Much has been said about the cultural differences between the entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley and Israel (as well as other places in the world). Israeli’s can be difficult to work with because they don’t take things at face value, continually question authority, can be stubborn, are not process oriented, etc., etc., etc. However, it’s many of those seemingly “annoying” qualities that make our entrepreneurs unique… Those qualities are difficult, if not impossible, to learn. It’s something into which one becomes socialized. Thinking about what in the Israeli environment breeds this culture, I would like to address spontaneity.
Nobody can say that Americans do not plan ahead. A slight example of this comes from my own personal experiences with summer camp. Huh?
This past February, I felt that I was really getting my act together (finally!), and decided to sign my 9 year old son (Yoav) to camp, since in previous years I was always late. However, I was STILL late. I had him on the waiting list for Stanford Sports Camp, near the top of the list, from February, and by the time July rolled along, we still didn’t make it into the camp.
When we arrived in Israel in August, with a whole month of summer vacation, in which summer camps had not been prearranged, I was in a state of mild hysteria. However, my friends and family told me not to worry (which for those of you that “understand” Hebrew, when somebody says not to worry, it’s exactly what you should do).
Yoav has always wanted to surf, and I thought that surf camp would be a great way for him to have a positive first impression of life in Israel. Within 2 phone calls, I found a camp not far from home, and I signed him up on a Thursday, for camp that started the following Sunday! That’s spontaneity. At the end of the week, he wanted to go for another week, no problem. After the second week, he wanted a third… no problem either. (Worth noting, that during the second week, one of the other campers was the daughter of Yael Elish, the CEO of eSnips … it’s a small swamp here).
Here are some photo’s. For his 9th birthday, he got a very “cool” Billabong surf board. Life in Israel is great - and Spontaneous