This has little to do with politics, but I can’t help but poke a stick in the eye of Israel haters and supporters of BDS (boycott, divestment, sanctions against Israel).
You know those ubiquitous web links at the bottom of the page on sites like Fox News or CNN? They’re usually titled “from around the web” or “more promoted stories”. They have catchy titles like “The 10 Best Resorts in South America” or “14 Things Surprising Things Your Cat is Telling You”. Everybody says they hate them, but we do click on them.
I admit, I’ve clicked on them.
You end up on a site filled with weirdly useless but addictive content, or you are directed there by a company called Outbrain. I always thought this kind of thing was a bottom-dwelling, barrel-scraping enterprise designed to troll clicks from high traffic sites. But actually, it’s a pretty sophisticated content marketing and placement system that serves 80% of the world’s leading brand content.
And Outbrain is Israeli. Founded by Yaron Galai in 2006, the company employs more than 400 people in 16 offices worldwide, with most R&D carried out in Netanya, Israel, although they’ve got a San Francisco office too. You won’t find them in Mountain View, Menlo Park, or Cupertino though. The silicon flows in this company by the Mediterranean Sea.
I love it when Israeli startups do well.
Outbrain’s competition, Taboola, is also Israeli. And more startups fly out of Israel like embers from a hot fire every day. Check this out, from around the web “15 Israeli Startups Getting Hot at the Turn of 2015”. I like that headline. It’s even good enough for Outbrain to put at the bottom of some high traffic web site. That article isn’t paid content though. It’s from Inc Magazine.
Israel is blazing hot with startups, and flush with startup capital. And every time I come upon an Outbrain link, I’m clicking it to support Israel. Even if I don’t really care if Butch Cassidy escaped from Bolivia.
I guess those BDS supporters will have to boycott the whole Internet now. I won’t miss them.
(image credit: Shutterstock)