Friday, September 01, 2006

Working on what will most benefit...

We encourage our employees, in addition to their regular projects, to spend 20% of their time working on what they think will most benefit Google. This empowers them to be more creative and innovative. Many of our significant advances have happened in this manner. For example, AdSense for content and Google News were both prototyped in “20% time.” Most risky projects fizzle, often teaching us something. Others succeed and become attractive businesses.
--Larry Page
Larry Page was co-founder of Google with Sergey Brin. I like this little 20% time idea. I think more companies could make use of such philosophies. How often does the worker know exactly what would improve efficiency, but is never given the opportunity to implement it? I've seen this happen everywhere, and I think it's pretty much ethically wrong to not act in such a case to improve the company.

Have you heard of anyone with similar policies? What benefits have these companies gained from this attitude?


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