Saturday, November 19, 2005

The World Is Flat

The book The World Is Flat, by Thomas Friedman (TF), deals with globalization and analyzes the moves that causes the world to be flat - as stated by the author. Flat world means for example that everyone can access anywhere easily and compete as equals.
TF succeeded to draw fear around the question whether the west will loose its current economical position to the Asian countries in the race that causes for massive expansion in manufacturing capacities and increased productivity, leaning on the current low wages in Asia.
As an Hi-Tech veteran I already see the impact of the growing economies of India, China and others. I also believe that the competition will lead to better innovation and will produce better products. The overall PIE that illustrate the market will grow and as suggested by TF the complexity will also grow, leading to further need for new engineers. As a western engineer and an Hi-Tech manager, the question that keeps bugging me is whether the western countries and the US as a leader will wake up long enough to maintain the balance and not loose it to the east. It is only a matter of time till the center of gravity will move to the east, unless real cautious and startegy planning will be made.
An important and understanding outlook that I still wondering about (from the book) is the understanding that during the time the world's market pie grows, professional matters and wide know-how become a must for each individual that does not want to see its job outsourced (become a swiss army knife as stated by TF).
TF defines 3 eras of globalization: [1] 80' - Countries developed and meet each other in the global world, [2] 90' - Companies developed and become global, [3] 2000' - Developed Individuals from all around the world acquired knowledge that is equaly valued and thus enable them to go global.
More interesting facts are the followed: Approximately 400k engineers finalizes their studies each year in China. The US government narrows its investment in education for almost a decade starting from 1995. Most of the highly talented students in math at the US are childrens of foreign immigrants (60%+). It takes more than 15 years to grow up talented proffessors.
There is a claim that the Asian engineers are more hungry for work and thus more motivated. An Asian engineer on average is more productive than a western one and cost only 20% in comparison to western standards. Useless to say that although he/she earns "only" 20%, it assumed to be amonsgt the highest salary standards of the developing countries.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have read this book and liked most of it. At the end the author criticises the Bush administration for drawing fears instead of Hope, and he have some other samples how cultures with hope have better life, well, All I can say is "enough is enough" - stop being so Naive. The power of evil already crossed a "no-way-back" point for which only a concentrated and dedicated war will help us all. Thomas Friedman's criticism is Naive and maybe well suited to the history, before the evil become some powerful.
In any case, the book is well written, very interesting and I recommend him for reading.

December 30, 2005 10:42 AM  

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