The Power of Mobility:
How Your Business Can Compete and Win in the Next Technology Revolution
When the Internet wave hit corporate shores in 1995, half the business world said Oh wow! and half said Oh no! That bifurcated reaction is typical of technology trends that disrupt how business gets done. The same emotional responses erupted in the mid-1980s when computing power burst out of the basement and onto workers’ desktops.
Strong positive and negative responses are totally justified as disruptive forces release both power and danger that radically impact the rules of competition. In fact, in both the above cases, the impact lasted over a decade, with management attention dominated by capturing the power and managing the danger of the PC from the mid-1980s and capturing the power and managing the danger of the Internet from the mid-1990s to today.
Whenever technology disrupts business patterns, the companies that catch the power wave and avoid the danger reefs create tremendous value for their customers and ultimately for their shareholders. Obviously, seeing the wave coming makes a huge difference.
Amazingly, although most companies chose to ignore them, there were clear indicators well in advance of both the PC and Internet revolutions. Moore’s Law observed the financial reality that anticipated the economic benefit of moving computing power from the data center to the desktop. Similarly, Metcalfe’s Law modeled the chain reaction of network value creation that drove sudden rapid adoption of the Internet. Business leaders and technologists are obliged to scan the horizon for the indicators of the next technology wave that can either crush them or carry them to new heights of success. The Law of Mobility raises the flag on the impending deluge of power and danger unleashed in the emerging Age of Mobility.
The core of the book is The Seven Steps to the Power of Mobility. This section clearly defines the specific thought processes and actions required for businesses determined to win in the new Mobility Age. Additionally, the book includes seven specific examples of companies that have successfully followed the seven steps to redefine the rules of competition in their industries.
Although the primary focus of the book will be on the implications for businesses, every reader will resonate with the changes that are described that are infiltrating every aspect of our lives. A powerful aspect of the book, and truly of the Mobility Age, is that the continued blurring of the lines between our work and our non-work lives allow us to envision and apply the Power of Mobility to our everyday activities in a way that is captivating and exciting.
We live the Power of Mobility everyday. The grocery list e-mailed to my phone as I drive from work to the store. Checking project status while standing with my son in the Lego aisle at Toys-R-Us. Providing coaching to a team member heading into an executive meeting while I’m stuck in traffic during a family vacation. The Power of Mobility not only creates value for businesses, but frees us as employees from the tyranny of time and place that has for so long defined our jobs and often kept us from enjoying life.
This book’s value will be measured by how well it helps you look forward, to envision the Power of Mobility in your business, and to implement the steps required to turn vision into reality. What in any business today is fixed that, if it were mobile, would create tremendous value for customers? What steps must you take to deliver that value and win their hearts and wallets?
Consider rental car companies. A decade ago, returning a rental car meant writing down your mileage, going to the fixed location office, standing in line, completing the check-out process, and hopefully still catching your flight. Today, that process has been mobilized. An agent comes to where you have stopped the car. Even as you unload your luggage, they are recording your mileage and printing your final receipt. In no time you are off to catch your flight.
This simple example has radically changed the rules of competition in the rental car industry. Every business has to ask how they can capture the Power of Mobility to redefine the rules of competition in their industry to their advantage. Every business also needs to understand how mobility can expose them to new kinds of risks and new types of operational costs that could radically alter operating expectations. How can those dangers be identified and managed before they become critical issues?
We need a crystal clear picture of the power and danger to be unleashed by mobility and this book delivers.