It takes “chutzpah” (translation, extreme self-confidence, or audacity) to start a company. According to Erez Dror, CEO of Genda, an Israeli construction tech startup based, Israel is a nation of chutzpah, which is why the country keeps churning out startups.
“There are many answers [why Israel is the Startup nation]. The most common one is Israeli Chutzpah. We are not afraid to try new stuff. Not afraid to send someone a message even though they didn’t hear of us, and we are just a small company from Israel. Take the leap and do something different.”
Construction is one of the world’s oldest and largest industries, but it spends very little on technology innovation. Like many startups from Israel, they focused on the US market. It is an even greater challenge for a foreign-based company during the pandemic to get boots on the ground in a local market. Erez gave advice that could inform other tech entrepreneurs, focusing on a foreign market.
“It is harder to interview construction workers and managers from the US, so we developed features for the Israeli market and then made adjustments for the US Market. If we look at the big picture, it’s a bit of a mistake. It was smarter to do the interview before and develop the features for the US market because that was our target market.”
Erez's final comment reminds us that even hard-charging entrepreneurs need to take some personal time. "Keep time for yourself. An entrepreneur's schedule is extremely busy. I like surfing. Every time there are waves, I make sure I find the time. A startup is a marathon, not a sprint."
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