Despite its size, Israel manages to be one of the top leading countries in every industry around the world thanks to its unique culture. At our #B2BTalks event that focused on innovation in B2B marketing, we were joined by Inbal Arieli, VP strategic partnerships at Start-Up Nation Central. She discussed her experiences in the start-up ecosystem, and some of the interesting aspects of Israeli culture that make it so innovative.

Before working at Start-Up Nation Central, Inbal was part of a company named Modu founded by entrepreneur Dov Moran. Modu was a company with a new modular phone concept, and while the company seemed very promising and foresaw great success, it closed in 2011.

Some people saw the company as a huge failure and others as an incredible achievement. In Inbal’s opinion the company was both. For one, the IP of the module was acquired by Google, and today 7 years after the company’s shut down, these patents are the basis for Google’s modular phone project, called Project Ara.

Secondly, an even bigger success is the fact that from Modu’s 300 former employees, 32 new start-ups were initiated. These employees weren’t looking for a secure work place, but wanted to innovate and start a new company despite their last failure.

Failure is the greatest factor that sets apart societies that manage to innovate and the ones who don’t.

Whether you take Israel, Silicon Valley or any other place in the world, statistics show the following breakdown: there is a 90% failure and 10% success rate.

The two main factors that impact this ratio are:

  • The percentage of people who are trying to innovate per country.
  • People’s openness to talking about their failures.

Asking about failure could be considered rude or overstepping boundaries in certain cultures, yet Israel’s take on this subject seems to be fundamentally different. It can be observed right from the definition of the word failure. In Oxford’s dictionary, the definition for failure is simply “lack of success”, whereas the Israeli Even Shushan dictionary contains a vague paragraph that talks about an attempt to do a certain task.

Since childhood Israeli children encounter stories that present the inevitable failure, and the raising up following it, all of which make it clear how differently failure is perceived in Israel.

At the end of her talk, Inbal offered one tip to organizations seeking to create an innovative, thriving team. Usually businesses and teams are caught up with day-to-day tasks, management meetings, and executive status updates, leaving no time for brainstorming and mindfulness. To avoid that, organizations should create a mechanism that assures time allocated for brainstorming, reducing bottlenecks in order to better approach these problems. You’ll most likely find the answers in that very room.

If your organization is based in Israel, then you’re already in a key position, geared up with the atmosphere and platform required for innovative thinking. Watch Inbal’s talk in the video above to learn more.