Israel: a country too far from Mike Arrington’s house

This headline is only a little in jest. But as I’ve gotten around to various tech companies here in Israel I’ve started noticing a trend: that the further away a tech area is from Silicon Valley the less respect that area will get. The headline is also a bit unfair to TechCrunch/Mike because he’s actually been to Israel and has a couple of writers covering the tech scene here, but if you’re a blogger and let the facts get in the way of a good headline you’ll never go anywhere.

I’ve noticed this when I visited MySpace: they were so excited when I visited because they say that tech bloggers never visit. I was thinking back to my own experiences. Yes, that’s true. Facebook employees regularly meet up with us at parties and dinners and conferences. We run into MySpace employees far less often. These personal connections turn into stories on blogs.

Same when I visited San Antonio. These were companies I never hear about in conversations in the valley. We don’t have personal connections to their employees. Ask yourself, have you ever heard of PerfTech? Kulabyte? Rackspace? Newtech?

Anyway, I’ve been all over to the world. Shanghai. Tokyo. Frankfurt. London. New York. Cork. Dublin. Hamburg. Geneva.

I’ve never seen the entrepreneurial spirit outside of Silicon Valley like I’ve seen here in Tel Aviv. The companies here are doing technology that’s deep, varied, and highly profitable.

Anyway, I’ll write more about this topic over the weekend, because right now we’re about to leave to see Jeruselem and meet with some Venture Capitalists to further understand what’s going on here in Israel.

In the meantime, go to TechCrunch and check out Fring’s new iPhone app. (Fring is headquartered here in Israel, and shows another trend that I’ve noticed here that Israel is WAY ahead of the United States in use of Mobile apps — another thing that’s surprising is how many iPhones you see here, even though there isn’t a single Apple store).

One other thing, Twitter has been where we’ve been having interesting conversations. It was amazing. The other day we were in a van between Haifa and Tel Aviv. Talking with Arrington back in California. Christineleu in China. GiaGia in London. All at the same time.

The advent of Twitter is one thing that’s bringing far away lands into the PR machinery that exists only in Silicon Valley.

I wish I had a month to spend here, so many startups want to get my attention, but I just can’t see them all. But there still is nothing better than meeting face-to-face over a beer to find out interesting stories about people, companies, countries.

For instance, last night several people begged me to write about the proposed Israel Censorship Law. Global Voices Online has already done that, but if it weren’t for being here I wouldn’t have known about the issues that they really care about.

Anyway, off to Jeruselem, stay in touch with us on my Twitter account.

Do you agree or disagree that people, companies, countries can get the respect and/or tech industry PR they deserve if they are far away from Silicon Valley?

169 thoughts on “Israel: a country too far from Mike Arrington’s house

  1. You haven’t been all over the world: you do not mention Paris, France. Let’s talk, I can organize something for you there.
    For sure this would not change your global view, just would give some additional items. There is not just Web3 event here ;)
    Deal?
    (From Phil O L I V E T)
    And you’re right, Israel is a very productive land in technologies… and maybe unique place in some specific domain.

  2. You haven’t been all over the world: you do not mention Paris, France. Let’s talk, I can organize something for you there.
    For sure this would not change your global view, just would give some additional items. There is not just Web3 event here ;)
    Deal?
    (From Phil O L I V E T)
    And you’re right, Israel is a very productive land in technologies… and maybe unique place in some specific domain.

  3. You haven’t been all over the world: you do not mention Paris, France. Let’s talk, I can organize something for you there.
    For sure this would not change your global view, just would give some additional items. There is not just Web3 event here ;)
    Deal?
    (From Phil O L I V E T)
    And you’re right, Israel is a very productive land in technologies… and maybe unique place in some specific domain.

  4. Congrats! you are the first person to use the words Israel and Respect in the same sentence.

    I would not piss on it if it were on fire.

  5. Congrats! you are the first person to use the words Israel and Respect in the same sentence.

    I would not piss on it if it were on fire.

  6. Congrats! you are the first person to use the words Israel and Respect in the same sentence.

    I would not piss on it if it were on fire.

  7. “China will be very important, yes. But they don’t have the entrepreneurial attitude that Israel has.”

    What on Earth makes you say this? The Chinese bave been building business all around the world for hundreds of years – long before Israel’s 1948 founding. On what grounds do you say they are not as entreprenuerial as Israel? I’ve been to both countries, and China is just as entrenuerial as anywhere else.

    The reason China won’t be a Silicon Valley is not going to be on account of entreprenuerial spirit. The correct reason is just as Paul Graham mentions – IT’S A POLICE STATE!

  8. “China will be very important, yes. But they don’t have the entrepreneurial attitude that Israel has.”

    What on Earth makes you say this? The Chinese bave been building business all around the world for hundreds of years – long before Israel’s 1948 founding. On what grounds do you say they are not as entreprenuerial as Israel? I’ve been to both countries, and China is just as entrenuerial as anywhere else.

    The reason China won’t be a Silicon Valley is not going to be on account of entreprenuerial spirit. The correct reason is just as Paul Graham mentions – IT’S A POLICE STATE!

  9. “China will be very important, yes. But they don’t have the entrepreneurial attitude that Israel has.”

    What on Earth makes you say this? The Chinese bave been building business all around the world for hundreds of years – long before Israel’s 1948 founding. On what grounds do you say they are not as entreprenuerial as Israel? I’ve been to both countries, and China is just as entrenuerial as anywhere else.

    The reason China won’t be a Silicon Valley is not going to be on account of entreprenuerial spirit. The correct reason is just as Paul Graham mentions – IT’S A POLICE STATE!

  10. Follow-up…

    A good enough product, and you can not only expect but DEMAND people come to you. Not saying that’s always a wise move, but it’s an option. Make the best product, escape expensive California, head to Utah or Nevada, clear low overhead, market to the players, and have a branch office in the centers, if such is needed.

    Hubs do birth products, and sometimes the only way to be noticed, is to be there and compete in those waters, come what may. But just because you are ‘there’ doesn’t automatically mean you are ‘all that’. Most of what’s ‘there’ is half gimmickry.

    And hubs change all the time, and they spread out, LA is no longer king of all, nor is Palo Alto. Not seeing where the map is expanding, can be fatal.

    So yes, you can’t expect everything to come to you, nor should you, but yet sometimes you can. And sometimes you need to be there, other times it’s a waste, other sometimes you can go hybrid, being in a few or all places at once. It’s all complicated, absurd and illogical, human behavior being what it is, it won’t ever fit into neat little boxes.

  11. Follow-up…

    A good enough product, and you can not only expect but DEMAND people come to you. Not saying that’s always a wise move, but it’s an option. Make the best product, escape expensive California, head to Utah or Nevada, clear low overhead, market to the players, and have a branch office in the centers, if such is needed.

    Hubs do birth products, and sometimes the only way to be noticed, is to be there and compete in those waters, come what may. But just because you are ‘there’ doesn’t automatically mean you are ‘all that’. Most of what’s ‘there’ is half gimmickry.

    And hubs change all the time, and they spread out, LA is no longer king of all, nor is Palo Alto. Not seeing where the map is expanding, can be fatal.

    So yes, you can’t expect everything to come to you, nor should you, but yet sometimes you can. And sometimes you need to be there, other times it’s a waste, other sometimes you can go hybrid, being in a few or all places at once. It’s all complicated, absurd and illogical, human behavior being what it is, it won’t ever fit into neat little boxes.

  12. Follow-up…

    A good enough product, and you can not only expect but DEMAND people come to you. Not saying that’s always a wise move, but it’s an option. Make the best product, escape expensive California, head to Utah or Nevada, clear low overhead, market to the players, and have a branch office in the centers, if such is needed.

    Hubs do birth products, and sometimes the only way to be noticed, is to be there and compete in those waters, come what may. But just because you are ‘there’ doesn’t automatically mean you are ‘all that’. Most of what’s ‘there’ is half gimmickry.

    And hubs change all the time, and they spread out, LA is no longer king of all, nor is Palo Alto. Not seeing where the map is expanding, can be fatal.

    So yes, you can’t expect everything to come to you, nor should you, but yet sometimes you can. And sometimes you need to be there, other times it’s a waste, other sometimes you can go hybrid, being in a few or all places at once. It’s all complicated, absurd and illogical, human behavior being what it is, it won’t ever fit into neat little boxes.

  13. Why would you honor Israel with a visit? That nation has corrupted the USA with AIPAC’s donations to Congressmen. It’s neocons infiltrated the Republican Party, destroyed it, lobbied until the Iraq War ruined the economy of the United States. Don’t give Israel a dime in travel money.

    http://www.jewwatch.com has all of the facts on that nation including 5,000 stories per day outlining their constant murders in Gaza and elsewhere.

  14. Why would you honor Israel with a visit? That nation has corrupted the USA with AIPAC’s donations to Congressmen. It’s neocons infiltrated the Republican Party, destroyed it, lobbied until the Iraq War ruined the economy of the United States. Don’t give Israel a dime in travel money.

    http://www.jewwatch.com has all of the facts on that nation including 5,000 stories per day outlining their constant murders in Gaza and elsewhere.

  15. Why would you honor Israel with a visit? That nation has corrupted the USA with AIPAC’s donations to Congressmen. It’s neocons infiltrated the Republican Party, destroyed it, lobbied until the Iraq War ruined the economy of the United States. Don’t give Israel a dime in travel money.

    http://www.jewwatch.com has all of the facts on that nation including 5,000 stories per day outlining their constant murders in Gaza and elsewhere.

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