but that is not something that concerns him. In fact, he sees failure as a crucial component of success. “In Israel, you are allowed to fail. It is not seen as the end of the world. This is the climate that allows people to take risks and eventually succeed.”
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu visits the Technion laboratories earlier this year. “We are a very demanding school,” says Peretz Lavie ( below)