Nicholas EllingboeProfessor Divita 12/10/17BS-316The World Is FlatThe World Is Flat is an internationally recognized book written by Thomas L.Friedman. The title stems from the idea that the world is a level playing field and that all people, companies, and countries, have equal opportunity in the global market due to constant shifts in economies across the globe. In this paper, I will reflect on the material that I read throughout the book. I will also share what I found to be meaningful to me and why it is important. I will use examples to illustrate what I learned and took away from this book. Afterward, we will discuss the consequences and resulting outcomes of the ten “flatteners” outlined in the book. Finally, I will conclude this paper with what I thought to be the main themes. Friedman starts his table of contents with How the World Became Flat. How the World Became Flat is broken up into a few sections. First, “While I Was Sleeping” and second, “The Ten Forces That Flatten the World”. These sections are important to understanding and grasping concepts later on in the book. I thought the ten flatteners really put into perspective how the world has grown throughout the years. I’m someone who needs things spelled out for them to understand content, and this was perfect for me. Thomas discusses America and its relationship with the flat world. In this section, he talks about free trade and how the ten flatteners have affected it. He then discusses the roles that developing countries have in the flat world. In the first chapter of Thomas Friedman’s book The World Is Flat, he talks about a trip to India that he took. More specifically he visits Bangalore and calls it “India’s Silicon Valley”. The reason he calls it this is because the economic success in the area is similar to Silicon Valley in California. On this trip, he was searching for “software, brainpower, complex algorithms, knowledge workers, call centers, transmission protocols, breakthroughs in optical engineering-the sources of wealth in our day.” This made Thomas ask the question of why they had become such an important tool for the outsourcing. This was partially due to the large number of engineers India has. There is also a large population in India able to speak English. This resulted in Indians learning to speak with American accents. “Columbus accidentally ran into America but thought he had discovered part of India. I actually found India and thought many of the people I met there were Americans. Some had actually taken American names, and others were doing great imitations of American accents at call centers and American business techniques at software labs.”The first of the ten flatteners that Friedman talked about in his book was the Collapse of the Berlin Wall in 1989. Friedman is quoted as saying “when the walls came down, and the windows came up”(Friedman). This historic event was the end of the cold war and allowed for estimated “3 billion people” to see the global economy for themselves. This shift in the global economy size was just due to the end of the cold war. The collapse of communism, India’s increasing trade, China’s shift to market capitalism, and the population increase in the world were all big players. These along with the invention of the internet and personal computers helped to revolutionize trade across the world. This allowed for easier communication between countries.The second of the ten flatteners that Thomas Friedman mentioned in his book was Netscape. Netscape is a communications computer service company that invented the web browser “Navigator”. I was the most popular web browser in the 1990s. Netspace as a company went public at the starting price of $28 per share. Netscape made the internet easy to access for people of all ages. It also allowed for people all over the world to access text, files, video, music, and pictures. Netscape went on to become Mozilla or firefox which many of people my age are familiar with. The third flattener that Friedman talks about is work flow software. Work flow Software basically allows for one machine to communicate with another without needing the assistance of a human. “These work flow software platforms enable you to create virtual global offices-not limited by either the boundaries of your office or your country-and to access talent sitting in different parts of the world and have them complete tasks that you need completed in real time” (Jerry Rao, The World is Flat). The following six flatteners stem from work flow software. Work flow Software has allowed for Open-Sourcing. Open-Sourcing is something that everyone has done and Friedman believes that it also helps flatten the world. Open-Sourcing allows different companies to share information with each other without having to actually meet in person. It has made it possible for more people than ever before to work together. “This emerging era is characterized by the collaborative innovation of many people working in gifted communities, just as innovation in the industrial era was characterized by individual genius”( Irving Wladawsky-Berger).In my personal opinion, I believes it makes the world a smaller place. Outsourcing is the fifth flattener that Friedman talks about in his writing. Outsourcing is also sometimes referred to as “contracting out”. It’s used in business to reduce cost and improve efficiency. It does this by change jobs, operations and shifting tasks. Outsourcing can be performed onsite at a business or overseas like what Friedman talks about in his book. One of the benefits of outsourcing is to reduce costs. It can sometimes be cheaper to outsource to another business due to lower labor costs, taxes and the cost of utilities that it takes to make the product. It can also allow a business to focus on the things they do well. There are some negatives to outsourcing. Working with a third party can sometimes be tricky and cause problems. Typically outsourcing takes away jobs from the company causing layoffs for the business. Outsourcing also requires for the business to manage their operations with the third party. Friedman believes that outsourcing has caused many companies to split their service and manufacturing activities. He believes it the most cost effective/efficient way to do things all thanks to the Internet. The sixth flattener is Offshoring. Offshoring is defined “as the relocation of a business process from one country to another” (Wikipedia). Offshoring goes hand in hand with outsourcing. It typically occurs when a business decides to outsource themselves in another country. It has very similar positives and negatives to outsourcing. They consist of reducing costs by taxes, labor wages, and the cost of utilities. Another flattener that is talked about in the book is Supply-Chaining. Supply-chaining is the flow of goods and services along with work in process inventory and finished inventory. Wikipedia defines it as ‘the design, planning, execution, control, and monitoring of supply chain activities with the objective of creating net value, building a competitive infrastructure, leveraging worldwide logistics, synchronizing supply with demand and measuring performance globally.” Insourcing is the eight flattener that Friedman writes about in his book. Insourcing is the opposite of outsourcing. Instead of seeking a business out you bring them in to do the job at your location under your name. An example of a company insourcing is UPS and Toshiba computers. If a Toshiba computer needs to be repaired it can be done at a UPS hub by employees of UPS. The ninth Flattener in Friedman’s The World Is Flat book is Informing. Before reading about informing I had no idea what it was. The book uses search engines like google as an example of it. “Never before in the history of the planet have so many people – on their own – had the ability to find so much information about so many things and about so many other people,” writes Friedman. The internet has every answer you need all you have to do is search for it. This is something that has brought the world closer together and made many things easier to understand. Informing has definitely leveled the playing field for people all over the world. “Giving so many people access to all these tools of collaboration, along with the ability through search engines and the Web to access billions of pages of raw information, ensures that the next generation of innovations will come from all over Planet Flat.” (Friedman)The tenth and last flattener that Thomas Friedman talks about in his book are “The Steroids.” The steroids consist of “Digital, Mobile, Personal, and Virtual” and Wirelessness. An example that Friedman uses in his book is the iPad. You can use it for the internet without having to physically connect it to something. You can also use it as a cell phone to contact people and use it for personal notes and storing information. “They are amplifying and turbocharging all the other flatteners. They are taking all the forms of collaboration highlighted in this section- outsourcing, offshoring, open-sourcing, supply-chaining, insourcing, and in-forming-and making it possible to do each and every one of them in a way that is digital, mobile, virtual, and personal. thereby enhancing each one and making the world flatter by the day”( TWIF, Carly Fiorina).In this book, there were two stories that Friedman told that will stick with me. The first story is about the two ways to flatten the world. There are two ways to do this “One is to use your imagination to bring everyone up to the same level, and the other is to use your imagination to bring everyone down to the same level” (Friedman). David Neeleman used his imagination to bring everyone up to the same level. He started his own airline in 1999. This allowed for people to travel all over the world. Another Man also started his own airline in 1999. This man went by the name of Osama bin Laden. Bin Laden used his imagination for evil and launched a terrorist attack on the United States of America. Two planes flew into the world trade center buildings in hopes of bringing the United States down to their level. Another takeaway story is a conversation between Thomas Friedman and some of his Mexican colleagues. Friedman asked some of his colleagues at lunch when they first discovered the world was flat. One of them responded back by saying “he realized that he was living in a new world when he started seeing reports appearing in the Mexican media and on the Internet that some statuettes of Mexico’s patron saint, the Virgin of Guadalupe, were being imported into Mexico from China.” He went on to say that Mexico is a low wage manufacturing country importing statuettes of their own patron saint and that this is a problem because China can make them and ship them all the way to Mexico cheaper then they can make them. “China is such a powerhouse of low-cost manufacturing that even though the NAFTA accord has given Mexico a leg up with the United States, and even though Mexico is right next door to us, China in 2003 replaced Mexico as the number two exporter to the United States.” In conclusion, I found this book to be very informational and helpful while learning about international marketing. I will take a lot away from this book as I stated earlier. I also look forward to seeing how the world progresses and flattens even more.