In this episode, Michael Dermer from The Lonely Entrepreneur interviews his cousin Ambassador Ron Dermer, the Israeli Ambassador to the United States. Ron explains how the struggle of Israel as a nation and the spirit of the Israeli population has led to a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship. Ron shares his view on:

  • How the constant struggle of Israel to survive as a nation had led to leadership in innovation and entrepreneurism
  • How the need to survive has spurred a culture of creativity, passion, “chutzpah” and will
  • The astonishing achievements of Israel in innovation despite its limited size and population
  • How military service adds to the capabilities of those who choose to be entrepreneurs
  • His struggle associated with the United States nuclear deal with Iran
  • His personal entrepreneurial experiences

“When Israelis hit a wall, they don’t stop. When you are facing serious threats with limited resources, when you hit a wall, you figure a way underneath it, around it or over it.”

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Quotes of Note

  • Ron Dermer On Israel’s entrepreneurism: Israel has more companies listed on NASDAQ that any other country other than the United States and China. Israel has more patents than than Russia, China and India combined.”
  • Ron Dermer On the secret for Israel’s success: “Israel’s secret ingredients are genius, capital and the third ingredient – and that is “Chutzpah” – gall, daring, challenging the conventional wisdom.”
  • Ron Dermer on The Israeli entrepreneur:We have the attitude that just because Apple or Microsoft or Cisco or Intel has a great idea, doesn’t mean that four guys in an apartment somewhere can’t come up with a better idea. And to say I can succeed where others failed.”
  • Ron Dermer on the entrepreneur perspective: “The entrepreneur has to be willing to chart a course that is different from the other people that came before him and to have the guts and chutzpah to try. It is the desire to challenge that is deeply embedded in Israel.”
  • Ron Dermer on Moses’ navigation skills: “Moses was a great leader but a terrible navigator setting up Israel as the only country in the Middle East not sitting on oil.”
  • Ron Dermer on his greatest struggle as Ambassador: “My greatest challenge has definitely been the whole struggle that we had with the powers of the world over the nuclear deal with Iran. The US administration thinks that this deal makes American and Israel safer. I have no doubt as to the sincerity of the President when he says that, but we believe that he is mistaken.”

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About The Lonely Entrepreneur

The Lonely Entrepreneur Podcast series – called Perspectives – help entrepreneurs with the one issue we all face – the struggle – by changing our perspective on the business and personal issues we all face. We share parts of The Lonely Entrepreneur methodology, crazy stories from our journey and interviews with well-known entrepreneurs about how they have succeeded in the face of their own struggles. Passion and grit is not enough – and it is our goal at The Lonely Entrepreneur to provide perspectives to help each of us become better entrepreneurs each day. We believe that the difference between success and failure is your perspective. We hope to help the community of startups, entrepreneurs, small business, venture capital, angels, investors, incubators, accelerators and universities unlock the entrepreneurial spirit.

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