Failing Up Like an Israeli
I have always been told by my parents that failing is acceptable. This mentality allowed me to take more risks in my life that I may not have done otherwise. Although I did indeed fail repeatedly, these negative events in facilitated my growth. I pushed through, worked hard and also enjoyed many successes. Ultimately, these events led me to engineering and, thankfully, to Cornell Tech. These principals were very deeply instilled upon me by my supportive Israeli father and American mother — the risk-taking however, was from my father.
After my first product launch blunder, I realized the importance of breaking out of your bubble and seek a breath of understanding. Thus, when I was offered the opportunity to travel to Israel with the MBA students at Cornell Tech, I was excited. As a technologist with a desire to work with impactful technology start-ups, it is important to understand the way business minds work and how different cultures vary.
Yesterday was the 4th day of the #TechTrek17 to Israel. We departed the hotel at 7:30 am for our two hour drive to Haifa to visit the Technion (Israel Institute of Technology) campus. After we settled in and enjoyed our daily Israeli-local startup panels, we had an enlightening cultural exchange with Israeli MBAs. We were tasked with the challenge of addressing a cultural blunder between a plant manager in Israel and an R+D team in the states. Following this we designed a product and market strategy in 30 minutes. This work under pressure unveiled to me that the acceptance of possibly failing which shaped my life is quintessentially Israeli. I particularly enjoyed conversation with three engineers turned MBA, Nevo, Noga and Boris. We exchanged examples of events in our lives where Israelis would be praised for trying and Americans would be reprimanded. I believe, this is one of the core reasons Israel is so strong in start ups — they allow for a safe, creative environments to take the risks which may have tremendous success. For me, this was impactful. It helps explain some of where I come from and helps me understand and articulate the style of management I hope to utilize.
This trip has connected me to my heritage and to amazing people. Perhaps most importantly, it has just been great fun here in Israel.