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The Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything 0th Edition

79 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1593157203
ISBN-10: 1593157207
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Editorial Reviews


USA Today
“The visionary picture he paints of the future is captivating, informative, and thought-provoking. The MIT-educated Saylor exhibits a deep knowledge of the mobile world, and gives readers a peek free of boring geek-speak. Readers will be able understand and appreciate his clear and engaging exploration of a complex, red-hot, and thoroughly up-to-the minute topic.”

"It is a thoughtful romp across invention and innovation -- and blessedly free of MicroStrategy sales pitches."


"In The Mobile Wave his vision is clear—we face a future in which paper, devices such as phones, credit cards and cash, entertainment venues, doctor’s office visits, and even the classroom will be obsolete, or nearly so. He wants everyone on the bandwagon, from toddlers to grandparents."
With one month remaining until the presidential election, it seems every economic statistic is up for interpretation by each party. On Friday, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported the unemployment rate dipped from 8.1% to 7.8%, provoking both Democratic celebration and Republican consternation.

Whether or not you believe former General Electric CEO Jack Welch is right to question the integrity of this number, both sides need to pay less attention to it altogether. The denominator in this equation, the size of the labor force, excludes people who have given up looking for work, people working fewer hours than they want (the “underemployed”), etc. . . . It is a very misleading.

A better proxy for employment health is the employment-population ratio. This percentage has been flattish year-over-year and anchored between 58-59%; brushing multi-decade lows. Moreover, the growth of two-income households cannot be blamed for the relative contraction of the labor force. Median household income has been stagnant since the twenty-first century began. These are just two data points, but in aggregate households are making less money now with fewer people working on a relative basis.

Both parties are sparring to convince you its Obama’s fault or Bush’s or Clinton’s or some other scapegoat, but the fact remains we have a serious long-term jobs problem in this country. Government policy may be able to affect these trends in the short-term, but what drives economic growth if you look beyond a typical two-year or four-year election cycle? Tax policy, entitlements, healthcare costs, and military spending are important, but deal with how created wealth is used. Technological progress is what matters over time because that’s what drives wealth creation.

Technology put buggy makers and typewriter companies out of business and explains why Apple is the most valuable company on the planet. The 2010 History (formerly the History Channel) six-part miniseries, America: The Story of US reaches back hundreds of years to show how the United States’ development was primarily driven by technology, pure and simple.

Do you know why the Union won the Civil War? Not better generals and or a higher moral ground, but because of better infrastructure, including a more developed rail system and the use of the nascent telegraph to communicate with commanders in the field. Do you know which invention spurred westward expansion? Barbed wire allowed ranchers to better contain their cattle herds and secure property claims. Urbanization could not have occurred as rapidly without mass steel production enabling skyscraper construction.

The point is the key developments in American history resulted from technology and not from who lived in the White House or which party ran Congress. If we want to figure out how to prosper in the future we need to accept what the next major technological advance will be to transform the economy and absorb, adopt and it exploit it. Michael Saylor’s book, The Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything makes a valid case that mobile technology is that advance.

Released in June, this book resonates loudly as we approach November. It is not another self-congratulatory CEO memoir, but a well-researched and interesting forecast for our economy. Saylor convincingly argues the growth of mobile technology marks not just another step in technological miniaturization, but an important evolution of software becoming an omnipresent force in our life in the coming years.

He uses a scientific metaphor to illustrate this point. He compares desktop PCs to solids, laptops to liquids, and mobility to a vapor that envelops us at all times. Saylor is not just an ordinary tech industry observer. He co-founded business intelligence behemoth MicroStrategy, Inc. (NSDQ: MSTR) in 1989 and is still its Chairman and CEO. This book uses an incredible number of historical examples of creative destruction, recent statistical data, and bold predictions to make the case this mobile wave will “transform 50% of the world’s GDP in the coming decade.”

Improvements in Near Field Communication (NFC) and multi-touch technologies will make mobile technology an integral part of our lives. Saylor predicts, “By 2025, we will see almost universal use of mobile computers as our primary means of navigating through modern society.”

How does this affect employment? Saylor references a McKinsey study which claims the Internet has created 2.6 jobs for every job it destroyed, small and medium-sized companies have increased productivity 10% via Internet adoption, and significant users have grown twice as much as other firms. I like this book because Saylor cogently takes a stand on where the economy is headed, and offers myriad examples of how mobile technology will transform various industries. It’s a blueprint for impending change and a sober warning for the laggards who resist it.

I wish our presidential candidates engaged in a more constructive discussion about the future of work instead of its current state. Corporate earnings may fluctuate quarter-to-quarter and employment rates may tick up or down each month, but the national discussion needs to be more far-sighted. While politics dictate a hyper focus on the here and now, I hope our current/next president reads Saylor’s book and maybe even watches America: The Story of US if he has a spare twelve hours!

Each party has favored industries but if Saylor’s correct, all companies will be dealing with this mobile wave, either by choice or eventually by necessity. Higher education should pay attention in terms of how to adapt their curricula to better serve their students. President Obama and former Governor Romney have both mentioned technical colleges and trade schools often as logical places to improve the labor force and stimulate the economy. If the winner allocates federal money for job training programs, then this book makes a compelling argument that workers need to be taught how to use and understand mobile technology in order to be competitive in an increasingly cutthroat labor market.

The Mobile Wave deals with one of our favorite trends we’ve been hammering on for the past few years. Here is USA Today,

The mobile wave is coming.

If you’re not ready to ride it, you’ll be swept away by a tsunami of change that will fundamentally alter the world.

That’s the theme of The Mobile Wave by software entrepreneur Michael Saylor. The book explores how mobile devices such as iPhones and iPads will change jobs, healthcare, banking, politics, law enforcement, and much more.

Does this sound familiar?

Consider what a trip to the doctor could mean. If you’re feeling ill, Saylor says, you might be able to connect with a doctor in India via your mobile device. He or she could diagnose and treat you for a fraction of the cost of visiting a doctor in the U.S.— maybe only $5 to $10.

Here is someone that understands that unemployment may be more structural than cyclical and therefore a must read for Chairman Bernanke. Ouch!

He predicts that as many as 10% of U.S. service sector workers — roughly 12 million people — could be laid off in the next five years as a result of mobile efficiencies.

Gotta get us a copy.

Choice, February 2013
“Fascinating and thought provoking. Saylor clearly lays out the advances and future expectations in a wide array of fields related to mobile communications….Highly recommended.”

About the Author

Michael Saylor is the chairman and CEO of the publicly traded company MicroStrategy. With degrees in engineering as well as Science, Technology, and Society from MIT, he is a science historian, and a formidable intellectual whom Slate called “mesmerizing.” He is not just a high-tech entrepreneur, but also a serious scholar whose success in business stems from his obsession since college—and really since childhood—with understanding what Thomas Kuhn called the “structure of scientific revolutions.” He has appeared on TV interview shows including 60 Minutes and Charlie Rose, and has been profiled in Newsweek, Time, Slate, The New Yorker, and The Washington Post.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Vanguard Press (June 26, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1593157207
  • ISBN-13: 978-1593157203
  • Product Dimensions: 9.4 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #658,274 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

98 of 121 people found the following review helpful By Robert David STEELE Vivas HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on July 12, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
For a guy who once said he was worth $600,000 a hour, I was expecting a great deal more. This is a Classic Comic for the masses--now I used to own all of the Classic Comics [for those under 60, these were the Great Books of Western Civilization, in comic book form, all the rage in the 1960's].

The author starts off by saying that everything is becoming software, but there is no mention of Marc Andersson's famous article, "Why Software is Eating the World" (Wall Street Journal, 20 August 2011), and across the book I notice other inconsistencies. I conclude this is a book researched and written by staff to the signed author's general specifications. It is a good outline, and worth reading, but it is also disappointing. This is not the book that Michael Saylor could have and should have written. Having said that, I give the staff high marks for a clean intelligible coherent book good enough for the 80% that do not think about these topics very much.

The central premise of the book is that mobile plus social equals radical change; that application hand-helds (as opposed to cell phones) are hugely disruptive, and that if we have 5.3 billion with phones right now (out of 9 billion plus), imagine what happens when everyone has a cell phone.

As it happens, I have imagined this. I funded Earth Intelligence Network (501c3) before I lost everything in the crash, and we specifically conceptualized a path to OpenBTS, Open Spectrum, all the other opens, that gave the five billion poorest free cell phones and cell service for life, educating them "one cell call at a time." We also spent a great deal more time thinking about the reflections of Herman Daly (e.g.
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25 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Ricknewengland on September 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I was one of the first to purchase this book as a result of a full page ad in the Wall Street Journal. I was extremely disappointed. The book offered no new ideas. Instead, it basically re-hashed the ideas that anyone can read about in the WSJ or on All Things Digital. I hoped for insight, ideas and intellectual speculation. I received nothing more than a warmed over review of everything I already knew. I'm no geek. Tech is not my industry. This book offers nothing new, at all. Save your money.
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28 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Mark P. McDonald VINE VOICE on September 25, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Disappointing is the word that best summarizes Michael Saylor's The Mobile Wave. The book was recommended to me by someone whose judgment I value and given the author's pedigree as CEO of MicroStrategy I expected much much more. Saylor has written a book or rewritten a book about the mobile world that could have been written about the introduction of the Internet and eCommerce. I say rewritten because much of what is here is the same internet based platitudes found during the dot com era with limited updates. I would strongly suggest avoiding this book as it says little and your time is better spent reading other books.

Saylor sees the future as being driven by mobile technology -- the mobile wave as he puts it. He sees the mobile wave as the technology that will turn everything into software from music, to media, to payments, etc. He organizes the book around the waves mobile technology will create in the following areas:

Computers - they will all be like the iPad, multi-touch and graphical
Paper - it will disappear saving time, money and the environment
Entertainment -- it will be come universal, user driven and shared
Wallet -- it will be smarter, virtual and full service
Social Networks -- they are the future mega cities with immediate and pervasive connections
Medicine -- it will be networked, paperless and global
Education - it will be personal digital, active and reset the cost structure
Developing World -- where needs meet new technology capabilities and an inventive populace

In each of these areas, Saylor spends the majority of his pages discussing the history of the particular area like the history of computing or paper or the wallet.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By econNerd on July 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a very easy to understand book with game changing ideas about mobile. You don't have to be a techie to grasp the Mobile Wave and the implications it might carry for your industry. The dismal unemployment numbers came out while I was reading this book and I really couldn't help but to connect the employment setbacks and the Mobile Wave as described by Saylor.

He argues that mobile isn't just technology converging into a smaller device, but highly disruptive to many existing industries. From education to healthcare, Saylor highlights a number of these industries where mobile technology will be a game changer. And, alarmingly, this change is happening rapidly.

If mobile technology is the locomotive for the economy, then I fear many existing jobs might not be on the train. Saylor makes a compelling case that "to create, you must destroy" - so new, unknown, jobs will be created in place of existing ones. This is why I give this book 5 stars, it gives a great heads up for business executives in any industry. It will help you rethink how your current activities will be integrated into the mobile economy.

With a little bit of imagination, you can apply Saylor's thought process to any industry. In fact, the people that might benefit the most from this book might be public policy makers because, if correct, the Mobile Wave is going to shake up the economy like a tsunami.

A great read!
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