It's a Flat World, After All, By Thomas L. rRriedman, NY Times, Published: April 3, 2005
... "touching on the most exciting part of Globalization 3.0 and the flattening of the world: the fact that we are now in the process of connecting all the knowledge pools in the world together. ... the upside is that by connecting all these knowledge pools we are on the cusp of an incredible new era of innovation, an era that will be driven from left field and right field, from West and East and from North and South. Only 30 years ago, if you had a choice of being born a B student in Boston or a genius in Bangalore or Beijing, you probably would have chosen Boston, because a genius in Beijing or Bangalore could not really take advantage of his or her talent. They could not plug and play globally. Not anymore. Not when the world is flat, and anyone with smarts, access to Google and a cheap wireless laptop can join the innovation fray.
When the world is flat, you can innovate without having to emigrate. This is going to get interesting. We are about to see creative destruction on steroids."
Yeah, right. I talk with businesses all over NJ and NY regarding their use of the net for a learning and development platform. You would not be surprised to know, looking at most business sites, that they are not doing much. In fact, restricting what employees can do is more important than what they can learn. I don't know if it was the "distraction form 9/11 or the market bust in 2000", but many of them entertain the notion that globalization won't affect them. The sad thing is that many US businesses are simply not prepared for the on-slot of new offerings. Playing catch up ain't gonna happen.
I read the "The Future of Work", Thomas W. Malone last year. He writes about the organization for the 21st century. " Imagine organizations in which most workers aren't employees at all, but electronically connected freelancers living wherever they want to. And imagine that all this freedom in business lets people get more of whatever they really want in life-money, interesting work, the chance to help others, or time with their families. ...a convergence of technological and economic factors particularly the rapidly falling cost of communication - is enabling a change in business organizations as profound as the shift to democracy in governments. For the first time in history, says Malone, it will be possible to have the best of both worlds: the economic and scale efficiencies of large organizations, and the human benefits of small ones: freedom, motivation, and flexibility."
So, is your business in cross-hairs? Where are the opportunities? As an individule you have even more control and opportunities in a global market place. Why work for a crappy company with crappy offerings.
Update 3 -16-2005
Getting Flat, Part 1, By Doc Searls on Thu, 2005-04-14 23:00. Our Senior Editor digs into Tom Friedman's new bestseller, from a Linux/open source angle.