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aiden
Aug 16, 2013

Will the loss of “20% time” at Google stifle innovation in the company?

Google has apparently eliminated the former practice of letting employees spend 20% of their time on independent projects since Larry Page took over the helm. You might say, hey, this is a business not a playground, suck it up and do work 100% of the time like the rest of us. Well, that 20% time led to the development of “toys” such as AdSense, Google Talk and Gmail. By eliminating this and moving into a more rigidly structured, traditionally corporate work environment, will Google damage it’s ability to develop innovative products?

jimlynch
08/26/2013
Yep it'll hurt them eventually. But it should come as no surprise. Google's fledgeling days are long, long behind it. It's a giant corporation now, and thus the old ways are being steadily eliminated or changed. Sad to see, but very predictable.
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Number6
08/19/2013

 While I can see upper management viewing this as goof off time, I think they are being short sighted. You mented several examples of products that resulted, at least in part, from 20% time. While they do have the Google X Labs where new and frankly exciting projects are developed, can there really be any doubt that having hundreds of very talented people working one day a week on pet projects will not be duplicated by a development team working on what they are told? I think that the more people there are working "off script", the more likely it is that something truly innovative will result.

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