Posts Tagged ‘community’

together, beginning to end

August 22, 2010

Orna, my mentor, friend and colleague got me this book

Home, or in hebrew habyta by assaf inbari.

the story of kibbutz, a dream created in Israel 100 years ago.

a dream of community, socialism, values, sufficing with little and even less.

i was swept away by the book and recommend it to anyone who:

  • can read hebrew,
  • has a kibbutz in their background,
  • cares about creating communities


  • willing to give up convenience for values

the book is great because:

  • it blurs the lines between fiction and facts in a new and breathtaking way
  • it tells the story of the great kibbutz initiative that helped create israel in a way that was never told
  • it makes you think about what it takes to be a pioneer and entrepreneur. what you are willing to give up, how long it will last, and what does partnership really mean

some of my takeaways:

  • i think i understand my grandfather yeshayahou, who started a kibbutz and bestowed me with many values, much better now. sorry, grandpa, that i ended up a capitalist and not a socialist, but i hope i still have some time to fix that
  • any partnership, or common shared pool which is absolute, can exist, and beautifully so, but only for a relatively short time. years, a decade, not much more. the concept of ‘contribute what you can and take what you need’ can not last far beyond when the founders  themselves change. definitely not beyond a generation, which i consider to be 15 years these days, unless the next generation also has a common set of values and needs, and can change from the original vision while staying together
  • kids paid for their parents dreams, values and actions. paid dearly.

a good friend recently told me he wants to be my partner. ‘do you know what partnership means?’ he asked and answered:

you do all the work, we split the profits 50/50

הבית שלי הבית שלך – keep families together

April 24, 2010

ever been rejected? not a nice feeling

what about kicked out?

and taken away from your parents?

if you believe being an Israeli, or a Zionist, or a human being means being an example to others; if it means not repeating things we did not like when they were done to us;  here is a chance to take 4 minutes and help 1200 kids stay in Israel rather than be deported from Israel because they are a liability. why are they a liability?

תקדישו כ-4 דקות לראות קליפ מרגש שבו חוברים
אנשים מפורסמים
למקהלת הילדים שלנו בשיר שחובר עליהם ולכבודם.
אולי אם נגיע ל100,000 כניסות ננצח את אלי ישי
ואנשיו ונסיר מעליהם את חרב הגרוש.


April 11, 2010

Boycott was a name of an Irish estate agent who did not behave nicely to others, and thus got ostracized – socially isolated:

The word boycott entered the English language during the IrishLand War” and is derived from the name of Captain Charles Boycott, the estate agent of an absentee landlord, the Earl Erne, on Achill Island in County Mayo, Ireland, who was subject to social ostracism organized by the Irish Land League in 1880.

In September that year protesting tenants demanded from Boycott a substantial reduction in their rents. He not only refused but also evicted them from the land. Charles Stewart Parnell, in his Ennis Speech proposed that, rather than resorting to violence, everyone in the locality should refuse to deal with him. Despite the short-term economic hardship to those undertaking this action, Boycott soon found himself isolated—his workers stopped work in the fields and stables, as well as the house. Local businessmen stopped trading with him, and the local postman refused to deliver mail.

The concerted action taken against him meant that Boycott was unable to hire anyone to harvest the crops in his charge. Eventually 50 Orangemen from Cavan and Monaghan volunteered to harvest his crops. They were escorted to and from Claremorris by one thousand policemen and soldiers—this despite the fact that Boycott’s complete social ostracism meant that he was actually in no danger of being harmed. Moreover, this protection ended up costing far more than the harvest was worth. After the harvest, the “boycott” was successfully continued. Within weeks Boycott’s name was everywhere. It was used by The Times in November 1880 as a term for organized isolation. According to an account in the book “The Fall of Feudalism in Ireland” by Michael Davitt, the term was coined by Fr. John O’Malley of County Mayo to “signify ostracism applied to a landlord or agent like Boycott”. The Times first reported on November 20, 1880: “The people of New Pallas have resolved to ‘boycott’ them and refused to supply them with food or drink.” The Daily News wrote on December 13, 1880: “Already the stoutest-hearted are yielding on every side to the dread of being ‘Boycotted’.” By January of the following year, the word was being used figuratively: “Dame Nature arose…. She ‘Boycotted’ London from Kew to Mile End” (The Spectator, January 22, 1881).

On December 1, 1880 Captain Boycott left his post and withdrew to England, with his family.

soulja boy – כבר בר-מצוה

March 5, 2010

soulja boy

is a very popular song for some time

check out the number of views, not insignificant

the beauty is that thousands of remakes were made for it

you can watch them on youtube

an israeli boy, Ben Dadia, in preparation for his bar-mitvah prepared this lovely, well made video

great job, kid. though you do not look bar-mitvah age. if you were my boy, you would get a big hug.

but also note that:

he is not really high IQ.

he does not pronounce words correctly. especially distinguishing between aleph hei and ain

replay if you wish, but note, the “aahhherev”

so here is a remake, a response

interestingly, it is more watched then ben dadia’s piece

i cracked up laughing.

hope you did too.

still my hero here is ben dadia. lovely boy

here is a related video

do you know how it is related?

behind the shadows

January 27, 2010

this post is written in response to guy grimland’s article in the marker on VC responses to emails with an investment proposition

i would like to share with you my perspective:

  • what i thought
  • what i did
  • and why

first the facts:

here is the email i got:

From: shadowscale shadowscale []
Sent: Tuesday, January 19, 2010 4:43 PM
To: Adi Pundak-Mintz
Subject: Meeting with Gemni

Dear Adi

My name is Yinon Tzuk. I’m the co-founding CEO of Shadowscale, a startup focused on automatic optimization and scaling for enterprise and consumer web applications.
Our founding team is an organic team that left Checkpoint 2 years ago, after spending 3 years together building scaling, cloud based security products.

Since then we’ve spent the last 2 years developing a unique solution for enterprise/consumer web applications experiencing rapid growth.
These applications often suffer from accelerating infrastructure and operational costs, coupled with significant learning curves resulting in downtime, poor user experience, and revenue loss.

With our service customers can continue developing their applications on a SINGLE virtual web server and a SINGLE database, with simple real time data manipulation.
Instead of worrying about load balancing, caching, security, CDNs, code acceleration, backup and deployments – Shadowscale does the heavy lifting in the background.

The customer controls the application’s SLA, availability, security and speed/cost ratios via a dashboard and can implement any state of the art scaling module on demand.
With the ability to see performance data, bottlenecks and solutions customers can make meaningful choices about their infrastructure cost decisions and optimization without any actual learning curves, development and operational costs.

During October 2009 we deployed the first version of Shadowscale supporting automatic scaling for databases with a top tier US based enterprise beta partner, with excellent results – more deployments are planned to follow during Q1 2010.

I’d love to set up a meeting to tell you more about Shadowscale in person.

Yinon Tzuk

here is my response


thanks for your nice note

someone from the team will be in touch by phone to get more details and see if there is room for a meeting

sounds like you are at an exciting phase, and congrats on the great work up till now

do you have a presentation

take a look at the link below to my VC related blog posts

looking forward



here is gemini’s response once guy called to ask for comments after disclosing ‘the hoax’ (more of which are to come)? and complaining that only one partner responded

Dear guy

Thanks for taking the time to talk to me while you are with your son

Here is gemini’s team response:

We try to reply to every opportunity within 48 hours

We try to research and discuss the opportunity as a group and call the entrepreneur or set a meeting within a week most of the time, and some times 2 weeks

It is our belief that in order to have a clear and synchronized process it is best that only the partner and associate from the relevant sector will lead the interaction with the entrepreneur. Therefore multiple responses are not productive. We believe this is a professional method for dealing with opportunities that come thru email our desire for professional conduct is borne from respect to the entrepreneur and a view of ‘treat others as you would be willing to be treated’

The success of israeli high tech, is lead by entrepreneurs, not VCs, and we try to remember this every day

i will try to add some thoughts:

this letter looked unusual, (there is no Yinon Tzuk on linked in), Gemini is misspelled, the email address, some essential material was missing, and this is not the right way to approach a VC. i still believe that people deserve a response. i am not even good enough on this topic most of the time. this includes my wife, my friends, CEOs of my companies. so i have a long way to go to improve

guy from my experience is

  • intelligent
  • motivated
  • thinks out side of the box

i think this article is sad.

if you take one thing away from this episode it should be this

do not approach VCs via email

take the time to talk with people, find people who know the VCs and believe in you and in your idea and will introduce you and guide you through the first meeting and hopefully start a process. you can read more about my thoughts how to approach a VC, here.

you will get far more from the interaction (which, at times, is not enough)

i think this article is sad. why?

becuase we as a high tech industry and the VCs financing early stage entrepreneurship have far greater problems which should be addressed in depth and not through a yellow prism

for israeli VC s these may include:

  • lack of belief in the vc model
  • lack of belief in their ability to help
  • lack of desire to work really hard. and boy, to be a good VC you need to either be really lucky or work really hard

most of these issues could be cleaned up by a more equitable and reasonable compensation structures.

for isreali entrepreneurs the issues to discuss may include:

  • build a reasonable plan and execute against it
  • optimize long term, not short term. (can VCs help here? are they part of the problem?)
  • build a team and keep it together

but, don’t forget to wear sunscreen

want to help haiti?

January 15, 2010

terrible news from haiti

already one of the poorest countries in the western hemisphere

with a history of political mismanagement.

as many as 3million people may be affected by the earthquake

want to help?

here is a cool way:

quick to market

think of how flexible senior management at this organization were to act

perhaps because they are well aware of their values

knowing your values helps in decision making

what decision can we make to make our organization help?

to see the earthquake on tape, take a look here

sometimes, the earth is cruel

it’s worth the trip

October 1, 2009

machne jeuhdaa great new restaurant opened up this summers in jerusalem מחניהודה.

finally, for the first time in a long time, there is fresh reason to travel to jerusalem on a summer’s eve

it has a lot of what you want in a restaurant:

  • it is located in the market
  • it has dishes you have never tasted before
  • it is authentic
  • prices are extremely affordable
  • service is friendly
  • the waitresses are different than the ones in telaviv. here you are part of a community, not a post-modern urbanite

here is another review

just go there.


this was supposed to be the end of the post, but wanted to share a few more thoughts about the name and its meaning for me:

  • מחנה-יהודה is actually camp judaea the young Zionist movement in the USA
  • if our state was not called israel, what would it be called? (palestine is taken). i suppose judea, which is also the root of the name for our religion. so we are all in the same camp, camp judea. כל ישראל חברים , or , “כל ישראל ערבים זה לזה”. we lost a bit of that, havn’t we?
  • one of the songs which excites me the most every independence day is שאו ציונה נס ודגל,  which flag? דגל מחנה יהודה
  • i was born in a neighborhood  of Petach Tikva called מחנה יהודה (which by the way had a great footbal team). that’s where my roots are. like it, or not. i like it.

TED synapse

July 23, 2009

after a few days at TED, here are my key takeaways:

  • the power of music. No matter how much you love music, i still think it is an under-rated power. a creative medium, that bri ngs people together and is a great channel of communication with young people across cultures. if i hate them so much, how come i do not hate their music?
  • deterioriation of the environment. we are consuming more than we are providing. even if you are not a believer in climate change, you can still reduce your ‘carbon footprint’ and help reach balance in more ways than one
  • education is the solution. if there is one place to invest to improve the world, it is in education. especially for women in the developing nations. these women will help their kids get education as well. most problems, when reduced and distilled, come down to education.

more later


July 21, 2009

i am attending TEDglobal at oxford

first thoughts are that the world is not so global

gordon brown claims we are at the beginning of an age where we care about a person around the world as much as a person in our own country

i find that difficult to believe

‘the poor of your own city first’ seems like a universal value to me

on the lighter side, if the world is so global, how come the faucets here still have 2 taps, one for hot water and one for cold?

Think With the Senses, Feel With the Mind

December 1, 2008

there is no such thing as a good painting without an idea, and there is no such thing as a good idea without a form.

session with robert storr, dean, yale school or art, director of the last biennale.

Robert Storr is an American curator, academic, critic, and painter. He was named Dean of the Yale School of Art for a five-year period beginning July 2006 and was the director of the Venice Biennale in 2007. He has been described as a “vital link between the museum world and academia” and “a gifted writer”.

here is an interview

wrote 2 books on richter, my favorite current artist. doubt and belief in painting is an interesting one

key takeaways:

  • next biennale in june. i am going who is coming?
  • volta in basel as well


above richter

  • brazillian favelas as creating and designing a neighborhood


  • artists that are ‘successful’ are often not from the country in which they become popular. their identity and nationality is complex. if art is ahead of ‘culture’ by decades, how does that reflect on identity and globalization?
  • does art have silos?
  • demian hirst as ‘bad art’? important cultural figure but not good enough?
  • artists who have done well in their regions, local galleries, that is where real art happens
  • no real art capital where things are happening. berlin is going to be the next place.


a god has died, a new one is born.

  • wallid raad, the atlas project
  • suspicion of collective a priori requirements, though is an indispensable  phase
  • respect something that is moving along in its own way

identity should be like garments of north africa. once in a while some nakedness should be visible.

  • art as a form of foreign policy
  • maus, a great book
  • studio museum harlem
  • cartoons as art. i agree that it is an under-rated medium
  • art as a way to learn how to learn
  • artis, promoting israeli contemporary art
  • artis, art tours study abroad.
  • imitating art similar to learning another language.
  • breaching the barrier, like karioke for the first time