1 Allow authority to be questioned.
In Israel authority is relative, not absolute. Students question me all the time, sometimes to the point of being belligerent. Funnily, sometimes the belligerent ones stand a better chance of being successful.
2 A little disruption is a good thing. A lot of disruption is a great thing.
Startups succeed by disrupting what came before them. In startup culture, there are no facts that cannot be dismantled, no statues that cannot be toppled. Every business can and will be reduced to rubble.
3 Encourage and tolerate diversity and difference of opinion
Cultivate discussions with people who come from different backgrounds and diverse fields who are more likely to disagree with you than agree. After all, creativity is thinking ‘between the boxes’. The boxes may appear to be light years apart, but when you find that unexpected way to connect them, innovation takes place. Avoid brainstorming sessions unless you can truly encourage and forgive dissent.
4 Wifi everywhere
It’s the oxygen of startups and entrepreneurs. It is like the sidewalk of the city. It needs to be everywhere, safe and broad. And here? We’re working on it.
5 Coffee houses brew inventiveness
Coffee houses are a hotbed for entrepreneurs. You will often find them there talking to strangers, making connections, networking, and pitching shamelessly. Besides, coffee is a great stimulant. And if the background noise is not overpowering, it paradoxically provides a great background for concentrating on the work at hand.
6 Question everything
Good entrepreneurs take nothing for granted. They are curious, observant. They want to know how things work so they can take them apart. They need the freedom to ask questions. About everything.
7 Take your invention to a new dimension.
Don’t be afraid to fail, our entrepreneurs do it all the time. When they get up and dust themselves off, they pivot and set out on a new path.
8 Live dangerously
Israel is a relatively young country under constant threat. It is itself a startup, perpetually in ‘beta’. When you are under threat, as startups are, you tend to concentrate on your MVP (minimum viable product). You maximize your resources. You are at the peak of your awareness. Or else.
9 Silliness beats seriousness
Good ideas come from the childish, playful side of our brain. That is why companies such as Google and Facebook have lots of games and ice cream. That is why I teach employees and students to ‘bark’ as a way of practicing being silly. Try barking. It works.
10 Take good friends on the journey
Entrepreneurs need a partner, or a team. The partners should know each other well and be a close knit team (or as Lucien Bronicki once told me, a ‘tank crew’), to survive the hardships together, to be tolerant of one another and to enjoy the bumpy journey uphill. And always be prepared to help others, and ask for their help too.