Major world events of the last 25 years irreversibly altered the way we conduct business and collaborate on a global scale. Thomas Friedman identifies and names these events the “ten flatteners,” as discussed in his book “The World is Flat.” Each of these ten flatteners contributed to the changing nature of global communication and information sharing into the 21st century.
The first flattener, the collapse of the Berlin Wall on November 9th, 1989, signified the end of communism and permitted us to view the world on a single flat plane. Only five months later, the first Windows breakthrough operating system was launched. The second flattener, Netscape, is the first commercial browser that connected the Internet with the World Wide Web
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Smartphones have made it possible to connect with social media, check emails, shop online, conduct Internet research, and perform countless tasks using over a million mobile applications from all over the world. The rise in popularity of Smartphones led to a sharp increase in global competition that continues to lower the price of technology today. As American’s we are most familiar with smartphones that retail for hundreds of dollars such as the $649 iPhone 6. Nearly 20% of the world’s population earns less than two dollars a day. Now, with smartphones retailing for $35 in developing countries, people can purchase a smartphone with three week's pay as opposed to a full year’s pay (Kessler, 2014). Affordable smartphones will have an enormous impact on the global economy because smartphones are a “productivity platform for wealth creation” (Kessler, 2014). People in poorer countries all over the world are now finding cheaper and more readily accessible smartphones. For millions of these people in countries such as China and India, this is the first time they have access to the plethora of information on the web. Millions of people in poor and poverty-stricken areas can utilize free online education they could otherwise not afford. This worldwide distribution of knowledge creates invaluable opportunities for millions of people, perpetuates innovation,