#2 in the Green Goldfish Project – Google

According to Jonathan Strickland in ‘HowStuffWorks: How the Googleplex Works’, the company allows its employees to use up to 20 percent of their work week at Google to pursue special projects. That means for every standard work week, employees can take a full day to work on a project unrelated to their normal workload. Google claims that many of their products in Google Labs started out as pet projects in the 20 percent time program.

Here’s a YouTube video by Shannon Deegan (Director, People Operations, Google) on 20% time:

Marketing Lagniappe Takeaway: How do you embrace creativity and innovation? Tap into what 3M originally called 15% time and what Google calls 20 percent time. Allow employees to develop personal projects and see what happens. The net result is happier employees and innovative ideas. You might just have the next Post-It notes or Gmail as a result.

Today’s Lagniappe (a little something extra) – What is a googol? According to Wikipedia:

A googol is the large number 10100; that is, the digit 1 followed by 100 zeroes

The term was coined in 1938 by 9-year-old Milton Sirotta, nephew of American mathematician Edward Kasner. Kasner used it to illustrate the difference between an unimaginably large number and infinity, and in this role it is sometimes used in teaching mathematics.

It is also the namesake of Google, with the name “Google” being a misspelling of “googol” by the company’s founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

What is the Green Goldfish Project?

The Green Goldfish Project is a quest to find 1,001 examples of marketing lagniappe for employees. Happy employees = Happy Customers. A green goldfish is the little signature extras given to employees. They help differentiate a company, increase employee retention and drive positive word of mouth.

What’s Your Green Goldfish?