Google isn't a search company or a software developer. Its real business is advertising. Most of the money flowing into Mountain View (and there's quite a lot of it: $16.5 billion this quarter to be exact) comes from ads. The company could simply build up a war chest or snatch up some more startups, but clearly its eyes are on the future. With Larry Page at the helm Google has branched out beyond browsers and mobile operating systems to delivery drones, internet-delivering balloons and whatever Glass is. A year ago Page told investors he wanted to spend more on "speculative" research and development projects. At the time its R&D budget had just seen a $1 billion growth over the previous year. Since then Google has added nearly another $2 billion. Over the first nine months of 2014 has pumped $7 billion dollars into R&D projected, including $2.7 billion in the last quarter alone. Obviously, not all of that money is being funneled into Google X, but it's clear that the experimental arm is adding quite a bit to the company's expenditures. Loon and Calico aren't just about generating goodwill though. Clearly the more consumers Google can reach and the longer those consumers are alive, the more ads it can serve.