Why Google Needs Area 120 to Retain Employees
Google CEO Sundar Pichai confirms plan for introducing “Area 120”, an in-house incubator in the company to allow employees to build their own start-up at Google.Advertisement
Following-up on our earlier speculations on the incubator, it is all set to be headed by Google executives Don Harrison and Bradley Horowitz, who also head Photos and Streams, according to inside sources gathered by The Information.
‘Smart creatives’ interested in being a part of “Area 120” can join the initiative by submitting their business plans. On approval, the team gets full time access for a few months to work on their ideas. Later, the team can pitch their plan to Google to acquire funding and investment from the conglomerate and establish a new company within.
Over the years Google has been a victim to losing smart creatives from the company due to their negligence towards them. The founding fathers of Google also confessed an incident with Kevin Systrom, co-founder of Instagram in the book ‘How Google Works’ “Once, Salar Kamangar was impressed with one of our young marketing associates and wanted to transfer said young man into the APM program. Unfortunately, the APM program only accepted candidates with degrees in computer science, which this associate didn’t have. Although Salar argued that the young associate was a self-taught programmer and had a “history of working closely with engineers and shipping things,” several influential execs, including Jonathan, steadfastly refused to expand the aperture, and denied the transfer. The young marketing associate, Kevin Systrom, eventually left Google. He cofounded a company called Instagram, which he later sold to Facebook for a billion dollars. You’re welcome, Kevin!”
Reports from The Information also suggest that “Area 120” is an extension of its 20% time, a method Larry Page and Sergey Brin wanted their employees to follow, “Spend 20% of their time working on what they think will most benefit Google” according 2004 IPO letter.
Area 120 could initial be Google’s new way of finding hidden talent inside the company, giving birth to new ideas such as Google News, Gmail and Adsense which were a product of development from the success of “20% time”
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