„If you're not ready to ride it, you'll be swept away by a tsunami of change that will fundamentally alter the world. And mobile computing is a tipping point technology for the information revolution, a revolution that began with writing on clay tablets, and continued through the invention of the printing press and computers. Mobile will be the catalyst that brings society the most dramatic changes of the Information Revolution”.
That's the theme of „The Mobile Wave” by Michael Saylor, the chairman and CEO of MicroStrategy. The book, a bestseller in the United States, explores how mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets will change business, jobs, healthcare, banking, politics, law enforcement, and much more. „I think every ten years or so there's something really exciting in the information technology business. We’ve had the mainframe wave, the mini-computer wave, the personal computer (PC) wave, and then the Internet wave. Now, along comes the mobile wave. It’s the fifth wave, I think, of computing”, said Michael Saylor.
How software interacts with civilization
What is the most surprising thing that readers of „The Mobile Wave” will learn? First of all, the thing that half of the products and services that we've taken for granted – like the electromechanical devices we hold in our hand, the things that we read, the way that we learn, we buy and solve things, pay for things, etc – are dematerializing into software that's going to run either on a smartphone in your pocket or on a tablet computer that you hold in your hand. „This is the greatest wave of automation in the history of the world, and it's the greatest wave of automation in the history of information technology. It's going to be ten times bigger than the Internet wave that came before it. By the time the mobile wave sweeps through all of our lives, half the things that we take for granted in our life are simply going to disappear”, explained Saylor.
One of the interesting anecdotes MicroStrategy`s CEO mentioned in the book is that he was walking down the beach in San Tropez, and he saw a three-year-old in a stroller in the middle of the noonday sun. One of the people walking with Saylor leaned over and asked the child what he was doing. The three-year-old said „I'm working on my music”. He was holding an iPad in his hand and was actually composing a song. „That was an epiphany for me. It was a shocker because in the last computing revolution, the Internet wave, we worked primarily on laptops and desktops using symbolic processing. You had to be able to read and understand higher-level math. It's very sophisticated. To see that three-year-old using a computing device was, I think, an extraordinary shift. I think it has very portentous implications for what is to come in the way software interacts with civilization”, said Michael Saylor.
Mobile computing, more of a benefit, than a problem
The visionary picture Saylor paints of the future is captivating, informative, and thought-provoking. For example, not long for now, a trip to the doctor can become virtual. So, if you're feeling ill, Saylor says, you might be able to connect with a doctor in India or Reunion Island via your mobile device. He or she could diagnose and treat you for a fraction of the cost of visiting a doctor in the United States. „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. There are some studies showing that 2.6 jobs were created for every job eliminated by internet efficiencies. If mobile follows the same pattern, mobile computing will be far more of a benefit, than a problem”, said Saylor on his book. The same process is affecting other industries. Saylor devotes chapters to book publishing, movies, board games, photography and financial services. Currently there are forty eight million people in the world with cellular phones, but no electricity.
How the mobile wave affects social networks
Michael Saylor`s book also talks about how the mobile wave affects social networks. „Social networks are still in their early stages. I think three years ago almost no one recognized them as having any commercial impact. I think we're in year one of modern enterprises really thinking about social networks in a serious way, but over the next ten years I think we're going to see a renaissance in consumer marketing and consumer services that will result in new types of services that will be highly beneficial and they'll be fueled, in part, by social networks. Facebook is now credited with a unique index of one billion people. Presumably, that will become a two to five billion person index over the next decade. It is the only white pages, if you will, in cyberspace of these knowledge workers anywhere on earth. No government and no company can give you a billion person index. The second valuable thing that social networks bring is the largest database of individual affinity, inclination, and aspiration in the history of the world. For example, as soon as a woman gets engaged, one of the first things she does is use her favorite social network to tell her friends. So if I’m Tiffany & Co. and I can tap into the ten million consumers who are active in social networks – with permission, of course – then I will know the 37,000 people who just got engaged, and I'll know it in an effortless, friction-free way. I can tailor my offerings to them in a way they like. I'll know that they want to go on vacation. I'll know the music they like, the places they like to visit and the things they don't like. I can offer them only the things they're going to like, again, with their permission. In essence, the social network is a single consumer database for permission-based marketing and services that make consumers’ lives better. Companies can create software that provides services that consumers desire, and the consumers are actually going to reward them with a linkage to their social network. The result will be products and services that are just plain better, more efficient and what everybody wants”, said MicroStrategy`s CEO.
Engage and monetize your Facebook fans
Michael Saylor is no disinterested observer. His company, Microstrategy, provides data analysis and management for business and government, including data gathered via mobile applications. Microstrategy also creates and sells social media mobile apps that allow consumers to manage and maximize their activities on Facebook, named „MicroStrategy Social Intelligence”, which contains three modules (Wisdom, Alert & Gateway).
MicroStrategy Wisdom allows you to get to know your Facebook fans as well as their friends do. You can segment your users based on their interests and motivations (they are, where they come from, and what they like, what activities they enjoy, places they like to go, etc), so that you can target each segment with more relevant and valuable offers and increase engagement with individualized content and recommendations. With MicroStrategy Alert, you can add marketing and commerce features to your brand’s Facebook page to personalize the consumer experience, increase fan engagement and monetize your fan base. Also, you can turn Facebook fans into friends by delivering highly relevant offers, content and promotions to them, encouraging frequent page visits and drawing their attention away from competitor’s pages. With MicroStrategy Gateway, you can gain a 360-degree view of your Facebook app users, combine your corporate view with their social view to see the complete customer and use it to create a one-of-a-kind experience for your customers.
Sources: MicroStrategy, The Mobile Wave, The Wall Street Journal, Computer World