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 Amazon.com.
(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…