Sunday, July 14, 2013

Forming startup teams: an Israeli version of Silicon Valley

MIT Tech Review (7/11/2013).
Israel’s Military-Entrepreneurial Complex Owns Big Data.

MIT Tech Review: Each year, Israel’s military puts thousands of teenagers through technical courses, melds them into ready-made teams, and then graduates them into a country that attracts more venture capital investment per person than any in the world.
By contrast, in the US, tightly knit entrepreneurial teams form in college dorms, labs, and high-tech workplaces. Working at the edge of technology is another critical ingredient for success. As a result, the startup team has the following essential characteristcs:

  1. - tech frontier proximity
  2. - alertness to opportunity
  3. - motivation (competitive drive)
  4. - focus on getting things done
  5. - high skills
  6. - high challenge (facing difficult open-ended problems)
  7. - connections necessary to recruit talent and obtain financing (network)
  8. - low costs
  9. - reputation for getting things done (see esp. p.4)
In the system model (see Scalable Innovation, Fig 2.2), the team is the Packaged Payload delivered by the Israeli Army (the Source) to innovation-making companies (Tool). The marketplace for high-tech products acts as a the Control; internal and external connections as the Distribution.
Scalable Innovation. Fig 2.2. System Diagram.
 Reputation (p. 9 on the list above) relates to the Aboutness (see chapters 4 and 5) that allows the marketplace to judge the teams efficiently.

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