The World Is Flat Book Review
Daryle S. Rogers
Dr. Elisa Fredericks
June 29, 2010
The World Is Flat Book Review
The World Is Flat is a book about how the business world has become more interconnected within the last few decades. Friedman describes in the beginning of the book a trip to Bangalore, India where he visits “India’s Silicon Valley”(Friedman, 2007, p. 2) and is amazed at the level of technology that has come to the once third world country. Friedman then goes into the ways that the world has become flat and what he considers to be the ten flatteners. The first flattener is 11/9/89 The New Age of Creativity: When the Walls Came Down and the Windows Came Up. (Friedman, 2007, p. 51) In this section of the book he discusses how the fall of the Berlin wall and the eventual fall of communism in Eastern Europe opens up the once closed area of the world to capitalism. He also discusses how the invention of the personal computer, and Microsoft Windows® have taken hold throughout the business community. The second flattener is 8/9/95 The New Age of Connectivity: When the Web Went Around and Netscape Went Public (Friedman, 2007, p. 60) in this section of the book Friedman discusses how the world can now take it’s personally authored pieces, that are now in digital form, to the next level through connectivity. He describes the early stages of the internet and how Netscape® became the original web browser. With the invention of the internet and web browsing now possible people and business from all over the world can now communicate almost instantaneously, shortening both distance and time differences throughout the business world. The third flattener is Work Flow Software (Friedman, 2007, p. 77). Here Friedman discusses how software companies develop new or improved software to make the individual pieces of business come together seamlessly which provides increased productivity levels to all aspects of business. He also discusses how these same programs can be utilized by not only the firm, but also partners in business which frees up conversion time from the initial edge, research and development, to the final edge, delivery to the end user. The fourth flattener is Uploading: harnessing the power of communities(Friedman, 2007, p. 96) In this section Friedman discusses the new found ability to have community based software. He discusses how developers and users can join a certain community and utilize the software and provide feedback to the developer on how to improve the software. When using the communities the user does not pay for the software that they utilize, rather it is there for all members to use for free. Examples of some of these community based sites are weblogs or more commonly known as blogs and Wikipedia, where users can put their individual opinions (blogs) and facts relevant to virtually any subject (Wikipedia) for others to access and comment on. The fifth flattener is Outsourcing (Friedman, 2007, p. 126) In this section Friedman discusses how the business world has improved in it’s use of capital by outsourcing, sending manufacturing pieces of the end product to developing nations where labor costs are lower and productivity is comparable to that found in the country of origin. The main recipient of the majority of the outsourcing done by the United States is India where there is a deep labor pool to extract from in order to increase the company’s financial status in the market. Other items being outsourced include income tax preparation, the reading of x-rays, updating of dictionaries, and some engineering. The sixth flattener is Offshoring: running with the gazelles and eating with the Lions (Friedman, 2007, p. 137) In this section Friedman details how when China entered into the World Trade Organization (WTO) the remainder of the world had to begin to move faster and faster to complete with...
References: Friedman, T. L. (2007). The World Is Flat. New York, NY: Picador.
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