Any new sufficient advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic

This was the Arthur Clarke's quote way back in the last century. And sadly, "magic" like "wow" and "awesome" is a word that is so often bastardized in our industry that we become inured to it. But still:

My father is almost 78 years old and lost his wife of 50 years just ten months ago. He's from a generation that expresses loneliness in a horribly repressed way (think toothpaste tube squeezing its last bit into misshapen lumps along its surface). Today, in an classically uncharacteristic move, he called an Uber and showed up 75 miles and 100 minutes after Facetiming me to spend the night by the water. It was a surprise and it is wonderful.

When I think of the "on demand economy" or the "O2O (offline to online) businesses" I think of privileged hipsters living in the urban equivalent of an assisted living community for the young. It is no longer driving but ubering to the "it" party. It is picking between gluten free alternatives for takeout.

Which is why it is so wonderful to see how this information revolution at the boundary of the network and the real world can help people who need it most in the moments when it matters.

About half a billion people that is. With another seven and a half to go, we've got our work cut out for us.