The 20% Doctrine: How Tinkering, Goofing Off, and Breaking the Rules at Work Drive Success in Business

The 20% Doctrine: How Tinkering, Goofing Off, and Breaking the Rules at Work Drive Success in Business

by Ryan Tate


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Gawker tech-blogger and journalist Ryan Tate reveals how businesses can inspire greater creativity and productivity by giving employees the freedom to experiment and explore their passions.

We're at a crossroads. Many iconic American companies have been bailed out or gone bankrupt, while others are fighting to survive ever-increasing digitization and globalization.

In The 20% Doctrine, Tate examines how companies large and small can incubate valuable innovative advances by making small, specific changes to how work time is approached within their corporate cultures. The concept of “20% Time” originated at Google, but Tate takes examples from powerful businesses like Yahoo!, National Public Radio, Flickr, and the Huffington Post to demonstrate how flexibility and experimentation can revolutionize any business model.

By pursuing their passion projects, employees can fuel innovation and foster new ideas. Only through a new devotion to the unhinged and the ad hoc can American businesses resume a steady pace of development and profitability.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062003232
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 04/17/2012
Pages: 208
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.30(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Ryan Tate is the technology gossip blogger for and a veteran business journalist whose posts are read 2.5 million times by 700,000 people per month. He began his career writing for Upside, the first magazine to focus on the intersection of business and technology. He then went on to write and report for Business 2.0 magazine, the Contra Costa Times, and the San Francisco Business Times. He lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with his wife and two cats.

Table of Contents

Foreword Chad Dickerson vii

Introduction 1

1 Scratching Your Own Itch 15

2 20 Percent on the Cheap 41

3 The Rise of Hack Day 57

4 A Side Project School Rises in the Bronx 87

5 The Huffington Post Brings 20 Percent to the Masses 103

6 How a Top Chef Started Over 141

Conclusion 157

Bibliography 173

Index 184

What People are Saying About This

Craig Newmark

“In any organization a lot of the rank-and-file are ready to start efforts which will contribute to their community, maybe building the bottom line. The 20 % Doctrine shows how organizations have made that work in real life, and how you might make that happen where you work.”

Chris Anderson

“The most innovative companies in America are those that are willing to let employees explore their own pet projects on company time. The 20% Doctrine is a smart, well-written look at this new path to innovation, full of examples that are engaging, thought provoking, and intriguingly diverse.”

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