Vaporized is one of those books that every businessman, digital being, parent, human and robot should read.
I first met Rob Tercek in a San Francisco hotel during the CTIA conference and I’ve never forgotten that meeting; I even remember the decor and the angle of the sunlight.
Tercek was talking about Africans playing mobile games and why mobile games publishers (such as my company) weren’t preparing for that market. He was the first person apart from my young self who had talked about that, it was awesome that I could agree with somebody as smart as that.
Since then, Rob has the portfolio career that has allowed him to meet everybody; the smartest people on the planet while I’ve stayed true to reading books, making 50/50 decisions and playing pool in the Hassocks Hotel, my local pub. But I still understand him, and I loved this book.
Moreover, it’s the first e-book I’ve ever read and I found the process fascinating because I read faster than normal. That, however, is probably down to the content I was reading. Rob is a visionary and his idea of the near-future is as certain as anything I’ve read.
At times it’s like reading the scriptwriter and mentor of the Black Mirror series of films, but less dyspotic. Beneath the Cassandra-style warnings lies an optimism that inspires. All industries and creations are being ‘vaporized’ by software, not just jobs, but also companies, governments and even our bodies.
Most of us in the ‘industry’ know that, but Tercek knows more and, a decade on, I still agree with him. That is, apart from books. He’s happy to see the bookshop go, I’m not. I would have enjoyed Vaporized even more if I’d read it as a hardback. Even so, I cannot recommend this highly enough. It’s the Great American Tech Novel.