Tuesday, January 15, 2008

"The World Is Flat"

Book Review
Author Thomas L. Friedman

Part 1

On the first part of this book the author (Thomas L. Friedman) gave an idea that the world is not round but it is flat. What he means was the world is no longer round as was discovered before. Strange isn't it? But as going deeper into this book, the main idea of his words is the world are going through a globalization era. An era where there is no boundaries, no wall and no friction.
He started with the history of globalization with the journey of Christopher Columbus in 1492 where this era it was called globalization 1.0. This era is mainly about muscle and imperialism power. Country like Holland, Portuguese and England were competing to conquer the world so that they can monopoly whatever source and wealth of other country. Thomas continues to discuss on the next stage that is globalization 2.0 periods between 1800 till 2000. This was an era of World Wars 1, 2 and others wars that have been occurred between this periods. During this time, America and Russia were competing with each others in developing technologies especially space technology. Furthermore, in the period between 2000 until today the globalization has reached the next level which called globalization 3.0.
What the author means on globalization 3.0 is that people around the world can communicate with each other, built link for business purposes, exchanging information and so on so forth in a very simple way. He gave an example of Bangalore in India has been transformed to be a hub for America communication and transaction whereas Dali an in China has been transformed by Japan to be their hub of research and development. Both of this economic super power has transfer their technology and communication to central Asia. Reason for their act was that the logistics such as labor, land and raw materials in these countries were cheap and still cheap until today. Take an example, three engineers in China is the cost for one engineer in Japan and for India the cost of labors were three times cheaper than America. No wonder both of these big countries like to transfer their technology to these two countries. When this thing happen both places which are Bangalore and Dali an have enjoyed an economic development and the people have also upgrade their living style. An example for this income for the people in Bangalore has been increased drastically from $200 to $600 within 6 months.
Furthermore the author wrote the 10 aspects of flattener. The first flattener is the 9th November 1989 factor. This date was a historical date when the wall of Berlin which separated east and West German been demolished. This was the time that only one big system prevails which is the capitalism. Fight between two systems Capitalist and Communism has come to an end.
Second flattener is 9 August 1995 when the first internet i.e Web been introduced and Netscape went public. During this time individual can use personal computer to browse internet and doing business within it. Before this only big company which has big main frame computer has do their jobs and business transaction.
Thirds flattener is work flow software. Beginning this period it showed how much software technologies have been developed by big companies like IBM and also computer geeks and freelancers. These geeks have created software named Apache which IBM cannot surpass it and currently jointed them.
Flattener four is uploading. This type of flattener gives people to upload their own movies, pictures and even articles. As long as people have computer to connect to the internet they can do whatever they want with it. When uploading becomes much easier it helps other people to get information at their own fingertips. For example in Wikipedia it helps people to find meaning and information. This is because it has over 200,000 definition and information rather than Microsoft which only has 30,000 definition and information. Furthermore in when people uses Wikipedia they uses it for free whereas if they use Microsoft they must buy it.
The fifth flattener is Outsourcing. For this factor of flatten the author brought us to the develop world of India where they have outsource America in IT business. Example for this was when the world was shocked by Y2K bug. This can brought big problems if it does not been solve. Before this our computer can only received 2 digit numbers for recognizing the year like (99). When the calendar become 2000 the computer cannot recognized it. For this the software engineer in India has solved this problem and that was something astonishing. India rose up from somewhere and most people in America shocked with what have their done…..
The sixth flattener is Off shoring .The Japanese business consultant Kenichi Ohmae has once said that “China is a threat, China is a customer and China is an opportunity. You have to internalize China to succeed. China is becoming a country that been favor by big companies that like to get an easy access, labor and raw materials. Companies like IBM and Microsoft also have their base in China. Development in China has been increased aggressively. Thus when China agreed to join World Trade Organization (WTO) it was the first step to open their market to the world. Although Mexico has agreed to accept NAFTA but they seems to be backward rather than forward.
The seventh flattener is supply chaining. Wal Mart a retailer company from America has benefited from this flattener. They have become no 1 retailer shop in America which provides cheap and quality good. How they do it? They buy it from the source and furthermore they also built warehouse for goods coming from offshore. They have cut their expensive from 5% to 3% when they built warehouse for the goods and provides truck to send goods all over America.
Flattener eight is in sourcing. What is mean by in sourcing is that the delivery system has been increased. Example for this is the UPS Company which has been established since seventies. Delivery system that been used by this company has increased its company profits and also put a trust from other companies with them. DELL company has given their trust to UPS in established one stop center to repair their customer computer, rather than 2 months to repair the customer computer UPS has decreased it to 2 weeks only.
For the 9th flattener the author brought us to the maximum use of the internet especially web browsing like Google. A lot of information can be deriving from these sources and for companies to get listed in web search. Many individuals become rich using the internet to make money. What make them reach, this is because it is easy to upload info, business and so on so forth and also it is also easy to buy online.
The last factor of flattener is the steroids. Steroids happen when countries like Japan and South Korea has develop their wireless system that are cheaper for their user unlike America which has slowest wireless system among above countries and it also expensive. When there is wireless system, it is easier for individuals to do their jobs and get information. This is an era for individuals to become influential and wealthy….

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