i have been reading “the world is flat” by Thomas Friedman. The author talks about how the world has changed from columbus times when he thought world is round to his time when he concluded that the world is flat.
He divides world into three great eras of globalization. Initially the world was big and people or kingdoms or societies knew only a part of it or did not know how big is the world. According to them the world was very big , so big that they did not know most of the thing about it.
The first era began with (1492 – 1800) when Columbus found that world is round and it opened trade between new world and old world. The world became of medium size. Countries and government defined the world. Energy was most precious thing , be it manpower, horsepower, steam power etc. Whoever has most was the king.
Next was Globalization 2.0 (1800 – 2000) – The world shrank from medium to small size. Instead of countries The Companies took the centerstage and they defined the world. This era saw East India company taking over India. Industries and hardware were the most important things and they defined the world. It started with falling goods movement cost due to better roads and rail roads and ended with falling information movement costs due to better optical fibre network which laid the foundation of next era.
Globalization 3 (2000 onward) further shrank the world from small to tiny. Here individuals were at centerstage and they defined the world. Softwares were the most important things. And they allowed individuals to collaborate in such a way that they had equal resources and opportunities available to them and everybody had equal chance to succeed. In rest of the book he goes on to describe how it became possible.
He lists 10 forces that flattened the world – which basically revovles around advancement in softwares, software as a tool to helping in workflow, open source movement, standards, outsourcing, offshoring, Y2K, google and finally mobiles. He envisions a world where mobile will be your second identity and will be a the closest bridge between individual and technology. But is it still a level playing field for entrepreneurs who are eyeing mobile software development. I came across a blog post which discusses the issues around mobile development. This is a interesting read. Some are seeing the problem whereas others are seeing it as possible opportunity.