The World is Flat
The book entitled “The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty First Century” is well written by author Thomas L. Friedman. The title itself is ironic because it describes the world literally in shape. But gazing through its pages will make you believe that indeed the world has the quality of giving full access to anywhere as it bridges the gap and makes business of all kinds possible. The author aims to discuss that an ancient geographical fallacy would come full circle to describe the most complex development to affect business and political relationships in the entire world.
The premise of the author is well understood in the book. He asserts that in order to understand more of the book’s title, the vastness of technological change and the idea of globalization must be accessible. There are proofs in the book about his experiences with other people as they narrate how technological advancement affects business. One part of the book that catches reader’s interest is the way Friedman described his travel to India. He carefully discuss in the book the conversation that he had with Jerry Rao who provided him with discussions and frameworks on how ow the incredible mitosis of technological advancement has affected the way companies conduct business. He likens it to the evolution of a computer product, with the newest version, Globalization 3.0, empowering all individuals of all countries to “plug in and play” (Friedman,2005, p. 11). In fact, he frames the evolution of this phenomenon in, first, technological advances in the forms of Microsoft, Netscape, fiber optics, programming education and software and then in the birth of collaborative communities that became so vast and organized in the mid 1990s that they even united such unlikely bedfellows as Apaches and IBM.
It is very amazing that the author was able to convince readers why the world is really flat. He provides examples in the book to support his claims. Industries were given as example like medical, accounting, communication, news, military and food. The book made clear introduction of how UPS ceases to be simply a delivery company, but a conglomerate force behind tennis shoes and pizza is compelling. Friedman made use of the aforementioned topics to state how it is difficult to find any segment of society that is not flattening.
Another well taken point from the book is how fast pacing the trend of economy and commerce is visible around the globe. It is appealing to the reader’s eye since it shows how the world is really globalized today. In addition to this Friedman states that the only thing that rifts business is personal relationships. It should then be avoided to achieve a more suitable business world. Another thing that gives a positive impact to readers is how Friedman relates to the world as being globalize and flat in the playing field. This flattening is the recent removal of the barriers when it comes to international market. He also points out the use of technology and total innovation. If people are now interconnected globally, it becomes easier to lose the interpersonal angle to business.
In this book, Friedman also allows his readers to know about the ten influencing factors that flatten the world. It motivates people to move forward and be competent globally. It develops a sense of economic concern and avoid any uprising conflict between countries. The role of technology in the world of business is also emphasized by Friedman. Although too much technology can be harmful, the way it is discussed in the book makers reader think if technology boom in the world is really worthy or not. This is because too much technological advancement is utilized by terrorist. The many benefits of technology are used in destroying business. Technology can make or break the society. This is very well described in the book.
As far as the individual student in America, off-shoring and out-sourcing are equally inescapable. As graduates enter the workforce, they can only do so with informed minds and a willingness to accept the changes that this wave will bring. Ignoring the catch-up game other countries are playing would be an error. Graduates can no longer consider themselves entering business in the most advanced country in the world. As Friedman argues, workers in what were third world countries are now “racing us to the top” (Friedman, 2005, p. 265). While Americans ogle Britney Spear’s sexy dance moves and wonder about her love life, the Chinese soak up Bill Gates’ words and wonder about his newest enterprise.
The most interesting section about this book is the description of the whirlwind development of the internet itself and the speed at which it connected the world. Students now have never known an internet-free world and cannot conceive of a time when business was done within four walls, solely by paper or word of mouth. Most alarming for many readers must be the idea that the US may be knocked from its pedestal by those that have apparently learned the American way better than Americans. It seems sad that American jobs are lost to cheaply-paid third world workers. On the other hand, it is inspiring to see the dedication and respect with which these workers compete for and accept these jobs.
Thomas Friedman’s The World is Flat is a must-read for students entering the information technology world. Clearly survival in this industry depends upon a working knowledge of this trend. Even people who are veteran information and technology professionals will find this book essential in determining and validating business decisions. The world may be flat, but we will not fall off.
Lastly, the relevance of this book are beneficial for any individual seeking to better understand to join the fast pace Globalization 3.0. Executives, employees and even students and individuals who are interested in modern history and globalization will find this book a good one.
Friedman, Thomas L. (2005). The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First
Century. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux.