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The Unstoppable Startup: Mastering Israel’s Secret Rules of Chutzpah explains how the IDF mindset can benefit entrepreneurs and corporations

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Former CEO of Microsoft Israel Uri Adoni is the author of The Unstoppable Startup: Mastering Israel’s Secret Rules of Chutzpah

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Back in the late 70s, when I attended business school (York University, before Seymour Schulich donated to have it named in his honour), our textbooks were hardcover, formal, and technical, much like most of professors at the time.

The information was largely theoretical and was based on research studies. But they often lacked applicability to the real world. Those lessons were to be learned in the field.

But times have changed, and it is a brave new world of international business, with technological advances. When I went to school, there were no personal computers, artificial intelligence, Bitcoin payments, verticals, CTOs, ecosystems, and lightning speed data exchange. The world today is where startups appear on an hourly basis, and venture capitalists, seed funding, IPOs, and “unicorns” rule the roost.

It is for that, and other reasons, that The Unstoppable Startup: Mastering Israel’s Secret Rules of Chutzpah is required reading for all business students, entrepreneurs, and venture capitalists, in today’s high-tech and high-powered business environment. Uri Adoni, IDF officer, former partner in the legendary Jerusalem Venture Partners, board member of many successful companies and startups including Siftech one of Israel’s leading accelerators has written the guidebook for startups.

In his soon-to-be published book from Harper Collins Leadership (Sept. 8), Adoni lays out the essence, principles, and guidelines for startups to follow, in order to increase their rather slim chances of success, by many fold. And he does it in clear, concise, and easy-to-understand detail.

As a former IDF combat major in the Lebanon War, Adoni takes the IDF mantra of “complete the mission,” and adapts it to the world of the startup business venture.

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As he explained in an interview this past week, when he was training to become a senior officer in the IDF, he was given an exercise where his platoon was to capture a hill occupied by the enemy. “But within four hours, they came and took away their ammunition (simulating a platoon which had depleted its supply), then they took away a few soldiers (simulating some being wounded in combat) and then they changed the mission from a daytime mission to a night time one. Now go complete the mission.”

The focal point of his entertaining and informative book is that the mindset of the team of entrepreneurs drives success. Like the IDF combat officer, they must learn, and adopt the attitude, ingrained in all senior IDF officers; namely the chutzpah, or audacity, to say “I can challenge the status quo. I can be better than the big boys,” and the culture to “complete the mission” at all costs.

This requires the startup team to have “laser focus”, the ability to improvise, to react quickly to change, to make new plans on the fly, and to move quickly. The startup team has to be ready to work all night, and to travel to the end of the world for one important meeting, on a moment’s notice. And critically, they must learn to “listen to the market.” And as the market changes, they must be able to change, often ahead of the market itself.

Failure to do so will add their startup to the long list of corporate tech that did not keep up, including notable names as Nokia, Atari, Wang, Segway, Palm Pilot, AOL, Napster, and the 75 per cent of startups which fail to make it through the stage of development referred to as “Death Valley.”

Using examples of extremely successful Israeli ventures, such as Waze and CyberArk, the book instructs both the startup ventures, and the investors backing the various stages in the growth of these ventures, on such critical directives as, “The Six Rules of Chutzpah.”

Adoni, former CEO of Microsoft Israel, advises the startup team to focus on the items within its control, like the members of the core team, rather than waste energy worrying about those items beyond its control, like the competition.

Using examples of extremely successful Israeli ventures, such as the Iron Dome, Waze, and CyberArk, Adoni instructs both the startup ventures, and the investors backing the various stages in the growth of these ventures, on such critical directives as, “The Six Rules of Chutzpah.” This begins with challenging the status quo and includes “bending” the conventional rules. Then he describes the core principles required to “complete the mission” and how to deal with failure along the way.

Aside from lecturing, guiding, and writing, 56-year-old Adoni is currently creating a tech hub in Miami, focusing on the verticals of healthcare, hospitality, and logistics.

What are the prospects of building a true tech hub in Canada, similar to those built in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Beersheva, and Jerusalem? Canada, especially Toronto and Montreal, has all the pieces of the puzzle. There are universities, huge corporations, and many sources of financing. But it sorely lacks the policy makers who would provide startups with the immense government support, and vision, that Israel offers startup entrepreneurs on the federal, regional, and municipal levels.

Canada currently lacks Israel’s absolute “secret” key to success, which is the chutzpah required to “complete the mission.” It is this attitude upon which the State of Israel was founded, and upon which it has become an international role model for technology innovation.

Canadians historically are relatively passive, happy with their status quo, and are, for the most part, unwilling to bend the rules and innovate. Chutzpah, which is the bold faced, audacious, and the resolute “can do” attitude, is not a quality found in most Canadian businesses and business schools, in my opinion.

Perhaps some enterprising young Canadian entrepreneurs will bring a few highly skilled Israeli mentors to our shores, and they will build a Canadian hub that mirrors the huge success of the entrepreneurial Middle Eastern beacon of light that is the modern State of Israel. The UAE has joined the wave. Now it is time for Canada to follow suit.

Zale Newman is the founder and President of Bond Street Mercantile, a Toronto-based fund management company which offers 4 opportunities for Canadians to invest in Israel, via its Holy Land Investment Fund and its Canada Israel Infrastructure Funds.

He is an award-winning author and essayist who was recently awarded the First Place Award for Excellence from the American Jewish Press Association.

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Thank you for choosing TheJ.Ca as your source for Canadian Jewish News.

We do news differently!

Our positioning as a Zionist News Media platform sets us apart from the rest. While other Canadian Jewish media are advocating increasingly biased progressive political and social agendas, TheJ.Ca is providing more and more readers with a welcome alternative and an ideological home.

We revealed the incursion of anti-Israel progressive elements such as IfNotNow into our communities. We have exposed the distorted hateful agenda of the “progressive” left political radicals who brought Linda Sarsour to our cities, and we were first to report on many disturbing incidents of Nazi-based hate towards Jews across Canada.

But we can’t do it alone. We need your HELP!

Our ability to thrive and grow in 2020 and beyond depends on the generosity of committed readers and supporters like you.

Monthly support is a great way to help us sustain our operations. We greatly appreciate any contributions you can make to support Jewish Journalism.

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