The phrase: "the world is flat" can be interpreted in many ways. Basically what Friedman means by "flat" is "linked." The falling of trade and political barriers and technical advances have made it possible to do business, instantaneously with billions of other people around the world. It has allowed for parts of the world, which had previously been cut off, like China and India, to successfully compete in the world market. Thus, the playing field is being leveled, and no one nation has an advantage. Friedman could also refer to a "flat world" in a metaphorical sense. In a spherical earth you cannot see around the world and cannot recognize the opportunities far from where you live. If the world were flat you could see it all. There
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It has given individuals the power to be a producer, not just a consumer. This has basically redesigned the flow of creativity, innovation, and the gathering and distribution of information. Uploading has lead to the creation blogs, wikis, and podcasts. The most popular result of uploading is MySpace.com, a social networking site through which millions of people worldwide communicate with each other.
Outsourcing: The fiber optic bubble created the potential to move American business to India, by essentially linking the two nations. This new form of collaboration was very beneficial to both India and the U.S. Any service, call center, business support operation, or knowledge work that could be digitalized could be sourced directly to the cheapest, smartest and most efficient provider. Much of the work required during the Y2K bug was outsourced to India. This presented a huge opportunity for Indian industry, leading to a mad rush for Indian programmers to get business work done. More and more United States companies are outsourcing parts of their functions to the Far East. U.S. companies have found that this is a way they can reduce costs, and still get great quality.
Offshoring: Companies are offshoring their manufacturing to China and other areas in the east. This refers to the relocation of business processes from one country to another. This includes any business process such as production,