Mobile Computing Wave Part 1: The Rebirth of America

34 | By Michael A. Robinson

America will re-emerge as the dominate force in technology and economics in the world – by far – as soon as the end of this decade.

That’s thanks to mobile computing.

Our leading position in the rise of smartphones and tablet computers makes it certain that the United States will undergo a major revival and rebranding. U.S. mobile computing will make the dollar stronger, spread American values throughout the globe, and establish English as the single most important language on Earth.

Along the way, this new breed of American tech will improve the lives of billions of people around the world by providing them with better health care and education.

Now, though it sounds like the type of upbeat statements I have shared with you over the past few months, these aren’t my insights.

They belong to a hard-hitting high-tech executive who is a renowned expert on the subject. His name is Michael Saylor, and he is the CEO of MicroStrategy Inc. (NASDAQ:MSTR), a leader in business intelligence.

More to the point, he is the author of the hot new nonfiction book called “The Mobile Wave: How Mobile Intelligence Will Change Everything.” In the book, he makes the case that we’ve passed the tipping point in bringing cutting-edge software to the world. From healthcare apps to text books, it’s all on your smartphone or tablet.

The book is a fast and compelling read. If you want to take a look for yourself, you can find “The Mobile Wave” on

(As befits the topic, I read Saylor’s book on my iPad…)

Intrigued by what he had to say, I got in touch with Saylor by phone, and we chatted for nearly an hour.

Some may find his comments controversial. After all, it’s the “in” thing these days to bash America as a once-great nation losing its technical lead to China and India.

But Saylor disagrees. He believes mobile software and the wireless Web are major trends that will give the U.S. its high-tech rebirth and bring billions out of poverty in the Third World at the same time.

Here’s how he sees it…

“The mobile wave is about five billion people running software on mobile devices, and only a few hundred million of them are Americans. Only 500, 600, 700 million are western Europeans. The mobile wave is taking this stuff to everybody else in the world.

“If you look at the cost, you know the cost to run software on an iPad, you might be $500 in capital, maybe $1,000. The cost to run software on a PC is 10 times that much, maybe 20 times that much. Think about how expensive it is to put a cubicle on a concrete pad, wire it with electricity and fluorescent lighting with a roof over your head, you know, with Ethernet cable running to you with all of the things that make up a Class B or Class A office space. That stuff’s all so capital intensive as to be impossible.

“There are 1.5 billion PCs on the planet. I think we’re at the peak. We’re not going to see a lot more. I think we’ll actually see them stagnate and maybe start to slide off. On the other hand, I think we’ll see tablet computers go to five billion, maybe more.

“If that’s the case, then the question is, who’s going to write the software that’s going to run on those things? And the answer is, probably English-speaking American companies.

“So the mobile wave is about the rise in power of American software companies exporting their ways in English, sold in dollars, running on American technology controlled by companies like Apple and Google to everybody else on Earth. And by the way, we’re going to spread the American language, the American currency, and also American values.”

America’s mobile tech is already spreading at least the idea of democracy to the Middle East, Saylor notes. Just look at the key role of social media in the so-called Arab Spring.

Protesters used software networks like YouTube, Google, Twitter, and Facebook to spread their message and organize the revolution that turned a dozen nations upside down. Indeed, those uprisings have shaken Arab nations to the core, toppling leaders in Egypt and Libya and causing mass protests in Iran.

No doubt, radical Islam remains a threat to freedom. But Saylor seems to think that movement is reaching its zenith as the mobile wave bears down upon repressive regimes. This trend will greatly enhance women’s rights in the Middle East and developing nations, Saylor told me.

Smartphones and tablets are like a Pandora ‘s Box: Once the masses gain exposure to the Western world’s knowledge and way of thinking about women, there’s just no turning back.

I’ll have more of Saylor’s insights to share with you in my next two reports. We’ll deal with what investors must know about Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iPad and three ways to make mobile commerce more secure as we convert to digital money.

For now, let me close with one more of Saylor’s big-picture views about the impact of the mobile wave:

“I think most politicians and most macro economists don’t appreciate the technology effect here. The single most powerful thing going on is this massive wave of software. This software is dematerializing 50% of the worldwide economy.

“Fifty percent of the gross world economy is being remade by the software, and that software is American software. And when it rolls through everybody’s country, it’s addicting them to our technology, our values, our language.

“It’s chiseling away at the Chinese walls. It’s chiseled away at the Russians. It’s chiseled away at all the walls in the Middle East. And as a result, it’s making America the cultural, intellectual center of the Earth. Nobody has critical mass to stand against that.”

Like I keep saying, technology will save America. Stay tuned for the next two reports…


34 Responses to Mobile Computing Wave Part 1: The Rebirth of America

    • Howard says:

      Larry, your comment is offensive. It is arrogant and ignorant people like you who give America and Americans a bad name to the rest of the world. For goodness sake, grow up! This is not about USA v China. It never was, never is and never will be unless people like you make it that way. Do you think this article is only read by Americans? Learn some good manners and spare some consideration for non-American readers. You are a disgrace.

  1. richard says:

    When a free people are free to use their imaginations and to be creative nothing but nothing will stop or stand in the way of progress, It is too bad the dictatorial nations of the world don`t understand this.

    • pez says:

      sorry to dampen your enthusiasm . . but seriously – Fools are those who believe, or even hope, or pray; that a respectful benevolence will somehow replace the greed/power lust & malevolence, of the banksters & political whores in this sorry world we have created.
      Open your eyes.
      Look after yourselves
      & your loved ones.
      For the rest;
      compassion is the only way.

    • Rebecca says:

      But alas, those nations you speak of do, in fact, understand what you’re saying. It’s exactly that progress they want to inhibit. Dictators are not interested in the progress of their people; not even in the progress of their nations to the extent that such would undermine their true goal, which is power through control.

      Such power obsessed, self-appointed, so-called “leaders” gladly starve and oppress their citizens rather than permit the freedom of action and speech (and thought!) so detrimental to that control. That is why dictators have sought to restrict access to the Web. Oppressed people don’t take it quietly for long when they see freedom exemplified online, as we have been seeing of late. Hooray!

      Such a freedom of information revolution as described in this article has already begun, and not bloodlessly, unfortunately. Those in control of dictorial nations don’t give up that power graciously. But the forward momentum has begun.

      I’m not sure that the vast majority of the sources and resulting benefits would be abscribable to the US alone, as postulated in the above. Of the innumerable bright and determined minds in the world at large, surely many must already be “online” with this trend, or soon will be. But it would seem we should benefit sizably in the US, which I most eagerly anticipate.

      Nonetheless, I, for one, would be happy to share some of that upcoming advantage with the rest of the free and soon-to-be-free nations of the world. That’s progress from which we can all benefit.

  2. Thom says:

    It is FINALLY nice to receive a report -that doesn’t ‘offer’ to let me read more, if I would subscribe to a year’s worth of some newsletter…
    THIS is the type of thought and info that allows me to form ideas of my own, and adds to the info I carry in some pigeonhole in my brain that will affect one of my own investments in the future.
    Thankyou so much, and I’m looking forward to the next reading.(not hustle).

  3. Anonymole says:

    What are the entry barriers to creating a software company? Half a dozen grads from a CS oriented college? Literally- that’s it. The U.S. has no monopoly on smart CS grads I assure you. In fact, the most likely trend will be away from U.S. software companies as smart portable computing penetrates the next billion users. Users who do not speak English.

  4. Ron Ward says:

    England conquered the language world and the American culture love-in was already there. It’s the disillusion with it that’s new. IT inventions freed the 99% anywhere to make their dreams come true; not just an American one. Whether that become our nightmare or not is what will make or break our restoration.
    We’ll need a lot more than software to swing that!

  5. Jeffery M Hudson says:

    This whole topic could lift American moral at a time when we seem to be wallowing in low National and individual self esteem. Forget your prozac and curl up with your Ipad.

    • Larry says:

      I agree! We really need an uplifting of American morale. I’m soooooo tired of the Chicken Little’s across the spectrum whining “The sky is falling!” Get over it!! The United States of America will rise again and it’s not going to be that much further in time! đŸ™‚ * This whole topic is a good start!

  6. Bo says:

    the up coming conference in Dubai Dec 3 – Dec 14 could
    change all that as those threathened governments align
    to block the progress you speak about

  7. Roddy says:

    That’s not a very high-brow remark. China’s not to kicked or so, it’s the American and European companies that are enlarging China’s economy. And it’s the American government that is increasing its fInancIal dependency on China. And it’s terrible when a very economically powerful country whose rulers don’t love their people. And now tell me, are we talking about China or America?

  8. giacomo says:

    thank you for the positive talking but when all this technology will help the american people wake up and realize that our enemy is in washinghton and we are helping them by electing and re-electing the same traitors that are in bed with the multinationals and the countries that still use slave labor how can we americans can ever compete with them.Competition suppose to be on the same level or close to it.When our politician allow the majority of our manufacturing jobs to be exported to countries like china and then give it the status of most favorite nation and allow them to export the finished product to the USA by not charging or charging very little duties you are exploiting there slave labor and killing the good paying jobs in our country.Hope that more people respond to this status quo and decide that we had enough and not going to take it anymore and join together and send all this foreign countries lovers packing.

  9. Alan Scott says:

    At age 86 one can look back a lot farther than younger people. My view is somewhat different because what I see clearly is that we have almost completely lost any sense of morality in our Country. And Yes, we have given away our industrial base, too. And with 50% of us seeing government as our Benefactor and 50% paying no taxes and with the world’s largest DEBT and needing to borrow 42% to cover our ongoing bills and printing Dollars to offset that ongoing fraud even as many around us are now ignoring the US Dollar as reserve currency and buying back and forth without us, tell me, please how we are going to change all that with mobil phones! The Chinese and others have a larger DEMAND base and can simply copy or steal and do these things for themselves. OUR job is to recover morality and have a President who believes in the private sector, not government: 100% of all real wealth (the base on which a standard of living must stand) comes from our private sector and government is just a hujge cost that has to be factored-into all the private sector’s other COSTS in producing real wealth in arriving at PRICE and the higher the cost of government, the more upward pressure on PRICE the less competitive we become in the marketplaces of the world and the less products we can sell and therefore our only hope is to recuce COSTS so PRICE can come down, and the least worthwhile COST is government (it acts for itself and produces nothing that anyone free to chose, would buy from it! Our demise is based on entirelements and deficit spending –no family can survive that way –, why does anyone see why government is any different?

    • ken says:

      I totally agree. I think a good place to start correcting all of this would be TERM LIMITS FOR ALL MEMBERS OF CONGRESS. How do we get this done?

  10. Ian Hutton says:

    Wonderful wisdom from a person who has a logical head and brain to truly see the truth! Too bad the rest of America can’t see the real Truth of this very corrupt society we live in and currently endure.
    History always repeats itself in some similar manner and we will all suffer due to our actions and by ignoring current negative trends. People must wake up and change the destructive course we are heading towards now.
    Sadly, this society is lazy, complacent and truly immoral.
    Destruction is on its way due to the lack of involvement of the people to actually demand and force change for the betterment of society.
    Ian Hutton

  11. Riverway says:

    With China turning out engineers by the 1,000’s and America turning out lawyers by the 1,000’s, but very few engineers compared to China, I see no reason why China will not soon surpass America in everything that is productive…

  12. Robert in Canada says:

    I think Michael is right – American technology will win and re-build America. I sure hope so, even though I am not an American.

    But surely he realizes the language he says will dominate the world is not “American”, it is “English”.

    In fact, most people outside of the USA find American accents and American slang somewhat irritating.

    Personally, I have had my fill of hearing “Waz-up” , “Boo-yah” , “Bro” , “Hoe” , and other American slang.

  13. Jacob says:

    Seeing Ă„merica as “the cultural, intellectual center of the Earth”, what purpose is that supposed to serve? It rather suggests to me an underlying insecurity, feelings of inferiority perhaps. Nothing wrong with that. We all have our moments. But bragging and swinging your fists doesn’t make underlying feelings go away. They usually come back in force.

    If something troubles you, Uncle Sam, let us sit down and talk. Bragging and fighting don’t work. Instead of talking you could, of course, always drop a bomb on my head. I know that and I don’t care. You would just have one person less to talk to. Would you care? Of course, If you kept up such a line of action long enough, Uncle Sam, you would ultimately end up with nothing but your mirror image to talk to. Would you like that, Uncle Sam?

  14. Sueanne Loud says:

    To the fact that our freedoms are dissolving before our eyes. We have an election coming up. Let’s vote the corrupt, socialist politicians out. From the top down. One American patriot once said – GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH! AMERICA, AMERICA, AMERICA. God save America!

  15. ed the grocer says:

    Our love affair with Facebook will soon be over. Soon, very soon we will be in an intense struggle for survival just as others around the world are already buried. With a little luck the war machine will run out of money and we will focus on the important task. That task is the production of food and equipment for a modern world. The food section will consist of small, highly automated production units much closer to the customer. It will produce good food ( a lot less corn and soy ) and will involve far more people than now. The equipment section is the upgrading of housing, transportation and utilities with durability and energy conservation in mind. Again, it will only happen if the war machine and the police state run out of money.
    And China, too late. There won’t be enough food, energy or material to prevent an internal conflict that will go on for decades.
    Russia, will do do just fine.
    Europe will complete the transition into a sad socialist state.
    Will it happen? It will if the American rich come to understand that they have been suckered and that the entire US, Canadian, Mexican populace must be intact for the American dream to thrive.

  16. peter pham says:

    Well, the Internet alone has been able to do the same job of spreading American values and justice. Mobile devices problably will make it easier, but not qualified to entirely claim the credit for. Meanwhile, all these devices were made in China and imported into the USA. Our economy is paying for it instead of reaping the benefit of being the creator. Thats not to take into account the huge export potential and tax revenue that the technology could bring to our economy to address our debts should these devices were made here, by our workers and exported to other countries.

    Too bad, we are taking the credit for innovation while most of economic benefits go to China. Meanwhile, our middle class and industrial infrastructure are shrinking fast and our trade deficit grows even faster.

    What can we do about this? Time is now going against our economy, while political parties keep bashing each other the non sense and continue to serve their lobbyists and scammers.

    Never in my lifetime, I could imagine our country could lead to this destruction of this magnitude. We lose all sense of morality and responsibility.
    Scammers and cheaters received bailout and getting richer, while the hardworking people losing their jobs, their home and/or their life saving.

    Where is American justice for this?

  17. Gary Loest says:

    Yes Alan, I must agree with you. The United States is in a precipitous decline that has evolved since the late 60’s early 70’s. The underlying cause is centered around poor educational standards, cultural decay and a political system that is corrupt. Mobil devices will not change these shortcomings. We need new leadership, a new tax code and a completely revamped educational system that is based upon learning as opposed to union dominated values.

  18. paul austin says:

    Great! Another area of positive information regarding the future of America. We need more information regarding the “new economy”. All of us need to know more about how to rebuild the economy of this great country. We have a possible boom in petrochemicals, natural gas by products, and energy independence. It is time to get the people in elected office to begin acting to help these industries grow. If no one will listen we must raise our voices and find people who will listen, look, think about what they are looking at and act responsilby for the good of all of us.
    I cannot wait to read and hear more about this subject.

  19. Charles Murton says:

    Your articles are without doubt a source of inspiration and I look forward in anticipation of reading what the movers and shakers of the USA have to say and what they are achieving but may I direct you to the book “ATLAS SHRUGGED by AYN RAND” truly a masterpiece writtten well before its time that should be read by every student throughout the world. This describes in graphic detail what is happening in the USA of today and all the brains and technology that you describe will not alter the disintegration of the United States of America. I pray to God that I am wrong. You cannot buy yourself out of debt or survive on the creation of wars in other countries that enable you to supply both sides with sophisticated weapons of mass destruction for the USA to plunder thereafter. Continuously printing trillions of Dollars then deceiving and impoverishing your own people, bailing out failing banks, selling off your sub prime mortgage instruments to the East, supporting all this with taxpayers money so that those responsible can reward themselves with bonuses for their incompetence. The Feds not audited for over 20 years and continually lying to their own people, welfare out of control with food stamps used for the purchase of alcohol, education and health care close to collapse and many states in America bankrupt and not accepting their own mighty US Dollars as a value of currency. When the US Dollar loses its status as the reserve currency of the world then all the brains and technology cannot save the inevitable collapse. I look in amazement at the DOW trading at over 13,000 when in reality it is probably only worth about 7,500, I predict a collapse much more severe than anything experienced before and believe this may happen before Feb 2013, perhaps the world will come to an end in December 2012 but it will be because of mans greed, bankers and politicians, let us all pray that I am wrong.

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