I created another data point for this as this is not really (not quite) a review about the book, but rather what's available and out there after the book has been published. It's more about a video by Thomas Friedman on the book itself. Thomas Friedman was invited to speak for an hour or so at Yale University on this book and the matter of discussion. It's a very interesting inroad to the book should you lack the time to read the book. He explains it well, the 10 flatteners, the triple convergence and that while you (the American audience) were sleeping (I love that movie by Sandra Bullock & Bill Pullman, if you haven't see it, check it out), the 3 billion people on the other side of the world woke up and jump on the bandwagon!
To be honest, I bought the book but didn't finished it for some reason. It's not that the book is boring, it's just that I've been traveling a lot during the last few years and didn't have time to finish the book. And I hate carrying hardcover books around. So, it's purely laziness on my part. As with reading, I am lazy. I prefer something more interactive or three dimensional, like a video or pod cast.
Yes, while you were sleeping, the world flew by, at lightning speed! India, China, Russia, Brazil... the engines have started and the learning curve is accelerating. See his explanation on the 1 hour video or read an excerpt of the book.
So, we are now on globalization 3.0 where individuals or group of individuals are able to globalize on their own. Not the country globalizing, not the companies, but individuals doing so themselves!!! The world is moving from vertical to horizontal. The world has gone totally flat! This has been brought about by the convergence of the 10 flatteners and the triple convergence and the free cost of communication thereby helping the world collaborate no matter what place, time of the world they are in and to some extent no matter what language they are speaking. The real IT revolution has just begun! Wake up, people, it's a time of crisis and the sooner one learns how to deal with it and start retooling oneself, the better it'll be.
I totally agree with Friedman after a 2 year stint in Beijing & Shanghai. America generally is so 20th century. China is evolving so fast that it's totally scary if you extrapolate that to the future. India has sent so many of its workforce to work in Asia that you simply can't go by a day without seeing an India somewhere (unless you choose to stay in the confinement of your own home!) and Philippines has so many domestic helpers out there that they contribute the most to the country's foreign reserves now. It's mind boggling and it's time to get out there and reinvent oneself if you wish to come out ahead of others, if you don't wish to be retrenched and if you want to educate your kids with the right knowledge. In the book he also categorize the 10 areas of expertise to get into for the future. One of them is to go GREEN which lay the foundation for his next book, Hot Flat & Crowded.
The book was first released in 2005, an "updated and expanded" edition in 2006, and then another updates in 2007 as "further updated and expanded: Release 3.0". It's evolving as the world evolves too!
To recap, the 10 flatteners are:
Collapse of Berlin Wall & Windows 3.0
The Steroids: Digitization and VoIP
I simply can't get enough of his intelligence and wisdom. So, here are more from Thomas Friedman for those who are interested.
For the latest columns and thoughts from Thomas Friedman: NY Times Column I read his columns regularly and especially like what the article A Blibical Seven Years after attending the Olympics last year.
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.