In thsi book, Friedman recounts a journey to Bangalore, India, when he realized globalization has changed core economic concepts. In his opinion, this flattening is a product of a convergence of personal computer with fiber-optic micro cable with the rise of work flow software. He termed this period as Globalization 3.0, differentiating this period from the previous Globalization 1.0 (in which countries and governments were the main protagonists) and the Globalization 2.0 (in which multinational companies led the way in driving global integration).
Friedman recounts many examples of companies based in India and China that, by providing labor from typists and call center operators to accountants and computer programmers, have become integral parts of complex global supply chains for companies such as Dell, AOL, and Microsoft. Friedman's Dell Theory of Conflict Prevention is discussed in the book's penultimate chapter.
Friedman repeatedly uses lists as an organizational device to communicate key concepts, usually numbered, and often with a provocative label. Two example lists are the ten forces that flattened the world, and three points of convergence.