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The World Is Flat

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A book report of "The World Is Flat" by Thomas L. Friedman

"The World Is Flat" a book by author Thomas L. Friedman discusses a brief history of the twenty-first century and its most recent impact on the US economic today and the world we live in. Friedman unfolds and identifies three major world wide events that explain he's philosophical explanation of why he thinks the "The World Is Flat" with the incorporation of his belief of the "Triple Convergence in 2000". Ten convoluted events of complementary ingredients were combined and lead to Friedman's meaning of the emerged of the triple convergence that reflects the level of our globalization economical state. While Thomas Friedman was on a project in Bangalore, India, in Silicon Valley completing a documentary for the Discovery Times Channel on "Out-Souring" in India. Friedman tells a story how he and a good friend, "Nandan Nilekani" (who is the CEO and owner of InfoSys.) stood for a moment together waiting for a crew to set up the film equipment, when Nilekani said to Tom "You Know, Tom, the playing field is being leveled and you, Americans, you're not ready". Afterwards, Thomas Friedman could not stop contemplating about what exactly "Nandan" was trying to convey. Friedman ponders his friend's comment for a short while and concludes that while many Americans were sleeping (basically in an osculating mode) the world was changing in exponential rates. Friedman concluded what "Nandan" was really trying to say was that the playing field is not being "leveled" but more so, flatten, thus, "The World Is Flat". Explaining how the global economic playing field that is being leveled off and we as Americans are not ready for its implications on the US and the economy of the entire world. Friedman explains how 10 ingredients, he calls "flatteners" which has inadvertently brought about a new global business environment.

The 1st flattener is the "Fall of the Berlin Wall", where Friedman explains how on 11/09/89 the Berlin Wall came down and exposed the continents into one globalize trading world. Friedman explains about six months after the "Berlin Wall Falling" the "Windows Operating System" computer chip exploded and launched the beginning era of internet PC revolution. He calls this era "The Fall of The Walls and the Rise of The Windows". Explaining how the "Wall" stood in the way of globalization. Six months after the Wall Fell the Windows Operating System 3.0 shifted and created a single graphical interface.

The 2nd flattener was the date 08/09/95 having an immense impact which I believe is a milestone in the history of our technology growth and its repercussions was when Netscape, a internet browser (which is a drop box that is illustrated on computer screens giving a outburst of availability to the internet's world wide web of information and created an open highway with no speed limits), went public. As Netscape became available to all people at their finger tips it played a key roll empowering individuals with massive amounts of information and helped commercialize and set open standards, equally facilitating all of the world's people with virtually the same chance of opportunities for growth. This phenomenon is greatly indicative to the remaining of Thomas Friedman's flatteners and their implications, good and bad, on human kind essentially defining what he meant with the statement: "The World Is Flat". The Netscape browser brought the internet to life and gave us the .com boom creating a bubble of wild crazy investments which facilitated the fiber optic boom. Friedman explains how an overinvestment of 1 trillion dollars in five years into fiber optic cable inadvertently connected the world through the internet.

Which lead us to the "Workflow Software", the 3rd flattener where all the software programs and standards that connect PCs with bands of cable to allow work to flow, such as Microsoft Word. These events fountain a technology revolution which virtually connected everyone's application to everyone else's application. Creating a new global platform where Friedman describes this era as a collaboration of platforms, flattening the world. This platform marks the end of a new beginning as Freidman describes "The Genesis Moment".

Freidman explains how this Genesis moment fueled a network connecting "people to people", "companies with companies", "people with companies" and "more people with more different places" and so. Thus, starts the emergence of Freidman's theory "The World Is Flat".

This new platform is based on a collaboration of the following six flatteners. Starting with the 4th flattener in which Friedman labels as "Outsourcing" was built around the "Y2K" fade. Outsourcing was the product of collaboration which allows departments of large companies to work out of State, and more so, to work out of our country. This collaboration aided companies to disaggregate a good proportion of their business processes and source it out to anywhere around the world at a lesser cost than it would have otherwise cost here in the US. Outsourcing gave way for companies to take advantage of high skilled laborers with low-cost wages, utilizing them as vehicles for companies to gain profits and develop an exponential boost of effective efficiency by tremendously improving their overall production and operations increasing profit margins. Although, many American companies probably did not stop to analyze the repercussions of their gains.

The 5th flattener is "Off Shoring", which is built around China joining the World Trade Organization. Off-shoring is taking an entire factory and physically moving it from the U.S. to a foreign country and integrating into global production operations. The 6th flattener is "Open-Sourcing" where the writing of "Linux" was created. Linux is a computer operating system program and is the biggest competitor's to Microsoft's operating system program. This new operating system "Linux" was created by a collaboration of computer scientists on the internet who demanded no money for their efforts allowing this free program to be downloaded by anyone who seeks it out. Linux is the biggest competitor to Microsoft whereby under cutting Microsoft, Friedman emphasis, how it would be hard to bet "zero". "Supply Chain" is the 7th flattener which is built around Wal-Mart, as Freidman stated, represents the construction of a hyper-efficient, down to the last atom of



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