Matam hi-tech park (Haifa)

The state of culture: Chutzpah

Recently, I have found that Israel goes on the 3rd place by amount of companies listed on Nasdaq with 80 companies(United States has shaken off with 2712, China represented by 88 companies).

For external observer it is such amazing thing! Quoting (with a little up-to-date modifications famous book “Start-Up Nation”)

How is it that Israel — a country of 8.5 million people, only sixty years old, surrounded by enemies, in a constant state of war since its founding, with no natural resources — produces more start-up companies than large, peaceful, and stable nations like Japan, India, Korea, Canada, and the United Kingdom?

For me, and everyone in IT, definitely, no surprises — a lot people in IT, even someone never heard of Silicon Wadi, are familiar with Check Point Software or If you are StartUps fan, you have heard about Payoneer payments solutions, taxi services Gitt and Juno, communication app Viber and many more.

The “Start-Up Nation” refers to set of factors(among boundless culture and entrepreneurial spirit). Of course thinking of building engineering or data(in wide sense) culture immediately recall word Chutzpah in my mind.


In modern English chutzpah meaning is negative. But in modern Israel organizational culture it means self-esteem and lack of any timidity and shyness, calling to action, despite the danger of being unprepared, incapable or under experienced. It is a must for any Israel Defence Force officer to be prepared explain the motivation of order and protect the order against options. Of course when the order is committed and decision is taken everyone in the group have to be motivated to do whatever to execute and achieve the targets. Considering that serving in Israel Defence Force is mandatory for everyone in Israel it makes a little bit more clear Israelis approach.

5 lessons from Chutzpah which should be adopt immediately

#1. Ask hard questions and demand real answers.

#2. Passion to target impossible.

If an Israeli entrepreneur saw Warren Buffet, he’d immediately go to introduce himself, sure that his company is the exact thing Buffet is looking for, although Buffet never invests in technology or startups — that’s Israeli chutzpa.
If an Israeli hears of a medical problem that nobody solves — he’d go at it, sure he can solve it — even if he has zero experience in the medical world, and little to no understanding in biology — that’s Israeli chutzpah.
And when you think of it, chutzpah is a great thing to have as entrepreneur. When you are not afraid to tackle the hardest challenges and when you are taking every measure shamelessly to make it happen — you are more likely to achieve success.

#3. Sponsor the ideas.

#4. For your company and personally for you better NOT to be the most smartest guy in the company.

#5. Strive for the truth.

Is there anything else we could learn from chutzpah?