20% time

Google‘s working practices are famously weird. Its chief executive, Eric Schmidt, argues that chaos is crucial to its corporate culture. Others say it’s just this sort of disorganisation that leads to snafus such as StreetView cars intercepting WiFi data.

But Mr Schmidt has no plans to change things.

“It’s very tempting to try to organise the chaos of Google. You would hope the CEO would be able to do that,” Mr Schmidt told the Guardian’s Activate conference in London on Thursday evening. But the “essence of the company is a little bit of disorganisation”, he said, because that allows it to see “what’s next”.

Mr Schmidt went on to stress the importance of 20 per cent time to Google, even saying that he himself took up the opportunity to spend one day a week on personal projects. Read more