Tuesday, July 24, 2007

The World Is Flat

I'm in the middle of reading this book that explains how the world is flat. It's basically a history of the last 7-8 years of the world and how we have grown increasingly closer together due to the increased flattening effect of modern technology. It really isn't a technical book or a business book. The author (Thomas L. Friedman) does a good job of introducing technological and business topics in a very easy-to-understand way. It's great if you want to get caught up on what's going on in the world. But you better read it fast, because even the updated and expanded edition was published over a year ago and it will be outdated before long, but as of right now it pretty well covers all of the major advances.

The ten things he argues has flattened the world are:

  1. 11/9/89 (The fall of the Berlin Wall)

  2. 8/9/95 (The advent of the WWW and when Netscape went public)

  3. Work flow software (email, Pay Pal, AJAX, etc.)

  4. Uploading (Open Source software, Blogging, Wikipedia)

  5. Outsourcing (Y2K)

  6. Offshoring (China joining the WTO)

  7. Supply-Chaining (Wal-mart's magic)

  8. Insourcing (UPS-much more than just wearing funny brown shorts and delivering boxes)

  9. In-forming (Google, Yahoo!, MSN Web Search)

  10. The Steroids (Instant messaging, filesharing, video conferencing, wireless technologies, cell phones, PDA's, VoIP, etc.)

That's only the first half of the book, I'll be sure to write an update to this when I finish the book. But if you only read the first half, you'll be amazed at how flat the world really is becoming.

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