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From Silk to Silicon – J.E. Garten – path to globalization

Jeffery E. Garten – From Silk to Silicon

Author has written a book in which he tries to show life of extraordinary people, which shaped history with their actions and by doing so they were shaping history towards globalization:

Genghis Khan (1162-1227)

His empire was stretched from Asia to Europe and Middle East. In order to manage such vast empire, he needed to organise different parts of it in order to work as one. He was not pushing for religious centralisation, but instead find proper setup to administrate whole empire. He created environment where Silk road commerce could flourish. He conquered vast lands through his military power, but in order to manage them, he developed operational structure that support proper tax collection, development of schools, professional administration, commercial development.

Prince Henry (1394-1460)

As second in line for succession in Portugal he needed to find his position and he believed that his path should lead him to South and on the Sea. He started campaign for capturing North African city Ceuta, that will consequently lead to Portugal dominance in exploring shores of Africa in order to find a way around Africa to India. Henry was leading organisational efforts and supported expedition and by doing that he helped to slowly overcome mind obstacles of reaching beyond certain, before known points like Cap Bojador, Cape Blanco, Cape Verde and Cape Roxo. His structured approach and continuous support for new expeditions set proper ground for expansion of new discoveries in 15. and 16. Century.

Robert Clive (1725-1774)

Leader of East India Company. Started as junior, he climbed his ranks through Company and after some military successes, took over leading one of the biggest Companies in World History, that at times acted as a state it-self, with its armies, tax collections and even some multinational cooperation with independent states in Asia. This growth of commercial globalisation was more consequence of individual improvisation of leaders of such Companies, then some structured approach from leading countries of that time. Through this approach increased demand from industrially developed countries was matched with growing production in developing countries around the world.

Mayer Amschel Rothschild (1744-1812)

Creator of global financial system. Coming from small Frankfurt ghetto – Judengasse, he was able to set global business, that moved financial system into global mode. With help of his family he moved his business from Frankfurt to other important cities of that time, Naples, London, Paris, Vienna. Their business build was network of connections with leading royal families and state officials. They set in live bond market and were able to control not only financial flows but also merchandising. Their reputation grew and they were able to act as dealers in all sort of transactions around Europe. They use this trust and capabilities to move bigger resources then others to offer better conditions and compensate them with volumes of business. With their reach and support of rulers around the world, they set roots of today’s global financial system.

Cyrus Field (1819-1892)

He was the guy behind putting telegraph cable in Atlantic, connecting US and Britain, by doing so he connected those two from days of communication to minutes.

John D. Rockefeller (1839-1937)

Started as accountant, he was responsible for creating conglomerate, that forced American government to act in order to bring down monopoly that was threating free competition. Building Standard Oil as company that was vertically and horizontally organised so that it could control all aspect of Oil business in almost all territories around the world. He was known for his ruthless approach to competitors but also for his philanthropy. He set up model where redistribution of wealth could be done also through alternative routes, not only through welfare programs of state. Something Margaret Thatcher supported.

Jean Monet (1888-1979)

Architect of Europe, he was never in front as political leader, but because he believed in idea of united Europe and was known for his practical approach to get things done, he was able to work in shadows to put united Europe on agenda. He helped build a solution of cooperation that will protect Europe from getting into another armed conflict after WWII. First organisation was European agency for cool and steel production – ECSC (European Coal and Steel Commission).

Margaret Thatcher (1925-2013)

Iron lady build her “open market” approach on her belief in bringing Britain its power back. She was responsible for biggest privatization of government owned businesses, lower state based redistribution for social transfers, she allowed currency to float freely on open markets. Her policy of shrinking state, removing trade barriers, lowering regulation, was good ground for globalisation where “Winner takes it all”. Her push for free market policies was later known as “Washington Consensus”and was clear brake from post war Kenesyan approach of goverment lead redistribution and was instead focus on self healing market approach based on growth. She didn’t believe in consesus. She said that consensus is: “ process of abandoning all beliefs, principles, values and policies in search of something in which no one believes, but to which no one objects.”

Andrew Grove (1936-2016)

He was born in Hungary and being a Jew in times of Nazi Germany and then Soviet pressure on communist Hungary he was used to fight for his survival. He eventually run to America and was asked to operationally run Intel. Intel was a company that enable development of technological revolution, by producing smaller and smaller transistors all the way to microprocessor, that was base for development of personal computers, mobile phones and now basically all computer run machines from car to power grids. With his methodical approach he was able to solve problem of execution that was previously holding back development of this field. She brought operational excellence in management of technological production that was needed to execute big ideas in information technology industry.

Deng Xiaoping (1904-1997)

He brought China to modern times. As old Communist he was able to survive all threats from party ideological cleaning and was pushing for economic development, based on western management practices. He led China for some time at the end of 20th Century until 1989. He was able to transition China after Mao into country with modern economic practice but still under political rule of Communism. He was very practical in his approach and was always looking for a way to execute good ideas. Due to his experience with foreign lands, he believed in incentives and market oriented economy and he saw China development as global industrial power.

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