Speed of Change


“Change is hard. Change is hardest on those caught by surprise. Change is hardest on those who have difficulty changing too. But change is natural; change is not new; change is important.” – These are the hard-driven points on change from an employee memo of David Schlesinger (head of Reuters America) back in 2004.

And this memo is presented as a call for awakening towards the sweeping changes in business taking place in a constantly globalising world economy in Thomas Friedman’s book ‘The World is Flat: A Brief History of the Twenty-First Century’. And this is only the first chapter that I am in so far.

Friedman divides the globalization eras into three categories.

1. Globalization 1.0 which is from 1492 – 1800 (From Columbus’s discovery of America to the beginning of the Industrial Revolution in England) resulting in shrinking the world from a size large to a size medium
2. Globalization 2.0 which is from 1800 – 2000 (Industrial Age to Information Age) resulting in the world shrinkage from medium to small

3. Globalization 3.0 which is pretty much the last six years of internet, e-commerce, blogging, tagging, internet telephony and evolving day-by-day so to speak and apparently shrinking the world from size small to tiny and flattening the playing field at the same time

Now what is truly interesting to me is the speed of change in these three eras. The first one lasted for about 300 years, while the second era about 200 years (outlasting the above-average age of a person). The third one is about six years old and growing (Its just started first-grade school) and we already have an astounding amount of information covering the brief twenty-first century. What has truly changed now is that the dissemination and ready availability of information for everyone (at the click of a mouse button as they say!) has accelerated our thinking and perception relative to older eras.

I’m just getting into the preceding chapters and will keep adding thoughts and observations, as I journey through the ten forces that flattened the world and its aftermath.


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