The World Is Flat, Book Review

Here we are, we are a tenth into the 21st century.  Well, I am.  Are you?  Have you got a Facebook page?  Do you have a LinkedIn page fully filled out?  What about Google+ or Twitter?  How about doing presentations of your work on YouTube?  What about Blog.Tv?  How about a blog on Blogger or WordPress?  That run through is just personal related on the internet.  What about if you have a business?  Are you using Constant Contact?  What about Alexa?  But for your business do you: Have a Facebook page?  Do you have a LinkedIn page fully filled out?  What about Google+ or Twitter?  How about are you doing presentations of your work on YouTube?  What about Blog.Tv?  How about a blog on Blogger or WordPress?

The course of the 21st Century means that the world is no longer your neighborhood or even the city you're in, but the world.  How so?  Using the above access points, my expansion of The Kyle Phoenix show, blogs, podcasts, videos has gone to about 6 to 8 million people seeing it, being aware of it, knowing about me.  That's worldwide.  That's taken about 4 years to reach those totals.  But the skyrocketing of those numbers, an additional 2 to 5 million happened within the last year.  By reading books like The World Is Flat I literally learned how to take my work from the information highway to warp speed.

This book is an excellent tool in learning how and more importantly, where to expand a business or even where to look for work.  The skills needed in the 21st Century are more technology based than absolutely social or manufacturing.  What this book then challenges is what happens to those people on the entire planet who don't understand that.  Imagine a village in India or China or Africa that for all intents and purposes measured against American standards is in the early 1900's with an agrarian or manufacturing basis, low tech throughout the town, maybe cars, mostly animal---horse or cow pulled vehicles.  We would imagine that such a village would need at least a generation or two (a generation is generally about 35 years) to come to parity with say me, sitting here in NYC with computers and internet access and university minds around me to advance me to the point of getting in front of 6 to 8 million people a year.  But that same village, let's give it a good name, New Hope.  

The village of New Hope with minimal investment---a generator, some cell phones, a laptop, a digital camera, electricity and someone who can read has suddenly been accelerated to the 21st century.  Historically what has made the 3rd World (a horribly imperialistic and incorrect contextual framer by supposedly "1st" world people, but we have to agree on some basic context).  New Hope can open an Ebay store and sell New Hope "love rocks" to the entire planet.  They can post videos of their cultural dances on YouTube, have their accounts monetized and receive cash checks for every click from all over the planet.  The same can be done for blogs and podcasts.  Villages, even individuals can now skip having to build a social infrastructure to occupying and profiting from globalization and immediately go into profit.  That's ow the internet has made the world flat.

What about as an individual worker?  The current statistics are that every year in America there are 34,000 students graduating with degrees in Engineering, in India there are 350,000 a year and in China, 650,000.  Now compare that back in to America's recession based worker woes.  Americans are not educating as fast as the rest of the world is and more damningly whereas foreigners used to come here to utilize their newly minted abilities the internet means they don't have to now.  Ever heard of Prepaid Legal?  You join, pay a monthly membership fee and legal work is farmed out to paralegals around the world to process and then an American lawyers stamps off on it for a small fee.  If you have a software issue on your PC or Mac or most of it's software or even your taxes---you might be re-routed through a call center in India (where they have training centers, full of college students and college graduates, who are being schooled in not simply the company's systems but in American dialects, idioms, communication skills).  The abilities, the capabilities of Americans have shifted from us being the arena to us being another player in the arena.

Thomas Friedman's book is an excellent understanding of how the world HAS changed and what you should be doing in your career or entrepreneurship ventures to enter the stream of reality that Earth has moved to.  Even simply for the marketing and production of The Kyle Phoenix Show materials, there are hits from Mauritius (!), South America, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Greece, France, India, China, Australia, the Caribbean, Syria, Egypt  Israel, Canada, and all of the United States.  I originally thought New York, sure and maybe it would blow up to the USA.  The World Is Flat is one of the books that's helped me to change my context and therefore content as I realize I am as present in the cyberverse as an individual as New Hopes and multi-national conglomerates.  Amazing!  

Kyle Phoenix
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