The Mobile Wave by Michael Saylor, CEO of MicroStrategy describes, according to its subtitle, “How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything”. Mr. Saylor describes how mobile computing will accelerate the decline of paper use and transform industries from entertainment, finance, social networks, medicine, and education. As somebody who has lived through the PC revolution of the 1980’s and the Internet revolution of the 1990’s, much of future described seemed to be familiar territory. What may be unique to the mobile wave is its low power requirements and reliance on a wireless infrastructure. Because of these attributes, Mr. Saylor predicts- correctly, I believe- that mobile computing will transform the developing world, which in many places still hasn’t been transformed by the previous industrial revolution.
The book jacket describes The Mobile Wave as following in the footsteps of futurist Alvin Toffler’s Future Shock and John Naisbitt’s Megatrends. Those are big shoes to fill. But the author mostly succeeds. Instead of merely looking at the present and imagining the future, Mr. Saylor looks backward at human history like a cultural anthropologist, helping us understand that many of the trends described to not rely exclusively on mobile technology.
My main criticism of the book is that it describes a Gene Roddenberry-like utopian future, as if technology alone will eliminate evil and human suffering. While the book does address some of the potential pitfalls, they are mostly glossed over. A more balanced review of human history would reveal that our ingenuity has often brought great benefit to mankind while simultaneously providing new ways to harm each other.
Mobility is a big deal to Microstrategy, as Cindi Howson, founder of BI Scorecard, learned during the recent Microstrategy user conference (see her Information Week article MicroStrategy Doubles Down On Mobile, Data Visualization). Yet mobile business intelligence receives barely a mention in the book. Michael Saylor is to be commended for painting a much larger picture of the mobile revolution.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I borrowed this book from a public library. It was not a free review copy. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Some of the links in the post above are “affiliate links.” This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers.I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”