Saturday, May 29, 2010

Technology Development Is Heating Up Again

Malcolm Gladwell's Tipping Point tells the story of how messages travel in networks. His is the modern day observation of the power in people networks. His observation is more on how social messages affect our way of making decisions in life.

Business in Israel is both isolated and connected with the outside world. It is isolated because there is no real connection with any of the border states. Arab states are different culturally and the political divide continues to make any business relationship difficult. On the connected side, Israel has strong ties with European, American, African and Asian counties. Culturally, Israel is most similar to European countries. So are business practices. Business wise, Israel is closest to the US. This is especially true in the technology sector. There is more synergy between Israeli technology companies and Americans than any other area here.


Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Retirement in Tel Aviv: A Revolutionary Idea? or Just Common Sense?

An 80th birthday celebration with Israeli retirees and others from around the globe. Israel is a great place to be if you are coming from Argentina, Italy and even New York / © 2010

An Israeli, and American and a Cuban are sitting at an Azrieli coffee shop talking about retirement. They talk about grandchildren, social security payments and health services. The Israeli feels at home, he looks at the Cuban and thinks:

"what a sad man, what is he going to do with his retirement? how is he going to learn and see the world? It must feel terrible to come to Israel and see how the people advance economically every few years, while at Cuba the "revolutionaries" are stuck in an economic and political tar pit."

Then the Israeli turns to the American and asks:

How it is going with the health care reform? We hear all kind of horrible stories on Fox news. Half of America is cheering Obama and his reforms. Half are calling him a communist and want him out of office. This sounds like a terrible situation. What are you going to do when healthcare for the middle class becomes expensive and hard to pay for?


Monday, May 3, 2010

Biking Around the Dead Sea & LOT spa hotel

Eyal Skuza on a bike ride in the desert (courtesy of Menachem Zibziner Blog.) The spring is a great time to go out to the desert, perfect biking weather awaits the ones who like wide open spaces / © 2010

Spring is here and the weather in Israel is cool. In the desert and dead sea area the weather now is optimal for biking. All around the dead sea and the Masada area, there are paved and dirt roads for biking. The terrain is both smooth and rough, depending on where you bike. If you like open spaces, there are many areas where you can have the land to yourself. If you want to see more of the dead sea, stick to the paths around the resorts. The dead sea area, with it's lunar like landscape, is one of the most beautiful areas in Israel. On clear days, you can see for miles. To the east of the main road (route 90) from the Dead Sea hotels areas towards Eilat, is the Jordanian mountain range. The view is typical of the Arabian deserts. To the west of the main road is the Israeli desert. On this side are hundreds of dry river beds carved from winter flash floods. Further west are craters and messas, Masada, the famous Israelite rebel fort from the Roman rebellion is a few miles away. If you are a history buff, biking around Masada is a cool experience.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Israel's Future: Trust and Doubt Among Israelis

Israelis act as if they are here forever, but sometimes speak as if just temporary visitors. Israeli survey point marker at the end of Tel Aviv's marina pier / © 2010

I don't understand how Israelis think about the future. It's not because I don't understand the words or ideas, it's just that there are so many different views, most conflicting. Some Israelis really believe that the state is not going to survive. If saddam hussein with chemical rockets from Iraq, the Palestinian suicide attack or Ahmadinejad's nuclear bombs don't succeed, eventually someone is going to bring down the state. These views are based on personal fears and media reports. On the hopeful side, Israelis simply point out where Israel is today and how people struggled for a long time to keep us safe. Attacks on Jews (essentially pre-Israel) started before the state was declared, wars with bigger armies and more determined leaders did not bring down the state, why would someone succeed now? Then there are the middle thinkers, Israelis who think that a really strong force came at us, an Iranian nuclear bomb for example, the Israeli army would retaliate. Something would remain after the smoked cleared. To outsiders this all seems grim, but what else can we do with daily news reports of someone making a speech to squash us?