Which Waze next for the brand of ‘start-up nation’ Israel?Jun. 27, 2013
Google’s $1.3 billion acquisition of Waze, the Israeli-developed traffic crowdsourcing app that has won the hearts of 50 million users in 193 countries, is perhaps now recognized more for keeping the company in its Tel Aviv headquarters than for its nine zeroes, and is being touted as a national victory for Israel.
Yet, the pride that flowed from the agreement to keep Waze’s talent put (Netanyahu himself called company heads to say “You’ve reach your destination!”) indicates an underlying concernthat big foreign buyouts could eventually erode Israel’s brand as the “start-up nation,” a term coined in the 2011 book by Dan Senor and Saul Singer.
But as Waze eventually folds into Google, the Israeli influences that organically shaped it—or at least its origins as a “Silicon Wadi” start-up—may fade away from collective memory. Will this harm the company, or more significantly, harm Israel’s identity as the start-up nation? Not likely, says Grace Zimmerman, senior lecturer at Brandeis University’s International Business School.
“There are hundreds of products whose origins are in Israel that people all over the world use and enjoy without knowing that the technology originated in Israel,” Zimmerman tells JNS.org. “The same is true of products developed in other countries.”
For the full article in JNS click here.
See also the USNews story: "Israel's Startup Community Ready to Shine After Google-Waze". Deal.