Friedman, Thomas L. The world is flat: A brief history of the 21st century. ISSN Articles appearing in the Journal become the property of the Journal. Single copies of articles may be reproduced in electronic or print form for use in educational or training activities. Inclusion of articles in other publications, electronic sources, or systematic large-scale distribution may be done only with prior electronic or written permission of the Journal Editorial Office , joe-ed joe.
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In addition, JOE serves as a forum for emerging and contemporary issues affecting Extension education. Copyright Policy. Keywords: globalization , Extension education , the world is flat , Friedman. The 10 Forces The first five of the 10 flattening forces the author identifies provided the first thrusts to an increase in globalization. These five forces are: The fall of the Berlin wall and the rise of the Windows operating system—more people on the playing field and a system to help everyone play better; A refinement of the worldwide Web and the development of Internet browsers—the computer and connectivity became more useful for millions; The development of standard software that enabled better workflow within organizations and between organizations; The collaboration of freelance programmers and engineers in chat room-like settings to produce shared software e.
These forces are: Off shoring—China's joining the WTO in gave a huge boost to producing in China and other countries the same products that were produced in America, only with cheaper labor, lower taxes, subsidized energy, and lower health-care costs; Supply chaining—collaborating horizontally among suppliers, retailers, and customers to create value; an example is the Walmart worldwide supply chain; In sourcing—different from supply-chaining because it is "third party-managed logistics"; an example is UPS's work with clients to help them synchronize whole companies and their interactions with both customers and suppliers; In forming—search engine companies, such as Google and Yahoo!
Columbus went west. He had the Nina, the Pinta and the Santa Maria. He never did find India, but he called the people he met Indians, and we call them that to this day. He came home and told his wife, honey, I've accidentally discovered the world is round. I set off for India years later.
I went east. I knew just which direction I was going. I had Lufthansa business class and a GPS satellite in my seat.
I came home and told my wife, honey, I've accidentally discovered the world is flat. What the first chapter is about is the encounters I had in India, and then I kept going east to Delhi and China which has become as many of you I'm sure know the outsourcing capital of Japan. Tens of thousand of Chinese-speaking Japanese, running now the back rooms of not only major Japanese multinationals, but major American multinationals for their Japanese operation. Get your mind around that, thousands upon thousands of Japanese-speaking Chinese running the back rooms of GE, Microsoft, Toshiba, and Toyota.
But I kept going east until I got to Mexico. One of the things I started to do was ask people, tell me where you when you discovered the world was flat? So I asked some folks at the Central Bank of Mexico that question and they told me, it was a couple of years ago. About a year ago we discovered that statuettes of the Virgin of Guadalupe were being imported from China.
When you're a low-wage manufacturing country and your patron saint is being imported from China, your world is flat. I kept going east to Colorado where I called JetBlue to make a reservation. I knew what I was doing. I asked them if they flew from Denver to Atlanta, no. I got a very nice lady on the phone and asked her what her name was. Her name she said was Betty. I said, Betty, can I ask you a question? Where are you right now? She said, honey, I'm in my bedroom in my slippers, and I'm looking out at the most beautiful scene in Salt Lake City.
As some of you may know, JetBlue, the most profitable airline in America today, has outsourced its entire reservation system to basically housewives in Salt Lake City, Utah. If you call JetBlue for a reservation, you will get Betty in her bedroom or her equivalent. I kept going east right to McDonald's. As some of you may know, McDonald's also began a pilot project last year where you drive up to the drive-in window, ask to order three Big Macs, three milk shakes and 18 french fries for the kids, you are talking not to the person in that McDonald's, but to a call center in Colorado where your order is being taken, your picture is being taken, your order and picture are zapped to that McDonald's where when you drive up it'll all be ready.
McDonald's discovered they could save 30 seconds on each order by doing it this way and drove down their error rate by a significant degree. So I basically go through all the kind of flattening experiences I was encountering as I kept going east on my own Columbus-like journey.
The meta argument I make at the end of this first chapter is very simple, that we have been through 3 great years of globalization. The first I call globalization 1. It lasted from until about to That era shrunk the world from a size large to a size medium, and that ear of globalization I would argue was built around countries globalizing.
The dynamic globalizing agent of globalization 1. You went global through your country.
The second great era of globalization beginning with global--early s right up to the year That's globalization 2. It shrunk the world from size medium to size small. That era was spearheaded by companies globalizing, companies globalizing for markets and labor. You went global through your company.
While you were sleeping it is the argument of this book is that we entered globalization 3. This year is shrinking the world from size small to size tiny and flattening the playing field at the same time. Only the new-new thing about this ear is that the dynamic agent of globalization in this era is not countries and it's not companies, it's individuals and small groups.
So we've gone from a globalization built around companies to built around countries to one increasingly built around individuals and small groups, and please pay attention. It ain't going to be a bunch of white Western individuals who dominated globalization 1. Globalization 3. That's the first chapter of the book.
The second chapter of the book which is really a third of the book and took me the longest to build is simply called The Ten Days that Flattened the World, and it was my attempt to explain, answer that question, how did this happen? And it's really about the 10 days forces in technologies have flattened the world.
Let me go through them quickly. As some of you may know, in a wonderful Cabalistic accident of dates. The fall of the wall was a huge flattener. I call these the 10 flatteners because it allowed us to actually see and think of the world as a single flat space. If you did a LexisNexis search of IMF documents before , I'd suspect you'd rarely find the term globalization being used.
You'd find a lot of north-south. You'd find a lot of east-west. But no one really could use the term globalization because there was a wall in the way. So the fall of the wall was a hugely important flattener. What I actually called the first segment when the wall came down and the windows came up because Windows operating system shipped 5 months after the fall of the Berlin Wall.
That's when Windows 3. So the fall of the wall and the rise of the windows was the first flattener. First, it gave us the Internet. The Internet had been around, but of course Netscape thanks to Mark Andreessen gave us the Internet browser. It gave us the tool that brought the Internet alive for grandpa and grandma, for grandson and grandchild.
It brought us the tool that allowed us the tool that allowed us to go into this websites and illustrate on a screen in images and words and music everything that was locked away in those websites. Netscape really brought the Internet alive. The second thing Netscape did, of course, was commercialize a set of open transmission standards which was very important.
You'll recall before Netscape your wife was on CompuServe, you were on AOL, you had a hard time talking to each other.
He hypothesize it is companies who innovate in using this new internet infrastructure in new and meaningful ways that will get ahead. Please help me improve by sharing feedback! This book by 3-time Pultizer prize winning author Friedman was an absolute joy to read. Any interruption to that supply chain would be critical. There was an error.
What Netscape did was really make the Internet interoperable in a way it had never been before that. That crazy, ridiculous, absurd overinvestment without any realizing it at the end of the s made Bangalore, Beijing and Bethesda next door neighbors. It drove down the cost of transmitting words, music and data to basically zero. Everyone looked at that and said whoa, there is gold over them thar hills, and that triggered the dot-com bubble. Of course, we've seen bubbles before, bubbles in railroads.
That was what really drove the massive overinvestment in the laying of the railroads in this country in the middle of the 19th century. But there was one big difference with this overinvestment. When we overinvested in railroads we got to ride.