Tiêu đề: The World Is Flat Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:04 pm
Today I'll introduce to you about the book " THE WORLD IS FLAT "
The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century is an international bestselling book by Thomas L. Friedman that analyzes globalization, primarily in the early 21st century. The title is a metaphor for viewing the world as a level playing field in terms of commerce, where all competitors have an equal opportunity. As the first edition cover illustration indicates, the title also alludes to the perceptual shift required for countries, companies and individuals to remain competitive in a global market where historical and geographical divisions are becoming increasingly irrelevant. The book was first released in 2005, was later released as an "updated and expanded" edition in 2006, and yet again released with additional updates in 2007 as "further updated and expanded: Release 3.0". The title was derived from a statement by Nandan Nilekani, the former CEO of Infosys. Summary In the book, Friedman recounts a journey to Bangalore, India, when he realized globalization has changed core economic concepts. In his opinion, this flattening is a product of a convergence of personal computer with fiber-optic micro cable with the rise of work flow software. He termed this period as Globalization 3.0, differentiating this period from the previous Globalization 1.0 (in which countries and governments were the main protagonists) and the Globalization 2.0 (in which multinational companies led the way in driving global integration). Friedman recounts many examples of companies based in India and China that, by providing labor from typists and call center operators to accountants and computer programmers, have become integral parts of complex global supply chains for companies such as Dell, AOL, and Microsoft. Friedman's Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention is discussed in the book's penultimate chapter. Friedman repeatedly uses lists as an organizational device to communicate key concepts, usually numbered, and often with a provocative label. Two example lists are the ten forces that flattened the world, and three points of convergence. Ten flatteners Friedman defines ten "flatteners" that he sees as leveling the global playing field: • #1: Collapse of the Berlin Wall – 11/9/89: The event not only symbolized the end of the Cold War, it allowed people from other side of the wall to join the economic mainstream. "11/9/89" is a discussion about the Berlin Wall coming down, the "fall" of communism, and the impact that Windows powered PCs (personal computers) had on the ability of individuals to create their own content and connect to one another. At this point, the basic platform for the revolution to follow was created: IBM PC, Windows, a standardized graphical interface for word processing, dial up modems, a standardized tool for communication, and a global phone network. • #2: Netscape – 8/9/95: Netscape and the Web broadened the audience for the Internet from its roots as a communications medium used primarily by "early adopters and geeks" to something that made the Internet accessible to everyone from five-year-olds to ninety-five-year olds. The digitization that took place meant that everyday occurrences such as words, files, films, music and pictures could be accessed and manipulated on a computer screen by all people across the world. • #3: Workflow software: The ability of machines to talk to other machines with no humans involved, as stated by Friedman. Friedman believes these first three forces have become a "crude foundation of a whole new global platform for collaboration". There was an emergence of software protocols (SMTP – simple mail transfer protocol; HTML – the language that enabled anyone to design and publish documents that could be transmitted to and read on any computer anywhere) Standards on Standards. • #4: Open Source: Communities uploading and collaborating on online projects. Examples include open source software, blogs, and Wikipedia. Friedman considers the phenomenon "the most disruptive force of all". • #5: Outsourcing: Friedman argues that outsourcing has allowed companies to split service and manufacturing activities into components which can be subcontracted and performed in the most efficient, cost-effective way. This process became easier with the mass distribution of fiber optic cables during the introduction of the World Wide Web. • #6: Offshoring: The internal relocation of a company's manufacturing or other processes to a foreign land to take advantage of less costly operations there. China's entrance in the WTO (World Trade Organization) allowed for greater competition in the playing field. Now countries such as Malaysia, Mexico, Brazil must compete against China and each other to have businesses offshore to them. • #7: Supply-chaining: Friedman compares the modern retail supply chain to a river, and points to Wal-Mart as the best example of a company using technology to streamline item sales, distribution, and shipping. • #8: Insourcing: Friedman uses UPS as a prime example for insourcing, in which the company's employees perform services – beyond shipping – for another company. For example, UPS repairs Toshiba computers on behalf of Toshiba. The work is done at the UPS hub, by UPS employees. • #9: In-forming: Google and other search engines are the prime example. "Never before in the history of the planet have so many people – on their own – had the ability to find so much information about so many things and about so many other people," writes Friedman. The growth of search engines is tremendous; for example take Google, in which Friedman states that it is "now processing roughly one billion searches per day, up from 150 million just three years ago". • #10: "The Steroids": Personal digital devices like mobile phones, iPods, personal digital assistants, instant messaging, and voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP). Digital, Mobile, Personal and Virtual – all analog content and processes (from entertainment to photography to word processing) can be digitized and therefore shaped, manipulated and transmitted; virtual – these processes can be done at high speed with total ease; mobile – can be done anywhere, anytime by anyone; and personal – can be done by you. Triple convergence In addition to the ten flatteners, Friedman offers "the triple convergence", three additional components that acted on the flatteners to create a new, flatter global playing field. 1. Up until the year 2000, the ten flatteners were semi-independent from one another. An example of independence is the inability of one machine to perform multiple functions. When work-flow software and hardware converged, multiple functions such as e-mail, fax, printing, copying and communicating were able to be done from one machine. Around the year 2000, all the flatteners converged with one another. This convergence could be compared to complementary goods, in that each flattener enhanced the other flatteners; the more one flattener developed, the more leveled the global playing field became. 2. After the emergence of the ten flatteners, a new business model was required to succeed. While the flatteners alone were significant, they would not enhance productivity without people being able to use them together. Instead of collaborating vertically (the top-down method of collaboration, where innovation comes from the top), businesses needed to begin collaborating horizontally. Horizontalization means companies and people collaborate with other departments or companies to add value creation or innovation. Friedman's Convergence II occurs when horizontalization and the ten flatteners begin to reinforce each other and people understand the capability of the technologies available. 3. 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. When these new players converged with the rest of the globalized marketplace, they added new brain power to the whole playing field and enhanced horizontal collaboration across the globe. In turn, Convergence III is the most important force shaping politics and economics in the early 21st century. Proposed remedies Thomas Friedman believes that to fight the quiet crisis of a flattening world, the United States work force should keep updating its work skills. Making the work force more adaptable, Friedman argues, will keep it more employable. He also suggests that the government should make it easier to switch jobs by making retirement benefits and health insurance less dependent on one's employer and by providing insurance that would partly cover a possible drop in income when changing jobs. Friedman also believes there should be more inspiration for youth to be scientists, engineers, and mathematicians due to a decrease in the percentage of these professionals being American.
Được sửa bởi wildfox007 ngày Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:29 pm; sửa lần 1.
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Tiêu đề: Re: The World Is Flat Wed Jun 02, 2010 4:27 pm