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April 14, 2005

Flat World

Not sure whether this term "Flat World" will acquire same status as LongTail but it nicely sums up the growing "leveling of the playing field" across the globe.  Thomas Friedman, Pulitzer price winning New York Times columnist sure knows how to put excitement and provide uncanny connections between ordinary observations.

I bought his book week few days but haven't started reading it. Its all about Globalization 3.0 ( another victory  to Geeks  when news-media pros start  tagging and putting release numbers to the social changes). Post-Internet era commentary on the post-commoditized world where imagination is the only thing to focus on and only thing to worry about.

Talking to Terri Gross on NPR he mentions (listen to this if you don't like reading a long book):

Imagination is the only way out of commoditization...and imagination is not the sole preserve of white western world anymore.

He goes onto identify common threads in the rise of Al-Qaeda and Infosys - Two extremes on the winning side of this new flat world.  Two entities who exploited the huge efficiency achieved by lot of small groups loosely coupled together on the fat digital pipe.

Geography was long dead and now imagination is shared at the speed which can be productive on one end (if used properly) and extremely disturbing if taken to the other extreme.  Google maps is  a good example of how technology can be used for more business development (I get more pool cleaning service flyers now - its easy to spot all the blue dots in Sunnyvale area !) and can also be used by Al-Qaeda operatives. Friedman is right about the nervousness around "imagination" .

So what's the take away from all this. Course correction is definitely needed, atleast at the mental model level. 

I will continue to flip  through this book in next few weeks.

April 14, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink


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