(Core Set Perspective!)
Oh hi, didn't see you there. New to HB, aren't you? Let's take a walk.
You know, when people start here at EtF, they often ask us the same things - 'Why the robots?', 'What do we do, exactly?', and 'Did that woman with the drinks just look at me funny?'?'. To that last point, no she absolutely did not. Stop worrying, calm down and relax in the pool later or something. To the other points I will answer you with this - we manage time. The old saying goes, 'time is money'. No, 'money is time', and here at EtF we make one so that we can properly harness the other. We do this by ensuring that the financial capital we need is generated by our most simple daily tasks. Start a new project? Capital. Improve our defenses? Capital. Nearly everything you do will contribute to our efforts as a whole, and you will find that the funds you may have needed to finish a project will have been saved ahead of time by simple, regular work.
Imagine, if you will, a new line of physically appealing manpanions are scheduled for release. Money is tight. Time is tight. In a different branch you might have to decide between making the deadline (but leaving them vulnerable to vandalism), or delaying their release for the sake of ensuring company secrets are protected. Not with us. With us, you can install those defenses and use the money gained from that to release them on schedule. Perhaps you're a little short on scratch for your next (ahem) financial side project? Normally you would have to slow things down to get in a position to benefit from such things. With us it doesn't matter. Keep doing what you do, and you'll find the means to make money are available far more often (more than you would think) without distraction.
That is Engineering the Future, combining time with money into a single, self-perpetuating unit, so that when that challenging future does come (and it will always come), you'll find it arrives crafted to the exact form you had envisioned. Understand? Now, go forth young Haasling. Go, manage your time efficiently, and hopefully don't screw things up for all of us by getting greedy and squishing it into a horrible mess you can't clean up. Don't worry too much though. If you do screw up, the pool is always open to relax...
Long-winded fan-fiction aside for a moment: this is like Desperado for a Corp player and in my opinion, just as (if not more) impactful. While the console will reward you for every successful run, it's contigent on you:
A) Finding it (only one in the Core Set)
B) Installing it
C) Running successfully
EtF will only give you the 1 once a turn, but is available from the start, requires no upfront investment, and will in most cases remain a guaranteed nudge to your credit balance until the end of the game. One other way of looking at its benefits - it essentially lets you install a second layer of ICE for free.