ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Are we living in a flat world?

Updated on January 24, 2013

The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas L Friedman, Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist turned out to be an international best selling work that explains the world of convergence. In other words, we are living in a flat world. Friedman demystifies the fast paced world of convergence that has turned the world flat. “With his inimitable ability to translate complex foreign policy and economic issues, Friedman explains how the flattening of the world happened at the dawn of the twenty-first century; what it means to countries, companies, communities, and individuals; and how governments and societies can, and must, adapt. The World Is Flat is the timely and essential update on globalization, its successes and discontents, powerfully illuminated by one of our most respected journalists” ( thomaslfriedman.com).

There are several implications of the flat world in the 21st century. For the first time ever in the human history, the world of commerce has created a level playing field and hence an equal opportunity for all competitors. Furthermore, the national geographical boundaries are increasingly becoming meaningless in the global market, hence the nations, companies and the individuals must make a perceptual shift so as to remain competitive in the current global scenario. The inspiration for this book comes to the author from his visit to Bangalore when he realized the core economic concepts were changing as rapidly as the rules of the game in the brave new world



Friedman visualizes three phases of globalization while we are witnessing the third phase. These phases of globalization made the flat world increasingly possible. The first two phases – phaseI (from 1492 to early 1800s) and phaseII (from 1800 onwards) – included countries and the governments bringing about global convergence, while globalization 2.0 was driven by the multinational companies. Globalization 3.0 has literally flattened the world by doing away with the geographical boundaries in a complex web of business relations where workers from typists and call center executives to more skilled workers from India and China work for such companies as Microsoft and Dell. In context of the latest globalization, the author identifies ten flatteners of new global business.

Of the ten flatteners, that is, the events that made the flat world, the first three – fall of Berlin wall in 1989, Netscape going public in 1995 and the creation of workflow software – created a kind of platform for the global collaboration to take place. The fall of Berlin wall represented the breakdown of the East-West global barrier. Five months later, window 3 allowed individuals to create their own digital content. The Netscape revolution in August 1995 created the dotcom boom leading to global connectivity and convergence via optical fiber cables. Similarly the workflow software enabled the companies to communicate within and across the companies leading to yet higher level of connectivity, communication and productivity.

The next six flatteners represent the newly emerging forms of collaboration. Flattener 4 is outsourcing, letting the companies focus on their core competencies as digital technologies allow certain functions to be turned into commodities. Flattener 5 is off-shoring that made companies offset their lack of capital after the dotcom burst. Flattener 6 is uploading identified in more ways than one, each more powerful than the earlier version. Open sourcing allowed individuals to take on the corporation, followed by blogging and podcasting. Friedman identifies supply chaining as the 7th flattener. The example given is that of Wal-Mart, the biggest supply chain giant in America operating globally. The company doesn’t make a thing as it has more than 78,000 manufacturers under its belt. Flattener 8 is Insourcing, while flattener 9 is Informing.Evidently then we are living in a flat world.

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)