The Mobile Wave - PCC - ebook

In the tradition of international bestsellers, Future Shock and Megatrends, Michael J. Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy, brings The Mobile Wave, a ground-breaking analysis of the impact of mobile intelligence the fifth wave of computer technology.  The Mobile Wave argues that the changes brought by mobile computing are so big and widespread that it s impossible for us to see it all, even though we are all immersed in it. Saylor explains that the current generation of mobile smart phones and tablet computers has set the stage to become the universal computing platform for the world. In the hands of billions of people and accessible anywhere and anytime, mobile computers are poised to become an appendage of the human being and an essential tool for modern life. With the perspective of a historian, the precision of a technologist, and the pragmatism of a CEO, Saylor provides a panoramic view of the future mobile world. He describes how: A Harvard education will be available to anyone with the touch of a screen. Cash will become virtual software and crime proof. Cars, homes, fruit, animals, and more will be tagged so they can tell you about themselves. Buying an item will be as easy as pointing our mobile device to scan and pay. Land and capital will become more of a liability than an asset. Social mobile media will push all businesses to think and act like software companies. Employment will shift as more service-oriented jobs are automated by mobile software. Products, businesses, industries, economies, and even society will be altered forever as The Mobile Wave washes over us and changes the landscape. With so much change, The Mobile Wave is a guidebook for individuals, business leaders, and public figures who must navigate the new terrain as mobile intelligence changes everything.

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Disruption Ahead

Mobile computing will be the most disruptive technology of our generation, and the revolution it leads is happening fast. The Agricultural Revolution took thousands of years to run its course. The Industrial Revolution required a few centuries. The Information Revolution, propelled by mobile technology will likely reshape our world on the order of decades.

For all its much vaunted disruptiveness, the Internet Wave really has impacted only about 5 percent of the overall economy -- mainly people aged 20 to 45 who worked on computers. By contrast, if you look at the Mobile Wave which is now taking shape, it’s reasonable to predict that within 10 years there will be 5 billion smart phones and 5 billion tablet computers hooked up. Once that happens, the Mobile Wave will touch everybody from ages 6 or 7 years old up to at least age 75 or 80. What’s more, everyone will be hooked up 24 hours a day. Under that scenario, it’s reasonable to project around 50 percent of the world’s economy will be remade over the next ten years -- making the Mobile Wave by far the biggest transition the world has ever experienced in the history of technology.

“Developing nations are leap-frogging into the twenty-first century with the help of smartphones and tablets and cell towers. I firmly believe this will be a game-changer for the global economy: the ability to deliver a First World education— as well as critical, timesensitive information— to nearly everyone for a thousand times less capital.” — Michael Saylor

Part 1

The two forces which combine to fuel the Mobile Wave

The Mobile Wave is gathering strength because it lies at the intersection of two different but interconnected underlying trends. Computers are in their fifth generation of development and are going mobile at the same time as social networks are reaching critical mass. Both these forces are growing strongly and combine to increase the power and reach of the Mobile Wave. And both are just about to enter exceptionally strong growth phases in the future.

Mobile is rapidly becoming the universal computing platform for the majority of humankind. The main reason for this is because mobile lies at the intersection of two very powerful trends:

1. Computers are now in their fifth generation of development── and each successive wave has built on the previous to have a greater impact on society. Those waves have been:

■ The mainframe era of the 1960s to the 1980s when big businesses could automate their bookkeeping.

■ The minicomputer era of the 1970s and 1980s which allowed companies of all sizes to automate business processes cost efficiently.

■ The desktop computer era which began in 1975 and which was epitomized by the IBM personal computer which sold millions. The PC automated office workers.

■ The Internet PC era which has become central to modernday society. Today, most of the 1.2 billion personal computers around are connected to the Internet.

■With the launch of the Apple iPhone in January 2007, the Mobile Internet era started ramping up and rolling out. Mobile Internet has grown rapidly ever since because of several distinguishing factors:

Smartphones are simpler than computers.

They are more affordable.

Battery life is good thanks to lithium-ion technology.

Flash memory has become cheap and robust.

Touch screen technology has matured.

Smartphones are instant-on and always ready to use.

A huge range of apps software has become available.

Mobile devices know their own location and are smart.

2. The rise of social networks is spawning new norms of consumer behaviors -- these social networks are rapidly evolving into universal platforms for just about all human interactions. Facebook has become the busiest Web site on earth and offers something of a social universe and is now spawning several new and notable social behaviors:

■ People are using Facebook as their own personal broadcast system to their friends. Social networks allow everyone to let their friends and associates know what they’re doing, thinking and buying in real time.

■ Social networks are being used to allow people to coordinate their social activities. Instant events are becoming much more common.