HomeStartups in generalHave you read The Age of Context, yet? Book review with excerpts!

Have you read The Age of Context, yet? Book review with excerpts!

Each now and then, a book comes up and changes the world as we know it. Have you heard of the new book The Age of Context, from Robert Scoble and Shel Israel? The new publication from these two respected authors takes you to the near future of information technology, all in clear language and with lots of real world, updated scenarios. If you’re looking to update your knowledge of what’s going on today, you might be interested to give it a chance, or read this quick summary.

robertscobleThroughout the 170 pages of this book, you’ll find a long list of examples, accompanied by a 30-page list of hyperlinks. The authors argue that mobile devices, social media, big data, sensors and location-based services are converging to create a perfect scenario for a massive change in how we use computers. Taking an optimistic approach to the growing level of detail that devices know about us, they also recognise concerns about loss of privacy and suggest we make a decision: either we share some personal details or lose the related advantages. A strong recommendation included in the book is for corporations is to assume their full responsibility when it comes to using and keeping our data.

Author Shel Israel shared one thought with me on the book pre-launch at Dublin Web Summit: “Why do people still buy books?”. Personally, I like to add post-it notes throughout the book, marking excellent excerpts that will be very useful in my line of work. For instance, some relevant excerpts include:

  • 45 billion mobile apps have been downloaded during 2012 (that’s 6 per for single person on Earth, in case you haven’t figure that out)
  • It’s estimated that 90% of the world’s data has been created in the last two years
  • It takes Google Glass one second to take a picture, compared to taking out your smartphone from your pocket, starting the app and clicking, which takes 12 to 20 seconds (is this a killer app or what?)
  • Ordering food at a stadium using a smartphone helped reduce queues and increase sales
  • Cities are getting younger and suburbs are getting older and poorer
  • Cars are already better than their drivers, just still very expensive
  • Wearables are coming, from assault protection underwear, to rechargeable battery t-shirts
  • Most of today’s classrooms lag the technology kids have at home
  • Transparency leads to trust in the new customer/citizens/people relations era

I am one of the lucky owners of a physical copy of this book. And you know what? It was fun to find that the authors took exactly the same approach that I took about one year ago when I wrote Tech Days, which is self-publishing using CreateSpace and Amazon services. Or as Guy Kawasaki calls it these days, APE – Author, Publisher, Entrepreneur.

As a final note, and as a call for entrepreneurs in the forge, if you mix the 5 ingredients of mobile devices, social media, big data, sensors and location-based services, with any line of business, you might just find yourself a big market. I know I’m looking forward to trying this recipe.

By the way: If you’d like to stay up-to-date regarding startup news and interesting opportunities, make sure to subscribe to our free weekly EU-Startups Newsletter.

Reinaldo Ferreira
Reinaldo Ferreira
Reinaldo Ferreira is a serial entrepreneur and investor in technology companies. He lives in Porto and writes mostly about Portuguese startups and technology topics.

Most Popular