Google recently announced it was getting rid of its “20% policy,” which has given us products like Gmail, Google Talk and more. This policy let Google employees work on their own side projects one day a week, whatever they may be. The policy was so popular that many other Silicon Valley companies followed suit and encouraged out-of-the-box ideas. So why did Google get rid of the idea? Google has shifted its focus into “doing fewer things, better” and, according to some employees, the process for getting a side project up and running had become more difficult than ever. Engineers had to seek approval for everything and were responsible for their projects’ maintenance. Management had also reportedly been discouraged from green-lighting independent projects. Google’s still in the innovation business – its Google X facility works on “secret” projects, and Google has launched Google Glass and Project Loon this year. While the company’s 20% policy may be a thing of the past, Google will always look to the future.
About Shelly Palmer
Shelly Palmer is a business advisor and technology consultant. He helps Fortune 500 companies with digital transformation, media and marketing. Named LinkedIn's Top Voice in Technology, he is the host of the Shelly Palmer #strategyhacker livestream and co-host of Techstream with Shelly Palmer & Seth Everett. He covers tech and business for Good Day New York, writes a weekly column for Adweek, is a regular commentator on CNN and CNBC, and writes a popular daily business blog. Follow @shellypalmer or visit shellypalmer.com.