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Google Distorting Info on 20% Time?  (View post)

James Xuan [PersonRank 10]

Monday, March 24, 2008
14 years ago4,851 views


Ionut Alex. Chitu [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Interestingly, Gmail was the first product connected with the 20% rule.

Hung Truong [PersonRank 1]

14 years ago #

20% time is actually 120% time...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

I asked Paul about his views on the 20% rule and his experiences. He says:

<<20% is important as a concept because it gives license to work on things that other people don't think are important. Various people inside Google would periodically try to organize or coordinate (or approve!) 20% time/projects, and that's a mistake because it runs counter to the value of 20% time.>>

Colin Colehour [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

Duplicate word used in this line:
Someone named Hans Cardinal, who "claims claims"...

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

(Thanks Colin, fixed!)

Mihai Parparita [PersonRank 1]

14 years ago #

A little-known fact is that Google Reader started out as a 20% project (or if you wish, not strictly during 20% time, but definitely as a side-project/bottom-up kind of thing, like Gmail). Chris started to post about its beginnings (but unfortunately hasn't had the time to wrap things up):

Many features within Reader (e.g. Trends, the Wii interface, sharing with friends) were also spontaneous, engineer-drive creations.

(disclaimer: I'm one of those engineers)

Stanley Foss [PersonRank 0]

14 years ago #

Google moto of " Do No Evil" is going to come back to haughnt them like Britney Spears "Im saving myself until im married."

Matt Cutts [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

"20% time is actually 120% time..."

Hung Truong, no it's not. If it is, you're doing it wrong. Google is better than most companies at supporting engineers who want to try out a new idea or a side project.

Mihai, I didn't know that. Pretty cool.

Philipp Lenssen [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

(Added an update, thanks everyone!)

/pd [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

funny, there is a more interesting conversation happening at FF!!

IS there shift happening in terms of the internet "water cooler" – in terms of conversations and gossip , its moved from Blog's into seconday media like twitter and FF ??

Just asking..:)-

Andy Wong [PersonRank 10]

14 years ago #

To make commercial sense, more exactly, if you can finish the assigned jobs within 80% of the time frame, you will have 20% to do things you desire. I (not an insider) would say Google as an employer won't assign you more job because you finish the assignments earlier, while many companies will stack you more jobs or tighten the time frame of next project.

For outstanding developers like Matt Cutts and Mihai, finishing assignment within 80% time frame is not a problem. As Google is pretty large now, it is not surprising that some developers could hardly even find 5% to do things desired.

Susan Moskwa [PersonRank 1]

14 years ago #

I agree with Paul's comment in your update: 20% time is more an idea than a rule. It is what you make of it. No one's going to come around and check up on you to make sure you're using 20% of your time for something random. But if you get interested in a particular project and decide to spend some of your time working on it, that's something that's supported by Google as a company.

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