As my life has gotten more busy, I’ve been thinking about ways to save/reclaim wasted time. Wouldn’t it be cool if all the apps we use on a daily (hourly?) basis could help us save time? Think about all the data that Google, Apple, and other companies have on us. Combine that with their computing power, and the possibilities are endless.
For instance, I use Waze every day for my commute Home-to-Work and Work-to-Home. Surely they’re collecting the data on how accurate their travel time estimates are as well as tracking my real commute time. Given that kind of data, it would be awesome if they could recommend different driving periods to ensure I spend less time in the car.
There could be some really interesting insights in the data collected based on my typical departure and arrival times as compared to peak traffic times along my route. Maybe if I left the house 5 minutes earlier (i.e. at a slightly different time than normal), that could save me 10 minutes on my drive into work. Or perhaps if I leave work 10 minutes later (or earlier!), I can save another 10 minutes on my commute. Certainly you wouldn’t have to act on the recommendations, but wouldn’t it be nice to know that you have the opportunity to get 20 minutes of your life back? That’s 20 minutes with your significant other, your kids, or your closest friends—per day! That’s nearly 2 hours a week! If you equate that to an hourly wage of $20/hour ($40k annual salary), that’s $40 a week, which is a tank of gas for some people.
Technology can absolutely distract us, and the information that companies collect and store can be really unnerving at times (especially when the government starts poking around). But what if they used that information to make our lives a little better, to give us a little more quality time with our families, friends, or maybe at work. That’s why I love producing great software!