Book Review of World 3.0 by Pankaj Ghemawat

I recently read a busi­ness book, World 3.0, writ­ten by a really smart, really detailed Har­vard busi­ness guru. Here’s what I picked up on.

Book Review of World 3.0 by Pankaj Ghemawat

Overview of World 3.0

Ghe­mawat makes the case that glob­al­ism, in the busi­ness sense, isn’t quite as global as we had imag­ined, con­tra Friedman’s best­selling book The World is Flat (2003). The term, “World 3.0″ refers to a new way to view the world, that rejects the false claim of “World 2.0,” the idea that the world’s mar­kets are glob­ally inte­grated. Ghe­mawat loads you up with page upon page of per­cent­ages, sta­tis­tics, met­rics, num­bers, and data in gen­eral, then forces you to accept his premise. In Part 1, the author first proves that glob­al­iza­tion isn’t as wide­spread as we may have thought. He even makes the claim that per­haps glob­al­iza­tion should not be as big as we want it to bedIn Part 2, he dis­cusses seven rea­sons why this non-globalization is today’s real­ity, rea­sons which include risks, imbal­ances, exploita­tion, and oppres­sion. Finally, in Part 3, the book dis­cusses a via media between the bar­barism of World 1.0 and the delu­sion of World 2.0. This, he claims, is World 3.0, a more robust and durable global economy. In this sec­tion, Ghe­mawat decries pro­tec­tion­ism, and pro­poses gov­ern­men­tal and busi­ness pol­icy changes that can pro­duce stronger local and inter­na­tional economies.

Remarks on World 3.0

  • I was sur­prised by this fact:  glob­al­ism isn’t as big a deal as we thought. In a wry jab against Fried­man (The World is Flat), the author remarks, “Some­thing other than data must account for the suc­cess of The World is Flat, since its 450+ pages con­tain not a sin­gle table, chart, or foot­note, to back up its pro­nounce­ments. I still find the com­fort of Friedman’s many fans with his data-free approach, the most flab­ber­gast­ing aspect of the flat­ten­ing.” The coun­try in which I was born and lived for some time, South Korea, seemed fanat­i­cal about glob­al­iza­tion (at least from the per­spec­tive of the left-leaning Eng­lish news­pa­per I read). Glob­al­iza­tion was the du jour utopia of the mod­ern age. As Ghe­mawat points out, the world is not as glob­al­ized as we thought…or hoped.
  • Ghe­mawat doesn’t just give you a fact and expect you to just accept it. Instead, he deliv­ers truck­load after truck­load of data to prove his point. The point he’s try­ing to make may seem minus­cule, but the amount of evi­dence he pro­duces to prove it is gargantuan.
  • This book is no friv­o­lous book of fic­tion. If you’re in the mood for a light novel, don’t touch it. It’s line after line of cold, hard facts. Sure, Ghe­mawat is a good writer, but he’s also a research-driven, fact-collecting, intellect-increasing genius. Grit your read­ing teeth.
  • My favorite chap­ters were chap­ters 11 (“Global Homog­e­niza­tion”) and 15 (“Us and Them in World 3.0″), which dis­cuss anthro­pol­ogy, xeno­pho­bia, cul­tural dif­fer­ences, coun­try trust lev­els, etc. The rea­son I enjoyed these chap­ters so much is because the author rose from  the rel­a­tively unfa­mil­iar (to me) ter­rain of business-speak, and dis­cussed cul­tures, coun­tries, etc.

Con­clu­sion

I won’t pre­tend that I was entranced by the author’s every word, or that it was a book that was “hard to put down.” Ghe­mawat lives in the world of busi­ness acad­e­mia. I don’t. There­fore, I prob­a­bly lacked the aware­ness, knowl­edge, and expe­ri­ence in the inter­na­tional busi­ness world that would have made World 3.0 more fas­ci­nat­ing. In spite of this, I prof­ited from the book’s over­all per­spec­tive of globalization’s progress today, and learned from the solu­tions he pro­poses for the future.

Get the book on Amazon. 

Trackbacks/Pingbacks:

  1. February 2012 Reading | Daniel Threlfall - February 29, 2012

    […] Did you know that glob­al­iza­tion isn’t as wide­spread and amaz­ing as you thought? If you make it through Ghemawat’s 400 pages of eco­nom­ics, you’ll find that out. Need­less to say World 3.0 wasn’t as funny as Bab­bit. Read a review.  […]

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