Google came to Israel a decade ago, and its arrival made the nation’s tech industry both excited and nervous.
Google’s arrival was validation that the “start-up nation” had some of the best computer engineers in the world.
But they worried that Google would snap up all the best talent (which some startup founders say it has, indeed, done), drive up wages, and be yet another multi-national that doesn’t “get” the tight-knit Israeli startup culture.
Today Google is known as one of the most important parts of the startup community. It is helping startups succeed, giving them resources for free. Its $US1.1 billion purchase of mapping company Waze, a team still based in Tel Aviv, also helped jump-start a rush of lucrative exits for other startups.
And its executive chairman, Eric Schmidt, who visits this campus frequently, is one of the most lavish investors in the land.
Part of Google’s success lies in its wild and beautiful offices in Tel Aviv.