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Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Book Review: World is Flat

I recently read the book "The World Is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-first Century" by by Thomas L. Friedman, Oliver Wyman (Narrator).

It basically is about what are the major changes/innovations happened which have changed the world as we percieve it today. It also explores that till what depth these innovations have already impacted our day today lives, and it goes a step further in trying forespell something about where we are headed with this kind of environment.


PROS:
It starts with talking about the fall of berlin wall and its impact on global economy. It then covers the important aspect of America as a nation/community which made it the strongest economy of the world. It very well defines what (and how) America did to stand where it stands today. It sums up American economic strength in terms of meritocratic setup, innovation and research oriented environment and market based economy. It then goes on identify the ten strongest innovations happened since fall of berlin wall that have changed the face of the world and the way businesses are run today. Though most of us are well aware of most of these innovations but the book makes a sincere effort to bring all the information together in a comprensible and packaged manner.

Outside America it talks about the how much the lowering trade and political barriers and the exponential technical advances of the digital revolution have made it possible to do business, or almost anything else, instantaneously with billions of other people across the planet. It gives ample number of examples of companies that have used this setup to create competetive advantages and have shown their competetors the door for getting acquired or bankrupt. It shows what kind of role can now be played with 3 billion people in developing countries to make a mark on world economy.

Another good part about the book is that It gives a significant portion to the kind of tensions that are arising due to this kind of global environment. It relates that how september 11 is nothing but another aspect of these innovations. It tries to identify means to create a global hormony in this kind of environment without overdoing it. It also defines the kind of strategies nation leaders need to define in order to enable their countries to make powerful statement in the world affairs.

CONS:
It is very pro-American in nature. I think it exemplifies the role America played to create the world as it is today. It takes no account for indentifying other global firms (only very few have been mentioned) for their contribution to the world economy and how they have created an edge to curtail American firms' influence. It goes on admiring the American firms in all the corners and their methodologies till it actually becomes an overstatement and more. The book firmly creates an opinion that America has been a major global leading player (and economy) and will continue to do so in centuries to come only if Americans understand the change in the role that they need to play. It eliminates all possibilities of other countries rising (above America)in the world and lead the world as America did in last century. It actually goes to state that America should take a lead to define which countries should have what kind of power and restrictions. But since the Author is very much American I guess it should be acceptable to us (non-Americans).

I would say it is a must read for anyone who wants to make a mark in this very dynamic economy. It increases the readers enthusiasm by stating that the individuals today are more powerful than ever before. You should read it.

4 Comments:

Blogger Kapil Mantri said...

A nice review. Looking forward to meet you in ISB.

7:21 PM  
Blogger Abhishek said...

http://13june.blogspot.com/2006/02/world-is-flat.html

11:47 PM  
Blogger Sumit said...

Waah mittal babu. sahi likha hai... ab kitaab padhne ki zaroorat nahi. is review is enough gyaan mil gaya! :-)

see ya

1:32 PM  
Blogger Abhishek said...

This book indeed impressed me. Had I had all this information before I might had a different outlook when I came out of IITM campus in 2003 in the midst of a recession.

3:20 PM  

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