Google created Area 120 to entice Intelligent Employees to stay
Google Ventures is just one way that Google puts money into an idea. And with all the brilliant people already working at Google, you’d think that the 20% of the time would yield more good ideas. But Google top brass know that not everyone will get the money for their idea, so to entice intelligent employees to stay, they’ve devised Area 120.
Employees used to get 20% of their work time for non-scope projects, but only last year Google put a cork in that. And now with Area 120 they’re opening it up again, however it is slightly different. Rather than give up 20% of the time every week, employees are given a set period of months with actual company backing to develop their ideas into functional products. If an employee or group can prove initially that the idea is viable, they will get the time and money to move ahead.
It has long been a tradition in Silicon Valley to take one’s idea outside the company often, to return to the tune of millions (if not billions) of dollars when the product is viable. But Google would rather keep the talent happy and inside the company rather than force them potentially elsewhere. Google (Alphabet) buys many companies, often for the talent, and it seems wise to keep them local and encourage development without even “leaving the office”.
Of course Area 120 will not convince everyone to stay, but it might just bolster more employees to test their mettle with Google. The ideal could shake loose even more great ideas and a potentially lower cost. It’s great to see that Google is still as progressive and thoughtful enough to recognize greatness within it’s borders.
Here’s to another good idea.
Source: The Information