US Economy

Your world changed forever in 2007, get with the program, Thomas Friedman says

Tech driving global change
Tech driving global change

When he began researching his latest book, best-selling author Thomas Friedman started noticing something about the year 2007.

Most notably, it was the year Apple launched the iPhone, and most notoriously, the year before the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression.

Also in 2007, Facebook and Twitter went global; Kindle and Android were released; Airbnb was founded; Google bought YouTube; IBM created its artificial intelligence system Watson, and fracking began, Friedman noted in an interview on CNBC's Squawk Box."

The tech boom took the world by storm, generating unexpected and detrimental consequences, said Friedman, a columnist for The New York Times.

Friedman's book "Thank You for Being Late," released on Tuesday, explores these rapid transformations in technology, globalization and climate change, and how they're reshaping the world.

Friedman: Everything including politics has to move faster
Friedman: Everything including politics has to move faster

"I think what happened was our physical technologies leapt ahead, but it was like we were all on a moving sidewalk … and people literally felt [like], 'Wow, something's changing. The ground's moving under my feet,'" the three-time Pulitzer-Prize-winning columnist said.

"A lot of things froze" creating "real disjunction," with a surge in technology butting up against the economic and political spheres, forcing regulators to try to keep up, said Friedman.

Fast-forward to today, with digital globalization, "people are now getting connected at a pace and scope ... never seen before," Friedman said. He said the political system must work with the forces at play, not against them.

"If you keep your economy open, keep it flexible, keep it as deregulated as possible. These opportunities, when they come, you'll be able to jump on them," he concluded.