Beyond Mobile Summary -

Shel Israel inContext

Beyond Mobile Summary

I am writing a new book with Robert Scoble. I will be using this space to post interview notes and early chapter drafts in the hope of getting comments from you on how to improve this book.

Below is our executive summary. This piece is part of the Sponsorship package we are assembling and is not actually in the book. It is Beyond icon 2not designed to dazzle or draw readers in as the Table of Contents and Introduction will hopefully accomplish. We just want this Summary to tell sponsors what the book is about, so that they can decide if they want their brands to be associated with a book about how new technologies such as AR/VR, robots, autonomous cars and digital genies will be changing business  in the near-term future.

Please give this a tough read and tell us how we can make it do a better job. You can reply here, or at shelisrael in Messenger or, if you like old-fashioned email.

Beyond Mobile: Life after Smartphones


This  is our third book together. The previous two, Naked Conversations and Age of Context, became tech business best sellers. Like our two earlier efforts, Beyond looks at technology’s impact on work and life in the short-term future.

Beyond is self-published. We are attempting to raise $150,000 from corporate sponsors to cover costs of writing, publishing and marketing this book. Target publication date is Dec. 1, 2016.

Audience & Perspective

Our book is filled to a large degree with information derived from the tech community, where Scoble conducts  hundreds of on-going interviews. He watches for patterns and trends that indicate what will happen over the next few years. Israel adds the analytical perspective of a veteran, hard-nosed journalist.

We both consider ourselves user champions, but we write primarily for the business decision maker. Based on books sales and public  feedback, our books have a strong appeal to general readership as well.

Beyond follows the theme of our two previous books: technology is about to foment change in the near term future and smart business people will adjust to that change sooner, rather than later.

Key Points

Beyond examines technology that will get closer to people than  mobile phones can possibly do. It makes four key points:

  1. AR/VR, Digital Genies, Robots and Autonomous Cars will start moving digital activities beyond the mobile phone in 2016. Driven by Millennials, adoption will come quicker in both consumer and enterprise areas than has previously happened.
  2. In periods of rapid changes, startups often rise from oblivion to overtake incumbents. In this case, incumbents are driving the changes. The likes of Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple and Microsoft are taking the lead. Still they are facing feisty competition from the most promising generation of early phase companies we have ever seen. This clash of Davids and Goliaths will cause a period of rapid change and mind-blowing innovation. Competition will drive costs down to the point that the Digital Divide will be based less on economics than today, but rather on those who use it and those who choose to abstain. The Divide will grow into a full chasm.
  3. Concerns about lost jobs and privacy is an ongoing issue. A lessened ability for people to tell the difference between what is real and what is not; resistance of older people to change current habits will increase the current gaps between those who depend on technology for work, communications and play and those who do not. This will extend the digital divide into a chasm. Many people will opt out of using these new technologies: Far more will opt in. Those who chose not to take advantage of post-mobile technologies will become the new Amish of the 21st century: they may be perfectly happy, but will become isolated from mainstream people and businesses. Businesses, merchants and enterprises who are laggards, will inevitably become the next generation of Sears, JC Penney and Kmart. They may continue, but will be less important.
  4. Over the next decade–perhaps sooner, massive adoption of AR/VR, robots, genies and self-driving vehicles, will change entertainment, the home, health-care, education and religion. Nearly every aspect of business, including the global enterprise and the corner merchant will change; And as close as people are today with mobile devices, will become far more so as the separation of people on one side of a screen, and the tech on the other dissolves and we become immersed in tech rather than just witnesses to it.


Readers will walk away with the understanding that technology is about to completely change experiences and expectations of all members of the enterprise ecosystem as well as brand markets. It will also define a new form of the digital divide. Millennial cultures will continue to represent  diverse social, economic and educational levels as well as communicate with each other through the universal language of code. They will lead and older people will follow for the most part, but they will be laggards.

Businesses can continue doing what they are doing and like Cadillac, Sears and Penny’s follow an aging customer base that gets smaller every year–or they can understand that the new shift is to Millennials and to use the tools that they use.



6 Responses

  • Feb 9, 2016

    “Mind blowing”? I’d suggest you proide some quant roll up data on the expected performance and impact of emerging technologies.
    Gartner has some very good futurists looking at future and present market value of emerging technologies. the best of these lives in Fremont and is the only futurist I would ever quote.
    but you ‘re on track here, althoughI beleive to attract a sponsor you need to get into specifics on projected leadership of readers and where in any organization they might now be serving
    Keep at it, Shel and Robert.
    I want to urge you to talk to Disney, Sony and the Sufi theater group about what secondary technologies will be use and offered in theaters.Consider this: Once a week use of theaters for VR/AR gaming plus what’s what required in theaters to support new technologies. the only two companies I ver sourced on t his were Kodak and Sony. Both were willing to talk about it. Disney also appears to be looking towards upgrading its ontent by addiond support of media for AR/VR.

    jim forbes Feb 9, 2016
  • Feb 9, 2016

    Thanks, Jim. Robert Scoble is not a classic futurist. I would call him an anecdotal futurist because he goes around talking to tech people and starts spotting patterns that he believe are important and enduring. Then I join him and add some analysis of what this means to business. But I will definitely check out the Fremont futuris if you could make an intro or at least give me a name so I can head off in the right direction.

    Shel Israel Feb 9, 2016
  • Feb 10, 2016

    I think something that needs to be included in the book is the environmental and economic impacts of these technologies.
    The processing power to make VR/AR widely available, with the current and planned processor technology, will require the expansion of data centers 10 times the size they are now. That’s going to require either a massive investment in infrastructure or someone is going to have to dome up with a new chip architecture (one exists but no one will fund it).
    Currently data centers eat up 10 percent of all the power produced, so we need to expand electrical generation as well and solar, wind, batteries, etc. are not going to cut it. So we need to ramp up coal and gas power plants and take a new look at nuclear (although there is a true alternative in the wings, also waiting for financing).
    And to provide the hardware for this will require ramping up offshore manufacturing. Are we going to sit back and accept that we have to enslave people to provide us our new technology, or are we going to pay living rates that will drive up the cost and slow adoption? We have to take a look at the pollution problem in China, much of which was caused by the production of cheap solar panels and decide whether that was worth the investment against the lives it is ruining.
    These are all the issue I really don’t have answers for, but I think they need to be at least asked in this book.

    Lou Covey Feb 10, 2016
  • Feb 10, 2016

    In keeping with the namesake ‘Beyond’… you may give consideration as to ‘how’ you’ll deliver such… eg., is it going to be just another soft/hard back, or, had you given thought to creating an interactive publication that actually demonstrates what you’re actually writing about?

    For example, I’ve been encouraging my local writers group (as their tech dude) to look at developing and delivering their wordsmith content in a new way. In this instance, I’ve suggested that they at least create an (simple first steps) interactive environment for their readers. Dynamic video citations, 360 degree videos as a part of their chapters, and other ‘immersive’ experiences.

    So the question arises again… is it going to be just another soft/hard back?

    If we’re talking about the future here, then (maybe?) create and deliver a future experience!

    All the Best with the launch of your latest,

    Michael Lofton Feb 10, 2016
  • glen poss
    Feb 10, 2016

    I think the whole self driving cars thing is much farther out than you postulate. There are a number of reasons, one just the scope of vehicles in the fleet. The other issue is the hundreds of millions of people that will not feel comfortable giving up full control in that environment, look at aircraft they still have pilots even though many can go gate to gate alone. AR will make a impact into some area’s of work, but look around, how often have you seen a repair person, a plumber, or even a assembly line worker look at a manual.

    glen poss Feb 10, 2016
  • Feb 13, 2016

    I agree youth is on a journey/pilgrimage into the technological future and they will change older general attitudes. But a pilgrimage is just a trip if there is not both a journey and a meaning connected to the journey. There is some risk that young adults are not asking big life questions during this time in life. There is a much greater risk that they are asking them without any consideration that church or even God might have anything to do with them. Being on one side of the screen or within the screen needs personal oneness. How do youth embrace technology with meaning in their live? All the best…

    GrandpaChris Feb 13, 2016

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