The World is Flat

worldisflat3.jpg The World is Flat: A brief history of the twenty-first century is an internationally acclaimed book by New York Times columnist and popular opinion-shaper Thomas Friedman. The title, based on a statement by Nandan Nilekani the former CEO of Infosys, is a metaphor for viewing the world a level playing field for companies from countries across the world. In the book, Friedman travels around the world and analyzes recent advances in globalization. He attributes the “flattening” of the world to 10 forces: (1) The fall of the Berlin Wall, (2) introduction of Netscape, (3) workflow software, (4) open-sourcing, (5)  outsourcing, (6) off-shoring, (7) supply chaining, (8) in-sourcing, (9) increased access to information, and (10) personal digital devices such as PDAs. Friedman argues that the 10 flatteners conerged to create a new, fallter, global playing field that is changing lives of people around the world. Friedman also discusses forces, such as terrorism and AIDS, that can impede and flattening of the world. Friedman’s book and his analysis of slobalization has become a must-read for strategic managers and influences government and business leaders around the world.

A major criticism of Friedman’s thesis in The World is Flat is that it is an one-sided view of globalization, a overly optimistic view of the benefits of globalization. Many scholars believe it is dangerous to have so much faith in globalization and have urged caution in following a book, which some believe, is based on “unsupported allegations” and “interviews with friends” and ” playing golf with rich and famous corporate executives”. Ronald Aronica and Mtetwa Ramdoo have written a hard-hitting book The World Is Flat?: A Critical Analysis of New York Times Bestseller by Thomas Friedman which presents another side of globalization, focusing on many issues ignored by Friedman. They recognize that “globalization is the greatest reorganization of the world since the Industrial Revolution”, and discuss many of the things that have gone wrong with globalization. Of course, Aronica and Ramdoo are not only the two authors critical of Friedman’s ideas about globalization, may other scholars, academics, and executives have written about the “dark side” of globalization.

Despite its limitations and shortcomings, I believe every person who is interested in globalization-related issues should read The World is Flat, even if they disagree with the ideas presented in the book.

222 Comments

Filed under Books

222 responses to “The World is Flat

  1. Amanda Fochek

    I’m only about 1/6 of the way done with this book,and i have already learned a lot from it. Just recently I read about how someday soon there is going to be a way for business to rent the programs that it needs to operate instead of having to buy them. This is something that is going to be very beneficial for business who utilize it. One of the things I have learned in my accounting classes is that all business run of various programs that help them with their daily operations. These range anywhere from a tax program to an accounting journals program. These businesses will all be able to benefit from renting an online program.

  2. Ben Haffke

    As an Accounting Major, I found the discussion on pages 12-15 very interesting. Within those few pages, the author discusses what occured when he met a man in Bangalore. Within a few minutes, the man was saying how if the author needs any accounting done the man would do it for him. The man from Bangalore said that outsourcing of tax returns and other accounting needs to India has become very popular and very cost effective for many mid-size accounting firms. I found this very interesting because as a senior in his last semester of college it is very eye opening finding out that my potential job was being outsource at increasing rates. The man from Bangalore stated that the people from India are doing the tedious work, while the people in America are doing the relationship based work and the more complex accounting work. It really hit home to me when the man was quoted as saying, “Everyone has to focus on what exactly is their value-add.” That quote will remain with me as I go into my carrer field.

  3. Richard Caniglia

    I’m really only about 60 pages into the book, but it really caught my interest early. The introduction of the book had a bit of irony that I found amusing. Christopher Columbus set out on a journey to India to prove the world was round – while Thomas Friedman also took a journey to India but proved the opposite – that the world was “Flat.”

    The section titled “The Monitor is Burning” was about 24/7 a call center in India that handles everything from hotel reservations to troubleshooting computer issues. The funny part about this section was how the Indian workers take American names “Bob or Mary” and take classes to nuetralize their accents. It never fails that when you are calling for technical assistance you get someone in India. A lot of people get upset when they get someone on the other end with and Indian accent.

  4. Andrew Hutton

    This book started out a little dry but is getting better the more I get into it. As an accounting major I found it interesting that a lot of the accounting jobs are being outsourced to India. I got a little worried that I picked the wrong major if the work was going over there. After I read a little more I found that only the entry level processing jobs were being outsourced and that is helping the accounting profession in America because we can focus on decision making.

  5. josh classen

    I AM ABOUT 40 PAGES INTO THE BOOK. SO FAR IT IS PRETTY INTERESTING. I AGREE WITH RICHARD THAT THE IRONY OF THE BEGINING OF THE BOOK IS PRETTY FUNNY. THE WORLD WENT FROM BEING SEE AS FLAT TO BEING SEEN AS ROUND..NOW WITH TECHNOLOGY IT IS FLAT AGAIN..WITH EVERYONE HAVING ACCESS TO EVERYTHING IT IS SEEN AS FLAT

  6. Bobbie Adams

    I am reading the book “The World Is Flat,” by Thomas L. Friedman. When I first saw the book I thought it was going to be some long, boring book. But as I am getting more into it, I realized Friedman’s take on globalization is true. The phrase that was the source for this whole book was when Nilekani, the CEO for Infosys Technologies Limited, told him the playing field is being leveled. He meant that countries like India are now able to compete for global knowledge work as never before. No more do a few powerful countries run global commerce; every country is now trying to get their piece of the global game. I am excited to see how Friedman goes further into depth about his ideas and input on the future of global commerce and how far our globalization has come so far. America had better get ready for this because there could be great opportunities for the world.

  7. Jillian Bierce

    I read the first chapter of the book and was very interested. When he talks about in the year 2015 that most of the jobs in the U.S. will be outsourced to other countries kind of scares me since i will be graduating this year. That is only a 7 year difference. I also thought it was amazing when he was talking about McDonalds. Even though only a few McDonalds are having their drive thru orders placed in a totally different state, I think very soon a lot more McDonalds will start. I am eager to continue reading on.

  8. I was immediately captivated by this book within the first few pages. The idea behind this book seems to stem from the notion that this Information Age fueled by the rapid advancements in information technology, specifically the Internet and the World Wide Web, and also by the momentum of globalization, has created a level playing field for all companies around the world. This “leveling of the playing field” is what the author, Thomas Freidman, claims as the doorstep to his revelation that the world is flat and that it will continue to be flattened. After the author describes the events that led up to his revelation, he goes on to describe what he believes are the main three eras of globalization and what he has deduced are the forces behind this flattening. The author lists and describes at length the ten “flatteners” in chapter two. I am currently finishing chapter two right now, and I am completely engulfed in amazement at how these forces have “slipped” into being and how intricately they are woven together. To me, this almost reads like some sort of prophecy that has already been half-fulfilled. I love the heading of the first section, “While I was sleeping”, which is a perfect description of how this “flattening” has come about; it’s like it slipped in under the radar while we all were busy with something else. The book is not only extremely interesting and engaging, but is also “terrifically sobering.” Whether one surmises that this book is a one-sided slant glorifying globalization or not, there are just too many hard, cold facts to support its premise, which is the world is being flattened right before our very eyes and if we don’t begin to look down the road and make adjustments right now, many of us could get left behind in a hurry.

  9. Trevor Luchsinger

    The book so far is pretty interesting. i agree it is pretty crazy how the world was viewed as flat, then seen as round, and now with all the technology that we have it is flat again. It is amazing how fast things can change in this world, one moment to the next.

  10. Lucas Corbett

    I just started the 10 things that changed us. So far the book is pretty good. I just can’t believe how a country can only pull in a $1 billion of global business and then within several years be pulling in $139billion dollars. It seems like everything is going IT. In several years are we going to have another bubble burst like the whole web-site thing. It just seems like this industry is full of this stuff already. We’ll See

  11. Nicole Dwornicki

    I have only read the first chapter, and found it to be very interesting. It is amazing to find out how much business is done overseas. I am an accounting major, and even though I have heard a little about tax preparation being outsourced, I found it interesting that it is outsourced as much as it is. As Americans, I think we feel that we are losing our jobs to foreigners. Even though none of my family member’s jobs have been subject to outsourcing (yet); it appears that in the future anything that can be done through outsourcing, will be. I especially thought it was interesting to find out that McDonald’s has restaurants where the drive-thru orders are done out of house, but I guess if it improves their effectiveness and efficiency then it is a good thing. I also thought it was interesting how JetBlue was utilizing stay at home moms to take their reservations. I think that is a great idea, because I know that more mothers would love to stay at home with their children, but they need to work in order to earn extra money. I am graduating and will be entering the working world full time in the summer, and I am scared about what the future will hold. I look forward to reading further; hopefully it will give me a better idea of what the future of the American working world will be like.

  12. Nick Hammer

    Right now, I haven’t read anything that I didn’t know before, but it seems like it will be a good read. I’ll just comment on a few things.

    ‘Globalization’ – It has become an important aspect of our lives. We will continue to see big changes, just think how important China has become in the past few years. We are going to have to pay attention to the rest of the world. Some of us will probably end up working in other countries.

    Now, what about the countries that aren’t in this ‘flat’ world? Will developed countries help them move along?

  13. Shaina Plum

    I am enjoying reading ‘The World is Flat’. Friedman is quite clever in describing how the changing of the world due to technology can be likened to the world beginning to be flattened. I found it interesting that so much is being outsourced to India, that business processes are broke down the bare minimums to determine what can be done elsewhere. It is funny that call centers in India are the greatest entry-level position – people here in the US despise working for those companies. Apparently, much is going to change over the next few years.

  14. Lindsay Cordle

    I’ve just finished the first chapter, and find his traveling experiences to be quite reaffirming that the world is becoming more and more ‘flattened’. At every place he visits, he discovers a new practice in doing business that presents evidence of the flattening world. With all of his vivid descriptions and details, I found myself curious of what he would discover next.

    As an economics major, I agree with the perspective that it only makes sense to source labor where it can be done cheapest, or where there is a competitive advantage. I think it is fascinating that so many people in different parts of the world are involved in the production of a single product. This benefits the companies in that they can allocate their remaining labor to more beneficial purposes, and also the workers in the faraway countries because they are allowed prestigious jobs (to their standards). The speed of this flattening process is amazing, which I especially realized when he mentioned the reporter with a camera on his cell phone. This has quickly become the norm! I am eager to read on.

  15. Dan Sundermeier

    I chose this book because of the topic of globalization. The course evaluations always ask if the course has helped you in your understanding of world issues, or something like that. This semester I’m sure that it will. Knowledge of the global economy is pertenint to any business major.

    I am very intersted to see how Thomas L. Friedman finds globalization to have flattened the world. In just the first chapter he talks about the outsourcing of service to India. This is something that never would have been thought 10 years ago. While most of the world’s natural resources have already been discovered, human capital is always being found.

  16. Josh Tague

    It’s great that a journalist wrote this because he is able to connect to anyone who reads this book. Many books I have read on globalization and international business are quite academic. Great for research–not for getting one’s point across. I like the cases I’ve read so far. Based on what I’m reading, I have no doubt that drive thru’s will have order takers in other countries within 10 years.
    I have a hard time putting this book down and will probably finish it very soon. I have been told by many successful people to read it and now I get class credit for it, which makes me even happier. One person who refers to this book is Tim Ferris, author of “The Four Hour Work Week”. I sugggest everyone read this because many of the principles and tips are very relevant. Because of the rapid change in the global environment, however, alot of his methods will be less effective as time goes on.
    Back to Friedman’s book–I am only about 55 pages in, but I hope to get a lot of good philosophical understanding on the business world around me.

  17. Nick Stoysich

    This book is very interesting. I knew outsourcing has proliferated but I had no idea of its extent. The story about the fast food who outsourced their drive through was very interesting. I didn’t have any idea that was possible and shows that almost any job can be outsourced

  18. morganwalker

    I am not real far into the book but I do like that it is fairly easy reading but it is also interesting and informational. I chose the book because I am have trouble grasping and becoming interested in the concept of globalization but I know that it is something that I will most likely deal with in the business world. I agree with Jillian that it is really scary that most jobs will be outsourced within the next 7 years. It really makes a person scared about where the job market and the economy is going. Although it’s great that efficiencies are being gained by this, it is scary how much businesses will do to make a profit. Like Friedman said, it’s also scary that terrorists and Al Queda benefit from the fact that global communication has and is advancing so much. As of now I am somewhat interested in reading the book, I hope that it will really gain my interest as I get further into it.

  19. Eli Martinez

    I like how this book is easy to read has already grabbed my attention.I think it is very interesting how the world can be seen as being flat. Technology and modernization have completely changed the way business is conducted. The amount of outsourcing that occurs in different industries is shocking. I haven’t read very much of the book, but that is my insight as of now.

  20. Robert Brown

    I’ve been told by quite of few people that this is an interesting and informative book. Even though I’m only a few pages into it I can tell that they were correct in their assessment. This book definitely opens your eyes to see the bigger picture of global business. Its incredible to think that so many different places in the world take part in the production of one product. I think that some topics like outsourcing, though they’ve been discussed, may not have been covered in as great of detail as they should be in the courses I’ve taken and it looks like this book will fill me in. The book has definitely grabbed my attention.

  21. Chancy

    Im also not that far into this book yet, but I agree with the author’s theory of the world being flat. The world is flat, and everyone in now on an equal playing field when comes to competing for being the top country. I have been having this wierd feeling that the US is beginning to become too relaxed in our global position. If we as a country dont start working hard to keep up with other countries as far as commerce, we will find ourselves at the bottom of the totem pole; people wll then begin to wish we never as a country took things for granted.

  22. Mandy Young

    I am not too far along in the book yet, but am finding it very interesting thus far. The section entitled “While I was sleeping” is especially appealing to me because the transformations that are currently taking place in our economy are truly taking place that quickly. The book so far has taught me a lot about what goes on behind the scenes of corporate culture as well. For instance, Friedman not only demonstrates the outsourcing of computer and call-center jobs to foreign countries, but also goes on to explain how his own line of work as a professional journalist could be in jeopardy as well, and all the ways companies could find to lessen the cost of this once-elite profession. The attitude and perspective of the author is great, because he accurately describes precisely what the world can expect to change in the near future and the scariest part of it all is that no one sees it coming.

  23. Rachelle Jershin

    I am about 20 pages into the book and like learning about the author’s experiences all over the world with major corporate giants. I am dating an accountant and I related to the part where it said that 25,000 US tax returns were done in India in 2003. Over 400,000 expected in 2005. I must be A TON this year. It is interesting how outsourcing is making America a weaker player in the global market. I work at Sprint and our customer service call centers are largely based out of India. People hate it and we are not even allowed to do billing in the store. Customers must call a “billing specialist” that has an accent that is almost impossible to understand over the phone. As an employee I call to order a phone and could not communicate well with the person I got on the other line and ended up getting 3 phones instead of 1.
    I like how the book breaks time into 3 eras. It is so true that this is the time for individuals to explore globalization. It is a very bold statement to say that the world is flat when it is not but the author does an excellent job of making his point. I am excited to get further into the book and see what else has changed and will change.

  24. Maris Hoke

    I’m about 60 pages in, and currently reading about the world-flatteners. I’m quite impressed at how simply and understandably Friedman manages to describe the technology that started globalization. Most of this happened while I was in elementary school. The internet just “appeared” one day, in my memory, because I was too young to follow what was going on. It is nice to fill in what actually happened. Friedman also does a great job of putting the technology advances into somewhat of a political backdrop. Servers and Windows just coming online as the Berlin Wall fell.
    Some of the ways they use the technology to do business are creative and very interesting. For example, Homesourcing to stay-at-home mothers was a clever way to supply both an asset to the business and a way for the mother to have a part-time job while fulfilling family obligations.
    The most interesting thing has been that the world is getting mentally flatter in terms of data and information sharing, but becoming physically rounder in terms of rising fuel prices that inhibit travel.

  25. Megan Weatherwax

    I am reading the book The World is Flat and so far I am enjoying it. I am not too far along yet but it is a hard one to set down. Friedman’s views on globalization completely makes you rethink everything. How many different hands actually go into production. This book has definitely grabbed my attention and I am excited to continue reading.

  26. Craig Jones

    I am so far enjoying the book. I am fascinated by how this book shows the bigger picture of world wide business. It is interesting to see how many places take part in producing a single product. Outsourcing is almost scary to learn about and realize. It shows how nothing should be taken for granted.

  27. Alex williams

    I have recently just started to read the book, but it has already grabbed my attention. It is very easy to read and most informative to me throughout the first 15 pages. The authors views on globalization are amazing, it really made me think about everything I’ve learned. the book really grasp the big picture of world wide business and how interesting technology, modernization, as become such a huge part of global business.

  28. Molly Mickeliunas

    When I started reading this I wasn’t sure how he was going to portray the world as flat. He has a very interesting view and it kind of makes sense. All of the outsourcing seems scary to me. I’m not sure that I would want someone doing my taxes in another country. Technology has advanced so much that it allows us to the unimaginable.

  29. Amber Sutton

    So far this book seems to be very interesting. The fact that technology is changing everything that we do is a little overwhelming. I think it is positive in the idea that we will be focusing more on the specialized jobs in America, but I’m also a little uncertain about moving all of the less specialized jobs to a different country. I know when I call for technical support for my computer or any other technology based item, I always speak to a foreign operator. In my opinion, it is a little frustrating because I can barely understand what they are saying. I beleive if they end up moving most of the operatoring jobs to different countries, the employees need to be trained and well-educated. I am only through the first chapter, but I am looking forward to reading more.

  30. Steve Wimer

    Just got the book yesterday and so far I’m enjoying it. I can already tell it is going to be a book that brings emotions out of the reader. I don’t want to say it’s anger i feel in reading the first 15 pages, but maybe disappointment in the way America has really let other counties take their jobs and done nothing to solve the problem but complain about whats already happened and continues to happen. Don’t get me wrong I really love the idea of a globalized community but I would like to see the day when we are playing on more equalized terms.

  31. Scott Bradley

    Having read the first part of The World is Flat, my mind is racing with ideas. I have always had a strong interest in international business, and this book is 100% devoted to discussing multi-national business in a flat world. I learned that a flat world is only acheived by the technology available. As we become more digitized, more and more jobs will be sent overseas. I have always agreed that outsourcing is good and now I can speak with some backing to support my beleif. Additionally, I have always dreamed of opening up a multi-national organization in an emerging market, and this book has filled my mind with many ideas. My only concern, is that America needs to step up to the plate, and innovate more. To remain competative, we need to create the new thing, so others are still following our lead.

  32. Ross Rohr

    I Just recieved my copy of the book today, and couldn’t put it down. It is beyond interesting to think how far life has developed since the days of Columbus.

    I feel that technology has allowed America to streamline alot of its efforts in the marketplace; however, I feel that we have surpassed the point of equilibrium and sent to many jobs abroad. While we have plenty of people to handle specialized positions; we have many more that wouldn’t mind doing grunt work. Could the digital age be the fall of an Empire (America). I will keep reading to find out the author’s thought on the matter.

  33. Richard Caniglia

    I’m about half way done with the book and I learned a lot about how the world has evolved to what is often referred to as a level playing field. It is astounding how many people Thomas Friedman interviewed for this book. I agree with all of the 10 flattners and appreciate the examples provided for each to get a better understanding of his reasoning.

    I just finished the section titled “The Triple Convergence.” So far that is my favorite section because that makes the most sense to me. It would obviously take all 10 flattners to converge and work together to flatten the world. With these new ideas it would take new thinking by the people to really produce benefits. A good example given in the book was about how once computers were introduced productivity didn’t immediately increase. It took time for people to understand and work with this new technology before it would increase their productivity. The final convergence has to do with all the new players from all over the flattened world. These new players brought with them new ideas and processes to real flatten the world an allow them access to it.

  34. joshua classen

    I AM ABOUT 100 PAGES INTO THE BOOK. I AM HALF WAY THROUGH FRIEDMANS FLATTNERS. THEY ARE ALL VERY INTERESTING IN-DEPTH LOOKS AT THE TECHNOLOGY THAT MADE THE FLATTING OF THE WORLD POSSIBLE. HE REALLY GOES INTO DETAIL WITH ALL THE FLATTNERS. I AM TECH SAVVY TO AN EXTENT, BUT HE REALLY PUTS THE VERBAGE INTO TERMS THAT ANYONE CAN UNDERSTAND. IT IS SO INTERESTING HOW THE INTERNET AND HYPERTEXT PROTOCOL MADE FLATTENING SO EASY FOR EVERYONE. I AM REALLY INTERESTED IN THE FREEWARE SECTION. IT IS AWSOME HOW COMPUTER TECHNICIANS PUT ALL THESE PROGRAMS TOGETHER FOR THE BETTERMENT OF THE INTERNET AND INTERNET TRANSMISSIONS. THE BIG DEAL IS THAT THEY ARENT PAID TO DO IT, ITS ALL ON THEIR OWN TIME.

  35. Amanda Fochek

    I am about a third of the way done with the book. Thus far if i had to explain it in one word i would say, eyeopening. This book has made me look at the world in a whole new way. Most of the things he’s talked about, such as offshoring, outsourcing, insourcing, i knew were occurring- i just never looked at them through the perspective that Friedman is explaining. I just finished the ten flatteners and have started reading about the triple convergence. I was surprised to hear how UPS was going into the heart of companies and running them for them. I always thought UPS was just a delivery service. I did not know that it delved into any other sort of industry, let alone start it’s own industry. I thought that was very interesting to hear about and that it will be interesting to see things like that develop in the future.

  36. MorganWalker

    I mentioned in first comment that it is really hard for me to be interested in the topic of globalization, even though I realize how significant this topic is. This book makes me realize even more how signficant this topic is and how much more significant it will be in the future. There are so many things that conritubute to the “flattening” of the world already. It will be interesting to see what else we come up with by the time I’m retiring. The part that sticks out most in my head is the part in chapter two where David Glass, the CEo of Wal-Mart from 1988 to 2000, is quoted as saying “We are much better off if we can by merchandise made in the United States… We would pay more to buy it here because the manufacturing facilities in those towns (would create jobs for) all those people who shopped in our stores.” I was thinking about our ecomony as a whole the entire time I was reading this book. It is scary to think that our economy is doing so poorly but we are constantly moving across jobs across seas. It is such a competitive world and I sometimes wonder if moving jobs over seas to cut costs isn’t part of the reason for the recession we are going in to. We can only hope that we, as a country, are able to stand strong even if most of our companies do move manufaturing elsewhere. I guess time will tell….

  37. The second chapter of the World is Flat took a little bit longer than I thought. In fact, I really lost interest in just about every “flattener” section because of the excruiating detail–too much in my opinion. Chapter 2 was comprised of the ten flattening forces, which in and of themselves were fascinating. Freidman just got carried away with his examples while explaining each flattener. With that said, I still say his research and insights are rich, deep, and eye-opening. I am now getting ready to close out the first section of this book with chapters 3 and 4. I am anxious to see where it goes from here.

  38. Shaina Plum

    I am working my way slowly through the flattening forces that Freidman has identified. I am very impressed by his research and his ability to tie so many seemingly unrelated events together to further strengthen his theories. His thoughts really make you realize how quickly things have changed, and just how drastically. I am eager to delve deeper into the book and learn more about Freidman’s ideas. I have to agree with Howard (above) that the author does tend to over-emphasize his examples, but it is still an outstanding read.

  39. Lucas Corbett

    I just finished the section on the 10 world moments that flattened the world. It was pretty interesting on how everything took place. It’s crazy, because I can remember when all these events were happening and how cool it was to be on AOL. I wonder what the next ten years have in store for us.

  40. Nick Hammer

    I agree with Howard on how boring the flattening chapter was. Freidman hit the repeat button and added pages where he was telling the reader the same thing. This chapter could have been a lot more effective, but it just dragged on.

    If it had been my flattening forces, I would have started much earlier in history. For instance, companies like Coke and Caterpillar becoming international companies during/after WWII. After WWII, Caterpillar built manufacturing plants throughout Europe, Latin America, and Asia. Coke also built plants throuout the world, so they could provide the U.S. soldiers with Cokes.

  41. Nicole Dwornicki

    I am not that far into the book, but I have just finished with the 5th flattening force “outsourcing”. So far this book has been interesting. There have been some points throughout the book that I thought drug on a little. For instance I felt that he talked a little too much about flatteners number 2 and 3, the introduction of Netscape and workflow software. I mean it was interesting to read about the introduction of Netscape, and it took me back to elementary school when we actually used Netscape, but I don’t think he needed to talk about it for as long as he did. I do think that it is interesting to learn about where and how some of the technologies we use everyday came from, but for someone who is not that interested in creating or coding my own software, I just felt like Friedman was repeating himself a lot. I just feel that he took a long time to say that the internet was originally created as a way for doctors to share information, and then Microsoft came out with Internet Explorer and we never heard from Netscape again. On-the-other-hand, there are some really interesting stories; such as, how the company Goldcorp, Inc. ran an on-line contest asking contestant to look at the maps of their mine and tell them where they should dig in order to find gold. The winners had never even been to the mines and through technology were able to tell Goldcorp exactly where to dig in order to strike gold. I look forward to reading about the different ways companies are using technology; I just hope the book picks up a little.

  42. Jillian Bierce

    I just started the section of the book titled America and the Flat World. I read the chapter on Free Trade. I thought it was a little review for me. I agree with Friedman when he talks about about outsourcing our jobs to other countries, like Inida and China, doesn’t necessarily mean we are losing our jobs here in America. We are outsourcing the jobs that nobody wants because we are creating more and better jobs everyday and everybody’s job gets better and better. One thing that grabbed my attention is when he talks about how human needs and wants are infinte, therefore jobs being created are always going to be infinite. Products are being invented everyday that are more detailed and better than the same product developed months ago. I am still enjoying the book and wanting to continue reading.

  43. I just finished reading Net Scape, the second flattening force. I like that Friedman gives a “big picture” of the two flattening forces of the world. I hope the next eight are just as thorough. The chapter starts “the world has been flattened by the convergence of ten major political events, innovations, and companies.” He has written in brilliant detail with his experiences and opinions involving all of these things as a whole. I appreciated he spoke of positive effects as well as down falls. It was interesting in the cause of the fall of the Berlin Wall because there were numerous causes. There is more than one company that changed the world and made itself a household name around the world as a result.

    I like this chapter because it starts in 1989. I was 5. It love that I experienced all of these things in some way and had no idea of the things that the book talks about even went on. The book is easy to relate to since it is familiar topics I can picture it in my mind better and relate what I have learned since. The book has lots of research from Friedman and he definitely knows how to network and talk to some highly successful individuals around the world. What a life! I am eager to read more after midterms are over.

  44. Andrew Hutton

    This book does a really good job of displaying the information that changed the world over the last 20 years into an easy to understand format. I am learning so much from this book, especially the practice of insourcing that companies like UPS use. I am really enjoying reading this book, although he can get into some details regarding the early years of open source software that are completely over my head. I would definitely recommend this book to people.

  45. Ben Haffke

    This book is very detail oriented. It is very informative and filled to the brim with specific details that all of us know about the overall picture but most of us really know nothing about the details surrounding the big picture. What I found very interesting that I just currently read about was how IBM, with all of its research and development and capital, was competing against “Apache” which was a free software downloaded off the internet. I found that very interesting because in today’s world the little guy still has a fighting chance against the big corporations. Apache was designed by a group of computer geniuses that were willing to produce it for free and provide it to whoever wanted to download it for free. This shows that the world has really become flat that the group was able to create something like this but also the fact that they created something not even IBM could create. On top of that, this free software is used by some of the biggest companies out there. This is very interesting because we can be use something like Apache every day yet never know the history behind it or the fact that it even existed. Just like this little detail, the book never ceases to amaze me with all the information it is packed full of.

  46. Bobbie Adams

    I am still reading “The World is Flat,” but it is getting harder and harder to read. I knew the book was long, but it seems like it is never ending. But I can’t say I am not learning anything. There are crazy little facts that fill this book that I find very interesting to read. It was so smart when they said that hospitals are now sending CAT scans across the world to get second opinions or just when they are low on staff during our night time hours. For some people losing their jobs, it might be really bad for them that we outsource, especially if they are caught by surprise. But the book is right change is hard, but it is natural. The companies are just trying to do whatever they can to do business at the lowest cost. “It helps because it frees up people and capitol to do different, more sophisticated work, and it helps because it gives an opportunity to produce the end product more cheaply, benefiting customers even as it helps the corporation.” This book also talks about how Indians don’t have to come to America anymore because America came to them now. Those conversations in the book that the author put in this book of the Indian telemarketers made me laugh because it is so true. I have been there many times talking to Dell about my computer. Whoever I talk to at Dell always asks what time it is where I am; it is just funny because they are all the way across the world.

  47. Lindsay Cordle

    After reading about some of the specific flatteners that have changed and that are continuously changing the world, it is amazing just how fast these changes have occurred. It is hard to imagine a world that is divided between east and west, as it was just under 20 years ago. Our modern economy depends on specializations from all areas of the world to survive, and there were many inefficiencies before this globalization began. We are fortunate to have these technological developments, chiefly the Internet, because citizens have access to so much knowledge and can contribute to its spread. An important fact I found in the book was that the software that followed the best business model, Apache, was formed entirely by underground geeks and it was free for users. Its strategy ended up winning over the competing giants of the industry’s strategies, and IBM realized it must join them to be successful. This shows just how successful innovation and thinking outside the box can be. One can only imagine the advancements in technology that will continue to take place over the next several years. I am anxious to read on to hear more of Friedman’s experiences and knowledge.

  48. Maris Hoke

    The Ten Flatteners were all I got read during February (even with Leap-Day). It was interesting how most of them were things I take for granted in general. The internet? Yeah, I use that every day. Outsourcing as a whole has been a common topic of debate for months. Cell phones and other of Friedman’s “steroids” have been a part of my life for as long as I’ve been old enough to own one.
    Some concepts were new to me. “Insourcing” was particularly interesting. It reminded me of Adam Smith’s needle-factory, where each worker did a very specific fixed task, and therefore became faster and more efficient. Businesses today, connected as they are with technology, can hire those “workers” (other businesses) that are highly specialized. This makes both business more efficient and cost-effective. Specialization is becoming a marketable skill/product. I hadn’t thought about the world that way before.

  49. Eli Martinez

    I just finished reading through the 10 flattners that changed our world. Each of them were pretty interesting and it brought back memories of when things such as the internet and the use of email were being introduced. I just remember being in grade school and experiencing the “new” technology at the time. It has come such a long way since then. It goes to show you that everything is at the tip of our fingertips. You can do almost anything through the internet. However, I did find that the book gets very repetitive and certain points are dragged out. As I mentioned, I just finished reading through the flattners and it took a while, particularly because it was hard to motivate myself to read it.

  50. Amanda Fochek

    I recently finished reading about “The Great Sorting Out.” I think this section of the book does a good job at showing the different perspectives of the flattening world. It was interesting to read about how the flattening of the world can be a good thing or a bad thing depending on which end of the spectrum you are on. It’s obvious that the flattening of the world is going to have many advantages to those 3rd world countries that are now able to compete for jobs. However the negative affect that it is going to have on more established countries, like America, is harder to realize. I thought the story about the soldier that was killed in Iraq was really interesting and shocking too. In the past if you are killed your family has the rights to all your belongings and is able to go through them as they please. However, now with all the technological advances the family of the boy killed in Iraq were not granted access to the soldiers Yahoo! account so that they could use his letters for remembrance. I think this is just one example of how the flattening of the world is going to have some negative consequences.

  51. Amber Sutton

    I have only read through the fourth flattener and the book is becoming more difficult to read because there are so many hours in a day. I am learning a lot from the book that I would normally overlook in everyday life. In the fourth flattener portion it mentioned that surfing the Web is really your Web browser interatcing with different Web servers. It’s crazy to think of the technology and how several parts work together to produce the final web page. I am hoping to get through the remaining 6 flatteners this week and the majority of the book finished during Spring Break.

  52. Alex williams

    Im midway through the ten flattners that change our world. Very interesting! Im at the part where new technology is being introduced, it so true. I could not believe the era of e-mail and internet, I was amazed with it when it was first brought to my attention. Our economy depands on actions taken to be able to compete and stay a powerful everchanging country. Iam a little behind in my reading, but this book starts to repeat itself a lot and gets boring at times. I kind of wish I read the book about automobile industry!

  53. Trevor Luchsinger

    Im almost to the end of the 10 flattener that changed the world. I think it is very interesting how it went back to when the internet was just being interduced. It is crazy to see how far we have come in technology and it is nuts to even think about where we would be without it… but one thing with this book, is that it does drag on and on. but it is a good book.

  54. Scott Bradley

    The most interesting part about the book is the point freedman makes about self-empowerment. The technologies of our time have empowered everyday individuals to have the ability to connect and collaborate around the world. Technical functions that were once only available to the government and large companies are now readily available for all. We can literally tell the world exactly what we think, and even recruit supporters.

    However, I feel that Fiedman has not yet mentioned how collaborating in the 21 century will affect our daily lives. Now that we can collaborate and connect around the world, will we continue to socialize in groups? He briefly mentions at the beginning of the book how some people are “cocooning.” But I think it would be interesting to have a discussion of how we can use these technologies to actually motivate people to act. The person that can harness technology, and get people to act will be a powerful person.

  55. Richard Caniglia

    I just finished reading the book and was glad I read it. This book provided good insight into what globalization is and the effects it is having on the world. I really liked the last chapter 11/9 Versus 9/11. Friedman shows both the good and bad effects the flattening of the world has had. 11/9 is when the Berlin Wall fell and that made for a freer more democratic world. Of course 9/11 is when Bin Laden attacked America. He makes the point that technology cannot protect us; we must harness that technology and decide how it will be used.

  56. Chancy Sims

    I am alomst finished with the book and it provides great insight into what the world has become. People are more and more going to have to start making themselves more employable by putting themselves in positions that cannot be outsorced or offshored. These are usually positions that need more in-person interaction between the customer and the business. This is going to be the only way people in our country are going to be able to compete and survive against this fairly new international competition. I have already begun making plans for myself that will make me more employable.

  57. Lucas Corbett

    Im almost done with the book and it seems like he just keeps repeating. He does make some very good points on when the world flattened out. It has enlighted me on several points about offshoring and outsourcing. I’ve actually used them in arguments before.

  58. Ben Haffke

    As this book progresses it is constantly filled with more and more examples of how the world is flat and how it, in return, is influencing the world. Friedman has a way with which he will state his main idea in about 2 pages and explain it in 20 pages. It makes the information interesting, but at the same time really long. What I found interesting while reading the book over the last month was how in a flat world the skilled laborers do not need to worry about their jobs because they are innovative. What he meant by this is that skilled workers create new products and services that become a need and not just a want. Friedman uses the internet as an example. He says that high skilled workers created the internet which became a need and not a want in the new world which created more jobs for skilled workers that did such things as search enginges which in return created a new need for people in the world and no longer just a want. Friedman uses this example to show how skilled workers will constantly be innovative and that they will not really need to worry about losing their jobs in a flat world.

  59. I agree that Friedman takes too long to explain his points. He gives so much information that is not really useful for application in real life. I assumed he would be moving on to give more important information about the flattening of the world, but instead he just reiterates the flatteners and combines them to prove his point. Honestly, I feel I gained all the insight the book has to offer in the first 200 pages. He is a columnist, which is why I think he inserts his experiences and opinions as much as he does, however. I still have yet to fininsh the last part, but I’m sure I will be satisfied overall. Even though there doesn’t seem to be any real strategic instruction, the book is filled with enough ammo to create a strategic arsenal to be reckoned with.

  60. Megan Weatherwax

    I also agree that as the book goes on Friedman does take more than enough pages to explain. I don’t necessarily mind it, although it does get pretty long by the end of a subject. The subject however is very interesting. The more and mroe the book goes on i’m just wowed because these are things i may have thought of before just not on this level. I’ve gained a real insight on how quickly the world is flattening. As i finish the book i’m sure i’ll just be even more amazed..

  61. Yeah, I have to agree, Freidman’s lengthy explanations have really worn me down. When I first started the book, I was floored by his revelation and immediately captivated by his theory/conept. And although I can say I am still captivated to a certain degree, the lengthy descriptions have left me uneager to “read on.” Even with that said, I am glad the second half of book transitions a little bit towards things like the effects of globalization (Chapter 4 “The Great Sorting Out”), the things that will impede on it, the forces that could exploit it, and how we can get on-board and “cope” with everything going on right now. It’s still a great read. I have learned a ton about the current global market (why things are shaping up they way they are) and have also been given foundational concepts and understandings I will use more and more as we slip into the future.

  62. Molly Mickeliunas

    As I continue to read The World is Flat I find it more and more interesting at the point he is making. It seems that the book is never ending but the information is great and it makes you look at the world and businesses differently. It is interesting what other students will do to come to America. In chapter 3 he continues giving examples of outsourcing and it amazes me that outsourcing is a decision made daily by companies and the majority of them do it. Also he discusses VoIP, which I recently learned more about in another class. It is the new technology that will make sure you can be found anywhere at anytime. It is a great technology and is still developing and starting to become more popular but the downfall right now is that it is very expensive.

  63. Rachelle Jershin

    I just finished the dirty little secret #2 from the Quiet Crisis chapter in the book. I have enjoyed the book thus far. It makes me think of things I would not have before but it is repetitive at times and drags some topics out. The author usually looks at many angles on things in the book instead of being one sided and I appreciate that. It is amazing to see how much businesses have developed recently in other countries and you hope America will adapt to continue to compete as a leader.
    I value when Thomas Friedman speaks of my generation. He explains there are many more college students with the same education in other countries. They are willing to work harder for less. I like when he was talking about jobs going oversees and said, “Girls, when I was growing up, my parents used to say to me, “Tom finish your dinner— people in China and India are starving.’ My advice to you is: Girls, finish your homework— people in China and India are starving for your jobs.” Technology is just beginning and I can not even imagine what technology is like in ten years after seeing how it has advanced in the past. 200 or so pages left. I am excited to see what the rest of the book can teach me.

  64. Jillian Bierce

    I am still enjoying the book and continue to find it intriguing. A lot of his points intersting and true after you listen to his explanation. I thought the chapter on untouchables was very true. He talks about how there are three different level of people whose jobs can not be replaced. First are the “special” people. People who were just naturally born with talent like Michael Jordan or a brain surgeon. Second are people who are “localized” or “anchored” and they have direct contact with other people. Examples of them are dentist, nurse, chef, waitress, chef, and etc. The third are known as the “old middle” jobs and they consist of data entry or security analysis. I thought this portion of the book was very interesting because I could see where he was coming from and agreed with what he said.

  65. Morgan Walker

    I am still working my way through the book. It has some interesting things in it but I find that Friedman repeats the same idea a lot. Either way, a section that stuck with me is the section about the untouchables. This section discusses the types of jobs that cannot be outsourced or taken over by machines. I had never thought about the fact that there are so many of these types of jobs. I work in insurance so I wonder if my job will be here much longer because I wonder what will happen if we get national health care. It’s strange to think that hairdressers, garbage men and plumbers have more job security than I do when I work for a company that has A+ financial ratings. I work in a phone center that is focused on personalizing the conversation and providing excellent customer service. These qualities are described as untouchable so I hope that it will remain the focus of the call center so it doesn’t get moved elsewhere.

  66. Nicole Dwornicki

    I am still working on finishing this book but I am getting there. Again I really feel that Friedman continues to repeat himself a lot. I think that this book could have been a lot shorter and easier to read if he would get right to the point. But I do think that it is interesting how technology has really flattened to world. I just got past the section on the untouchables, and found it fascinating. I agreed with him earlier in the book when he said that anything that can be outsourced will be outsourced eventually. In this section he talked about some of the jobs that can’t be outsourced. I think the hard thing about this is that in America there is such an emphasis on getting a college degree, but it appears that those positions that require degrees (with a few exceptions such as doctors) are those that will be outsourced. It appears that the trade jobs or jobs that require little training are the jobs that will be safe; such as, waitresses, cleaning ladies, gardeners, repairmen, etc. All this talk about outsourcing kind of makes me nervous about what jobs will be available for Americans in the future.

  67. Nick Hammer

    Had I read this book when it first came out, then I probably would have liked it more. A lot of the information is old to me, but this book provides some good backing info and insights I had not thought about.

    I really liked when Friedman talked about America’s dirty little secrets. This was something I had been thinking about before reading this part. I’m hopeful that we will figure out solutions, but we keep falling farther behind without anything being done.

  68. Bobbie Adams

    This book is long and a little redundant. But it provides a lot of information on the start up of Internet and whole technology era that I never knew before. It is just crazy to think of how far we have come in such a little time and how much further we can go and are going. Friedman seems to be giving both sides of the story, which I like. For example, if he has companies that are talking bad about Microsoft, he will interview someone from Microsoft on their behalf. The book is slowly coming, but I am learning a lot.

  69. Steve Wimer

    A little bit behind. Am enjoying what I’m reading so far, just having trouble finding time. I really enjoyed the section discussing the creation of the internet, world wide web, and the foundation of Netscape. It is absolutely mind boggling how fast technology advanced. It also gave me a better understanding of the internet bubble.

  70. Lindsay Cordle

    As an economics major, I am really enjoying this book and all the references Friedman makes to economic theory, such as comparative advantage and the lump sum of labor theory. It’s beneficial to see these theories applied to current world events and to hear the author’s opinion on them. Friedman is strongly opinionated, and has done extensive research to make his arguments. Although at times it seems as if he’s repeating himself, this actually helps support his view of the flat world and what’s in store for America in the future. He uses a sort of scare tactic that suggests if we don’t get up to the speed of other nations with our education system, we will be lagging behind in innovations. This is a little scary, but I am confident in our abilities to compete at the global scale on an individual level.

  71. Shaina Plum

    I am enjoying this book very much, though it gets very repetitive and tends to give you information-overload. I liked Friedman’s descriptions of the new middle class jobs that Americans are going to have to conform to. I can see how it would be very difficult for many people to make these changes – we like our structure here in America. One thing I wanted to highlight was Friedman’s thoughts on the schooling system. He believes major changes need to happen in how and what our schools are teaching. He’s completely right. Schools are still teaching pretty much the same curriculum that was taught decades ago. What is going to happen is graduating students will not be prepared for the working world or understand how to adapt. It would be a monumental challenge to change the schooling system in this country, but it so necessary if America wants to continue to be the most powerful nation in the world.

  72. Dan Sundermeier

    As I am reading on in this book, I wonder what another book would have been like. The author makes a very good point that, yes, the world is flat. He beats the idea into our head with too many examples. I really believe that the book could have been just as informational with half of the pages. Well, time to bury my nose again…

  73. Eli Martinez

    I pretty much agree with everyone else that the book is very repetitive. At first, he brings up interesting examples of just how the way our world works has come so far; especially with the use of the internet. He just keeps repeating how everything is being outsourced.One thing that was mentioned was how we are competing for jobs on a global basis and not just within our own country due to the outcome of outsourcing.

  74. Amanda Fochek

    The chapter on how he compares 11/9 to 9/11 was a good comparison on how the world really is. It was interesting that he compared those to and how they are extreme opposites. One made walls come crashing down, the other put walls back up. I think it was good that he touched on how the flattening of the world has also opened a door to what he calls “destructive imagination” (terrorism, for example). As the old saying goes, “You let the bad in with the good”. This is exactly what is happening through the flattening of the world. There are so many different ways, explained throughout this book, in which the society is benefiting from the flattening of the world. However there is also going to be new schemes thought up by those who have “destructive imagination” that are made possible through the flattening.

  75. Alex Williams

    I have really enjoyed this book. I liked it when Friedman talked about outsourcing. The example of the home wives doing business in Utah was very interesting. The company JetBlue made it possible for house wives to work comfortably at home, they reservation bookings from customers. The CEO of JetBlue called it home sourcing and related it to outsourcing in India. It was cheaper and the employyes in Utah were more loyal and less attriton. There are many sections of the book that are repetitive, but overal it is a very informative book.

  76. Scott Bradley

    I have always had an interest in developing countries role in the flat world. When Friedman used Ireland as an example of how a developing country could take advantag of a flat world, he had my full attention. I used to live in Ireland, and I am very familiar with thier economic and political history. Ireland lowered taxes, joined the EU, rebuilt their infrastructure and embraced change. These factors have created the “Celtic Tiger.” Other countries should look to Ireland as a model, to develop their own strategies to survive in a globalized world.

  77. abusinessprofessor

    I read a student’s comment about Ireland, so I thought I would share some news about Ireland from today’s NYT (4/14/08).

    “After a 16-year boom that was interrupted only briefly after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, Ireland has the most overvalued housing market among developed countries, according to the I.M.F. In its recent economic outlook, the fund calculated that prices are 30 percent higher than they should be, given Ireland’s economic fundamentals…. The housing collapse has brought an abrupt end to more than a decade of pell-mell growth that earned Ireland the nickname “the Celtic tiger.”
    Today, the mood in this country feels like a wake, and not an Irish one. Average house prices fell 7 percent last year, the most in Europe, according to the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors, a British real estate group. They are likely to fall by a similar amount this year. For many Irish, accepting that reality is like passing through the seven stages of grief. Some homeowners are still in denial, brokers said, asking $5 million for houses worth no more than $4 million. But developers have begun cutting prices for smaller apartments like the one owned by Emma Linnane.
    “Last year was our ‘wake up in the middle of the night with sweat pouring down your face’ period,” said David Bewley, a director at the Lisney real estate agency. “Now we’ve grown up.”
    Not all the omens are negative. Mr. Bewley said houses were selling again, albeit for 25 percent less. Ireland has not yet suffered widespread incidences of defaulting mortgages or foreclosures in this downturn, in part because lenders have not been as aggressive as those in the United States.
    But some worry that the housing meltdown could spoil Ireland’s recipe for success. Like Spain, it attracted lots of foreign workers, many of whom came for well-paying jobs in the construction industry. That fueled the Irish rental market, which has remained buoyant and been a source of income for Ireland’s many real estate speculators.
    “If the immigrants go back home, will this hurt the rental market?” asked Ronan O’Driscoll, a director in the Dublin office of Savills, a real estate firm. “If that happens, it would definitely cause foreclosures.”

    This NYT story (Housing Woes in U.S. spread around the world) reinforces Friedman’s (and many other scholar’s) observation that in this new global world most national economies are connected to the international economy.

  78. abusinessprofessor

    The NYT April 11, 2008 published a book review under the title “Wiseguys and Fall Guys, Welcome to Globalization”. It is a review of the book “A Journey Through the Global Criminal Underworld” by Misha Glenny, a book about globalization of crime. Here’s an example from the book review that shows what globalization has done to criminal activity:

    “[T]he yakuza, Japan’s traditional mafia, faces the problem of an aging membership and a lack of young recruits. Needless to say, there is a solution: outsourcing. They now subcontract murders to Chinese gangs.”

    For more details, you can read the article at the NYT website.

  79. Trevor Luchsinger

    After reading this book, i was really intriged by reading about the 10 forces. i really enjoyed how he explained about how these all took a part in reflattening the world as we see it. Overall the book was good and it provided great info

  80. Amber Sutton

    The book is getting a little drawn out. I think Freidman goes into too much detail regarding his 10 flatteners so I was happy to be moving on after reading Ch. 2. However, I do think the concepts and theories he represents are important to the changing world. These are affecting our lives now and will continue to affect how we do business in America for years to come. It’s really interesting to hear Friedman’s perspective with globalization and how it will affect our economy greatly.

  81. Alex Williams

    Iam just finishing up the book, it is draging out a bit, but I enjoyed most of it. Friedman had a lot of good stories to tell about his journey to India and how they have competively advanced their country in many ways. It was amazing to hear bout all the American companies being manufactured in India. For example, Pizza Hut, Espon, HP, Texas Instruments. I learned a lot about outsourcing of products and services. It was very interesting when he mentioned globalization and how 9/11 affect the U.S. and may give a upper hand to china.

  82. I am getting close to wrapping up The World is Flat, and happy to report the second half of the book (chapters 7-15) has been more enjoyable. Freidman discusses topics such as the effects and implications for a flat global economy and enlists necessary preparations and possible solutions in dealing with this phenomenon. Chapter 12 and the remaining chapters include different issues ranging from the negative forces of globalization, which could harm this flattening effect, such as AIDS and Al-Qaeda, to the positive effects of globalization, which Freidman claims will serve to enrich and preserve culture, not destroy it. All in all, while exciting and enlightening, The World is Flat is too lengthy and drawn out. I lost motivation constantly with Freidman’s “excruciating” details and “overly explained” observations. But with it all said and done, I can’t say I regret reading it. We all need to wake-up to what globalization is doing and prepare for a new future we can’t possibly concieve.

  83. abusinessprofessor

    I recently came across a very interesting, provocative, and information at Youtube titled “Why the world isn’t flat”. It is by a scholar and professor at Cambridge University. The video is available at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T5-ojv5-b3U. Though the video is somewhat long, I think it is worth watching, especially for people who have read Thomas Friedman’s “The World is Flat”.

  84. Morgan Walker

    I have to say that I am happy to have finished the book. I read the book in hopes that it would stimulate an interest in the globalization of the world but I think it did just the opposite. The book was very drawn out and overly detailed. I felt like I was reading the same thing over and over to make one point that wasn’t even fully defended at the end. He says that the world is flat throughout the entire book and basically ends by admitting it isn’t. I’m not so sure that I learned a whole lot that I didn’t already know. I already knew that technology is advancing at a rapid pace, I already knew that frontline jobs are being moved across the globe for cheaper labor and this has resulted in the requirement for people to advance themselves as much as possible. There were a few interesting examples but I would rather read current topics from the paper than a book with examples from a few years ago in a world that has advanced even since this book was written.

  85. Kent Gethmann

    I am the type of reader who has to sit down and read a book all at once, so this is my first post with several to come. The notion that the world was once flat was layed to rest some time ago, as of course the world is round. it is interesting to think about the world going from flat to round and now back to “flat” again. Friedman is right, the world has become “flat” in the aspect that anyone with a computer and the internet can connect on a global network in a matter of seconds.

  86. Ben Haffke

    I am happy I read this book. I never just thought about how globalization has really impacted the world and this book made me sit down and really think about it. Friedman has many interesting real world examples about how the world has become flat. Many were interesting but at the same time many were not so interesting. This book made me realize how important it is for, not only companies but, also countries and individuals, to really think about their impact on the global economy. Friedman made many interesting comments about the globalized world but at the same time I do not agree with everything he talks about. No matter how interesting the Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention is, it really is not very accurate because no matter what, wars will never cease even if big conglomerate companies are in your area. Another comment I do not agree with is his theory that the less natural resources a country has, the better off they are in the new globalized world. I feel that comment is inaccurate and that the amount of resources has no specific bearing on the overall competitiveness of a company. So even though I enjoyed the book overall, there were some comments that Friedman discussed that I really don’t agree with.

  87. Lindsay Cordle

    After finishing the book, I discovered that the last few chapters present information on a variety of issues versus the more focused and detailed structure of the first sections which focus solely on the flatteners. One idea that I found to be most interesting is the conclusion that countries lacking natural resources are the ones that are home to the most driven societies that allow individuals to develop talents and reach their full potentials. This is so true and can be applied to many situations in life. For example, if someone already has everything they need without putting forth any effort to get it, it is unlikely for that person to perform to their highest ability because their is no need for them to do so. The countries with quality natural resources that are able to earn their wealth from within don’t need to compete with others. However, they may find trouble by taking a short-term perspective and not a long-term outlook, as most natural resources do not last forever. The key success factors of being educated, adaptable, flexible, and mobile are crucial to succeed in the flat world. I agree that we do have a long way to go before becoming entirely ‘flat,’ and doubt that we will ever reach this point entirely as there will always be differences in social structures and wealth distribution. However, Friedman makes it clear that globalization is a process that is very important to the world in which we live today and it is spreading at an increasing rate. It definitely affects the business world in a drastic way as people from across the world can compete for the same job and workers interact with entities across the globe in daily operations.

  88. Kent Gethmann

    as i am getting farther in to this book i must note that i have found it very interesting. thus far this book has been a great source of information for any type of business major or simply anyone competing in a global market (which we all are). I couldnt believe about how McDonald’s outsourced its drive thru jobs. if that can be outsourced you have to know that any job can be.

  89. Eli Martinez

    After reading this book, I realized that technology has a tremendeous impact on the way our world works today. It’s one of those things where we are all aware of the importance and the advances of technology year by year, but Friedman had some great examples that opened my eyes to the little things that we all take for granted.Everythng seems so simple and is at everyone’s reach but it’s crazy to think that even over the last 10 years, the world has in a sense become more “flat.” I mentioned it in my paper and I still think it’s funny how in the beginning of the book Friedman mentioned a story about a young reporter who conducted an interview by just simply using his small mp3 player. That was the only piece of technology needed to perform something that used to take more time and equipment at one time. Similar stories were mentioned throughout the book and I agree with others when they commented that a lot of the book was very detailed and some parts were just very repetitive. But all in all, I think Friedman was able to get his point across.

  90. Nicole Dwornicki

    I finished the book and really did enjoy it. I was surprised to find out about the lack of qualified American children to take over for the NASA retirees. I wish that our teachers would have told us about us about the opportunities in math and science, maybe more people would be more interested in those areas. I agree with Friedman that we as Americans cannot continue to do things the same way as we have in the past. The world is changing and we need to be able to adapt or we will be left behind. I know that it scares me to think about my future as an American, and I worry about whether or not I will end up losing my job to outsourcing as well. At least I did learn one thing from this book that will help to decrease the chances of losing my job, which is to make myself standout. I will need to work hard, continue to further my education every day, and show whatever company I am working for that they cannot afford to lose me. I do agree with Friedman that globalization is not a bad thing, but it will help to bring all countries to the same level.

  91. Kent Gethmann

    i must say that i really enjoyed reading this book. Friedman’s insight towards a flat world is extremely interesting and informational. Going off what nicole said i was also suprised on the lack of qualified american children to take over for NASA retirees. I am not the person to fill that type of job, but its astonishing that that is the case. Didnt every little kid at some point when they were little want to be an astronout? As technology continues to advance the already “flat world” will become more flat. As the CEO of any major corporation you must be prepared for this or you will simply be left behind. The world is truely global. I would recommend this book to any student persuing a degree in business.

  92. Jeanette Cole

    Since starting to read, “The World is Flat” I have completed the introduction along with the section of what Thomas Friedman describes as his 10 flatteners of the world. Friedman’s premise is that due to these 10 flatteners the world has become more globalized and interconnected with each other. The notion that the world has become a level playing field for all those that are able to be interconnected through this vast array of ever changing, ever advancing, ever flattening technologies. Friedman points out that it is imperative that one must adapt to and change in this flattening world. He continues his premise by describing what he calls his “flatteners” in detail, which are as follows: 1) Fall of the Berlin Wall/End of the Cold War, 2) Launch of Netscape, 3)Work Flow Software, 4) Uploading, 5) Outsourcing, 6) Offshoring, 7) Supply-chaining, 8) Insourcing, 9) In-forming, and 10) “The Steroids,” stating specific examples of how all these flatteners have effected and will continue to effect our world.

    Since before starting this book I have known what Friedman’s flatteners were and his basic premise of the flattening of our world. The beginning of this book I feel presented a very basic oversight as to the extent and just how our world is being flattened. Although Friedman provides excellent examples of how each of these flatteners has played a part in our lives and the lives of people around the world, I feel that it is very basic to those that have grown up with such technologies. One example that I found particularly interesting was for the seventh flattener, supply-chaining. Here Friedman talks about the “symphony” that is Wal-Mart’s supply chain. I found it interesting the extent to which Wal-Mart’s supply chain reaches.

  93. Yiruo Ge

    Starting the scene in Chapter 1 with the author Thomas Friedman in Bangalore, India, we are amazed to see American business advertisements all around the place and discover that cutting edge digital technology in Indian companies has enabled global talks and collaboration instantly anywhere in the world. As Friedman himself being overwhelmed to believe technology development and business outsourcing in India today, he is convinced that the world is flattened due to globalization that is taking place rapidly. Friedman defines globalization in three different eras: Globalization 1.0, from 1492-when Columbus set sail, opening trade between the Old World and the New World-until around 1800. This era shrank the world from a size large to a size medium. Globalization 2.0, from roughly 1800 to 2000, interrupted by the Great Depression and World Wars I and II, has shrunk the world from size medium to a size small. Globalization 3.0, starting in 2000, this whole new era has shrunk the world from a size small to a size tiny and flattened the “playing field” at the same time.

    In Chapter 2, Friedman explains 10 forces that have led to globalization and flattening of the world. The first flattener according to Friedman is the collapse of Berlin Wall on Nov. 9th, 1989. The second flattener is when Netscape goes public in 1995. The third flattener is the development of workflow software based on the accessible Internet. The fourth flattener is the availability of open sourcing. The fifth flattener is the increased outsourcing worldwide which allows companies to divide services and be cost effective. The sixth flattener is offshoring, which again provides cost effective productions around the globe. The seventh flattener is fully computer based supply-chaining. Wal-Mart is a classic example of a company successfully using supply-chaining technology to create value. The eighth flattener is insourcing, meaning to perform a business practice in house so that the work is not needed to be contracted out otherwise. Friedman used UPS as an example to elaborate on that concept. The ninth flattener is in-forming, and the tenth one is the “steroids”, which Friedman actually refers to as personal digital assistance such as cell phones, instant messaging, iPods, etc.

    Read only the first two chapters for about 200 pages of the book, I already found it very fascinating and realistic in terms of discussing and revealing the increasingly popular topic of globalization. Indeed, the world has become smaller and smaller thanks to the innovative technologies and new perceptions of conducting business. Traditional business models may not be working properly in today’s fast changing world, because most transactions and deals are done as a matter of second through high speed Internet networks. Information flow and sharing increased so significantly around the world that location is no longer a problem for people to do work. Facing this situation, business entities must be able to adjust their strategies from time to time in order to maintain sustainable competitive advantages and survive in this era of globalization.

  94. Shailendu Shroff

    The book mentions about globalization by breaking up this term industry wise and country wise. This includes but is not limited to: outsourcing of US tax filing to India (cheaper labor cost), reserving a restaurant table or booking tickets or setting up a haircut, and radiologists sending X-Ray/MRI scans to Indian doctors for analysis and pre-treatment observation. Major outsourcing is being done to Bangalore, thereby developing it as an Asian version of the US businesses. Bangalore has mushroomed with call centers which give high salaries to its employees who love the high standard of living they can avail of now. These businesses are not tensed of alienation anymore but of success. The dotcom bubble burst has taught that one must always be prepared for change in all forms to strike at any moment. It is how successfully can an entity respond to and accept change that defines the entity’s survival in this globalized world.

    Every product goes thru a series of processes including incubation, development, testing, manufacturing, deployment, and support and re-engineering. China has mastered these steps since they have a cheaper and ambitious labor compared to tech savvy Japan. Hierarchies are being challenged and transformation of organizations is taking place in a horizontal and collaborative approach. Balance of power has tipped to advocacy of democratic, consensual, market oriented people and authoritarian rule is eliminated.

    Microsoft Windows has made things simpler and people dependent more on PCs for all kinds of work. Information sharing is rampant – open source platforms. Even though India might lack in resources & infrastructure, IITs in India have been churning out techie brains for the US. Off-shoring has triggered and now countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Brazil, etc are doing what was done in India. Technology has increased and led to Wal-Mart using RFIDs, UPS developing superior supply chain solutions to track packages and help customs and even repair Toshiba laptops. Google has presented an enormous quantity of information at our disposal thanks to the search engine. Of whatever, I read so far, I was amazed at the capabilities and outreach that UPS has had on economy. They have revamped their operations and included many state-of-the-art technological changes which always go a level ahead than what we can imagine.

  95. Hung-Wei Wu

    After reading this book, I think one of the most vital factors of globalization is technological forces. With the advancement of technology, people can browse and obtain knowledge and information easily. Under this dramatic change, companies have begun modifying the strategies and business goals. The countries, such as India and China should consider “where are we heading to?” and “how can we get there?” On the other hand, companies in western countries or in Japanese should think about how they need to react to this phenomenon.
    In order to adjustment of this trend of change, executives should scheme appropriate plans for companies. For example, Friedman mentioned that the founder of Indian firm, Infosys, developed new software system to calculate taxes from Americans. Another example is that the cross-countries collaboration between Japanese and Dalian, where is big city in northeast of china. Both examples indicate how driving forces affect companies.
    In the latter chapter, he continually described what the other “flatteners”, which contributed to globalization and circulation of information, were. I believe each event largely affect the world step by step. As a result, each company should prepare and plot well in advance to avoid being eliminated through competition.

  96. Matthew Passero

    Very soon I will be finishing up with chapter 3, and I must say that so far this book really turned out to be quite interesting and thought provoking. The story involves a man named Friedman, who you can tell by the title of the book, seems to think that the world is metaphorically flat, in the sense that the entire playing field of business has been leveled thanks to globalization. As a result of this, many new countries can now compete in all kinds of industries. India is one of the countries used as an example to signify the emergence of a country with new competition capabilities for global success. This is mainly due to the 245,000 jobs in the booming industry of calling services such as tech. support for businesses worldwide. Another example was of a similar situation that had developed between Japan and a town in China nicknamed “outsourcing central.” Friedman also breaks down the globalization movements in history starting in 1492 into three categories. According to him we are currently in “Globalization 3.0,” in which the world has in a sense gone from small to tiny. He also claims that there are ten main forces throughout history that have been the main “flatteners” of the world (fall of the Berlin Wall, Netscape, work flow software, uploading, outsourcing, off-shoring, supply-chaining, in-sourcing, search engines, and “steroids” which involve personal and mobile technologies). Lastly, he mentions the idea of “the triple convergence,” which is basically just a name for the culmination of all of these ten “flatteners” coming together simultaneously, and how that in itself is a key issue as well due to the grand scale of each aspect involved.

    Overall, Friedman’s goal is to detail how the world initially became flat, and what exactly that means for us in the future. I’m very interested to see what other clever ideas Friedman has come up with in regards to this major aspect of the business world today. It really is amazing to note how much has changed so rapidly due to this globalization phenomenon, and to think about how this will change the world of business forever.

  97. Molly McManus

    I have completed the introduction to The World Is Flat, and am already very impressed and intrigued by this book. It put the current globalized state of the world into a whole different perspective for me and answered questions that I never really thought to ask. I understand why almost all of my professors mention this book, because if you want to succeed, especially in the business world, you must understand what is going on around you and the implications of it in order to maximize your benefit. We are in a specialization era where work gets done wherever it can be accomplished most effectively and efficiently. However, you must need to understand how this shift happened in order to truly comprehend the scale and future of this flattening movement. As Friedman states on page 21, “Change is hard. Change is hardest on those caught by surprise.” Basically, he is saying that if you resist change and do not want to hear about jobs and systems being outsourced, the increase in ‘homesourcing’, or the global playing field being leveled, than you will be far behind the people and businesses that maximize this movement to their benefit.

  98. Larysa Karasev

    I am very upset that I did not read this book when it was published. All the examples look very familiar, many Indian professors used them in their courses. I was quite impressed that China could overcome its natural bad feelings for Japan and made a great business with Japanise on outsoursing. I liked the JetBlue example on using american workforce in its’ booking business, I think that sometimes american companies believe that the only way to be cost-efficient is to outsource to East and overlook great opportunities at home.

  99. Jun (Kurt) Guo

    The world is flat? The world is fair. And that is the essence of globalization and the subtitle for the book. From only reading the first part of the book, I could see that the writer, Thomas Friedman, is not trying to show us what the world of globalization is like, but instead, he is showing us what we need to prepare to adjust our businesses and, therefore, have better awareness of what is going on in the world so that we could make better judgments and have a better vision and prepare ourselves for a rough ride where there is also opportunities, if you could seize it and take advantage of the trend of globalization. Through simple yet abundant stories and examples, the author shows us how everyone is reacting to globalization. Everything in the world is changing, fast. Internet has only been around for not more than two decades and it has already flattened the world, communication and information has made the whole world transparent and it is only logical that everyone, sooner or later, gets equal treatments.
    This is also a great opportunity for the entire human race to do something that’s never been done before: working as one.

  100. Hainan Sheng

    From only reading the first 100 pages of the book, it is not hard to see where the world is now and what nowadays businesses are like. When communication throughout the world is easy and worldwide trading is becoming mainstream, globalization is more of a necessity and a trend that could be foreseen when internet became prevalent. Cost is what determines everything in capitalism, and outsourcing is really just common-sense. The book really helps me understand more about globalization and more importantly, help me see more clearly where the business world is going and where my competitors stand. Think globally, act locally. The two cities mentioned in the book, Bangalore and Dalian are just pioneer cities in the process of globalization. Under the influence of digital interconnectivity, I can’t imagine how many more Bangalore and Dalians there will be everywhere in the world, not just in China and India. To me, it feels like globalization is shrinking the differences between countries, businesses as well as individual’s pay checks. Technology evens out the bumps on the planet and reduces the distances from each other. The world is not flattened as much as it is being connected, therefore united. Now, everyone stands a chance and that could be a great opportunity for corporations who know how to take advantage of it rather than feeling anxious about constant changes. The book really makes me think where the world is going after globalization and what is ahead of us that is going to change our lives even more profoundly?

  101. ShuChun Yu

    The last part of my reading is chapter three, The Triple Convergence. It is about when the ten forces that flattened the world come together, one mighty torrent appears. It is the first convergence. The second convergence is the impact which was created by the new technology along with new method. The third convergence is three billion people in Asia stand upon the world and they all want to earn a living desperately. All of a sudden, three billions of opportunities were gone. It is quit astonishing. Under attack of the triple convergence, it is important to maintain competitive, update skills and grasp the chances.

    By reading the first three chapters of the world is flat, I am amazed by the concepts mentioned in the book. I encountered all the ten forces. However, I never put emphasize on one of them. Thomas Friedman integrates all the ideas about how the world became flat by providing macroscopic examples which give evidence to the reader. At first, I was sort of doubt and felt exaggerative about what he said. Now I am totally convinced by him. Furthermore, I felt that it is getting more and more complicated to earn the living in a fully globalize world. The most value person with competitive will be the winner.

  102. Corey Zbar

    I have read about the first two flatteners in this book. The first being the fall of the Berlin wall which was the beginning of the free flow of information and ideas. The second being the first web browser (Netscape) going public. The freedom of information helped flatten the world because it was the beginning of global capitalism. Netscape, i believe, was a much greater force in the flattening of the world. Netscape gave people the means to obtain and disburse information instantaneously over long distances. All of this lead to the creation of the fiber networks across the globe. these fiber networks lead to a great reduction in the cost of transferring information and also great improvement on the workload that the network could hold. I believe that these are very strong factors leading to the way that the world communicates today.

  103. Yu-Chen Jeng

    I think that The World is Flat is an interesting book, an eye opener, for the under develop to developing to developed countries. Of course, developed countries must remember not to assume or take their other lesser fortunate countries for granted. Thomas Friedman does a good job of pulling together many far-reaching developments to define a tipping point for an emergent new world. His discussion includes ten flatteners working, increasingly together to produce a more interconnected and transparent world is well worth reading and thinking. As a MBA student, I will say this book intrigue me to ponder what I can do to improve my ability to face new challenge from the entire world.

  104. Daniel Pokidaylo

    Reading about the 10 flatteners which paved the way to the world becoming flat was very interesting. I enjoy learning about what Friedman percieves to be the main factors in this era of globalization. Introducing things such as the fall of the Berlin wall, the Internet, Uploading, Offshoring, etc were all huge factors that began connecting world markets. Friedman believes uploading will be huge in the future due to things such as blogging, and in my own experience of researching company’s and possible jobs, I have seen how blogging can help and have adverse effects on companies. The way our economy is run today, globalization plays a huge role in every persons life. Even if you own a domestic store, globalization gives you the knowledge you may need for insourcing and how to go about it. There is endless information to learn about, and Friedman clearly states that throughout his novel.

  105. Wen-Ting (Doris) Wei

    I have chosen “The World is Flat” since I had heard about it for a long time but never read. I have finished reading the first two chapters so far. Thomas Friedman experienced various locations around the world and was aware of the fast development of other countries, especially India and China. He found that U.S. companies have been looking for the efficient way to satisfy their customers and business performance as well. People in India can work for U.S. companies, business can hold a global conference supported by technology allowing people around the world to join, and some professional service such as accounting tasks can be spilt to other countries in order to lower cost. Many factors have led the world to flatten and made people much closer. Friedman also mentioned the Globalization 1 to 3 to explain the evolution of the modern globalization. In chapter two, he talked about the most important ten influencing factors that made the world flat and the earliest one Collapse of Berlin Wall” occurred in 1989.
    After reading the first two chapters, “In-forming” has greatly influenced me in my daily life. People think of “Google” as the most powerful tool for information and the only required skill is typing. In the past, people would be very surprised when they got something good or useful from the Internet; however, nowadays we could easily get angry if the information doesn’t come out in few seconds. That’s a positive change of our life because we got much more control than before. While enjoying the intelligent fruit, we may need to think about the negative effect such as the privacy issue and the inaccuracy of information, etc.

  106. Kuo-Shen Huang

    After reading part of this book, I deeply feel that how important it is to improve ourselves to catch up with others. If parents still spoil children or government ignore the significance of education, we will “starve” in the future. That is to say, we need to do some change such as the country needs to care more about social insurance structure, the entrepreneur should take account of the development of its employees, and, the last but not the least, parents should not dote on their children.
    In the past, your parents would tell you” you should finish eating your meal because lots of Chinese and Indians even don’t have meal. However, it changes quickly now. You may talk to your children and say “ you should study diligently since Chinese and Indians compete with you to find the job”.
    Now, it has, step by step, becomes no distance among any countries in the world. I think it is meaningless to complain why we don’t have oil or many unfair resources relocated in different countries. In other words, we should get wise to what we own right now and completely take advantage of it. Supply chain and outsourcing is all part of strategies to help us move forward to the globalization. Developing you pro and improving your cons will help you “survive” in this society.

  107. Michael Warren

    I have read up to the fifth flattener in this book. It talked about how the world has been flattened by major events such as the fall of the Berlin Wall, the start of the Internet and software, and by ‘uploading’. Thomas Friedman expressed many interesting ideas about how the world became flat and brought to my attention exactly how flat the world has become. His examples of Jet Blue, accounting firms, and hospitals demonstrated proof of his ideas. Communication throughout the world is the easiest it has ever been. I personally have seen this ‘flattening world’ when calling a troubleshooting hotline and spoke to someone in India. I am looking forward to reading more of Friedman’s thoughts about how the world is flat.

  108. Philip St. Clair

    Chapter 1 – “While I Was Sleeping”

    The first chapter in Thomas Friedman’s “The world is flat” discussed in his words how he personally became aware that the world is “flat”. It seemed to take place overnight or behind his back as he did not see it happening until it already pasted him by. He first discovered the flattening of business functions with the outsourcing of numerous activities to Bangalore, India and Daline, China. These activities include the ones we are familiar with such as technical services, general call centers and medical support due to the cheap, vast workforce and the near 10 hour time difference. However, currently they also include the activities that one would not think of such as digital online tutoring. The mayor of Dalian, China Xia Deren said of this flattening that “today the U.S. you are the designers, architects, and the developing countries are the bricklayers.” This created a solid framework in regards to the current economic relations being had around the globe. The next step is learning how we got there.

    Chapter 2 – Flattener #1 – The Berlin Wall Falls

    The first event that Friedman discusses as contributing to the flattening on the globe is the fall of the Berlin Wall. This fall was, of course, symbolic of the fall of communism and sparked the flow of information. For many communism regimes, the monopoly on information is what gives them control and power and now individuals were free to research information and interests on their own. This flattener is tied in with the growth of computer technology is made information readily available to a vast amount of people. Suddenly, anyone can be an author, anyone can express an opinion and anyone can communicate with people outside of their country.

    Chapter 2 – Flattener #2 – The World Wide Web

    The second event that flattened the world was the advent of the World Wide Web by most namely, Netscape. This was an era that changed the mentality of computing from “me and my own interaction with my computer alone” to, in the words of Friedman, “me and my computer interaction with anyone and everyone else in the world who had a computer.” This radically flattened the world with the flow of information. It also, through the investment of the dot.com boom, created a structure for people, businesses and networks to interact with each other limitlessly. It was said that the dot.com boom and subsequent bust was bad for business investors, but good for the average consumer who now will have unlimited access to information and the like because of over-investment, predominantly in fiber optics.

    Chapter 3 – Flattener #3 – Work Flow Software

    The advent of work flow software has left a gigantic stamp on the internet industry and business world. In short, it has allowed businesses to communicate and interact with not only their own departments but other businesses, other organizations and other nations. It has reduced the amount of time that was once spent on “busy work” and has allowed businesses to spend more and money in the areas of their expertise. Unfortunately a lot of this chapter is written above my head as it is a little technical, but I use work flow software everyday so if anyone understands the underlying importance of it, its me.

  109. Peter Sucher

    I have been reading, “The World is Flat” for about a month now and Thomas Friedman has done an excellent job of conveying his opinions on the global economy. The book starts with juxtaposition between Columbus’ discovery the world was round, with the author traveling to India and discovering….. well you know. I have just finished the section regarding how the world came to be the way it is, as well as the first four “flatteners”. Although the book is technical in nature, it actually provides a very smooth read as he guides you threw the ten flatteners. From the fall of the Berlin wall to the creation of Netscape, Friedman covers a series of both historic and technological events from history. Two of the first four flatteners are work flow software and uploading, which at first glance do not seem like “world flattening” devices. The author is able to describe the ripples these technologies caused and how they have come to bring us into our globalized world today. I am looking forward to reading the rest of this book and am happy I chose one so well written.

  110. Thus far, I must say that I am largely in agreement with the statements and suppositions put forth by Thomas Friedman in his work “The World is Flat”. From what I have already read, I believe that it is clear that Friedman means to portray outsourcing and offshoring in a positive light. Moreover, Friedman seems to contend that these happenings are both natural and beneficial for both businesses and consumers. The manner in which Friedman conveys the occurrences in his life that have led him to conclude that the world is flat is both entertaining and enlightening. It is clear from the points that he makes that technology has fundamentally transformed, in a beneficial manner, the way in which businesses can (must) operate. It is insightful of Friedman to include the fall of the Berlin Wall as the first world-flattening catalyst. In a discussion of outsourcing I would generally not think of such an event as being relevant, but Friedman makes it clear that the world’s eventual embracing of free market capitalism was a definite flattening event as it allowed for the free flow of information. Friedman’s second flattener, the public release of Netscape, is more obviously related to the revolution in global business operations as it allowed for fast and ultimately user-friendly global communications. In my opinion, based upon where I am currently at within the book, Friedman has done a satisfactory job in explaining how outsourcing and process reengineering is causing the world to become increasingly open and free of both physical and intellectual barriers. I further believe that he may have committed excessive space to discussing his second world-flattener, Netscape, but I do see how the details that he has provided are both pertinent and valuable. I anticipate that further reading in Friedman’s work will reveal how the author suggests that businesses ought to deal with outsourcing and the flattening of the world as a whole.

  111. Tzu-Chuan Chiu (Anson)

    The world is flat! After I read the first chapter, I feel a little bit thrilling and can not stop thinking about as an individual, what I can do to influence the world. We all know that the shortest way to link two random points must be a straight line. However, in the near past most information had to be communicated in arc (longer) ways, for example, a traditional mail has to be delivered by air or ocean shipping, which means the impact of information will unavoidable to be deferred. But the globalization induced by the invention of internet technologies help break the physical barriers and make the information delivery time much shorter than it was before. The portrayal of Globalization 3.0 by famous columnist Thomas Friedman is the main idea of the book “the world is flat”. Through his observation, he found that the revolutions of information technologies and software developments have hugely impacted on the competitiveness of existing nations. Many countries such as India and China have risen sharply and strive for becoming one of the major players in the world competition game. In my viewpoint, no matter you are willing or not, outsourcing or home-sourcing has become the main stream of the world business models. In order to be survival in the new world, building the un-substitutable abilities will be the most important task to me.

  112. John Efinger

    Reading through the beginning of this book, one instance has stuck out to me in Friedman’s portrayal of his message that “the world is flat.” As he is describing his third flattener, work flow software, it occurred to me how common and almost, for granted most of what Friedman is saying in this book is taken today. Describing how he found the definition of Paypal, I could not help but think how much has changed in just a few years of computing. Even something as simple as Firefox’s automatic spell check (which of course is trying to tell me that I misspelled Paypal) was not available just a few years ago. Although the idea of “flattening” seems like an evident concept, Friedman’s representation of each flattener is very interesting, and probably like most people reading through the first 100 pages, I find myself thinking of many changes that we have witnesses even through slight changes as students. Ordering food from half a dozen places on the Parkway through a website, instant messaging services, or even services like Blackboard. Personally I can’t wait to see what Friedman will continue with after his complete description of flatteners.

  113. Chin-Hsiang Lin

    I saw the movie named “outsourced” were used the scenario from “The World is Flat” before and I have finished reading the two chapters of the book. The movie and the book which I have read so far both pointed out the main points “how important of outsourcing?” and “Knowledge is power.”. As the development of technology, there is unlimited “distance” between countries or people. For example, no matter how far the distance is between people, using the internet, people are allowed to work together. The author, Thomas Friedman, indicated clearly that the competition among countries will be getting intense through the acceleration of globalization. Doctor, accountant and engineer, etc, these occupations are all belong to highly privileged ones in US and people would have high salary if they do these jobs. However, this also means enterprises have to pay more money for them. To reduce the cost of business, US companies hired employees in these positions from India. This figured out that outsourcing is becoming essential factor to complete an outstanding business. As an MBA student, or an excellent executive in the future, I think this book definitely provided my good information to realize that how the position I should be and how to improve myself to contend with invisible competitors in the future.

  114. YU-JUI CHEN

    At the beginning, Thomas L. Friedman using his personal experience depicts that how he found out that the world is being flattened when he paid a visit to India, Japan, China, and Iraq. Later, in chapter 2, he mentioned the ten forces that flattened the world. An interesting thing is that from the second to tenth force, all relate to network. Internet and information technology let people enjoy life change, put us in global competition, and allow everyone in the world, no matter where we are, can participate in globalization. This book also bring a warning to us – only if we keep improve, we will not be eliminated through competition.

  115. James Knoop

    The World is Flat by Thomas Friedman is a combination between a history of the 21st century along with the author’s view on the lasting effects from this information. The first section of his book describes the ten forces that he believes has flattened the world. These forces include 11/9/89, 5/9/95, workflow software, uploading, outsourcing, offshoring, supply-chaining, insourcing, in-forming and the steroids. These forces are a combination of political events, company events, increases in technology, and applications of these technologies into lives of individuals and within business.
    The author of this book writes about all of these events in a mostly positive fashion only slightly mentioning the bad effects that these forces could have. However, in the short term, the effects of some of these forces can have negative effects on Americans. As some of these negative effects act on the American people he is still able to maintain his focus on the empowerment that is given to individuals. Hopefully, he is right and the long-term effects of globalization continue to empower more and more individuals and increase global prosperity. Also, the author claims that the world is flat and even though he clearly does this to draw attention to his work there are many things that continue to emphasize that while the world is flattening it is not entirely flat.

  116. Serdar Sonmez

    The book starts off with explanations of Thomas Friedman’s detailed observations while he was in Bangalore India, then in China. He talks about many outsourcing activities takes place in these countries such as call centers, med. support and even tax return preparations. World is flat after seeing an U.S. citizens making a call about their services and having a tech support in India trying to solve the problem. It means that people can compete with other people in anywhere in the world in a real time. Thomas Friedman states that there are 10 factors for this situation which he calls “flatteners”

    Flattener #1 Fall of the Berlin Wall: Friedman discusses that fall of the communism ended in people in USSR participating in global economy. They were able to communicate with anyone in the world, have a free-market, can express themselves freely. The new age of creativity was also around the time right after the fall according to Friedman. People can communicate alot faster than ever now, and many technological changes happened during this period.

    Flattener#2 World Wide Web (Netscape went Public): Before Netscape created user friendly web browser using HTML language, internet users needed to be experts in order to connect with the world. But Netscape created a web browser that was compatible to any operating systems such as Apple, Microsoft…etc. That means everyone in the world, no matter what type of operating system they were using, were able to see the same web pages.

  117. Chiao-Yin Chang

    “The world is flat” describes that the rise of network bring globalization. We have to face the music that the impact of the phenomenon is hitting our opportunity of job severely. We can not compete with the low cost with high quality manpower in India or China if we don’t equipment enough capability to work. After read the first chapter, the concept of globalization has become an alert to remind me that if I did not study harder, I will lose my job. In fact, the structure of business has changed already long time ago when Columbus discovered the new world.
    Outsourcing has become more popular due to the cheap salary and low cost manpower in the developing countries. The manufacturing shifts from America to Mexico, from Asia to South-East Asia just because the business structure has changed. It should be a normal thing that we don’t have to worry about it. However, what the author really concerned is that the speed of these developing countries catching up with the others. They are going to exceed the so-called developing countries. The distance between countries vanished recently due to the innovation of technology. Globalization and free trade has brought a stricter world to survive. I think it is a great book for MBA student to consider that how competitive we have encountered.

  118. Jasmit Singh

    I have read the first two chapters of this book and completely agree with the way author is trying to discuss how globalization has made the world a smaller place to live in. The falling of the Berlin wall which basically indicates the fall of communism, led to the easy exchange of information which is the most superior power today .Most of the successful business are being run on the power of information nowdays.Following that was the popularity of Netscape or world wide web due to which information has been made available to a vast number of people at a highly economical cost, thanks to the discovery of fiber technology. All this has completely changed the way companies do their business with large number of technical jobs being outsourced to Bangalore, India and a bulk of manufacturing jobs being outsourced to China as both of these developing countries can provide cheap labor. I am looking forward to read more and see how does Friedman discuss other aspects about the globalization in the world.

  119. Chang, Ting-Chia

    I am only 1/5 into this book. As an international student, I could actually feel the impact of globalization and be aware of it. But the author “Tomas Friedman” describe the phenomenon with specific ways and different views which called” globalization 3.0”. This effect truly makes people’s lives change from developed countries to developing countries. Outsourcing is the must obvious example. In Taiwan, lots of multinational companies outsourced their manufacture process here. These companies only focus the core business such as designing and marketing. They fully take the cost advantage of labor and PPE. Globalization improves their profit also changes the labor construction among countries. On the other side, I agree with Friedman’s argument. There is a dark side with the flatter world. Under a flat world, all the countries have close connection wit each other. The serious consequent is that they face the same risk from each field. Look at the subprime mortgage crisis. No any countries can survive from the crisis. So, there are always two side on an event.

  120. Mohit Gupta

    While reading this book I can say that Technological forces are the most vital factors of Globalization. As a result of globalization, many other countries can compete in all kinds of industries and India has been used as an example which has competition capability for global success due to 245,000 jobs generated in calling and technological support for business situated worldwide.
    I really liked the line by the CEO of Infosys Technologies Limited, the playing field has been leveled indicating that India also has the strength to compete in the global world.
    Friedman has discussed Globalization in three different periods: Globalization 1.0, Globalization 2.0 and Globalization 3.0.
    Till now I really liked the book and I hope the book gets more interesting with due course of time.

  121. Wanhuei Lin

    When I first read the book, I have the feeling that the book is written for Americans. I can understand the worries from Thomas Friedman. The author is famous and knows how to tell stories. He chooses not to use jargons and tells people in a straight way what happen in the world. He knows that for a long time, the Americans are used to think from their own points. Most people care less what happen in other countries. Thus he wants to clearly tell people in around the twenty years, the changes of human life after the development of technology and democracy.
    Most of the time I think as the Americans that the US is the world center. This is why I come here for learning. We foreigners want to broaden ourselves so that we can enhance our competency. We at some situation are told that if we do not work hard and learn hard, we may not survive in the global world; especially the world is western centered. However, I do not really know for the whole picture what happened. After reading thoroughly the first few chapters, I think Thomas Friedman really has vision and observes clearly through the world.

  122. Wen Jiun Tsai

    The author, Thomas Friedman, started the idea of “the world is flat” from the trip to India. After witnessing the rapid development in technology and prosperity of out-sourcing industry in India, the author is assured of the global connection of the world. He defines the globalization into 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0 while narrating in a historic retrospect of the world change.
    In chapter 2, the author lists down 10 factors leading to the globalization and world fattening. Those 10 factors embrace the collapse of Berlin Wall, software devleopment, and supply chain evolution, and so on. Those factors were spread to occur in different environment to cause the flattening world. And the triple convergence, the software and internet development, work flow software, and IT revolution even push further to the flat world.

  123. Yu-Jen Chen

    The World Is Flat, written by Thomas L . Friedman, reveals how technology improves the globlization and how it affects our life. Although I anly read the first chapter, I find it interesting and helpful. Now the way those big companies and corporations operate their business is different from 10 years ago and it changes so fast. Companies are using every way trying to cut the costs to stay competitive and people have to keep up the pace to improve themselves otherwise they will be knocked out of the competition. By the time I graduate, the market might be totally different from now. The future becomes unpredictable. It could be good and could be bad. So I have to be well prepared for the coming future.

  124. Ryan Morris

    The world is flat is a way of saying the playing field has become more level throughout the world. A series of political and technological events has empowered individuals to collaborate more effectively with one another, bypassing nation-states and corporations as political and business actors. The fall of communism in Eastern Europe, the growth of the world wide web coupled with the corresponding overinvestment in related technologies, and the standardization of the web set the tone for the advancement of six new forms of collaboration. An overarching idea in Friedman’s next six flatteners is moving work to where it is done most efficiently. Uploading, outsourcing, offshoring, supply chaining, insourcing, and informing all involve moving capital to places where the task can be performed better, cheaper, and/or quicker.

    Friedman’s idea of a flattening world is not new, or exclusive to the 21st Century. Evolutionists have long seen the forces of cooperation and conflict leading human civilization toward this point. In Robert Wright’s book Nonzero, he shows how humans have been engaging in larger, more complex levels of social organization since we emerged out of Africa. As social organizations grew, neighbors either cooperated with each other or ran into conflict. Soon, groups organized into tribes to secure their goals, which became small kingdoms, which then formed states. Now, we have large international governmental bodies and trade agreements between nation-states. Political power has become more diffuse, largely because access to technology has increased for the masses. In the 21st Century, technology and the diffusion of power are happening more rapidly than ever before.

  125. Ying Shan

    The influence of globalization affect everyone’s life, no matter you realized it or not. Thomas Friedman sensed the influences and shared the flat world from many different perspectives with us. The flat world brings people more chances and benefits, but also requires people to share the risk and drawbacks together. From globalization 1.0 to 3.0, our life reached different levels and the whole world benefited from the ten forces of globalization. Besides the aspects described by Thomas, there are many examples actually happens every day to tell us the story of how the world became flat.

    When apply for the graduate school in US, we have to sent TOFEL and GMAT score through ETS. ETS tried to reduce the cost the focus on the core business, they therefore outsourcing the “transcript request service” to India. That means, when we call ETS complain about the mailing speed, customer service in India pick up the phone and worry about our transcript in US. By doing this, ETS reduce the cost and could spend more effort on improvement of the test not the mailing service. When I study the case of another course, I also learned that Vizio, the best selling flat TV company in North America, outsourcing the most of the engineering manufacture and logistic work to Asian and only has 75 employee to focus on challenging tasks. By outsourcing and taking advantage of globalization, Vizio realized the rapid growth and be able to maintain sustainable market shares.

    It also reminds me of the work of my friend, Min works for IT Company in Sichuan Province. By having Chinese IT staff maintain the systems during US non-working hours, the company located in US could have employee works for them almost 18 hours a day and highly promoted their efficiency.

    I also noticed the unsatisfactory of Thomas to US young generation. I feel that although what the author said is true, we do not need to worry too much over this issue. Nowadays, the problem he mentioned is not only in US, but happens in most countries all over the world. He argued that students in India and China works harder and are more talented. As a matter of fact, no one is perfect, the Asian students and American students have different advantages, while Asian students are in generally more diligent, American student are in generally more creative. The global problem with the young generation is that they are not as diligent as their forefathers.

    In a world, the Globalization brought revolution to our generation and enable people from all over the world share the resources almost freely. It is notable that the flat world brought us with benefits, opportunities, challenges but also risks and drawbacks. However, the advantage overcomes the drawbacks and future trend of “Global Country” is unpreventable.

  126. Shih-Ching Wang

    Before reading this book, I just know the world becoming a global village. As the technology improves rapidly, we can get information or contact people all over the world without leaving home. Until hearing this title “the world is flat,” I suddenly understand what it means. Even though knowing the world getting flat, I still can’t find how it happened. Thomas Friedman, the author of “the world is flat”, organized and analyzed the reasons, the steps, and the trends in the future. He points out a clear road for us to see and to follow the change of the world. I have to say, as an MBA student, if you don’t realize the world is becoming flatter, you will lose your future from now.

  127. ALex Yeuchyk

    In his book “The World is Flat” Thomas Friedman describes his thought process that brought him towards understanding that the world has changed dramatically over the last decades. Distances between people, businesses and countries have become way shorter compare to previous times. For example, it has become a common business practice to order components for one manufacturing good from several countries, often located on different continents. It surprises no one when you talk to someone in India about fixing a computer in the US, or you take language classes in America from a native speaker in some other country.

    Further down on his book, Friedman describes processes that have brought the now days world to this flattening. He determines globalization phases that influenced the opening up between countries. The author determines that the collapse of The Berlin wall triggered that process. As a second stage, Netscape allowed people communicate instantly with anyone in the world who had a computer. That was the beginning of the mass information era. In its turn that at first a desire to communicate over the Internet, and then its necessity, influenced propagation of personal computers and workflow software designed to facilitate businesses and people to communicate, organize and intensify their work, and improve its quality.

  128. Lindsay Burleson

    Since this is the first synopsis, I have only read through the 3 Convergence. That being said, I really like the flow of this book. The first chapter is a real eye opener into how much the world has really changed, especially over the past 2 decades or so. One is able to recognize all the little features that my generation takes for granted, features that were unavailable or unthought of only a few years ago. Examples include military strategy, media communications, and outsourcing (specifically to India).
    Freidman goes on to explain how the mass globalization occurred. In his words these are the 10 flattenening forces. The tend to go in a chronological/innovative order. Each force reverts back and connects with the others. There is a clear progession in the chapter. I love all the examples and first hand experiences used. It really puts the technology into perspective.

  129. Kyle Barna

    In Thomas Friedman’s book, “The World is Flat,” he discusses the idea that the world is a vastly different place than many tend to realize in this current day in age. He first explores the trend of outsourcing and moves into ten factors which have ‘leveled the world playing field’ so to speak. These ten factors, along with what he calls ‘the triple convergence,’ mainly opening of many large countries’ borders, has caused an age of rapid globalization. This movement has thoroughly blurred and intertwined the traditional roles of consumers, shareholders, taxpayers etc.

    Friedman brings up some very interesting points about the way the world is changing. What I find to be most amazing, is the fact that many US citizens fail to recognize the lack of exclusivity the US has to success and opportunity. Many politicians cannot even grasp how seemingly insignificant ‘fads,’ such as iPods, software creation, mobile devices etc. have worked to rapidly disperse information globally and give all connected nations a level playing field. It would intuitively follow, that if the US does not keep up its education and innovation, such as green technologies, it will quickly lose its place as a worlds’ super power.

  130. Anthony Olenik

    Thomas Friedman’s explanation of a level economic playing field for the world is based on his world travels and research of rapidly evolving and increasingly available technology. Ten “flatteners” created this modern global arena, where billions of people are competing for jobs. The Berlin Wall falling was the first, the availability of an internet browser followed, and then business software allowed for connectivity between continents. The next five were uploading, outsourcing, off-shoring, streamlining supply chains, and in-sourcing. Information searches and finally, powerful technologies that enable more communication and technological capability have created the flat world. Friedman brings together the flatteners into three categories or convergences: creating the World Wide Web platform, having businesses and skilled workers that developed the flatteners more, and allowing the world population to compete for jobs.

    All of Friedman’s analysis and insight bring to light the opportunities and difficulties facing our nation and our world. Information technology brings about widespread knowledge and increased efficiencies in corporations. These changes downgrade much of America’s once strong competitive and economic advantages though. Only through continued innovation and learning can America stay ahead on a flat economic playing field.

  131. Raed Jabaji

    Before I started reading this book I though I knew exactly how globalization affected the individual and the world, however how Friedman began this book with such vivid examples of globalization floored me. It allowed me to really understand this change and gave me a deeper perspective of this change and just how significant, amazingly significant globalization actually was. After finally getting settled back down I really enjoyed reading about the variety of ways that “Flattening” has and is occurring – A truly stunning way to begin the book.

    The book then followed up on what broke down the barriers. I realized just how recent these changes have occurred, how I had been present for a these game changers that have altered the world in a way that many of the younger (and now all) generations take for granted. Reading through this chapter brought up some key questions – What’s next? Will I realize that it is groundbreaking? Will I realize that it is even occurring? How much quicker will changes happening? These HUGE changes happened in one generation, what will occur in ten years, let alone my lifetime?!!

    (Ironic, but connected, side note – While reading through this chapter an undergraduate student assistant realized through her studies that Google is only a couple years old and turned to one of the secretaries asking “What did you do before Google” – As young as I am, this made me realize how different the world is to those who are only 5 or 6 years younger than me)

  132. Scott Buckley

    So far, the book “The World is Flat” by Thomas Friedman has given an eye-opening introduction to how globalization is changing the world today. Friedman begins by explaining the significant changes that happened recently are due to the massive investment in technology which resulted in higher bandwidth and cheap computers. These major factors along with others have leveled the global competitive playing field.

    He explained his classification of the Three Great Eras of Globalization. To summarize, the first era was driven by imperialism, the second was lead by multi-national companies with lower communication and transportation costs and lastly, the third era, so far, is based on the improvement of computer software.

    Friedman gave several accounts of outsourcing that he has witnessed in his travels. Services such as tax return preparation, CAT scans analysis, financial analysis, military operations and even McDonald’s drive through ordering can be moved off site in order to lower costs and to experience a higher utilization. “Work gets done where it can be done most effectively and efficiently.”

  133. The World is Flat, so far, is an interesting look at how globalization is shaping both the west and the countries we outsource to. The key point the author argues is that Americans need to realize that the world is becoming a more competitive market every day, and we need to continue adapting.

    In the early part of the book the author explains his view on the historic stages of globalization, labeled 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0. Globalization 3.0 sees the creation of a “true global economy”, where the new focus must be on collaboration. Later in the book the author expands his view of globalization 3.0 as being the “globalization of innovation”, in which the creative powerhouses of Europe and America face competition in China, India, and other countries where the talent has grown to the point that they can handle all aspects of the value chain, not just the menial labor.

    The author initially argues that outsourcing helps the outsourcer more than the outsourced to country because it frees up the outsourcer’s labor for more sophisticated job. My personal feelings is that while this is a valid ideology for those in cushy secure jobs , it’s not so peachy for those not living in an ivory tower. For the middle aged skilled worker who has dedicated his entire professional development towards a job that has been outsourced there is no “long term, silver lining, better tomorrow, etc” view.

    This is not to say, however, that I oppose globalization. Much the opposite. I found the portion of the book I read to be highly informative, particularly in its analysis of how pretty much any job can have its value chain broken down into individual segments, and without fail there are segments that can be outsourced. Even in the restaurant, hair cutting, and medical care business we see that certain stages can be outsourced.

    I’m actually very glad I chose this book. As a co-founder of a start-up e-commerce business I was fascinated by the descriptions of the services offered in India and how these highly enthusiastic and highly educated workers can fit themselves into the value chain of almost any company. While reading through the chapters the possibilities of how our company might be able to use these services to handle time consuming but low-innovation tasks that threaten to bog down our operations as we get off the ground. To say I’m excited about the possibilities is an understatement.

  134. Seha Islam

    Within the first two chapters of the book, Friedman explains the notion of a “flat world” through anecdotes from India, China, Japan and even rural U.S. He undeniably establishes the argument that nearly any task in the world – whether in the services or manufacturing business – can be done anywhere else in the world. The new globalized era brings with it increased competition for many of the jobs out there, but it also brings increased opportunity to those who innovate since there are virtually no geographical orders.

    Friedman also does a great job of identifying the “flattening forces.” Beyond the obvious globalization of the supply chain, outsourcing, and offshoring, Friedman identifies the technological flatteners: Internet, search engines, workflow software, and opensourcing. It was surprising to me that Friedman could identify and even simplify these technical concepts to a very abstract level that taught me plenty about how they relate to the greater behemoth that globalization is.

  135. Lanjie Xu

    I have once read “The World is Flat: The Lexus and the Olive Tree” before I read this book. The time period covered in that book is from the Cold War to the year 2000, which is before 9.11. The writer has changed his idea about the world and spent five year walking through developing countries, such as India and China. Then he found out the world is not really round, the world is flat. Then this book is born.

    I am about 1/4 of the way done with this book. The majority of the part I’ve done is about ten flatteners, from the Collapse of Berlin Wall to The Steroids. From Berlin Wall falls down on November 9, 1989, the world has obviously been changed from science, technology, politics and economy. People started to use Windows, Netscape appeared in the market, work flow software, uploading, outsourcing, off shoring, supply chain management, in-sourcing, in-forming and the steroids. Take outsourcing for example, many Chinese students graduate from U.S colleges and work for U.S companies every year. The outsourcing gives foreign people an opportunity and also decreases the cost of U.S companies. In the outsourcing part, Friedman argues that it has allowed companies to split service and manufacturing activities into components which can be subcontracted and performed in the most efficient, cost-effective way.

    The other flattener interested me a lot is the supply chain management since I am OPM major. In the book, Friedman compares the modern retail supply chain management and take Wal-Mart as the best example of a company using technology to streamline sales, distribution, and shipping. I just finish a case about seven-eleven Japan. In that case, I have made several comparisons about the supply chain of Seven-Eleven Japan and Wal-Mart. Seven-Eleven is attempting to duplicate the supply chain structure that has succeeded in Japan in the united States with the introduction of CDCs ( combined distribution centers), which is also mentioned by Friedman in this book. So far, I find this book so interesting and I am glad I choose this one.

  136. Dipankar Rai

    In the first chapter Friedman travels with a crew from the Discovery Times channel and encounters Indian businesspeople working for American companies, speaking in American accents and even adopting American names in their own country. He visits Infosys Technologies Ltd and discovers a conferencing system they have created that allows people from around the globe to meet in one room via satellite and teleconferencing technology. As he travels to Japan, China different sources of BPOs are explained.
    In the second chapter he explains 10 important factors that have led to globalization. The different factors are Collapse of Berlin Wall, Netscape, Workflow software, Open Sourcing, Outsourcing, Offshoring, Suppy Chain, Insourcing, In-forming, Steroids.

  137. Naveen Paul

    Part 1 of 3
    The World Is Flat by Thomas L. Friedman is perhaps the quintessential book on the evolution of communication, and thus, the current definitive work on globalization. The World Is Flat considers the implications that optimal global communication, in light of increasing globalization, will have on the American economy. Friedman concludes that the world is being flattened by technology that is greatly improving worldwide communication every day. What he means by “flattened” is that humans are now connecting all the knowledge centers on the planet into a single global network, which will now require Americans to be as creative and as imaginative as their counterparts in other countries (for example, the 89,000 MBAs that graduate Indian business schools each year), to be able to compete in what is increasingly becoming a global market.
    Friedman spends a great deal on explaining just how the world became flat. He introduces ten steroids that drove the world to increased interconnectedness:

    1. The Collapse of the Berlin Wall ended the Cold War and, thus, brought people together in a physical and metaphorical sense.
    2. Netscape was the first Internet browser; by bringing Internet access to those who did not previously have access, it launched the Internet Age.
    3. Workflow Software developed out of software innovation that enabled companies and continents to send and share work, via a virtual platform, (projects, television show production, etc.) to each other faster than ever before.
    4. Uploading enabled more people worldwide to author, collaborate, and edit content (open source code, blogs, etc.), thus redefining creativity and increasing the world’s store of knowledge.
    5. Outsourcing to other countries allows companies to utilize full capacity during off-peak hours in their home countries and by utilizing the wealth of knowledge possessed by graduates in other countries.
    6. Offshoring is the manufacturing of goods and services in one country to be sold in another, thus increasing economic interaction between parts of the world and bringing countries together through economic dependence.
    7. Supply Chaining is the art of perfectly coordinating suppliers, distributors, and everyone in between, all across the world together to enable a company to perform its necessary functions.
    8. Insourcing is the extension of companies into providing goods and services that they are not necessarily known for; this expansion of the umbrella of goods/services requires a better understanding of globalization and increases the odds for the longevity of a company.
    9. In-Forming is the self-education and self-direction that results from utilizing the technological advancements that have increased human communication and interaction.
    10. “The Steroids” are new technologies that “amplify and turbocharge” other flatteners by functioning as translators between the actual and the virtual; thus increasing the ease with which collaboration can be undertaken.

  138. James O'Neill

    James O’Neill
    The World is Flat – Post 1
    In the first third of the book, The World is Flat takes a broad scope in analyzing the global climate as it exists in the 21st century. Most importantly, it displays the primary factors that have evened up global competition concisely by using a list called the Ten Flatteners. The flatteners include numerous technological advances that have created gateways for improved and more efficient communication between both the masses and corporations. Additionally, factors included that have had supreme impact on globalization range from the political spectrum to advances in supply chain processes. I believe the ten flatteners make a great deal of sense, and I largely agree with the processes that Friedman has laid down in the first third of this book.

  139. Naveen Paul

    Part 2 of 3
    The second third of Friedman’s work delves further into the nature of globalization and its implications. The Triple Convergence is the simultaneous spreading out of each of the flatteners and their increasing dependency on one another, the associated advancement of technology and persons incorporating these into new ways of doing things, and the opening of borders of several large, rapidly developing countries who were once closed off to the world (China, Russia, India, and countries of Latin America). This convergence led to faster and greater globalization, which, in turn, metastasized to redefine the personal and professional relationships between humans. While, to some degree, the human bond is severed by the use of electronic interaction, Friedman argues, it is widened to a heretofore impossible global scope.
    An in-depth discussion of outsourcing follows, carrying an ominous tone of the forfeiture of Americans’ jobs to just as qualified, cheaper laborers offshore. Friedman warns that Americans need to advance in education and training or face being left behind by an increasingly global economy. Friedman cautions Americans to take measures to secure their jobs in terms of making their skills difficult to transfer or teach. He refers to this as the new class of untouchables. Whereas the class of untouchables was once considered the lowest class, it is now considered that irreplaceable, indispensible class of workers whose skills, training, and education cannot easily be copied by outsourcing labor. He calls for adaptation and specialization, noting that fear (of outsourcing, losing one’s job) is a suitable stimulant for change in the way Americans view their jobs. Friedman elaborates on the kind of education necessary to keep pace with the rapidity of globalization, stating that “learning” and “learning to learn” are essential.
    Once of Friedman’s most dire warnings comes in the form of the chapter “The Quiet Crisis.” He warns that the American obsession with Britney Spears and the foreign obsession with Bill Gates are indicative of an egocentric complacency that may, one day, ensure the downfall of American innovation. Friedman calls for Americans to realize the change being spurred on by globalization and take measures to secure a position in the growing global economy. His solution calls for an increase stimulation of right-brained activities (those more associated with language, art, and music) and more social programs within companies to increase productivity via increase creativity and diligence. Friedman fears that the U.S. will fail to take notice of what is going on in the world and, as a consequence, will ultimately be left behind. 11/9 signaled the era of a new world, a more creative, flatter world in which ideas and innovations can pass through more freely without encountering any “walls.” 9/11 signaled what could be destroyed with the great power conveyed by globalization and advancements in technology.

  140. Naveen Paul

    Part 3 of 3
    The last third of Friedman’s work includes many parallels of what has been covered in this course to date. Friedman weighs on countries who have adapted to accept free trade and those that have not accepted free trade and have been left in the dust by the global economy. He contemplates the need for visionary leaders to be drivers of change for countries that want to be pulled out of the economic morass (especially given the events of the last year and a half). Countries need to seriously consider where they stand in the global economy and adopt policies that would best facilitate the survival of its companies out in the global jungle. Without the right leaders, who will subsequently help institute the best policies for its companies, countries and their economies (reliant on their companies and businesses) will also find themselves left behind.
    Part of this survival of companies, Friedman argues, has to come from focusing on the narrow needs of companies’ customers. Increased attentiveness to niche markets engenders greater creativity, and thus, (according to Friedman’s thesis) helps the odds of survival of companies that engage in such a business practice. He further discusses outsourcing as a means for growth only and elaborates on the social implications of outsourcing. It is a touchy issue, but it requires addressing. A wage paid to outsourced laborers may prove to be an unsuitable, almost reprehensible, amount in the United States. However, the standard of living in other countries has to be taken into account, and only then can judgments on wages be made.
    There is a degree to which the world has not flattened. It has not flattened for the disenfranchised, for the diseased and dying, and for those who cannot enjoy the freedoms we have come to view as basic. Societal and cultural disparities are the cause of this lack of flattening; however, these disparities are losing strength with the increased interconnectedness of humanity. There is also a degree to which many cultures refused to accept this “flattening.” It can be, and often is, viewed by many as the imposition of Western ideals on non-Western cultures. While I agree, Friedman thinks increased globalization functions to preserve and enhance individual cultures. Personally, if increased globalization ultimately results in one global culture, there have to be winners and losers. And what is lost in the foray into a global culture is a vital part of human history that functions to define us all. To an extent, globalization is not the hero Friedman paints it to be.
    Globalization, however, is a hero in that, hopefully, one day it will cease the human penchant for warfare. An increased interdependency between countries is created on account of the economic interaction between nations. As base as it sounds, with so much more at stake for a country than merely the lives of its citizens, Friedman is correct in inferring that countries will be less likely to wage war due to the economic damage that might result.
    Friedman concludes with a sign of hope and a warning. The flattening of the world creates great power for humans, and that power can be used to create and to destroy. These are exemplified, in Friedman’s view, by the fall of the Berlin Wall (11/9) and the World Trade Center tragedies (9/11). 11/9 signaled the era of a new world, a more creative, flatter world in which ideas and innovations can pass through more freely without encountering any “walls.” 9/11 signaled what could be destroyed with the great power conveyed by globalization and advancements in technology. He calls upon citizens of the free world to harness this power, learn to use it constructively and teach others (who might use it destructively) to use it constructively as well.

  141. Shailendu Shroff

    Book Review Part # 2

    The reading mentioned about “The Steroids” which encompasses technology and its advancement esp. the bullet train in Japan and internet connectivity while travelling which is not paralleled in USA still; the fast processing speeds of Intel microprocessors which keep getting faster by the day; mobile communication which includes paying credit card bills from the cell phone or rather using a cell phone as a credit card, buying music show tickets or merchandise from the handheld device.

    “The Great Sorting Out” mentions about the Indian supremacy in workforce. The project bid won by Tata which employed Indian workers in Indiana is a representation of what the Indian workforce is signaling to US employees. Companies have total control in deciding their suppliers and vendors, distributors, and retailers with government lifting many a industry regulation and globalization coming in. The entity “Salesman” is extinct and most marketing efforts are via the internet.

    In “America and Free Trade” the author mentions about the growing economies of India and China which are becoming a bane to the US economy and causing lack of jobs. Then there is the fight for skilled and intellect human resources amongst Yahoo, Microsoft and Google. Interesting is the IIT Madras folks helping Singapore school kids with Math and some other study. Universities in USA are exploiting resources in China like Yale whose research center in China serves its many fold purpose. Its Chinese operations in Beijing and Shanghai are now the backbone for the research results in USA. Many such collaborations are on its way in India as well.

    On a concluding note, I state the dominance that China has gained over other countries; from being an underdog, it has gone to become a wolf where it is dictating its terms and influence globally in areas of industry, retail, education, research, etc. It has already overtaken Mexico and gone a step ahead; shown USA that they are not only irreplaceable, but also that USA cannot survive without them.

  142. jim o'neill

    James O’Neill

    Post # 2 – The World is Flat

    For the second portion of the reading, I covered pages 200-400, or chapters 3 through 9. From this the sections that stood out to me most were The Triple Convergence and The Quiet Crisis. Triple Convergence talks about multiple factors which have come together in recent history that have contributed to flattening of the global economy. One is technology that is multifaceted, which acts ultimately to streamline jobs and promote efficiency. It also discusses the advantages of horizontal collaboration in the business world in contrast to vertical collaboration. Lastly, it discusses how when the Berlin wall fell, the effect on opening up the pathways for progress in countries like Russia and China was global, and with the added competition, it significantly altered who the main players are in industry today. The Quiet Crisis was interesting to me as an American who is witnessing a lot of the claims made about the collective Western superpower and its imminent decline. It begins with the quote “Close games for the Americans were rare in previous Olympics, but now it appears to be something the Americans should get used to.” It references the US men’s basketball team narrowly defeating Greece, but the metaphor is that the tides are changing, and that the once would be superpowers have experienced the flatteners Friedman has laid out, and the gap between a US and a Greece in the sense of global competition is narrowing rapidly.

  143. jim o'neill

    James O’Neill

    Post # 3 – The World is Flat

    For post three, I read from pages 400 to finish, or from chapter 10 onward. One of the most interesting chapters was twelve, or the Globalization of the Local. In this chapter, it discusses a perception that with globalization will come the adoption of the world’s dominant economic culture by less powerful nations. Friedman takes an approach that is counterintuitive, stating that he believes that with globalization and new media constantly developing, that distinctive cultural signatures will have a platform to present themselves and will actually be perpetuated rather than subdued. Whether or not this is true, I’m not completely positive on either side, but the fact is that yes, the opportunity for his hypothesis coming true certainly exists. Chapter fifteen, The Unflat World, also points out some interesting effects of a flattening world. With societies that have been traditionally closed from contact from the outside world now being approached with this, the impacts it will have on regional cultures will be significant, whether they be positive or negative is another debate.

  144. Matthew Passero

    Book Review #2:

    In my last post I covered up to chapter 3 and I have now finished chapter 9. Picking up from where I last left off, Chapter 4 is mainly about what Friedman calls “the great sorting out.” This is nothing more than what he personally believes will happen as a result of the triple convergence. Some of the major outcomes he states involve confusion, chaos, and a lot of restructuring for companies in regards a wide range of issues. After this chapter he then goes into detail about whether or not David Ricardo’s free trade theory still holds true in a “flat” global market. Ultimately, Friedman does conclude that this theory is still viable and that the US will benefit from things such as the rules free-trade. Friedman also makes a good point that as long as the “global pie” keeps increasing, wages should not remain low due to the increased demand. Following this, he then discusses how people need to become “untouchables,” in the sense that they pursue jobs which cannot be outsourced, digitized, or automated. He also breaks down various types of positions/people into certain categories. The next chapter goes into detail about the “quiet crisis” along with his six dirty little secrets, which all tie together over the main issue of why Americans aren’t taking advantage of certain resources and what the consequences will be if we do not change our course. Following this, he mentions 5 areas (leadership, muscles, good fat, social activism, and parenting) which he believes are essential to being progressive in a “flat” world. Lastly, in Chapter 9 decribes what steps developing countries need to take in order to survive this “flat” world. He then breaks this down into 3 steps: infrastructure, proper education, and the appropriate governance.

    Overall, from what I have read so far, I can say that Friedman definitely makes a lot of good points and incorporates a lot of creativity into his analysis and organization of all these different topics. However, there are a few aspects that I somewhat disagree with and will talk more about in the report, but in general Friedman seems to be pretty clever and has a very unique and simplified way of laying out all the complicated aspects of being in a “flat” world.

  145. Daniel Pokidaylo

    In chapter 5, Friedman explains that David Ricardo’s comparative advantage theory is still true, and that the U.S should not try to stop outsourcing. Also, he explains that wages should not get lower (although there is more competition and education throughout the globalized world) because economies will continue to grow as long as people continue to buy goods because more people will need to produce the goods.
    Chapter 6 discusses the “new middlers” and the 8 categories that they encompass. I agree with Friedman about the categories, especially the great collaborators and orchestrators, the great adapters, the green people, and the great localizers. All of these categories will be difficult to have outsourced because they need to be extremely knowledgeable about the society they are working in. Chapter 7 explains skill sets that he believes are necessary in a globalized world. I do not know if I agree with Friedman about his curiosity and passion quotient being more important than intelligence because there is a vast amount of information one must know in a globalized world, and being curious or passionate may not drive someone to become as educated as someone who has the schooling or work experience. However, I do believe that the “right side of the brain” is very important because it is what makes people more creative and better at problem solving. So I do not completely disagree with Friedman, but it is a bold assumption to make on his part that passion and curiosity are better than intelligence. Chapter 8 discusses secrets of why we are not utilizing all our resources. The secrets include issues such as facts about Americans not graduating with degrees in science and math as much, decreases in funding for research, and low broadband usage compared to other nations. All these issues affect how we compare globally around the world, and I never thought about issues such as these, and I can see how this would stunt America from being a global powerhouse. I found chapter 9 to be very interesting when Friedman began talking about program to try and keep employees working with their respective companies for a lifetime by giving out more stock options or a better health care program. He also mentions how workers should have insurance for their salary if they lose their job due to outsourcing. These are all very interesting ideas, however, it would be hard for the government to step in and create programs like these because most of the large corporations only care about maximizing profits, and outsourcing is a huge part of that. All in all, I am enjoying the book. It is a little difficult to keep up with all of Friedmans ideas because he has so many different categories in each chapter, but they are all very real as to what is going on today. He talks a lot about how Americans need to become better educated because if they don’t, outsourcing will become a big issue, which I agree with. I believe that because many rising nations do not have wages as high as Americans, so if Americans want to continue making higher salaries, they are going to have to become more educated or else their jobs will be outsourced to someone else for a lot cheaper salary.

  146. ShuChun Yu

    I finished now up to chapter 6 in this month regarding to “Chapter4: the great sorting out”, “Chapter 5: American and free trade is Ricardo still right”, and “Chapter 6: The Untouchables” I was very aware by the insights made by writer and also impressive by the vivid stories illustrated in these chapters. I have to admit that the world is going to be not only “Flat” but also “complicated and multiple directions”. In the chapter of The Great Sorting Out, along with modernizations of technology and efficiencies in resources-allocated, globally or non-boundaries sorting out has become an inevitable trend in an attempt to mutually benefit. Under the environment of such multiple and global operations, people is unlikely to define as a unique single individual because no one can survive today as entities bounded by any single nation-states. Instead, people have to reshape self, hold personal value to fill in such a dynamic environment. Otherwise, you would become an underdog in this bloodbath of sorting out. In the chapter of American and free trade is Ricardo still right, I can’t help to adding my comments that free trade among entities seems a stream to flow into a pool or ocean in an effort to beneficially exchange stuff needed by enlarging and diversifying the entire market. I was awake that I have to upgrade my skills and investment in some practices that will enable me to have my slice from such complicated pie. Finally, in the chapter of The Untouchables, I have learned how to make myself more standout and valuable in a Flat world. Since in the Flat world you have competition not only from peers around the world but also from yourself in timeline, you have to be a worker who is special, specialized, anchored, or adaptable to make you untouchable in fiercer competition in all aspects incurred by Flat world. In the end, I think the most important part I learned by reading these chapters is you can not stop the Flat world running but you can try your intellectual way to avoid to be a victim in the Flat world.

  147. Jeanette Cole

    Since my last blog posting, I have completed Friedman’s section of “The World is Flat” in which he describes what he refers to as “The Triple Convergence” and the implications that go along with this “Triple Convengence”, with the idea of “sorting things out”. Within his “Triple Convergence” Friedman points of three factors that have caused the world to become even more horizontal in nature, the points are as follows: 1) all of the 10 flatteners coming together, 2) “horizontalization”, and 3) that the “playing field is coming to people”. Friedman describes each of these three convergences in detail, giving excellent examples on how they are affecting the world as a whole. Next Friedman discusses the ramifications of these convergences and the notion the people are going to have to learn to “sort thing out” in order to survive and thrive in this ever flattening world. In the section “sorting things out,” Friedman discusses the issues that come along with a flattening world and presents the idea that in order for a person to survive in such an environment, they need to become what he refers to as an “untouchable,” or a person that’s job cannot be “touched” ensuring them job security.
    In this section, I believe that Thomas Friedman continues to present his thesis and provides the reader with excellent examples of how “The Triple Convergence” has affected the world. However, I feel that this section is merely an extension of his hypothesis on how the 10 flatteners have caused the world to come closer together. Friedman provides little new insight within this part of the book. I do feel that his view on a person becoming an “untouchable” has merit. The fact that those whose jobs will be secure in the future are the people that can make themselves and their jobs irreplaceable supports the flattening of the world theory.

  148. Lindsay Burleson

    Friedman’s discussion in chapter 3 goes into further detail about how the 10 forces came to be, how they spread, and concerned their convergence. A large part of the convergence was caused by world politics. Countries like Russia, China, India, and Latin America. These countries all opened their doors to the world creating a more unified market. Not only were products traveling worldwide, but human resources went international. Students from abroad want to start schooling in America.
    Chapter 4 delves further into a discussion of the dark side of globalization. Specifically noted are the effects of outsourcing. We know from the 10 flatteners that outsourcing was one of the forces shaping the international market. But does it help or exploite those involved?? Does it give these foreign employees an opportunity for hope or the business an opportunity for achieving increasingly lower labor costs?? Are these savings at the expense of a life??
    Chapter 5 takes this one step further. This section looks at those who must now compete with outsourced employees. Americans are not only in competition with each other, but they now have billions more to fear. This is a scary thought for many.

  149. Shailendu Shroff

    Part # 3 of 3

    For the last part of the book assignment, I read was from pages 380 onwards. The end of the book really tries to negate the book’s theme. The world has become much more flat than before, but cannot be classified as a complete or balanced flat world.

    The last part of the book deals a lot on Muslim world and the impact they have on global economy. The Muslim world is looked upon in a different light given the impact 9/11 has had on USA. There is an ever growing anxiety as to what will be the next target of al-Qaeda or the extremist terrorists. However, the book has shown the Muslim world in a biased fashion. Agreed, there is no doubt about the safety concerns that have been escalated due to their activities, but that gives us no firm reason to believe that the entire Muslim population is at fault and to be blamed for what we are going through. There is a lot of dependence on the Middle-East for their rich oil reserves. This puts things differently since now we cannot ignore their existence and pretend that we live in a more safer and blissful world. We are reliant on them for our fuel and indirectly to fuel our economies. Globalization and flattening will bring an end to this race for nuclear and chemical arms, however has also started a war called ‘terror’. We are more scared and likely to face a terror attack of some sorts rather than see 2 or more countries fight in reality on the battleground.

    The flattening of the world can be seen in a more complacent sense. We take pride in claiming about new developments, however pertinent issues remain unresolved. These include:

    - Hunger, malnutrition, and starvation problems in Asia and Africa

    - rampant epidemic breakouts in Africa (like HIV/AIDS etc)

    - impoverished nations with still more impoverished people’

    - cash strapped governments being run as puppets by a few people who put self and material gains before life

    - illiteracy and unemployment

    - communism going strong in China and North Korea thereby causing an oppression of people’s freedom and liberty to the way of life

    Again, the open borders have worked only one way: China has been successful to creep into and conquer USA; however USA has not been accepted even partially in China. An over ambitious China is putting limit to the natural resources of the world that other countries can tap and use; however no country or power has an authority to ask them not to do so. This evidently points to the fact that either each country tries to develop capabilities compared to those of China and start penetrating the global world or wait for a silent demise wherein China will invade your territory and eat you up before you can even realize.

    The author ends his book in a open ended question – is the flat world of today really safe for our kids and the next generation? Time will only tell whether the flattening of the world has been a boon or a bane for society. The future will unveil as to what will the aftermath of so-called globalization lead to; either stagnation which seems remote or over-globalization which can wreak havoc, pandemonium and a rat race for survival taking out any elements of life which we may live today.

  150. Corey Zbar

    It has been three weeks since I have finished this book and I found it mildly interesting. Because I will need to write another review before the report I will only cover a portion of the rest of the book in this summary. Some interesting points that Friedman made were about offshoring and outsourcing. I agree with his examples that show that these are both good for our country and necessary for our growth in the new world. Insourcing was also interesting. The fact that people can be more productive in their homes as opposed to an office is an interesting thought. I do not that it would work for all people, but it seems like a good idea for some. I did not agree with Friedman’s analysis of free trade. His final conclusion (free trade) was the right one, but the reasons were much simpler then he made it out to be. The feeling I get from Friedman is that his social and political compass is usually right on target, but he should really read some more of the other Friedman (Milton) to attain a better understanding of the economy.

  151. Yiruo Ge

    Continuing on since last time, I have read about 100 more pages of the book up until the end of Chapter 9. In Chapter 3, Friedman introduces the triple convergence, aiming to explain how each of the ten factors discussed in Chapter 2 comes together and flattens the world. Convergence I has to do with spreading and taking root to create the environment for flattening; Convergence II and III are aimed to provide a platform for horizontal collaboration and value-creation process among the ten flatteners over time so that they could mutually reinforce each other. Later in the Chapter Friedman also links talent and knowledge outflow and outsourcing technology during this era of globalization.

    In Chapter 4, Friedman challenges to say that world political identities and ideologies will be affected and changed due to development of technology and globalization in general. He admits his definition of the great sorting out is actually predicted by Karl Marx first. One phenomenal section in the chapter talks about a real world case that an Indian consulting firm won the contract to upgrade the unemployment department of the state of Indiana. The boundaries between customers, labors, and business have become so blurred. The idea of the flat world is reinforced again.

    Chapters 5 to 9 consist of a new sector of the book—America and the Flat world. Chapter 5 focuses on America and free trade. Friedman encourages education and training so that Americans can be prepared to compete in a global market. Chapter 6 is entitled the Untouchables, where Friedman expresses a concern of what to tell the young generation of Americans about the increased competition for jobs. He lists a series of skill sets required to be a qualified worker in the new era. Chapter 7, the right stuff, is what Friedman defines as the educational requirements needed to survive in the flattened world. In Chapter 8, the quiet crisis, Friedman criticizes Americans’ arrogance and warns the public about the importance of education and knowledge accumulation in such a competitive world. Chapter 9 promotes new and innovative ways of conducting business and performing leadership. He compares the challenges in the US to the completion with Soviet Union and asks the leadership to adopt new strategies to maintain competitive advantages in the global market.

    Each of these chapters stresses a very fascinating topic, and every one of them is tied together and interrelated with each other. The main message Friedman wants to send out especially to Americans is that they must be awaked and ready to work harder in such an unbelievably fast changing world. One important point is that leadership and education in the US must be able to prepare future generations to compete again the world rather than Americans within the US. Communication, technology, and even labor force has already eliminated country boundaries and started to penetrate into every corner on earth. This is the time when America must begin to take actions and catch up before left behind.

  152. Peter Sucher

    The next part of “The World is Flat” examines America and free-trade policy. Friedman believes that free-trade is the right direction for the country, but we as well as the whole world must adjust to it. This topic goes on to argue whether or not David Ricardo was correct in his assessment that the entire world will benefit from free-trade. It seems that the author does agree with this theory since he obviously believes in this “flat world” concept. He believes the flattening of the world has only helped to give more people more opportunity, so why should that not continue to happen? While discussing this free-trade concept, Friedman makes it extremely clear both how weak and how strong the individual has become. A single person can now open a successful business, but a single person can also do your job for cheaper; this is clearly a double edged sword.

    In the next part of the book Friedman examines was people can keep their jobs. He defines different categories of workers and gives advice on remaining an employee. This is further refined when personality characteristics and attitudes are examined. The last concept which I covered in the book was how countries need to react to the new “flat world”. I found this particularly interesting since this is not something I had previously considered. It made sense that America had to change, since many jobs and services were being outsourced. What I had not considered was how the developing countries which are being outsourced to must change to prosper. Not only did they have to come up with strategies consistent with their strengths, but they had to set forth the policy and regulations for this to thrive. Hopefully Friedman will bring to the table more interesting topics like this since the book has tended to drag on a little bit, but overall I have enjoyed it.

  153. James Knoop

    The sections of the book that I have completed over the last month or so include “The Triple Convergence”, “The Great Sorting Out”, and the entire section called “America and the Flat World.” “The Triple Convergence” deals with three main forces coming together include the convergence between workflow software and hardware, a change in habits he refers to as “horizontalization”, and the introduction of new players from China and India. Freidman states that the “triple convergence” is causing a worldwide change in the way business is done, competition between employees, and the definition of a global company. In the section “America and the Flat World”, he breaks it up into a few different chapters, but with a couple main points. These points include what type of person will survive in the flat world, he describes that America is well equipped to thrive in the flat world, talks about how we are not doing what we should to do so, and then a call to action. While Friedman is an optimist about the future of America it is because of his belief in our ability to adapt, however he also realizes that we have a limited time to do so far before we are lagging to far behind the rest of the world.

    This optimism by Thomas Friedman, I feel may not be the most strongly rooted because while America is equipped to deal with the flat world I am not positive America will react quick enough. While his book still does says many negative things about how the American approach is working and does try to stress that “This is not a test”, he still is a little too positive about the outlook. I feel reading his book that he could be much more effective if he spent more time making the direct call to action or researching further into exactly how the restructuring should be done. He has been able to gain the assistance of many experts and therefore potentially using his increase in fame would be able to lead the revolution to turn America around. Instead, he just writes about the issues, which is obviously a step in the right direction, when he could do more to transform America into the flat world leader.

  154. Hung-Wei Wu

    While the individuals could make use of the new tools to explore the flat world, it is the companies which are really facing critical competition. Friedman highlighted some rules and strategies for companies to compete in the flattened world.
    First, don’t try to build walls when the world is going to be flat. You reach for a shovel and dig inside yourself.
    Second, the small should act big. One way small companies flourish in the flat world is by learning to act big. And the key to being small and acting big is being quick to take advantage of all the new tools for collaboration in reaching farther, faster, wider and deeper.
    Third, the big shall act small. One way that big companies learn to flourish in the flat world is by learning how to act really small by enabling their customers to act really big.
    Fourth, the best companies are the best collaborators. In the flat world, more and more business will be done through collaborations within and between companies, for a very simple reason: The next layer of value creation, whether in technology, marketing, biomedicine, or manufacturing, are becoming so complex that no single firm or department is going to be able to master them alone.
    Fifth, in a flat world, the best companies stay healthy by getting regular chest X-rays and then selling the results to their clients.
    Sixth, the best companies outsource to win, not to shrink. They outsource to innovate faster and more cheaply in order to grow larger, gain market share, and hire more and different specialists, not to save money by firing more people.
    Seventh, outsourcing isn’t just for large companies. It is also for idealists and the social entrepreneurs.

  155. Larysa Karasev

    I have finished “The Triple Convergence” which shows how America should deal with the flat world. Nowadays all Americans need to remember that instead of praying and demanding to ban outsourcing, another course of action is needed – we have to find ways to compete in this changed world and the only way to do it is to invest in education and innovation. This investment will produce even more high-end jobs for the country. I have started “America and the Flat World” and find it a little bit scary but absolutely necessary. The author is so right – we actually live in a crisis and because it is quiet Americans are so complacent! We definitely should open our eyes, look around and accept that we are loosing what USA used to be the best in and start thinking forward-looking! We have to be prepared and prepare our kids for reality, not a fairy tale. I found myself recommending this book to my friends with kids, hope they’ll do a big favor their kids and read it.

  156. John Efinger

    One unique aspect of “The World is Flat” that it seems many people have not touched on is Friedman’s outlook on “the flatteners” themselves. Although many of Friedman’s points, given the time he originally wrote the book, seem valid, reading his book today gives off a greater impression of how dated the text really is. As I read through the variety of strategies that businesses can employ, such as insourcing and outsourcing, I could not help but think how common those tactics are today. As Friedman describes how interconnected the world is, for example as he speaks about the Japanese phone and wireless system, his points in fact seemed fairly trivial.

    Perhaps my opinion is skewed by attending a university, where the campus is wired. But it does not seem like a vast insight to say that the world is becoming flatter, as it is evident walking down the street, or sitting in a classroom or a meeting. In a world where an Iphone can serve as a personal computer, which way the world is heading seems fairly evident.

    However, as an American, one thing I do find unique is the continual points that the rest of the world is quite often ahead of the United States in technological development. Looking out to the rest of the world Americans may never know that they are “behind” but reading about technologies in play in other countries creates a stark, even bleak view of what the future could bring as the world gets flatter, to put it in Friedman’s words.

  157. Mohit Gupta

    Part 2 of 3

    I started reading again from the ten forces that flattened the world which included Collapse of Berlin wall, Netscape, Workflow software, Open sourcing, Outsourcing, Offshoring, Supply chaining, Insourcing, Informing, and The Steroids. He explained these factors with their origins to show the effect that they will have on the way we will do the business in the future.

    Then he talks about these multiple factors and how these factors contribute to the flattening of the world in the chapter The Triple Convergence. He made me realize that how software and internet and the political factors caused several countries like India, China, Russia, etc. to open it gates for Globalization. In chapter 4, he calls for a reality check on how the Globalization affected countries will react in the context of not only businesses but individuals and entities as well.

    Then he talks about America and free trade with being skeptical about the existence of free trade in a flat world. He considers the banning of outsourcing to protect America’s workforce and along with this he encouraged better education and training because now Americans have not only to compete with Americans but also with the intellectual minds across the globe. He also kind of advised the parents who are unsure of their children’s educational and professional futures. He recommends building right brain skills, explores different vehicles to higher learning and examines the factors necessary to create the right environment.

    Then the most interesting part of my reading is the Quiet Crisis. An interview with Shirley Jackson it demonstrates that the Quiet Crisis is happening slowly and which would lead to America falling behind in innovation, science and technology. He also explored the differences between different country’s educational systems with Bill Gates where he put up a question that “Why are we idolizing Britney Spears whereas the competing countries are idolizing Bill Gates”.

    I will conclude by saying that there is no doubt that underestimated country, China has proved itself to be the emerging world power and it is also the fact that it is very tough for USA to survive without Asian Countries as most of the manufacturing and business is been outsourced to Asia. In addition it is also not good for the Americans as they are finding it tough to get jobs in this globalized world. In short Friedman made a lot of good points in his book which are being realized now in this recession affected economy.

  158. Jasmit Singh

    Friedman is one of the few authors who have a tremendous vision and completely understand what does the word “globalization “mean both at a country level as well as at an individual level. The very fact that he takes into consideration things like Berlin wall, internet evolution, blogging and uploading is evident that he can imagine how the world is going to be in a few years from now. It also makes me realize how important it is to educate yourself and make sure that we can compete with the world. It is extremely important to make the best out of what we have and come up with the best cost effective solutions (most of which might include outsourcing). The way Friedman explains the examples of Jetblue and delegating accounting work by major accounting firms displays the benefits of globalization.Countires like India which account for a lot of software development and China which manufactures almost everything are going to be the next superpowers . I really look forward to reading more and see how Friedman talks more on globalization.

  159. Since my last post, I have continued reading and enjoying the book “The World is Flat” by Thomas Friedman, and again I must report that I largely support the points that Mr. Friedman elaborates upon at length. Since my last post, I have read what Mr. Friedman has to say about workflow software, open-sourcing, outsourcing, offshoring, supply chaining, and insourcing. I found Friedman’s discussion of the differences between outsourcing and offshoring to be of particular interest. Traditionally, I have considered offshoring to simply be a type of outsourcing, a sort of sub-division, but Friedman presents the two concepts in a unique way. Friedman explains that outsourcing involves moving an existing business process to an outside company and subsequently reintegrating that company’s work back into the value chain of the initial home firm. Offshoring if different from outsourcing, Friedman contends, because it involves moving an entire manufacturing or production function to an external location where goods can generally be made more cheaply. Additionally, I found Friedman’s explanation of the open-source software revolution to be captivating, especially the discussion about Wikipedia and the image destruction example given in the form of Mr. John Seigenthaler.

    As I mentioned above, I generally agree with the views that Mr. Friedman has thus far expressed in this work. I am very happy to read Friedman’s generally positive comments about the Wikipedia phenomenon, and despite the problems mentioned about the open nature of Wikipedia, I am fond of the manner in which the topic was treaded in the book. I do tend to believe that Friedman’s appraisal of the importance of workflow software is a bit overblown. I do see workflow software as being generally helpful in the process of flattening the world, but Friedman’s emphasis on this point seems unnecessary overall. Obviously, given the nature of this work, Friedman’s discussion about outsourcing and offshoring is well received, and in my opinion these specific world flatteners should be given even more specific attention. I am quite familiar with the example of UPS that Freidman expounds upon in the insourcing chapter of the book, and I am happy to see this case used here in this manner as it is an important and prominent example. I look forward to exploring the later chapters of “The World is Flat” in order to continue studying Friedman’s points about the future of world flattening and how everyone must react to a more open global environment.

  160. Yu-Chen Jeng

    Ten forces that Friedman defines in the book flattener the world. All of forces are important events, inventions, or creative resource. Each force lead the world to become relatively smaller than past. Collapse of Berlin Wall means the end of the Cold war. Netscape and the Web for internet is a very significant invention for human in this century. It changes life of people totally. A lot of people can not live without internet. Open sourcing let the information transfer on the internet to each other in a convenient way. Outsourcing let the resource to be used in a more efficient way. For In-forming, Google is the prime example. It should waste a lot of time and people to search the information in the past. Now, the growth of search engines is tremendous and reduces the time to search information you want. “The Steroids” like mobile phones, laptop, personal digital assistants, and instant messaging influence our life

  161. Wanhuei Lin

    “The World Is Flat” is equivalent to what he defined “Globalization 3.0″, that is the highest stage of the process of globalization. Globalization 3.0 pointed that the environment, geography, culture, technology, knowledge and so on are factors that will no longer be obstacles to the division of labor. The world has become smaller, the individual has become stronger. With the help of broadband Internet, it is easier than before to enter into global market, everyone can take comparative advantages to the operation of business. However, it also means the lower barrier entering which means severe competition could happen.
    For a business, in this era of globalization 3.0, you need to adjust yourself more flexible. On the one hand, Small businesses may wish to make a big via horizontal and vertical integration or mergers to gradually expand the border of business. With its complementary industry into the enterprise, a company should create a wide range of core business productivity. On the other hand, the big companies should think of ways to do small and reasonably outsource business, or even to transfer all of the production process overseas. The managers are only responsible for the management, coordination and R&D work. These two trends make the nature of the business increasingly blurred.
    For a person, it is even tougher. One should think deeply how one can not be replaced by the globalization.

  162. Kuo-Shen Huang

    I read some points in the book for this month that technology and social change would actually “flatten” the whole economic “uneven” and also let east and west countries become the neighborhood. Today, diverse races and groups would easily apply various resources around the world. It also resulted from many reasons such as collapse of Berlin Wall, the new development of Netscape, an upsurge of internet, and other fiber cable investment so that it would bring up other approach such as foreign production, supply chain management, and in-source development.
    I think that there is really no “distance” between each country no matter time, distance, geography, and limited language because it all go through internet platform to proceed the knowledge and job sharing. Because of these effects, originally 30 billion people can’t do anything for the world but it becomes important part of the worldwide family. Outsourcing the China cheaper workers and Indian intelligent employees has step by step become the worldwide trend. Consequently, how to lead companies to make largest profits based on ten principles to flatten the world has become important role for any international business.

  163. Wen-Ting (Doris) Wei

    Because the world has been flattened, many companies face dramatic changes in the allocation of resources, as well as changes in the operation of value chain. The decrease in unemployment of India made the increase in the U.S. Friedman provided many examples to show the undoubted fact. Moreover, he talked about the intellectual property which comes from talented people all around the world and the individual information stored in the Internet. How we protect and transfer them is also a problem. Globalization brings companies so much profit especially by lowering the cost and smartly utilizing their resources and many people from developing countries have opportunities to work with the world.
    The geography doesn’t matter due to the convergence of all flatters. We have to eliminate all obstacles to the cooperation of companies or countries, such as cultures, regulations, politics, and value…etc. I have an example which I have been thinking about for a while: Companies in the U.S. have followed GAAP for financial reports and accounting records for a long time, however, today near 100 countries which do business with U.S. companies use or converge on the international financial reporting standard (IFRS). So the growing acceptance of IFRS as a basis for U.S. financial reporting represents a fundamental change for the U.S. accounting profession. The SEC is considering taking steps to set a date to allow U.S. public companies to use IFRS, and perhaps make its adoption mandatory, which shows an action taken to increase the cooperation of companies of different countries.

  164. Yu-Jen Chen

    Thomas Friedman pointed out 10 factors which made the world flat.
    1. democratization, free market, PC, and windows
    2. internet
    3. workflow software, XML/SOAP
    4. open source
    5. out-sourcing
    6. off-shore production
    7. supply chain
    8. in-sourcing
    9.

  165. Yu-Jen Chen

    9. in-forming
    10. the steroids
    Among these factors, I think the internet plays a very important role. It involved a lot of sophisticated technology inprovements and then changed the way people communicate and the relationships of people. The speed of internet flattening the world is faster than what we think.

  166. YU-JUI CHEN

    In chapter 3, Friedman hits us with the economic equivalent of the Perfect Storm, something he calls “Triple Convergence”. According to this concept, three powerful factors have combined to bring about radical change in our world. First, the ten flatteners are altering the playing field. Next, people, companies, and countries are changing the way the game is played as they learn how to apply the new technology. And finally, a whole new group of players, several billion in fact, have walked onto the capitalist playing field since the collapse of communism in China, Russia, and other countries. It’s as if the National Football League changed all the rules of football, the coaches changed their formations and game plans, and hundreds of new teams joined the league, seemingly overnight.

  167. Chiao-Yin Chang

    The chapter 2 of ‘the World is flat” introduce the ten forces which flattened the world. The main forces to make it successful including:
    1)When Berlin wall collapsed, globalization arise and speeding the integration of EU. It makes the big step for free economy. 2) Computer network- Netscape appeared to make searching information more efficiently and easily. It provides a great platform to communicate and transit information all over the world. Totally change the way people think and work. 3) Workflow software- the change of work process. The work processes change the situation which makes the competition more difficult in the world. 4) Open resources-It introduces the great idea of open information which could be shared freely. It could trigger the innovation and creative thoughts more. 5) Outsourcing- the outsourcing becomes more and common. The rise of India becomes the biggest threat for our opportunity of job. We need to improve our capability to compete with the cheap manpower such as India or China.6) Offshore production- it mainly talk about the influence after China join WTO. 7) Supply chain management-talk about how the biggest suppler “Wal-Mart” makes profit through change the supply chain management. 8 Insourcing-take UPS for example to explain they not merely do the express but fix the computers and deal with the orders of NIKE and other diversity services. 9)In-forming-talk about the personnel and searching of Google 10) The steroids-it introduce that the skill which flattened the world.

  168. Tzu-Chuan Chiu

    I just finish the reading of chapter 2 and part of chapter 3. The world has been flattened; we have to admit the fact. We all know that if no barrier exists on a slope, water is always running from the higher place to lower place. And if we apply the same logic to Thomas Friedman’s observation, we will find that the outsourcing or home sourcing is just the same case. Because the ten major drivers “flat” the world’s barriers, the geographical advantages led by those barriers are no longer exist. Business, companies, or enterprises in the US or in other developed countries can find the lower wage workers or the higher quality workers around the world, so all the companies are shifting their manufacturing plants or their customer services to some lower labor cost countries such as India and China, just like the water flows from “higher” place to “lower” places. So far, in this book I think Mr. Friedman is trying to warn the people in the US or in any other developed countries that the old, outdated business model is facing an unavoidable change. If they cannot response correctly, the higher unemployment rate and lower competitiveness they are facing is just a “nature” phenomenon.

  169. Wen Jiun Tsai

    In this section of reading, I have finished it from chapter 4 through chapter 6.

    In chapter 4, the author mentioned the media from telegraph through internet, which get people access to the information more easily and lead to the flat world. He took the example of a bid in Indiana and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd won the bid to open the topics of multiple identity disorder. Moreover, he took Wal-mart and Costco as a comparison to illustrate such identity disorders. In the flat world, hierarchies are gradually leveled because big people are able to do many things on their own. And in the flatting process, it trims the fat out of business and life just like what Wal-mart does.

    In chapter 5, he demonstrates the benefits of the free trade to the whole world. By specializing in different fields, each nation has its cost advantage and the overall gain in trade is enjoyed by everyone. Certain people might be worried about the outsourcing, supply-chaining, and offshoring to China and Indian, and support to erect higher barriers, but in the reality, The Indians and Chinese are not racing Americans to the bottom, but to the top. The way to succeed among the fiercer competition in the flatting world is upgrading your skills and making the investment in the practices that will enable you and your society to claim your slice of the bigger but more complex pie.

    In chapter 6, he gives the idea of being “untouchable”. There are 4 categories to become untouchables: workers who are “special”, “specialized”, “anchored”, and “ really adaptable”. He also lists the unique and competitive advantages which American owns. First of all, every university in US has the consensus to generate innovation and turn into products. In addition, US has the best-regulated and most efficient capital markets for taking new ideas and turning them into products and services. It also has the most flexible labor laws and US has become one of the great meeting points in the world. Only when people are becoming untouchables, it can grab the slice of the wider and more complex global pie.

  170. Chin-Hsiang Lin

    From chapter 4 to chapter 6, Friedman said that there will be a great pact on world political issues and ideologies because of the development of technology and globalization. This phenomenon also can be explained by globalization 3.0, which means the environment, geography, culture, technology, knowledge causes will no longer be obstacles to the division of labor. Therefore, the outsource will be more extensive used. Through Globalization 3.0, enterprises make lot of profits by reducing the labor cost and individual is no longer weaker but become stronger. Overall, the Globalization 3.0 is really make world a big change and it totally switch people mind that the earth is flat by now.

  171. Michael Warren

    I have now read up to chapter 10 in this book. I read about the other flatteners like offshoring, supply-chaining, insourcing, in-forming, and The Steroids. I also read about the triple convergence as well as America and the Flat World. The triple convergence was about three main things such as the convergence of workflow software and hardware, horizontalization, and the new people in China and India who are entering the workforce. Friedman’s idea about horizontalization is an important aspect in the flattening world. He goes on to talk about the type of person it would take to survive in a flat world. I agree with Friedman that the world is becoming flatter and how it is possible to survive and adapt to these changes. I can’t wait to finish reading the book to hear all of his thoughts.

  172. Shih-Ching Wang

    After realizing that the world is flat, Friedman gives us some reasons, the ten forces and the triple convergence, to explain how it happened. Some of them are past, but some are just beginning and going to influence the world further, such as outsourcing, offshoring, supply-chaining, insourcing, and in-forming. In the new world, totally different from in the past, developed countries not only endeavor to maintain their leadership, but also pay attention to the competition from developing countries, like India and China. Since the flat world provides a convenient and efficient platform, these developing countries can almost attain knowledge or technologies immediately, and then innovate or improve it into a new model by their own. Therefore, the leading countries, like United States and Japan, will face the strong threat from them very soon.

  173. Alex Yeuchyk

    Over the last month I enjoyed reading the rest of the flatteners and came to the most interesting part of the book which is a completely fascinating analysis of the contemporary situation on the US through the effects of globalization.
    The author describes several processes that have started in the world at the time when he was writing the book, and that became obviously the major drivers of change in the contemporary world. It is amazing how the author could discern processes that have only started at that time, and how he could discern and predict their importance in reshaping the world. Work-flow software gave basis for the universally accepted and thus easily understood communication format. It standardizes and facilitated communication among myriads of people that otherwise would ever be able to even know about each other’s existence and more important, knowledge. Web standard programming languages allowed information be available to everyone through uploading. Every piece of information that people know and want to share became easily uploaded at the source and read or downloaded by other users. Examples are numerous: Wikipedia, blogs, multiple community-developed and distributed software (freeware).

    All flattener forces taken together turn out to be tightly intertwined. The above forces gave live to outsourcing of services and off-shoring of labor-intensive manufacturing processes from areas with costly work force to developing countries like India and China.
    Supply-chaining also became one of the biggest results of the globalization driven by the previously described processes. Author gives the example of Wall-Mark as a perfectly tuned gigantic supply-chain platform that does not produce anything and only creates interface between manufacturers and consumers. By its pursuit of lowest prices Wall-Mart drives thousands of businesses all over the world to minimize production costs often by suppressing benefits of workers or creating a fierce merciless competition among businesses.

    Insourcing served as another world flattering process by allowing companies’ inventory being managed by other businesses. That greatly optimized operating efficiency and stock levels, and allowed businesses be enlarge and in some cases even globalize their exposure to markets. For instance, Nike was quite successful insourcing his inventory and supply-chain management to UPS. Toshiba followed that example, and improved its customers service in the US what was previously very difficult to attain.
    Another phenomenon, Infroming, has and will continuously increase people’s reach to the global knowledge through search engines. As the extent of information on a number of subjects increases, information about people themselves will become more and more accessible.

    As a final force, “steroids” have started and will continue enhancing effects of flatteners. Virtually free Voice over Internet protocol has seen a tremendous popularity and stimulated information exchange over the globe. Various international businesses used it to start up new activities. Service industries relocated from developed countries to places where labor is cheaper creating new balance in service industries.

    Now day’s business schools teach these subjects as part of curriculum. A lot of research has been done, books have been published on how to perform outsoursing, insourcing, supply-chaining, offshoring and other flatteners. It has become obvious that driving forces of flatteners have become closely intertwined. They opened markets to global work force. Emergence of these flatteners coincided with democratization and openness of former Soviet block, India and Latin America. Qualified but cheap labor supply increased and the above forces allowed these billions of people integrate in global economy.

    Up to this point the book describes processes that we have become familiar with by observing every day and being part of. Further reflections provided in the book the author cites shocking examples of the effects of the ten flatteners. The world has started acting in quite unconventional way. New streams of information have to be sorted out, old knowledge was becoming obsolete, too expensive and non competitive. What kind of the new knowledge was in demand? What countries are going to create it, the United States, as in the past? Statistics said that Asian countries produce eight times more engineers than the US, and the US are on the way to loose its capacity to produce well educated specialists by 2020 if major changes in the education system are implemented. Consequently, it risks loosing its positions in other sectors because of lack of competitive productive work force in the US. The effectiveness of American immigration policy based on attraction of talented workforce has become doubtful as flattening has provided them with the ability to collaborate with other scientists and innovate without physically relocating to developed countries and especially in the US where after the 9/11 visas became mush harder to obtain, concludes the author talking about a new phenomenon that he calls “reverse brain drain“. Friedman covers a range of subjects form geopolitical matters to parenting. The former needs to be changes too. Children need to be taken care of not only with satisfaction of their image needs through iPods and other gadgets, but mostly through turning back on their ambition sense and brining it up to a competitive level.

    I am looking forward to continue reading the book. It abounds facts reflections and conclusions that fascinate with their depth and shocking reality. I want to believe that candidates for the upcoming Presidential election have had time to read the book and would be able to borrow at least some of its thoughts.

  174. Lanjie Xu

    Part 2 of 3
    Since my last posting, I have now read up to chapter 9 in this book. In addition to the ten flatteners, which I discussed last time, this time Friedman offers “the triple convergence,” three additional components that acted on the flatteners to create a new, flatter global playing field. First, up until the year 2000, the ten flatteners were semi-independent from one another. Second, after the emergence of the ten flatteners, a new business model was required to succeed. Third, After the fall of the Berlin Wall, countries that had followed the Soviet economic model—including India, China, Russia, and the nations of Eastern Europe, Latin America, and Central Asia—began to open up their economies to the world.
    For the next sector-America and the Flat world, Friedman explains how America is related to the flat world. In this brand new sector, He concludes that erecting borders and walls would be detrimental to our goals and that Americans must instead be prepared to compete on a global playing field. He suggests that we must make ourselves “untouchables” is explored in detail as he identifies three broad categories of workers who will have job security. For the “right stuff” part, he shows us the characteristics he thinks a right stuff should have, for example, the ability to handle stress. In addition, he warns us the importance of education and knowledge in the flat world. Last, He compares the crisis to that we faced in competing with the Soviet Union and the launch of Sputnik.
    Overall, I am enjoyable with this book and I will begin my last one-third part soon.

  175. Kyle Barna

    In the last month I read chapters 8-12. In these chapters Friedman moved from his discussion of what jobs are secure in a global market and how most Americans are unable to recognize that while for decades we were complacent in our abilities, other nations have quickly surpassed our former domination in certain markets. The only way to overcome this, is for Americans to accept the reality of this situation and make an effort to continuously improve themselves. In addition companies must work to continually foster a culture of creativity and innovation. In chapter twelve he explains that while it is evident the world continues to flatten there are factors that make complete flatness impossible: disease epidemics (AIDS); nations lacking resources/ infrastructure; the “haves” dominating over the “have nots.”

    I completely agree with Friedman in the complacency of Americans, the majority have no idea that countries in Asia, the Middle East, India, Europe are 1.) developed nations 2.) own a large stake of the American economy and 3.) pose an immediate competitive threat to American commerce. What is needed is a completely new way of thinking of how children are educated. Currently all of the American education system is based solely on preparing an individual for a job as specified by a company, 18 to 22 to 28 years of a persons life devoted to giving a specialization that has absolutely no guarantee of a secure, lifetime job. From early on children shouldn’t be simply placed in certain competency tracks of education but given a broad range of skills to allow them to compete global and encouraged to continue learn for their entire life.

  176. Raed Jabaji

    The second third of the book started of with what seemed to be a re-emphasis and repetition of concepts previously stated, with a little bit more detail on the convergence but overall nothing groundbreaking. It was interesting to see Marx’s vision of the future and how true it was, however how we are happy with it and how we are working to strengthen it rather than break it down as he wanted…

    From there the book gets more interesting and, unfortunately, more depressing; Though it is stating conclusions at which I had previously considered, seeing these conclusions in print and yet not seeing considerable effort to correct problems (many were not even mentioned throughout our current election)… It is true that companies, centered in America, but taking advantage of the ability to use the workforce and benefits of developing nations produces similutaneous growth and a larger “pie” and that the workforce must be more collaborative, and that we must view things from multiple perspectives…. However it is also true that we are falling behind, that we lack encouragement and funding to continue to be a force and that in this environment we will, not we might, but we will fall behind if there are no changes. Though born in the US, I have studied overseas and have seen how week our educational system is, my science undergrad and experience has made me a first hand witness to the lack of research funding, my interaction with others has also made me a witness to the lack of drive (something Japan is also currently dealing with (http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122548483530388957.html)). I remark to my international colleagues that by the time I have kids and they go to college I’ll have to send them overseas… It seems more and more likely that I’ll be right…

  177. Chang, Ting-Chia

    Since my last posting, I have already finished chapter 10 in this book. Friedman gave us ten forces which make the world become flat. Also, the author give us how to response and survive in this changing period. Under globalization, you could discover huge business opportunity. However, the rest of people who do nothing different from past will be knocked out of the business. The flatter world would be much more different in some aspect. First, the high intensive cross-country business reduces the possibility of war. Second, the higher intensive competition should be expected. Not only native competitors but also foreign competitors will join and share your market. How to use new knowledge and new tech to improve your competitive capability is much more important.

  178. Ying Shan

    Chapter 7 explores the important aspects of learning, and reasons why America can stand head and shoulder above others. The important aspects of learning is to keep passion and curiosity, these are the factors which drives the success of people. As to the valuable fortune of America, is the combination of regulations, laws, trust and cooperation, innovation. Chapter 8 identified the potential threaten to America, the threat from talent all over the world. The young people in countries such as China and Indian in generally work very hard and could master science knowledge much better than American young generation do. Moreover, author argues that the flat world will bring more competition and demand for more sophisticated knowledge. Therefore, American can not afford to cut the budget in field of science and can not afford to ignore the importance of knowledge and research. Chapter 9 addressed the seriousness of the fact that America does not have the huge advantage as it had before, and America should really sense the crisis and try hard to maintain its position. It also addressed that the flat world is actually the competition of nothing else but talent. The injection of foreign talent is very beneficial to the research and development of US. The chapter 10 is more interesting; it explored the factors of success and development in china, and address why Mexico lose its position in world market.

    From these chapters, I grasp the overall picture of how flat the world is and how the changes were gradually made during these years. I experienced the rapid development of china and the competition between talented young generations. I thought that the whole world was learning from the quickly updated knowledge and having stronger desire of learning. From the book, I noticed that not all the counties in the world have the same core value, and desire of learning, developing and winning. We took many subjects and English and science was highly emphasized. We were educated that if we do not study hard, we will be washed out of the competition, competition of better opportunities, higher social position and better living conditions. We were study hard and always got endless work to do, and we were promised that if we work hard enough, we ll stand the chance to go abroad for further education or have a very decent job in big cities. I can tell that most of the young generations work hard to realize their dreams and the dreams of their parents in china, and the industriousness surprised most of my American friends, classmates and students. They cannot believe it while we take it for granted. We value the improving living condition and education recourses, we watched closely on how fast the flat world is developing and how knowledge is respected by all.

    Moreover, just as the author mentioned, One Coefficient of “flat” is the amount of nature recourses. The less resource the country has, the flatter it could be. I strongly agree with that. the rich recourses could give the country satisfaction about the current situation and has less motivation to make self development. In opposite, the country with poor recourses always be aware of their crisis and would put best effort forward to make sure they could survive. Japan is the best example which educated us as well.
    These chapters motivated me a lot. I would like to work harder to put myself in a competitive position and contribute more to my country. I think the global competition will gradually change the current position of every country. Although the changes are not taken place overnight, it could gradually happen and the ones who did not paid enough attention to change the current situation and develop themselves will pay big price.

  179. Anthony Olenik

    This blog comments up to Chapter 12. Friedman addresses how the American middle class is transforming into a class with eight different categories. To stay competitive in a flat economy, the middle class has to develop its abilities in strategic categories: curiosity and passion for their jobs, learning how to learn, thinking in the abstract, and having people skills. America has the potential to stay competitive in the global economy. We are just facing key problems that need to be addressed: less technical careers and degrees being pursued than ever before in our nation, a lack of ambition in working adults, an inadequate public school system, and less funding in the mathematics and science fields.

    While there are many problems holding back the United State’s true potential in recent decades, the source of trouble is what must be corrected. Many blame the internet, Hollywood, video games, and other things, but these are symptoms of the American education problem to a great extent. The spectrum of public schools from inner city to wealthy suburbs showcases the disparity in the system. Most students are not privy to a public school with a wealth of resources and top notch teachers. To retool the U.S. for a flat economy, the first area of attention has to be our children’s schooling because without competent future talent, there will be little future success.

  180. dipankar rai

    In the third chapter Friedman interviews with the U.S Embassy officials in Beijing where they show the fact that the young generation want to study and work in the U.S. We also know that the Boeing jet outsources part of its manufacturinf facility to Russia and India.
    In the fourth chapter he compares the Industrial Revolution to the IT revolution and shows the the world is flattening. He interviews Michael J. Sandel a political theorist discussed whether the outsourced people are being exploited or given opportunity. He talks about a company being outsourced to India from Indiana giving jobs to the Indians but on the otherhand causing a loss of jobs for the people in Indiana.

  181. Molly McManus

    I have completed the ‘How the World Became Flat’ section of “The World Is Flat” by Thomas Friedman. It amazes me that while all of this “flattening” was going on around me I never really asked how or why these opportunities, trends, and booms were happening. This section basically explains how the fall of the Berlin Wall, the introduction of Windows and Netscape, and the growth of work flow software set the Global Platform which allowed the world to become more connected, globally competitive, and much more efficient. Next, 6 new forms of collaboration came and emerged and enhanced and leveled this global landscape.
    The emergence of uploading, outsourcing, offshoring, supply chaining, and insourcing helped companies large and small to lower overall costs, increase productivity and efficiencies, and enabled them to concentrate on their core competencies. At the same time, individuals also gained empowerment and were introduced to the countless information and overall knowledge available through the flattener of in-forming through the various search engines that came about. Any person, as long as they had access to the Internet, could become a specialist in any area because they could conduct various amounts of research on any topic. Finally, the “steroids” or personal devices gave companies and individuals alike the ability to have ‘knowledge at their finger tips’, anytime and anywhere in the world.
    The explanations and examples that Friedman stated with the 10 flatteners made the how’s and why’s of the Internet boom and overall trend toward globalization and collaboration much more clearer to me. It helped to see how this platform emerged and the other factors that made it grow so fast. I am excited to see what else he has to say about the future of this flattening world.

  182. Jun Guo

    Through the wonderful journey that Friedman is taking us, we could see that in the world today, in the world where all information is shared and connected, labor and products are also being shared and connected. Everything could be realized more efficiently and low-cost. Globalization cannot be stopped, American workers, accountants, engineers or programmers, they all have to work just as hard to compete in a seemingly far but actually very intense market. In the later chapters, he also shows us the 10 factors that caused globalization and the consequences that globalization brings us: politically, technically or even in people’s mentality.

  183. Hainan Sheng

    Facing a flat world, Friedman is optimistic. He thinks the fact that the world became flat is actually a great thing. Developing countries will benefit from it, and it won’t be a threat like some critics say that it is going to hurt developed countries’ economy unless these countries are set for what they have now and remain in a cold-war type of philosophy and rather complain than stand up and fight back. However, the author also mentioned that through globalization, terrorist groups are also getting benefit from it, and makes it more difficult to stop. But his attitude has always been consistent, by working together closer than ever, corporate and compete financially, instead of rejecting and swirling in a vicious circle, they would realize and therefore drop their original ideas and bring world peace.

  184. Matthew Passero

    Book Review #3:

    Picking up from where I last left off…chapter 10 mainly deals with Friedman’s interpretation of companies which have been able to grow in today’s day, which he believes indicates that these companies are those that are most prepared for change. He then follows up this theory with seven rules he has learned from these companies over time. In his next chapter he then goes into detail about why the overall “flattening” process could possibly go wrong. More specifically, he describes what problems get in the way of this process and how we as a global community can collaborate better to overcome these issues. In chapter twelve he mainly reflects on the affect that supply chains have on politics and the countries they affect by using Dell as an example. In his final chapter he goes over two important dates in “world flattening” history, which are 11/9(destruction of the Berlin Wall) and 9/11. He claims that 11/9 created a freer, flatter, and democratic world, whereas 9/11 truly changed every countries perception of outside threats and how this then calls for creativity and opens many new doors of opportunity.

    Overall, these final chapters don’t differ too much from the previous ones, in the sense that Friedman is still correlating all of these topics to the one same main theme found all throughout. I still feel that much of this is really subjective and is so complex that there is still much research to be done to support all of Friedman’s theories.

  185. Scott Buckley

    Post #2

    Friedman began to explain his “Ten Forces That Flattened The World.” This chapter was very interesting because it follows my entire lifespan. I have lived through all of the events beginning with the fall of the Berlin wall. Granted, I was not old enough to comprehend somethings that were happening, but Friedman brings these events together so well. I always understood the significance of each event individually or in a different context, but never thought of the summation of these events on a grander scale. Many of us take these advances for granted now that they are mostly commoditized and part of everyday life. All of the flatteners have a huge effect on the world, but right now I think the information-related forces have been the most significant. I view the digitization of information as the new printing press. The printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg in 1463 and later the rotary printing press was developed by Richard M. Hoe in 1833. Information isn’t much good in the hands of one, but these innovations facilitated the spread of information to the masses and spurred more thought and future innovation than anyone could have imagined.

  186. Ryan Morris

    The second set of two hundred pages in the Friedman book finishes up discussing how the world became flat, then looks at America’s place in the flat world – what its strengths and weaknesses are as we move forward. In the early 2000s, once the ten flatteners were established and managers had learned how to use and apply them in congruence, individuals from countries that had not previously been large players on the world stage were released into the market. This triple convergence lead to Globalization 3.0, where individuals – rather than states and corporations – are the empowered actors. The amount of human capital in the free market rose precipitously, and these individuals could collaborate more efficiently and compete anywhere on Earth. All of this new competition means Americans must work to make themselves outsource-proof, and they can do this by getting jobs in green industries or supply chain management, by enhancing mathematical skills, and most of all by being adaptable. America has some of what is necessary to compete – creative, well-rounded people, an open society, strong labor and property laws, and stable government – but also faces some serious educational troubles.

    My critical comment for this section is reserved for Friedman’s statement, “Everyone should have a chance to be educated beyond high school… We have to increase the government subsidies…” (p. 388). That’s a nice goal, but there are some inherent economic problems with it. Increasing demand (# of students going to college) without increasing supply (# of admittances) as much leads to an increase in price, which is what we’ve seen in the US. Government subsidizing education has lead to inflation of college costs – universities have little incentive to manage costs when they are getting so many applicants. On top of that, the US is not experiencing higher graduation rates (link below). However, if more students did graduate, then that would lower the value of a bachelors degree by flooding the market with graduates, while at the same time cost had risen.

    http://www.act.org/news/releases/2002/11-15-02.html

    http://www.cato.org/dailypodcast/podcast-archive.php?podcast_id=372

  187. Ryan Morris

    The second set of two hundred pages in the Friedman book finishes up discussing how the world became flat, then looks at America’s place in the flat world – what its strengths and weaknesses are as we move forward. In the early 2000s, once the ten flatteners were established and managers had learned how to use and apply them in congruence, individuals from countries that had not previously been large players on the world stage were released into the market. This triple convergence lead to Globalization 3.0, where individuals – rather than states and corporations – are the empowered actors. The amount of human capital in the free market rose precipitously, and these individuals could collaborate more efficiently and compete anywhere on Earth. All of this new competition means Americans must work to make themselves outsource-proof, and they can do this by getting jobs in green industries or supply chain management, by enhancing mathematical skills, and most of all by being adaptable. America has some of what is necessary to compete – creative, well-rounded people, an open society, strong labor and property laws, and stable government – but also faces some serious educational troubles.

    My critical comment for this section is reserved for Friedman’s statement, “Everyone should have a chance to be educated beyond high school… We have to increase the government subsidies…” (p. 388). That’s a nice goal, but there are some inherent economic problems with it. Increasing demand (# of students going to college) without increasing supply (# of admittances) as much leads to an increase in price, which is what we’ve seen in the US. Government subsidizing education has lead to inflation of college costs – universities have little incentive to manage costs when they are getting so many applicants. On top of that, the US is experiencing lower graduation rates from college entrants. However, if more students did graduate, then that would lower the value of a bachelors degree by flooding the market with graduates, while at the same time cost had risen.

  188. Jeanette Cole

    Since my last blog posting, I have completed the second half of Friedman’s “The World is Flat.” One of the things that stood out to me was the “rules” for living in a flat world that were presented in Chapter 11. Overall, in chapters 12-14 I found that the general focus of the text was to display the impact of globalization on the developed and developing world. In particular Friedman mentions the cultural impact of globalization and that in order for you to take part in this global world you need to get up and make it happen by yourself. Two other points that I found of particular interest was Friedman’s idea of the “Age of Interruption” and the “McDonald’s/Dell Theory.” I thought that Friedman presented support for these theories well and are worthy of noting.
    In the second half of the book I felt that again Friedman continued to draw on the overall notion of his thesis. The second half of the book provides numerous examples and stories of how the flattening of the world has affected the entire globe. Likewise, I feel that he introduces new extensions to his theory, such as the “Age of Interruption” that I previously mentioned. I feel that if Friedman was able to expand more on some of the extensions that are supporting his theory that it would provide a valuable aspect to the theory and book overall. With that said, I feel that his book, as he is continually adding and updating it, should be broken into smaller books each focusing on a particular topic that he could dedicate entirely to the purpose of the text as apposed to trying to lump it all in one book.

  189. Yiruo Ge

    This is the very last set of book review for the semester. I finished reading the entire book up until chapter 15. So continuing on from last time, Chapter 10 mainly focuses on the impact of globalization on developing countries, represented by China. Friedman describes China as a powerhouse of low cost manufacturing for the world. Compared with another fast developing country—Mexico, Chinese products have been penetrating every corner of the world and replacing a great number of Mexican made merchandise in their own marketplace. Shocked by the competence of China in competing everywhere with everyone on a broad range of manufactured products, Friedman calls for developing countries to put effort on maintaining a sustainable growth path; particularly for works on policies and reforms that would transform education, infrastructure, and governance in a deeper fashion. Chapter 11 talks about the various business strategies companies usually employ in such a globalized environment. Several rules are introduced as an effort to guide companies’ strategies. The ideas included “small companies flourish in the flat world is by learning to act really big”; “the best companies are the best collaborators”; and “the best companies outsource to win, not to shrink”, etc.

    Chapter 12 shifts our focus from the flattening world a bit, and provides an inside look from the other side of the world—people who are ill and disempowered. They have been the victims of the flattening world as they are left behind more and more. Also, different cultures and societies encounter each other in a way that conflicts often occur. This frustration may lead to negative consequences as a result of globalization. In Chapter 13, Friedman explores the idea of “globalization means Americanization”. He believes that new forms of communication and innovation in this globalization era overall dominates the drawbacks it brings to different cultural barriers and inequality. Then Chapter 14 examines the global supply chain management through a study of Friedman’s own Dell computer story. However, the hidden and deeper implied meaning of this chapter is that global supply chains and business prosperity are much more important and critical than certain political beliefs. Friedman thinks two states with investment with each other are less likely of going to a war, because the price would be so high that they cannot even afford as a consequence. Finally, the last chapter of the book, in chapter 15 Friedman challenges us to think about the effect of the flattening of the world both positively and negatively. The forces of globalization could both benefit and prosper the world, or it could both destroy and crush the world community. Examples of eBay and India show different types of creativity in today’s world, and in the end, Friedman concludes the book by stressing the importance of imagination and the mandate of acting on it, for the better and progressive development of the world.

    One interesting point Friedman touches upon is the notion of the unflat world. The whole book talks about how the ten forces drive the world to be flat, and yet this group of people who are less fortunate due to serious diseases like AIDS, have been forced to forgo their opportunities to participate in the process of changing the world. As the globe focuses on technology development, outsourcing, more production, and business collaboration, shouldn’t these people be paid more attention and obtaining the necessary care from the international community? Globalization has no doubt created inequality around the world. If the sick and disempowered don’t get enough help, the situation then is likely to slow down and destabilizes the process of globalization.

  190. Daniel Pokidaylo

    In Chapter 11, Friedman explains his seven rules for companies to follow in order to become successful in a globalized economy. He draws his conclusions from personal interviews and observations and gives several examples on how companies need to succeed. The first few rules explain the little things companies should do, such as listen to their customers to cater to their needs. Then the next 4 rules all explain ways in which to specialize and outsource so that your company is reaping economies of scales and comparative advantages. Friedman explains that by outsourcing, you will basically eliminate the zero NPV projects and focus on the core of your business. This will allow you to grow as a business and outsource in order to gain more knowledge and innovation rather than shifting employees to a foreign nation for cheaper labor.

    In chapter 12, Friedman explains possible scenarios where the world is not flat. He mentions people that are too sick in developing nations, people that know what is going on but do not have the capabilities of changing, and people such as terrorists that are against globalization. In the next chapter he discusses how globalization informs people of each others local cultures, and anyone with the internet can learn anything they want about other people and the way they live.

    Chapter 14 is much more interesting in explaining how supply chains can prevent wars. He mentions countries such as Singapore, Thailand and Japan can avoid war because they are all involved in similar supply chains, as opposed to countries such as Syria, North Korea, and Iraq who are not globally invested in any supply chain. He gives us two examples; the first being Taiwan’s independence from China (and how the DPP lost due to China’s economic power in Taiwan) and the other example being India’s urging of Americans to leave the country because a war with Pakistan was emerging (and India’s scare of losing American business).

    Finally, in the novel’s last chapter, Friedman discusses the power of people’s imagination in the world. He explains how countries where, for example, oil is the only way they make money, the people live in unflattened worlds where anything negative can easily happen (i.e. 9/11), and in countries such as Bahrain where there is no oil, they are extremely innovative and non-violent. It is funny that Friedman talks about how globalization is necessary throughout the book, and then at the end says that he realized when his daughter goes to college that the world is so much more unsafe now then it used to be. I find it interesting that he ends the book on that note, and with the final chapter explaining all the negative sides to globalization. I did enjoy reading about how he believes democratic countries, or even countries that are economically tied to one another can live in peace and harmony, but the countries that hide from the rest of the world (economically and politically) are the ones that we have to be scared of. Although there are definite downfalls to globalization, I enjoyed reading the novel and seeing all the benefits of it as well.

  191. Kuo-Shen Huang

    After reading all of the books, I can deeply conceive that the world is changing everyday. That means that you should not complain this trend but, on the contrary, need to continuously adapt or even embrace this trend so that you will not be eliminated from the world.
    Technology evolves many convenient communication skills and shortens the distance in any corner of the world. The appearance of Internet and satellite communication not only enriches our life but also let us take advantage of this to develop our strength. What I got this book is how “flat” the world” is right now or even “will be” in the future. Those examples and the author’s experience all bring me to recognize the interesting role of country and inspire me to explore more from the real world.

  192. Michael Warren

    I have now finished reading The World is Flat. In the last 200 pages Friedman talks about why flattening can go wrong and how the world is not flat for certain people such as the too sick and too disempowered. He goes on to talk about effects on cultures from the flattening world. Friedman believes that the flattening world would lead to a diversity of culture more so than a homogeneous one. This is due to the Internet and easy communication that anyone can put information on the web. He finishes his book by comparing 11/9 and 9/11. The fall of the Berlin Wall created a more open world whereas 9/11 closed the world. It is not only good enough to imagine that things could be better in the world but you must act on that imagination. The World is Flat is a good book and I recommend that everyone should read it.

  193. Hainan Sheng

    For the last four chapters I read during this month, Friedman shares stories of the world flattening but humbly announces that he does indeed realize the world is not yet flat. He examines different groups of people he believes are disadvantaged for one reason or another and the way that this keeps them from moving forward into a flattened world. Different societies and cultures are coming into contact with each other more frequently and more quickly than ever before, leading to great frustration. In the chapter thirteen, as new forms of communication and innovation create a global platform for the sharing of work, entertainment and opinion, Friedman believes that globalization serves more to enrich and preserve culture than to destroy it, as each person is given their own voice and vehicle of expression through podcasts, websites, etc. Friedman also examines how geopolitical conflicts could derail or slow globalization. In the last chapter, It begins by examining two significant dates in world flattening: 11/9 as an example of creative imagination and 9/11 as destructive imagination. 11/9, with the destruction of the Berlin Wall, was the door opening to a freer, flatter, and more democratic world, where 9/11 saw our world try to snap shut against outside threat. This is Friedman’s call for positive creativity and giving people the tools to do positive things with what is available through the opening of so many doors. Friedman concludes that the forces that flatten the world can be used to bring everyone up to the same level, or to bring them all down to the same level. Those of us who live in free and progressive societies must lead others to use their imaginations without allowing their imaginations to get the best of them – or us. Technology cannot protect us; we must harness that technology and decide how it will be used. This requires us to define the line between precaution and paranoia to keep things in perspective in a flat world.

  194. Anthony Olenik

    This blog covers Chapter 12 to the end of The World is Flat. Friedman addresses three different scenarios that can keep the world from flattening for many people: sickness and disease preventing advancement of developing nations; citizens in flattening countries that cannot partake because of lack of education and infrastructure in their region; and organizations frustrated with Western civilization such as terrorist groups. Chapter 13 discusses the power the internet has to globalize cultures, not just American culture. Local cultures can spread there ideas and traditions easily via the web. Chapter 14 discusses the idea of how Just-In-Time supply chains help to prevent war. Specifically he cites Southeast Asia, and India and Pakistan, where several companies are all interconnected and any war type interruption would incur heavy financial casualties for the region in general. The final chapter brings up how people’s imaginations can shape world events for better or worse. Imagination can create better technologies and uses for them, or technologies can be used by those aimed at stopping globalization events and influences.
    While Friedman discusses the pros and cons of globalization throughout the book, he realizes the process is present and will not subside. The world is undoubtedly becoming flat and we have no choice but to embrace it, deal with the negatives in an appropriate manner, and adjust as Friedman describes throughout his book. The ending about his daughter Orly leaving for college in a much more dangerous world than when Friedman or she was born is eerie but true. Friedman grew up with the Cold War and nuclear disaster always a possibility. Orly and my generation grew up with the collapse of a communist empire and expansion of the internet. Now this generation is faced with globalization and all the problems attached to it such as the spread of nuclear weapons, terrorism, weapons availability, and bio-warfare, not to mention shifting economies and job losses. Friedman presented much about how to enter a flat world and maintain a competitive national advantage, but dealing with all the attached problems is something no one can say “here is the definitive solution we must follow.”

  195. dipankar rai

    In chapter 5 Friedman says that banning outsourcing will be a disadvantage to Americans and encourages better education and training since Americans are competing with workforce all over the world. He says that the workers will suffer the most if they are unable to be ahead of the globalization trend.
    In chapter 6 he further talks about who will have job security in this flat world. The viable career options are synthesizers, explainers, leveragers, versatilists and more.
    In chapter 7 he stresses about the important education. He stresses the importance of self-learning and provides advice to the parents unsure of their children’s future. He considers developing the right brain skills and examines the factors to create this environment .
    In chapter 8 he states the U.S Olympic Basketball team’s loss in 2004 Games as an example of how the rest of the world is catching up. He then goes into the lack of skilled scientists, engineers, funding and infrastructure as America focuses on war and the other countries focus on developing their businesses. He ends the chapter with a call to action to start preparing America for the future.
    In chapter 9 he talks about a change in the strategy and states the example of the launch of Sputnik. He says that political barriers are a disadvantage to prepare America for what lies ahead. Finally he explains how companies such as Capital One are providing training to upgrade its employees.
    In chapter 10 he talks about the problem created by when developing countries compete with one another using the Virgin of Guadalupe as an example. He states that developing countries should have policies to facilitate its companies to succeed in the present environment.
    In chapter 11 he says that companies willing to change are more likely to be successful in the future. He talks about Fadi Ghandour, cofounder and CEO of Aramex, a home-grown package delivery service whose web-based company helped him to compete globally and cut costs. He stresses that companies should focus on niche market. He comes back to outsourcing saying that companies should practice it to provide services efeciently. He also talks about outsourcing with social responsibility.
    In chapter 12 he talks bout how different people are kept from moving towards a flattened world . He talks about how different cultures and socities are clashing since they don’t get along. He takes the Arab-Muslim youth as an example as shows the impact of freedom of thought and expression that has been created.
    In chapter 13 he talks about impact of globalization on cultures and traditions. He talks about how globalisation is seen as Americanization and some are against this notion. However he does believe that globalization tend to preserve culture than to destroy it. He also talks about how the wrong people can take advantage of this.
    In chapter 14 he talks about the supply chain using his experience of buying a computer as an example. He states that two countries doing business together would less likely go in war since it would hurt the supply chain. He shows how Asia has been more stable than the Middle East. He talks about the China-Taiwan and the India-Pakistan issue and shows how diplomatic solution is the better solution since the cost of war is too expensive. He also talks about how terrorist networks also use the supply chain for the purpose of destruction .
    In chapter 15 he shows how things have changed pre 9/11 and post 9/11. He talks about how Bin Laden planned with perfection. He simply wants to show how globalization can be used to uplift a society or destroy one. He says people living in progressive societies must lead others. He shows how India , the second largest Muslim country in the world is different than the Arab countries. He comes back to Aramex and shows how a small Arab company made it big in the world.

  196. Larysa Karasev

    I have finished reading the book. I have not found any new ideas in the last part of the book, Friedman just brings a lot of examples of how globalizations has made changes and how it impacts individuals and the world. I found the author overly excited by globalization process and its consequences. I could not found any serious concerns about possible negative impact of flattening such as cultural, religious, environmental and economical issues. I understand why this book became a bestseller; it’s very easy to fall in love with Freidman’s ideas as he present them in such a cheerful and persuading way. But I think that every person should be very critical when something so global is happening and touches almost everyone on the planet. It’s very easy to be excited, but it can lead to even more devastating events than 9/11. Terrorism is a product of very deep different basics and roots and can’t be eliminated by only bringing factories to Asia or Africa. New employees could hate US even more after it as they would feel that USA uses people, has slaves again, pollute their countries and dictates governments what to do. We need to be cautious and think not only about profit and better higher education, but for all other possible consequences of flattening of the world too.

  197. Lanjie Xu

    Part 3 of 3
    I have finished doing this book. The last part begins from Chap 10 of the book. Chapter 10 talks much about the developing countries, saying China replaced Mexico as the U.S.’s number two importer in 2003. As a Chinese, I do see the advantages of exporting products to developed countries. However, I also see the disadvantages of exporting, which I would discuss the details in my final paper. In the later chapter, Friedman also states companies should be open-minded and willing to face changes. For the globalization and local part, Friedman thinks the advantages of globalization for us are much more than the disadvantages. Last, he compares 9/11 and 11/9, these are the two dates represent the two competing forms of imagination at work in the world: the creative imagination of 11/9 and the destructive imagination of 9/11/.

  198. Jasmit Singh

    Towards the end of the book Friedman makes a point where he states that he very well realizes that the world is not completely flat as what it appears to be in the first ¾ part of the book .When it is said that a lot of technical jobs are being outsourced to developing countries like India we also need to take into consideration the percentage of people involved in those jobs. Although he believes that many people might confuse globalization with Americanization the author strongly suggests that this would help us to preserve our culture. Followed by this the author talks about how can we reduce the chances of two countries getting involved in a war if both of them have some kind of business venture .This would make the countries think about war in a more rational way .The book ends with the author comparing two events in world flattening, the first one being the falling of Berlin Wall which was positive side of the flattening of world whereas 9/11 attack on World Trade Center was the negative side of it. He tries to summarize the book by discussing how we can actually make the world a better place to live by using the forces mentioned earlier in the book. I personally agree to almost everything which Friedman has tried to say in his book but when I was reading the book I expected him to continue talking about the world being completely flat. I think he is a great author and presents his opinion in a very convincing way. However, I would still wait and watch if we can actually preserve our own respective culture(s) in this flat world?

  199. Ying Shan

    I finished the last four chapters of this book and it has themes as follows, companies and the flat world, geopolitics and the flat world, Dell theory of the conflict prevention and conclusion of the entire book. The description is as wonderful as previous chapters and some points especially interesting since it shows me a different perspective of normal things.
    The author summarized 7 rules for companies, especially small business, to operate in a flat world. It is obvious that the companies should change its strategy to survive and be successful in this flat world, sometimes the change is so dramatic that most of its traditional business are sold or outsourced. I did not know Rolls-Royce changed its whole strategy and its core business is not car but more like replenishment. The influence of the flat world also made impossible possible which not only help business development but also realize the dream of non-for profit organizations.
    What I found more interesting is the dell theory and MacDonald’s theory. Most of the product you are using are presented of works all over the world, and also benefited from the global supply chain management. The fast food restaurant can also indicate the geopolitics which is reasonable to some extent. Countries with M sigh consider more about the economic and hesitate to launch wars to hurt the economic growth. It is true that when countries focus on the business and economic development, aimed at raise the living standard of its citizen, it has less motivation, time and energy to be involved in wars. It will not only hurt the economy in short term, but also its image and position in world trade in a long run. Back to hundred years ago, war is a way to accumulate the capital, but in general it is not the case nowadays. What I do not agree with is the solely economic perspective in analysis this Geopolitics. In the flat world, if some countries abuse their power and give some countries hard time, the consequences will be more serious than ever before. The conflict is not only dominated by the economic level of certain countries, but also combines with many other complicated factors. The country with more economic concerns are more hesitate to be involved in wars does not mean these countries are constrained to the economic concern.
    We are living in this flat world and the flat world also brought me with the opportunity to study in US. While it was unimagined for my grandparent to go abroad, it was hard for my parents to study abroad in their 20th, it is comfortable for me to live and study in US without family around. Although there are many draw backs for globalization as we discussed in class, an even more flatter world is predictable.

  200. Wen-Ting (Doris) Wei

    During the Thanksgiving holidays, I have read the last few chapters. Friedman stresses outsourcing and globalization all the time. He also analyzes the advantages and disadvantages of globalization by giving lots of examples. I recalled what I learned from the course about globalization. He took some examples about outsourcing such as the increasing unemployment in the U.S. which is a severe problem nowadays, but we can’t avoid it due to the business trend. Business should change its strategies over time in order to adapt to the environment. We should always do things in a new way because people willing to change are more competent and can handle the coming challenges. A very impressed example is Dell. Dell set many production lines in many countries and uses just-in-time method to reduce cost greatly, and its online system also provides customers around the world more options to purchase computers. This book also talks about business ethics and social responsibility in the back of flattened world.

  201. Tzu-Chuan Chiu (Anson)

    This blog includes chapter 3 to the end of the book, and is part of my final report content. In the third chapter of the book, Thomas Friedman addressed the formation of three convergences. The complementation of the ten driving forces also formed the first convergence in 2000. The adoption of the new rules, new procedures, and new habits by businesses and individuals and the transformation of the value chain from vertical to horizontal form was so-called the second convergence. New players from all directions especially from previous communism society countries become the third convergence and form a keen competition in the flattened world.
    However, the flattened world also brings us several issues needed to be clarified. In the next several chapters, Thomas Friedman touched several issues about the ownership of international companies and intellectual properties and so on. He also pointed out that only if governments, businesses, and individuals clarify and understand the nature of Globalization, they can make the right decisions in the more competitive future. Thomas Friedman discussed how the world is flat and the three convergences will affect the developed and developing countries as well as the enterprises. In his interpretation, the world is not flat nowadays, but it will be flat in the near future. He warned the governments, businesses, and parents need to focus on the younger generation’s education. And he also brought up a whole new idea “The Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention” to explain the phenomenon that as the world is flatter, the ownership of an international business and the supply chain relationship are interwoven among countries. He used this theory to illustrate how Globalization will link every country together and complicate the economic benefit among countries.

  202. Ryan Morris

    In the third section of The World is Flat, Friedman looks at developing countries, companies, and individuals, and what can unrail progress toward the flat world. In order to flourish it in the flat world, states must reform their macroeconomic environment and upgrade their infrastructure (both electronic and roads), education, and public sector. Adaptability is vital in both the developed and developing world – synthesizing the global with the local enhances collaboration and knowledge. For companies to make it in the flat world, firms must be able to expand their production and services while at the same time allow for personalization of service; must boost their collaborative skills; honestly examine themselves and their position; outsource intelligently; and remain open to change. Friedman acknowledges throughout the book that globalization and its side effects are not all good, especially in respect to personal communication. Not only do strangers ignore and/or annoy those next to them with their excessive technology, but any semblance of privacy is about to become extinct.

    There are a few points of contention regarding Friedman’s Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention. First, elaborate global supply chaining is relatively new, and it makes sense that the initial countries collaborating with one another are not adversarial. Going forward, we’ll see how two developing countries from the unflat world respond to one another as they compete against each other on their way up. Second, Friedman gives little to no attention to nationalism. Russia specifically comes to mind here – they have strong influence in their neighboring former Soviet republics, open nationalistic discourse from leading politicians, and plenty of natural resources – particularly oil, which could become an issue with China. Friedman’s theory is untested over any significant time period, and may be susceptible to the rousing forces of nationalism.

  203. Mohit Gupta

    Part 3
    I started reading this book again from chapter 9(This is not a test). Here Friedman stresses on leadership and education. He says it is necessary to learn for workers to remain mobile and adaptable but it seems to be at the bottom of the list and he also examines how companies are working on lifelong learning objective by providing training and upgrading to employees, increasing there own productivity like Capital One.

    Then he tells how China replaced Mexico as the US’s number two importer in 2003, thereby stating that there is a need for the developing countries to put policies in place to create the right environment for their companies and entrepreneurs to succeed in the flat world. After reading chapter 11, I would say that companies willing to change and accept change are more likely to do things than have things done to them. Friedman explored socially responsible outsourcing; giving the outsourced workers a good wage and opportunity within their own country that they would not have otherwise. He also gave examples of Starbucks, Aramex, etc. that how they are working to stay in front of their customers and outsourcing the rest. And I totally agree with him when he says that it might be possible that Globalization will lead to the rule by less powerful or developing nations.

    I really liked the last two chapters of this book i.e., Dell Theory and 9/11. In Dell theory I like this point where he tries to say that when two nations are invested in a business together by being part of the same global supply-chain are less likely to go to a war as both countries has invested heavily in their business venture. And then he ends with a discussion of 9/11 (destructive imagination) v/s 11/9 (creative imagination). By 9/11 he meant the fall of Berlin wall which led to a free, democratic and flat world and by 9/11 he meant the terrorist attack on WTC.

    In my opinion he proved that world is flat in a convincing way. The way the businesses are outsourced to different countries and the

  204. Mohit Gupta

    Contd..Part 3
    the way the large number of students going out of the country for studies prove it.

  205. Scott Buckley

    Part #3

    I’ve just recently read the majority of the book. So, continuing from my last post, Friedman discusses how all of the Ten Flatteners have converged to allow new ways of doing business through improved collaboration, new skills and new countries that are participating in the globalization effort. He explains how this convergence will affect the world, what new business standards will be established and issues that will arise with further flattening such as the ironic example of a company from India hired to update an unemployment facility in the state of Indiana. Next, Friedman examines how free trade is affecting the United States and that the U.S. should embrace the idea. The U.S. should prepare to compete outright against other firms in different countries instead of spending time and resources delaying this inevitable occurrence. Friedman goes on to explain how future generations should compete and what jobs and skills will be available and valued. He refers to people thriving in the new flat world as “untouchables” meaning that these people have differentiated themselves by gaining skills that cannot be outsourced, digitized or automated. What happens if we fail to prepare future generations for this new competition? This is described as “The Quiet Crisis” and mainly refers to the lack of advanced science and math degrees and lack of ambition in America. The U.S. is slowing down advancement while the rest of the world is taking advantage of the flatteners and gaining significant ground. Lastly, Freidman discusses five goals encompassed by the term “compassionate flatism.” The goals would help prepare Americans for what lies ahead by giving them the skills necessary to compete long-term in the globalized world.

    I would like to address just a couple of things mentioned. I agree with Freidman in that the latest generation of Americans do have low ambition relative to the rest of the world. I think time-wasters are a side effect of some of the flatteners. Internet websites and video games are HUGE distractions to Americans, especially youth (myself included). I read an article that said fantasy football alone costs businesses in the U.S. an estimated $500 million in lost productivity (fantasy games last approximately 16 weeks out of the year). Secondly, it seems as though education has always taken a back seat to other issues, especially on the political stage. Energy, the economy and terrorism were at the forefront of the most recent presidential election. Improving education through increased funding, standards and other reforms, would not only put America back on track to competing with the rest of the world, it might even solve our current problems. I think the public school system is by far the best place to start with improvements. If the majority of students are given a great start, for free, they will be far more likely to obtain a higher education.

  206. James Knoop

    The author begins discussing the impact of the flat world on other entities and starts with developing countries. The important message here is that these countries must recognize the flattening of the world and formulate a strategy which details how they will prevail in this new age. His recommendation is to open your borders to the developed countries, maybe not all at once, and to position your country to be able to prosper with their entrance. To do this the developing nations must be willing to establish a stable environment, a sound infrastructure and develop the powers of their people so that business and countries alike will invest in their country. Companies in the flat world also have to adapt their practices to be able to prosper. The most important thing that they must realize is that if they do not outsource or take advantage of other benefits proposed by the flat world than their competition will and they will be left behind. The affects the flat world will have on an individual will be empowering as long as you have the motivation and desire to make yourself marketable in the flat world. To do this, you must have an array of useful skills and the ability to learn in an ever-changing marketplace. Another section of this book talks about how geopolitics are affected by the flattening of the world. In this section, the author introduces the reader to the unflat portion of the world, which contains a large number of people. He understands that just through the development and progress of globalization some will be included and brought into the flat world, while others will need help to overcome barriers from health to their government to persecution from others within their own countries. He also puts forth the Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention, which he says that any company that is involved heavily in global supply chains will not enter into a major war because this would cause them to lose their place within those supply chains and many companies would fear them as to great a risk to do business with, even years after their war is over. In the conclusion, there is a call to action by the author where he says that if you do not use your imagination and desire to move forward in this flat world, then you will be left behind.

    One item that the author touches upon but does not discuss in enough detail is the unflat world. This portion of the world includes nearly 50% of the global population, but he provides little guidance for how these people will be brought into the flat world platform. While he does recognize their existence and that just allowing the progression of the flat world will not be enough the author does not go into as much detail in this area as in other sections. For the unflat world to be able to join the flat world, there needs to be guidance to these developing countries and the people who live them to allow them to climb out of poverty and into the flat world platform.

  207. Yu-Jen Chen

    After finishing the book, I noticed that globalization is such a powerful force that flattened the world and narrowed the gap between countries. Developing countries can easily catch up with the developed countries and the developed countries might lose their advantages and fall far behind other countries. It makes the trend changing so fast and forces every company have to adjest itself to catch up with the trend. It also makes some comapnies maliciously compete with each other to gain advantages and results in terrible job losses. In stead of outsoucing opportunities overseas to gain advantages from globalization, a company should focus on internal improving first. For example, some companies started to educate their employees about the nature of globalization to increase competitiveness. Strengthening the core value and making itself flexable will make a company more competitive in the flattening world. Thomas Friedman also said that the future will be flatter than now so well educate the younger generation is the most important thing to do now.

  208. ShuChun Yu

    I finished the rest of chapters in the book before the Thanksgiving Holiday. It was impressed me that I am currently experiencing the stories depicted by the author in the remaining chapters. Firstly, I was impressed by the fact that the supply chain management is a weapon as well as a core value to Wal-Mart, the largest retail company in the world. It operates retail stores in various formats including supercenters, discount stores and neighborhood markets. It has approximately 3,280 stores, in 14 markets including Canada, Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Argentina, Brazil, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, China, Japan and United Kingdom and United States. The company is headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas and employs about 2.1 million people. Within US Wal-Mart operates 971 discount stores, 2,447 supercenters, 132 neighborhood markets and 591 Sam’s Clubs in the US. How Wal-Mart can operate globally and various products? Supply Chain Management is the answer and it makes this giant as an integrated system to delivery, directly contact with manufacturer, and optimization its inventory.

    Another thing made me so interesting is that Google plays a significant role for information sharing which can crack the obstacles and also allows individuals around the world to compete on a global platform-an equal opportunity basis. According to Friedman’s description in the book, we are now in the third step of globalization, that is, Globalization Edition 3.0, which is shrinking the world from small to tiny. It is established by the efforts of individuals and groups, involving people who are different in nations, culture, race, and color. It is magic that all people around the world can access the same things at the same time.

    Finally, I think I am lucky enough to live in this era and read the book. I have spent some time to position myself in the flatting world after finishing the book. I will recommend all people have to read the book as reference book to rethink of what the world will be and how the world changes in the future.

  209. Peter Sucher

    The final chapters of this book deal with corporations as well as some ways in which the “flattening” could go wrong. The advice Friedman gives to companies and countries alike is extremely insightful, and proves just how well he is able to understand globalization on a large scale. One of the things that is made clear in this book is that globalization is not something that happened over the last five years; it has been a slow and steady process which has affected almost every part of the world. This shift changed the face of economics and trade as we know it and will continue to do so in the future. With the rapid rate technology is developing it seems this trend will accelerate, and only those who can adapt quickly will survive.

    Although this book was a little bit long winded at times, it contained an impressive amount of information and theory. Thomas Friedman is an excellent writer whose style turns what could be a boring history lesson into a page turner. Overall it was both enjoyable and informative and I would certainly recommend whole-heartedly to anyone interested in business and the world (with a lot of time on their hands).

  210. Alex Yeuchyk

    In the final chapters of the book The World id Flat, T. Friedman addresses the Government that should lead that process supporting it by changing immigration system and creating appealing conditions for prominent researchers to join their American colleagues rather than work from their home countries through Internet. Author determines that technology allowed development of small niche-oriented businesses regardless the size and current image of competitors they would take a market share form. On the same hand, established companies start paying attention to areas they would otherwise overlooked, and improve their historical business models often by outsourcing and investing offshore. Overseas investments are likely to enhance peaceful cooperation between countries as any hostilities are likely to break supply-chain and create more harm than gain. Countries have to be attentive to preservation of such links as there are surging evil forces that profit of flatteners to corrupt global destroy supply-chain. Flatteners give tremendous leverage to humans’ activities and the latter can be directed to completely opposite directions, such as 11/9 or Berlin Wall destruction or 9/11 or attack on the US.
    Surprisingly, from its publication in 2005 the book has become even more relevant as processes described in it take more sensible shapes. I truly believe that it is one of the best strategic analyses available to public over the last decade. There a numerous examples of implementation of its predictions. Thus, more and more businesses have been moving to India and China. That is a direct support to Friedman’s predictions about growth of outsourcing, reverse brain drain and shift towards usage of competitive advantages on the global scale. One of the strongest examples of borderline between good and evil of globalization as depicted in the book is the widespread of the current financial crisis. It shows how closely connected are world financial flows, how flatteners have equipped financial institutions with tools to research information about foreign financial instruments and make investments. When the situation turns bad, though, then the downturn take global extend. Another example of implementation of ideas predicted in the book that impresses me so much would be a very close one. More than a half of students in our MBA program are from overseas, particularly from Asia. These people are interested primarily in acquiring knowledge in areas where the US still keeps a leading position. How long that American competitive advantage will last? According to Friedman and current trends, not for that long if major changes are not implemented promptly on Governmental level.

  211. Hung-Wei Wu

    As we discussed in class, difference between diverse cultures is another significant input affecting economic performance of a particular country. Undoubtedly, some cultures within regions could inspire people to swiftly possess the advantageous information and to effectively utilize those tools. In the book, there are two perspectives of how diversified cultures influence development of a country. First, the extent of extroversion of culture represents the acceptance of exotic cultures or the integration of globalization and localization. On the other hand, the extent of introversion of culture stands for the acknowledgement of solidification of developing national economy within people. In addition, with severe competitive platforms, local cultures find opportunities to demonstrate their unique characteristics and features to the world.
    I found it’s intersting when Friedman mentioned about using imagination to influence the world. The quality of imagination, however, is highly concerned. With appropriate inspiration of creating valuable products or service, companies could form outstanding internal value competing against rivals. Therefore, people would be motivated to think creatively and innovatively.

  212. John Efinger

    After finishing his book, it seems as though Friedman’s message is one of almost a double edged sword, although I suppose that that is how many people think of globalization to begin with. I think one interesting discussion proved to be the “unflatteners” that Friedman describe in the book, such as terrorism. More importantly, I think given the current economic state of the country and world, this discussion becomes even more interesting.

    I know a lot of people believe that globalization is leading to economic turmoil, such as the questions about companies like General Motors and Ford. Although in large part this may be true, as the market for producing a quality car is becoming more competitive, there are obviously differing opinions on whether this is a good or a bad thing. However, I think what will be more interesting is the question of whether the current economic situation will cause Americans, or the world for that matter, to turn inward as Friedman advises against, working as unflatteners.

  213. Kyle Barna

    Since my last post, I have finished the book, reading chapters 13-15. The end of the book simply discuss the socio-economic and geo-political outcomes of globalization. Friedman discusses the impact of globalization on world cultures. The political effects between countries are also shown as a result of supply chains linking regions together. Lastly he notes the contrast globalizing can have on our history by citing both 11/9 and 9/11, showing the great accomplishments and destruct the human minds are capable of.

    It is very interesting to read Friedman’s take on the effects globalization has on cultures and social interactions. Many people in business, don’t consider the far reaching effects business dealing have on people. But as Friedman demonstrates with his Dell laptop case study, simple actions in business have huge effects on the world. In this global environment, next generation managers must consider ever more present global social, political and economic issues when dealing with business.

  214. Seha Islam

    In Chapters 3 through 7, Friedman discusses the convergence effect of the flatteners and argues that around the year 2000, the flatteners truly became complementary forces to each other and the flat world took on a shape that no one person can fully comprehend.

    Another main point of Friedman makes is that in order to stay competitive in the flat world, America must not react in an isolationist and protectionist manner. Out of the space wars came the fall of the Berlin Wall, open societies, and the Internet, which all served to break down barriers and create an even flatter world where many people thrived because of it. Once the tools of the flat world became so widespread and terrorists could use it, we were faced with the attacks of 9/11, against which our retaliation has been over-the-top. Most significantly, Friedman warns against closing America down to immigrants, upon which America has been built.

    The third main point Friedman makes is advice for individuals in a flat world who would like to have stable careers to make a living. He generalizes his strategy as becoming untouchable, creating a specific skill and excelling at it such that it can’t be digitized, imitated, or performed by anyone else in some other location. His chocolate cake metaphor with the graphic designer is one I was able to truly identify with and should keep all business students intellectually stimulated for the rest of their lives. It’s crucial to choose a career that is either anchored for eternity or one in which you develop a skill as special as Michael Jordan’s jumpshot that is absolutely irreplaceable. As someone who has always admired polymaths and strive to be one as much as life permits, Friedman all but argues it impossible for polymaths to survive in a flat world unless their specific skills as a polymath lead to irreplaceable skills. This means we all have to start focusing on one skill that will be our specialty earlier on in our lives so as to avoid becoming people who know a lot about everything but don’t know enough about any one thing to be the expert on it. We would like to be more well-rounded individuals, which is something we pride ourselves with in the U.S., but it is economically more feasible to become focused on our primary skill. Whereas we used to strive to be more well-rounded individuals and our decision-making involved which areas we should give more interest to, we now face a world in which our decision-making has become choosing between developing our primary skill or choosing to round our knowledge of other fields. It would be absolutely impossible to carry conversations with people if we all focused on the one interest/skill that made us different from everybody else. I see this balancing act as being the overarching occupant of our thought process as we grow in our careers.

  215. Seha Islam

    In chapters 8 through 15, Friedman expands his discussion of the consequences of isolationist policies of the U.S. after 9/11 and speaks about warning signs within America that point in an unfavorable direction to be able to compete as a part of the global workforce (e.g. disinterest in math/science, poor scholastic aptitude scores).

    He also expands the notion of creating niche skills and becoming untouchable to companies and countries. He uses the anecdote of the Chinese-made Virgin of Guadalupe statues in Mexico as evidence that countries must be brutally honest with themselves in determining their most efficient competencies to avoid the shock that Mexican villagers faced when they found out that although the cost of labor is low in the country, it can be even lower elsewhere.

    Friedman also argues that globalization is not necessarily Americanization as most opponents view it, but rather an opportunity for each culture to spread and preserve itself by making their heritage available to the entire flat world to see.

    As a starting point, I don’t believe that globalization and Americanization were that much different. Because America and American companies were largely the first to reap the benefits of a flat world, it became the first culture that was spread around the world at a massive pace and available everywhere. As we continue to flatten, however, other nations, cultures, and companies are also able to spread freely. When I was a kid, I could have McDonalds whether I was in Istanbul or the States. Today, the same applies to sushi, sweet and sour chicken, or anything with masala nearly anywhere in the world. Globalization has surely moved away from Americanization. On a side note, every countries’ cuisine and other aspects of their culture can be considered a “God-given” efficient competency to compete in the flat world. It would be very hard to outsource entire cultures into others’ hands in a more competent manner unless there was blatant negligence on their part to maintain it. Exporting culture can always act as the last-resort efficient competency of any nation, enabling them to survive while developing or maintaining other competencies based on other factors such as natural resources, specific professional or worker know-how, etc.

  216. YU-JUI CHEN

    From chapter 11 to 13: Friedman Described the biggest problems, too sick, too disempowered, too frustrated, and too many Toyatas, hindering this flattening process, and brought up the possible solutions. Another important theory was noted in this part-“The Dell theory of conflict prevention”- no two countries that are both part of Dell supply chain will ever fight a war against of each other.

  217. Chin-Hsiang Lin

    The rest of chapters I have finished to read begin to use the main themes to discuss that enterprises should change its strategy to match up with the trend of world, the flat of world so that they could be successful in the world. Due to the big trend of change, most of traditional businesses are sold or outsourced. The themes mentioned in the book like Dell theory and MacDonald’s theory is make me impressing because these two theories are based on globalization theory and they tell us what any kind of products we use all over the world is all benefited from the supply chain management. After reading the book, I can understand why Dell and MacDonald could be successful today.

    In these chapters, Thomas Friedman also brought some issues up, like the ownership of international companies and intellectual properties. What the points he mentioned are that if countries, enterprises, and individual ones can realize that the trend of globalization and then they can make a good decision along with good strategies to compete with other competitors in the future.

    In Thomas Friedman opinion, the world is not flat by now, but it will be getting flat in the future and he emphasized on that the education will be played a very important of successful elements because only higher educated countries can follow the trend of globalization and own a power to get information as soon as possible so that they will not be behind their competitors in the higher competition market. Until I read this issue he mentioned, I think I should appreciate of that I can study abroad and this attributed to be not only supported by my parents but also globalization. It expands the range of my vision as well as enhances my ability of combat efficiency.

  218. Jun Guo

    French Biologist Bastor used to say” fortune favors the prepared mind”. This book also reminded me of something: what am I to do to survive and stay competitive in this battle? Getting a good MBA education is certainly a start, but learning never stops. In a digital world like this, everything could be done electronically; equipping ourselves with more computer-based and software-related knowledge would be very helpful. Know your enemies, keep up with the world, be aware of what is going on in the industry, pay full attention to your competitors, or you will fall in a cut-throat battleground. All in all, prepare yourself with more challenges to come.

  219. Many thanks for sharing this information and facts, I actually appreciate the function and time you might have just take to compose these information. Keep up the good perform and I’d similar to to say that following I come property from perform the job I seriously look forward to reading your thoughts and applying for grants these matters. I’ll be subscribing to the weblog, many thanks once again.

  220. I have been browsing online more than three hours as of late, yet I never discovered any interesting article like yours. It is lovely price enough for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made excellent content as you probably did, the web will likely be much more useful than ever before.

  221. Hola, hola! Czy wiecie, iż bardzo wiele osób cierpi dzisiaj, ze względu na trudności związane z impotencją?
    – jednak jakby nie było, zakupić można świetne medykamenty na potencje, np.
    Vaigra! Zapraszam na witrynę, by przekonać się, jak fajnie działają:

  222. Superb post however , I was wanting to know if you could write a
    litte more on this topic? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s