Thursday, April 07, 2005

Friedman Almost Discovers the Empire

Tom Friedman somewhat belatedly catches on to the full scope and possibilities of the new global economy—which goes well beyond the liberal politicians' wailing about "outsourcing." But he still hasn't identified the deeper trend that promises an extraordinary liberation of human talent around the globe: the Empire of the Pursuit of Happiness.

"It's a Flat World, After All," Thomas L. Friedman, New York Times, 4/3/05

" 'Outsourcing is just one dimension of a much more fundamental thing happening today in the world,' Nilekani explained. 'What happened over the last years is that there was a massive investment in technology, especially in the bubble era, when hundreds of millions of dollars were invested in putting broadband connectivity around the world, undersea cables, all those things.' At the same time, he added, computers became cheaper and dispersed all over the world, and there was an explosion of e-mail software, search engines like Google and proprietary software that can chop up any piece of work and send one part to Boston, one part to Bangalore and one part to Beijing, making it easy for anyone to do remote development. When all of these things suddenly came together around 2000, Nilekani said, they 'created a platform where intellectual work, intellectual capital, could be delivered from anywhere. It could be disaggregated, delivered, distributed, produced, and put back together again—and this gave a whole new degree of freedom to the way we do work, especially work of an intellectual nature. And what you are seeing in Bangalore today is really the culmination of all these things coming together.'... Andreessen is 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."