The World Is Flat 3.0 Book Summary, by Thomas L. Friedman

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1-Page Summary of The World Is Flat 3.0


Thomas Friedman had an epiphany when he visited the Infosys office in Bangalore, India. He realized that intellectual work can be done anywhere, and that this will level the playing field between America and India. In other words, the world is becoming flat.

In a flat world, people are connected. In this way, they’re able to create connections that can lead to innovations that benefit everyone. However, in a flat world there’s also the potential for bad things such as terrorism and war because those groups of people can connect too.

This summary explores the process of flattening, which is a term for how technology has made the world smaller. This concept was introduced by Thomas Friedman in his book “The World Is Flat”. The 10 forces that flattened the world are: 1) The Internet 2) Open-source software 3) Outsourcing 4) Supply chain management 5) Mobile communications 6) Global supply chains 7) Free trade 8 ) Distance learning 9 ) E-business and e-commerce 10 ) Free markets. America should embrace globalization because it creates new opportunities for everyone to prosper. However, we must be prepared to deal with increased competition and work harder than ever before. Geopolitics will change as billions of people enter into global commerce, but there’s no guarantee that they’ll all succeed if they’re not educated about free trade or given proper access to information technologies such as computers and mobile phones. Finally, we need more leaders who can imagine solutions so that people from around the world can live better lives through economic growth and opportunity created by globalization.”

How the World Became Flat

In the past, it was very easy to identify who had power in organizations because they were at the top of a hierarchy. However, today’s organizations are more horizontal and less hierarchical. They rely on collaboration instead of command and control.

The flattening of the world is a significant trend that began with the printing press and Industrial Revolution. It’s happening faster than any cultural shift in history, and it’s creating exciting opportunities as well as dangerous new threats. How did this flattening happen? Friedman identifies 10 events, technologies, and trends that together flattened the world. The fall of the Berlin wall let more people share ideas and shifted the balance of power to free-market capitalism from authoritarian central planning. Netscape made internet accessible to everyone rather than just geeks or early adopters. Workflow software allowed people to collaborate with each other in virtual offices no matter where they were located. Uploading gave individuals and communities an opportunity to distribute their own content without having to go through traditional channels like TV or newspapers. Thanks to outsourcing, companies could acquire highly skilled workers who are motivated at cheaper rates while employees got higher pay without leaving home countries like India or China; this led many emerging countries into a competition for jobs which flattened the world even more when China opened itself up for offshoring jobs by offering better salaries than America did; supply chaining involves manufacturers like Dell or retail companies like Walmart buying parts from many suppliers around the world using complex systems put them together; smaller companies benefit from insourcing wherein UPS designs global supply chains for them; Google gives us unprecedented access to information on our own terms; search engines act as personal supply chains offering us all kinds of information we need wherever we are at any time (a process called “informing”); steroids such as increased computer processing speeds have amplified these other factors leading us into a future described by Friedman in 2005 which now seems commonplace – being able to carry movies in our pockets, make long distance phone calls that cost less than local ones, connect devices anywhere we go so that there’s always access everywhere…

The World Is Flat 3.0 Book Summary, by Thomas L. Friedman