Last week in Israel, a unique conference took place. The speakers were Yanki Margalit, a company CEO that failed to protect his company from a hostile-takeover by a foreign competitor; Not only were the speakers a complete group of failures, but the conference itself had the name "fail-con" (as in: "Failure Conference"). You would expect not too many people will want to learn how to fail from "experts in failures". But you would be wrong?
Remember the story behind Spiderman? Peter Parker is a regular guy, until a radio-active spider bites him. Now he can climb walls, he is stronger than any human and can even see well without glasses. He's super-human. Well, in the startup world founders are a little like that. If you want to keep the analogy, you may say founders got bitten by the startup-bug (not radioactive, usually) and now they have super-powers.
In my last column I wrote that startups should be small: 2-3 people, and that's it. I know how it sounds: you want to compete with a company that has 50, 100 or maybe 10,000 employees. How can you do that with just 2 people? Or maybe your product is so amazing, you need to separate it into 4-5 different projects, each will be revolutionary on its own. You need at least 10 people for that, right?
I want to take you on a trip, 8,000 km away. We'll be going to Israel, the 'startup nation', a country of only 7 Million people who is second in the number of NASDAQ IPO's, more than any other country in the world other than the US. But although we want to learn about building startups, I won't be taking you to Herzeliya, the "Hi Tech" city near the Mediterranean sea. We'll be driving from Tel Aviv on the road to Jerusalem, and stop approximately in the middle, at a valley that has nothing but green fields. This place, called "EMEK HA'ELA" will be useful for teaching Korean startups a valuable lesson on how to succeed in taking the startup global.