- 3M first came up with the idea of 15% time
- Google’s Krishna Bharat came up with Google News in his spare time.
- Paul Buchheit also came up with the initial prototype of Gmail in his spare time.
- Then everybody starts talking about Google’s 20% time.
- Then follows, Google Wave & other products & basically ends the 20% time concept.
- Now its all about more wood, behind fewer arrows (based on Steve Jobs’s advise?)
Moral of the Story: Having a systematic process to encourage employee creativity is very very hard. It takes a very very extra-ordinary organization to keep taking it in the chin & still backing potentially losing products….