Google’s “20% time,” which brought you Gmail and AdSense, is now as good as dead

Quartz

Google’s “20% time,” which allows employees to take one day a week to work on side projects, effectively no longer exists. That’s according to former Google employees, one who spoke to Quartz on the condition of anonymity and others who have said it publicly.

What happened to the company’s most famous and most imitated perk? For many employees, it has become too difficult to take time off from their day jobs to work on independent projects.

This is a strategic shift for Google that has implications for how the company stays competitive, yet there has never been an official acknowledgement by Google management that the policy is moribund. Google didn’t respond to a request for comment from Quartz.

Update: Google engineers respond.

Update: Google’s official response

Once a pillar of innovation at Google, now verboten

When Google went public in 2004, the founders’ letter

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