Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow ?

I was not really surprised to learn Montevideo Uruguay has set in motion the process to claim the title “Silicon Valley 3.0” — Okay that’s too much to ask for, but they have established a foothold nevertheless.

Yes, that’s Montevideo Uruguay. That’s right…Uruguay. You may not be thinking Uruguay and high tech belong in the same sentence, but you would be very wrong today thanks to globalization.

No doubt about Tom Friedman’s article (subscription required) Wednesday in the NYTimes regarding Uruguay tapping into the highly successful outsourcing mix in India (the country holding the title Silicon Valley 2.0)…hey those Indian engineers have to sleep sometime! But just as the original Silicon Valley looked to India for Y2K solutions, now India’s largest consulting service has found a new source in South America.

It may raise an eyebrow that some very large American companies have their back-room operations and computing networks managed in this little South American country. American Express along with Proctor & Gamble have solidified operations in Montevideo…and Friedman’s article also pointed at major U.S. banks who have also migrated operations (and people) south of the equator.

Friedman illustrated again in a flat world you can build a successful business anywhere with access to educated people, technology and the internet. A solid business plan never hurts. If big U.S. firms are even considering moving to Uruguay…they have to be setting up shop the right way, for the right price and with the right types of resources in-place.

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Latest read: Lexus and the Olive Tree

lexus and the olive treeTom Friedman’s book The Lexus and the Olive Tree: Understanding Globalization has great chapters including The Electronic Herd as one that fits right into how web2.0 entrepreneurs have been able to move social networks into powerful forces.

Although Lexus and the Olive Tree’s immediate focus was finance, its easy to see how MySpace impacts social networks.

The rapid change in today’s world has made a large leap within the last three years.

The strength of the herd continues to have more impact with even the youngest of the internet generation like…say…Digg.

at&t: please stop killing trees!

I have not opened a phone book in almost five years…yet AT&T thinks the internet does not exist. So they dropped off these two trees…or shall I say “books” at my door.

phonebook.jpg

I certainly did not ask for them. Sure the postal carrier feels the same way.
Its best save trees and make phone books optional. Now I have to drop them in my recycle box on garbage day.
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Latest read: Secrets A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers

Daniel Ellsberg‘s Secrets: A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon Papers is about his direct experience in Vietnam and more importantly his role in leaking The Pentagon Papers.  Daniel’s lessons in both academic research and military battlefields helped me learn more about the times he lived in and how it ultimately caused him to steal and publish top secret files regarding the war in Vietnam.

Secrets A Memoir of Vietnam and the Pentagon PapersThe Pentagon Papers showed world the surprising role of US involvement in Vietnam dating back to Harry Truman through the Nixon Administration.  His influence is not to be under estimated. I was impressed to learn of his work with President Kennedy in David Halberstam’s The Best and the Brightest. There was more to Ellsberg than meets the eye.

His background: undergraduate studies at Harvard and post graduate Woodrow Wilson fellowship at Cambridge in England. Daniel returned to apply for Marine officer candidates courses but had to wait a year — so he went to grad school at Harvard (during the Korean War) where he was expected to serve. In the beginning Ellsberg was a political hawk regarding communist expansion in the world especially Soviet aggressiveness in Czechoslovakia and Poland.

A week after getting his PhD he was in the military training to be a lieutenant. He would command a rifle unit in the second Marine division. As his tour was ending his first son was born. He was awarded a three year junior fellowship back at Harvard, but asked the Marine commandant to extend his tour as war in the Middle East appeared imminent. Daniel drafted secret plans against Egypt and Israel. As a research fellow back at Harvard in economic and decision theory he attracted attention of the Rand Corporation and in ’58 accepted an economic position with RAND in California. The Soviet Union launched Sputnik during this time-frame.  The cold war was beginning to really heat up.

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