Google is also one of the best examples of a company taking the second avenue: free up more time for people who already have internet. Their push into self driving car technology has a lot of potential benefits for humanity, but it also does something fundamental for Google and their business model. Time spent in the car is a vast untapped reserve of human attention. If your daily commute isn’t filled with trivial things like watching the road and trying not to kill people you suddenly have a lot more time to search — and be served search ads. Building a self driving car may seem like extreme measures just to free up people’s time, but it’s really just the tech equivalent of fracking — Oil’s extreme attempt to unlock untapped reserves.
That seems, now, like a better use of my time than chatting with some pals at a bar. That conversation may have been great, sure, but in the end, it dies with me and those people. If I can create a few things that last longer than me, it makes my life last longer. It means I mattered a little more.