Blunt is the Only Way — Why Not?


I’m heading to Jerusalem today to explore the old and the new. It’s somewhat of an exploration of the past, of what I experienced so many years ago which will either be gone or dramatically changed. It is always this way.

It’s also a necessary exploration without any technology influence before our week of geeks and innovators begin. If you don’t really understand Israeli culture, their candid style and boistrous ways, its hard to truly understand why Israel is as natural for breeding successful start-ups as Silicon Valley has become.

A country roughly the size of New Jersey, most of the technology innovation happens in and around Tel Aviv, although that’s where everyone migrated to in the same way people in the states migrate to San Francisco, New York and LA for business opportunities.

While I’m only a third the way through Rosenthal’s The Israelis, there are two fabulous excerpts worth sharing about Israeli culture. In my experiences, these words hold a lot of truth, on my kibbutz so many years ago, buried in the core of my Israeli friends who live in Europe and the states and in the Israeli CEOs I’ve worked with since I moved to California.

She interviews BRM Technology’s Eli Barkat, an Israeli serial entrepreneur who says:

“To Israelis, the word ‘no’ is a dare. For example, when I tell an Israeli entrepreneur “the deal is dead,” he answers, “how dead? Is it still breathing?” There is no such thing is a dead deal. Israelis always try to find another way. You close the door on them and they jump in through the window.”

And this part is classic, so classic, I burst out laughing through the whole page.

“This proposal sounds interesting” confuses Iraelis. Israeli style is blunt. “This proposal won’t work.” Rarely do Israelis use sentences with phrases like “perhaps you might consider….” of “if you wouldn’t mind.” Instead, they might say “you’re wrong.”

And I’ll add to that. “Why the hell are you doing it that way?” or “Why can’t it happen? What needs to be done to make it happen?” I’ve received a few of those over the years.

It’s almost always with heart however. And its the heart and passion inside these innovators that I look forward to tasting and smelling over the next week and a half.

Renee Blodgett
Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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