May 18, 2005

Jack Covert Selects: Jack Covert Selects--The World is Flat

By: Jack @ 3:22 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century By Thomas L. Friedman, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 480 Pages, $27.50 Hardcover, April 2005, ISBN 0374292884
Tom Friedman, three time Pulitzer Prize recipient, has written an impressive book on the "brief history of the Twenty-First Century." It is not only about globalization but more about how we got where we are today. This is a book that isnt necessarily a business book per se, but it is a book business people truly need to read. Why? This book shows us that you cant react to a situation until you know as much as you can about the situation. I expect that this wont be the last word on globalization but I expect it will be the best written book on the subject. I have read all of Tom Friedmans books and he is a great storyteller in the sense of sitting around the campfire storytelling. This book effectively paints a clear picture of complexities like foreign policy and economic issues. It also investigates the impact of developing countries, geopolitical issues and companies on the world we live in.
Here is an example of his take on outsourcing:
The relatively high standard of living that she can now enjoyenough for a small apartment and car in Bangaloreis good for America as well. When you look around 24/7s call center, you see that all the computers are running Microsoft Windows. The chips are designed by Intel. The phones are from Lucent. The air-conditioning is by Carrier, and even the bottled water is from Coke. In addition, 90% of the shares in 24/7 are owned by U.S. investors. This explains why, although the United States has lost some customer service jobs to India in recent years, total exports from American-based companiesmerchandise and servicesto India have grown from $2.5 billion in 1990 to $5 billion in 2003. So even with the outsourcing of some service jobs from the United States to India, Indias growing economy is creating a demand for many more American goods and services.
Here is a blog post about Open Source.
I understand that this subject is not without controversy, but if you want to read a book that is not only well written, but laid out logically, and if you are interested in changes that will affect us all, this is the book for you. It's not only informative, but demystifies many issues which will make reacting to changes in our global community easier for individuals, companies, communities and governments alike.