|AbidanCruz||Date: Wednesday, 2013-06-12, 3:35 PM | Message # 1|
|Book Report: The World is Flat In the book, The World is Flat, Thomas L. Friedman uses his experiences from traveling and uses them to describe us how the world, in symbolic terms, is getting “flattened”. When Friedman reminisced about a journey to Bangalore, India, he realized that globalization has differed core economic concepts. That other companies from other countries are improving their economic status which in his opinion, would lead the “flattening” of the playing field. Throughout his book, he recounts many examples of companies based in China and India, by providing labor such as call centers, tutors, accountants etc. and explains how they became part of a complex global supply chain for companies such as Microsoft and Apple. He uses ten flatteners that in his opinion, sees leveling of the global playing field. The first flattener is the collapse of the Berlin Wall. This was obviously related to the Cold War when it the fall symbolized the end of the war. He said that the wall was a boundary that separated us from a more advanced economy, it was when we decided to collapse it, was the time that we joined an economic mainstream as well as the people at the other side of the wall that was too trapped. He said that this revolution created the PC, Windows, dial up modems and other companies. The second flattener was Netscape. When it was available to the market, it wasn't only for early producers it was for the everyone from six year olds to ninety year olds. This sparked an era of digitization, this made people want to digitize their music, films, pictures, and other devices. The third flattener was the workflow software. During this time there was a rise of software protocols like SMTP which stands for simple mail transfer protocol and HTML which Cruz 2was the language that enabled anyone to design and publish document that could be read and sent to any computer anywhere. According to him the workflow software lead to the next six flatteners. The fourth one was uploading. This leaded to communities collaborating on online projects, example of these are open software sources, blogs and Wikipedia. The fifth flattener was outsourcing. Outsourcing is obtaining goods or services from an outside supplier. Friedman says that outsourcing has allowed companies to separate services into other countries to be performed in the most efficient cost effective ways. This process he says became easier with the mass distribution of fiber optic cables during the introduction of the World Wide Web. The sixth flattener, was offshoring. Offshoring is the movement of the companies processes and services overseas in order to take advantage of lower cost. He uses China as an example and says that the WTO allowed for greater competition in the global playing field. He says now that countries such as Mexico and Brazil have to compete against China to have businesses to offshore them. The seventh flattener is Supply-chaining. He compares the modern retail chain supply to a river. and uses Walmart and says its company uses technology to sell their products. The eight flattener is Insourcing.This is when a company’s employees perform services. The ninth one is Informing. This is basically information search engines like Google and Bing. Friedman states that these search engines have the ability to find so much information about so many things and about so many people. The final flattener is the “The Steroids”. This is when there were personal devices such as Ipods, personal digital assistants, and voice over Internet Protocols. These processes can be done at high speed with total ease.Friedman believes that in contrast to the other countries the United States must keep updating their work skills and make them more adaptable to the new “flat” world. These would make them more competitive against the other nations that have already made their workforce more digitized.