Today I finished Thomas Friedmanâ€™s book “The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century.” I have one word of advice: Drop everything you are doing, buy this book today, and read it.
When I started ThinkingAboutMoney.com (was it only six weeks ago?), I set for myself a program of self-education. The books Iâ€™ve read have been my teachers. My blog entries, my self-defined homework. In this time Iâ€™ve focused on two main areas: gaining a better understanding of finance and investing, and trying to understand the trends that are evolving as part of the information revolution.
It is this latter area that is the focus of “The World is Flat.” It is a stunning piece of work – a small window into future (as it were), and it does a phenomenal job of pulling together ideas into a coherent framework.
The premise of the book is that the information revolution has effectively flattened the world – and that as a result the very nature of business competition has changed. Where once competition was between countries, then later between corporations, now it is between individuals. The playing field has been leveled, where individuals can compete with large corporations for work, and with each other anywhere in the world. With this comes great challenges and great opportunities. I found the book both scary and exciting, and I have no doubt it will have a major impact on the plans I develop over the months to come.
My short review here does not even begin to do it justice. Though long (550 pages), it is extraordinarily readable. If you agree that the world is undergoing a major shift, and if you are looking to prepare yourself (or help your kids prepare) for the changes that are coming, I cannot stress this enough. Get this book as soon as possible. Donâ€™t wait for the paperback – this is an investment in your future. Read it. Think about it. Honestly evaluate your career and plans in the context of what you learn. It wonâ€™t be fast, and it wonâ€™t be easy, but you wonâ€™t regret it.
The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century by Thomas L. Friedman