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Globalization and Business Opportunities

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Globalization and Business Opportunities

Thomas Friedman's The World Is Flat 3.0 proposes as the title tells, that due to globalization the world is "flat". This refers to the global economic playing field being leveled by technological innovations and free flow of various components. Friedman's major argument is the notion that globalization has progressed to a phase where it is spearheaded by individuals, rather than companies or nation-states. Friedman suggests that companies and nation-states are only secondary agents, and emphasizes deregulation by them and almost implies that these institutions are irrelevant, unnecessary and mere hindrances. Friedman's suggestions of the world becoming tiny and flat, and globalization being led by individuals rely on his proposition of the 4 keys. The term "flat" doesn't refer to lack of terms of trade or complete global equality but to a platform from where to spring. This platform is based on these four keys, which are the creation of PC, allowing people to create content and dispatch it, the Netscape-browser bringing the Internet alive and to every home, inter-compatibleness letting people connect, and lastly creation of multiple devices making connecting easier and cheaper, and thus available to many. This platform leads to his economic thesis of value being created horizontally rather than vertically, which will eventually change everything. The motto Friedman keeps using regarding to this is, "Whatever can be done, will be done". The only question that remains is who will do it. This means large projects don't necessarily have to be done in great institutions where upper-level has it's mind set and passes the idea to the producers on lower levels. Instead, individual creation is crucial. Individuals have all the tools of making viable ideas successful and in the lack of regulations can connect globally to create value chains that allow global success and creation of value. This requires largely open societies, which would empower and enable these innovator/producers, and open borders between nation-states permitting the trade of ideas, work, products, and capital.

In World 3.0 Ghemawat argues that we are not nearly as globalized, as we'd like to think. In his opinion globalization is mostly a state of mind and in a large part happens just in our heads. One of his most intriguing arguments is that globalization is led by emotional responses to fear and desire. We are afraid of world domination by multinationals, or we worry of losing jobs to foreign competition. We desire to be the ones to solve global business problems and global issues by our superior skills, or simply gain additional globalization. Ghemawat splits globalization in four parts; the World 0.0, 1.0, 2.0, and the current 3.0.World 0.0 was the primal state of human nature and social relations. Only low levels and very personal trust existed, and survival was the primal instinct. The World 1.0 brought humanity into play. Starting around 3,000BC and gaining momentum from the treaty of Westphalia, World 1.0 emphasizes national borders. Nation-states started to develop, citizenship gained a large role and was started to use as and identifier, and nationalism took role with force. After World War 2 came World 2.0. Ghemawat says World 2.0 narrowed the influence of governments and nations, and is emphasized by free trade and competition. In World 2.0 deregulation is the key and governments efforts to control only lead to failure. In Ghemawat's opinion we are now in World 3.0, which lays somewhere between 1.0 and 2.0, but is more advanced. Ghemawat's main arguments are that globalization is not as advanced as we perceive, and globalization is not a spectrum of deregulation and governmental control. He refers to this stage as "semiglobalization". His data backs up his claim that we don't trade or deal internationally nearly as much as we think we do, and that the views of Worlds 1.0 and 2.0 are inconsistent. Ghemawat calls for parts from both concepts: more domestic regulation, while increasing international markets and reduce tariffs.

After getting familiar with both of the arguments, I have no intention to pick sides. Both of the authors, and subsequently their theories, are popular for a reason. They both bring forth very tangible issues and perceptions, communicated in a very effective manner. While studying them, it's easy to



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