A level playing field for me means that even though I do not work for / own / run a corporation / organization / company, technological advances like the ones Friedman mentions allow me to be a one-person organization.
I can work with anyone from anywhere in the world without having to bother about infrastructure and seed-capital. [I am a designer, photographer, writer, innovation consultant and business-networking consultant.]
I do business online and offsite and my only marketing and advertising is “word-of-mouth”. I use networking portals like openBC and LinkedIn, make contact with potential clients from all over the world, sign deals with them and get paid â€“ all online. I do not necessarily “have-to” meet the people I am working for. It is a level playing field for the customer and for the service-provider, which each can use to their advantage. A customer can find a low-cost option if thatâ€™s what he / she is looking for. A customer can find the most talented, respected, qualified and experienced service-provider if thatâ€™s what he / she is looking for. Walls of cultural differences are coming down and while the ultimate goal of a truly flat world might not seem so evident, we are undeniably moving toward it.
While it might be person / sector / industry / economics specific currently, the “flat” world is definitely no longer a metaphor – the Internet and other technological advances and the English language have indeed made it a “flat” world for me. It is a level playing field for me because now I have access to opportunities that otherwise would not even have existed in my perceived world.