The Invisible Continent: Four Strategic Imperatives of the New Economy

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9780060957421: The Invisible Continent: Four Strategic Imperatives of the New Economy

Kenichi Ohame looks ahead to the future of business in the age of the Internet and sees a rapidly changing landscape -- one to which we must adapt or face the consequences. Ohame unveils this new economy's four basic forces and shows how a dramatic and volatile battleground is forming between companies and the countries that try to regulate them.

Just as The Borderless World foresaw a globally interlinked economy, The Invisible Continent maps out the coming technological revolutions and the impact they will have on the businesses around the world. A must read for anyone seeking to attain and keep a competitive advantage in today's markets, The Invisible Continent is a "timely, well-written, and well-organized book" (Library Journal).

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Review:

Kenichi Ohmae's invisible continent is a moving, unbounded world, consisting of four dimensions: There's what you can see (old economy commerce, like bricks-and-mortar retail); a borderless world in which capital moves around, chasing the best products and the highest investment returns regardless of national origin; the cyber-world, which has changed not only the way we do business but the way we interact on a personal level; and the high multiples awarded to new economy stocks, which are the basis of not only present wealth but what anyone with a retirement plan hopes will be future comfort.

By Ohmae's reckoning, the invisible continent was born in 1985. Microsoft released Windows 1.0, CNN launched, Cisco Systems began, the first Gateway 2000 computers were shipped, and companies like Sun Microsystems and Dell were in their infancies. Back then, the economic outlook was gloomy and few saw this embryonic continent forming. Now, of course, it affects virtually every business. Ohmae throws his arms around the entire continent and looks at how decisions are made on the invisible continent (the "platforms," which are created by businesses rather than governments), how money moves around the globe, how old-economy monoliths can become new economy Godzillas, and even how all of it might collapse. (Imagine that the Euro overtakes the dollar as the currency of choice; arbitrageurs "short" American currency; inflation soars; the stock market crashes.) The Invisible Continent is a bold and visionary attempt to not only explain the present, but project the future. (Bill Gates as U.N. secretary-general? It could happen.) The possibilities he raises--good and bad--are equally mind-blowing. More important are the practical questions that arise: Who's running this new continent? To what end? And for whom? We'll have to wait and see what the real answers are. But for now, Ohmae's speculation is nothing short of fascinating. --Lou Schuler

About the Author:

Kenichi Ohmae is a Tokyo-based top corporate strategist and adviser to governments around the world. The former director of McKinsey & Company and chairman of its Asia Pacific operations, he is a speaker, educator, entrepreneur, and author of seventy books. He writes frequently for the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Newsweek, Harvard Business Review, Washington Post, Japan Times, and other publications.

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Ohmae, Kenichi
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