An inspiring exploration of how unorthodox business practices and the freedom to experiment can fuel innovation
We're at a crossroads. Many iconic American companies have been bailed out or gone bankrupt; others are struggling to survive as digitization and globalization remake their industries. At the same time, the tectonic forces disrupting U.S. corporations—ubiquitous bandwidth and computing power, cheap manufacturing and distribution—have enabled large organizations to foster new innovations and products through experiments that are at once more aggressive and less risky than they would have been twenty years ago. At companies such as Google, employees are encouraged to spend 20% of their work time on projects they're personally interested in. Almost half of Google's new product launches have originated from this policy, including Gmail and AdSense. Now other companies have adopted the concept, providing them a path to innovation and profits at a time of peril and uncertainty and offering employees creative freedom when many are feeling restless.
The 20% Doctrine is about goofing off at work, and how that goofing off can drive innovation and profit. Here Ryan Tate examines the origins and implementation of 20% time at Google, then looks at how other organizations such as Flickr, the Huffington Post, and even a school in the Bronx have adapted or reinvented the same overall concept, intentionally and serendipitously. Along the way, he distills a series of common themes and lessons that can help workers initiate successful 20% style projects within their own organizations. Only through a new devotion to the unhinged and the ad hoc can American businesses resume a steady pace of development and profitability.
I love the stories of how the guts and dedication of each person behind a 20% projects gave it the momentum to become a real public thing. Read morePublished 1 month ago by William J. Schultz
Grat book that helps you understand the basic concepts of the 20% principle. Easy to read and understand.
Should read it!
Cut to the Chase:
This was a quick and fun read, though, like many other business novels, I’m not sure how much of what I learned is applicable to real life/my business as... Read more
About halfway through the book and so far I like it. Personally I though the book would take a bit more about the nitty gritty of creating projects using the 20% but it seemed a... Read morePublished 13 months ago by E. Janis
I really enjoyed the chapters on Google mail, twitter, Flickr, etc. I felt the Huffington chapter went on way too long, I got the picture early on but perhaps I just preferred the... Read morePublished 13 months ago by Shimska
Very engaging, interesting narratives about how the 20% doctrine
was born and works for Silicon Valley and similar companies,
but how does it work for places like where... Read more
Veteran business journalist Ryan Tate explores how firms generate innovation based on Google's approach, which allows employees to spend 20% of their paid time on personal... Read morePublished on October 23, 2012 by Rolf Dobelli