The Six Immutable Laws of Mobile Business, a book which might have better been titled Six Observations Regarding the Japanese Mobile Market, as the book was almost exclusively focused on the phenomenon of mobile phones in Japan - a market that technology enthusiasts often (mis)represent as a glimpse into the future of mobile everywhere. Simply stated: it is not, but that doesn't mean it doesn't merit attention, as it certainly does.
First, many "facts" about the Japanese mobile market are either entirely fabricated or grossly exaggerated. The assertions that the vast majority of Japanese citizens use their cell phones as a payment method for everyday purchases and that cell phones are even ubiquitous in Japan among all demographic segments are patently false.
The danger in accepting such statements as true is that exaggeration and misrepresentation damages the credibility of assertions that seem equally hyperbolic and unbelievable but are, in fact, entirely true. This seems to divide opinions on the mobile channel between the extremes of the gullible and the incredulous - but given the degree to which the facts have been distorted, perhaps being suspicious of anything that is said is the more reasonable position to take.
Second, many legitimate facts about the Japanese mobile market are too readily dismissed as being something specific to the bizarre and upside-down culture of an Asian island people who in many ways seem to live in a bizarre parallel universe where everything is the exact opposite of the way things are anywhere else on earth. But as the authors point out, Japanese people use their mobile devices to get directions, check the weather, communicate with friends and family, and do many other things that are not culture-specific and could well be done by anyone in any nation.
But to give fair consideration to the counterpoint, much of what is witnessed the Japanese market is, in fact, culture-specific. For example, the Japanese are almost as extreme in their collectivism as Americans are in their individualism: most American companies do not cooperate with one another, and even when forced by necessity to work with one another, are constantly attempting to gain the upper hand; and most American consumers do not blindly follow trends, but are slower to make decisions about whether a given product is right for themselves rather than automatically going along with what everyone else seems to be buying.
Taken together, these issues make it worthwhile to get first-hand information from the marketplace itself, and read the interviews with the founders and executives of some of the major companies in the Japanese market to get a more realistic perspective of what has happened in Japan - some of which might shape the future of mobile in the global market.