Apple Allowing Select Employees to Devote Time to Special Projects [Updated]

NewImageApple is allowing a small group of employees to spend up to two weeks working on projects outside their standard job responsibilities. This was originally reported by the Wall Street Journal's Jessica Lessin, by way of Business Insider.

It's similar to Google's 20% time, which lets employees spend 20% of their time on side projects that could end up helping Google.

Lessin cautioned it was a "far cry" from what Google does. It's limited to a small group of employees at Apple.

We don't have too many details for how the program, reportedly nicknamed "Blue Sky", works. It may allow employees to spend time on their own projects, or if they could be temporarily assigned to other working groups within Apple.

Update: Lessin's full Wall Street Journal article is now live. Lessin focuses on how the corporate culture is changing at Apple since Tim Cook took over as CEO, noting that Cook has been more accepting of sabbaticals, has praised employees at Apple's media events, and that the company is more frequently giving counteroffers to employees considering posts at other companies.

When it comes to culture among technology companies, Apple is still an outlier. Its managers have long ignored standard Silicon Valley perks, such as free lunches, believing the opportunity to work at the company and on its popular products compelled people to stay.

Last year, in a session of Apple's internal management program Apple University, officials discussed how the company is in some ways more like the military than a traditional corporation, according to a person who was told about the presentation.

But under Chief Executive Tim Cook, who took over from co-founder Steve Jobs last year, Apple is becoming more employee-friendly.

Top Rated Comments

ECUpirate44 Avatar
120 months ago
I wonder if Apple owns the rights to all of these "personal projects."

Of course they do. Anything done on company time belongs to the company.
Score: 24 Votes (Like | Disagree)
gregwyattjr Avatar
120 months ago
I think their special project should be debugging Maps.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Shrink Avatar
120 months ago
I wonder if Apple owns the rights to all of these "personal projects."
No, Apple is going to let their employees work on projects on Apple's time, with other Apple personnel, using Apple equipment, and then let them privately patent anything they create and make Apple pay them for the stuff they created.

Right!

Of course Apple owns the rights!!!
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
aardwolf Avatar
120 months ago
As Scott Adams (the writer of Dilbert) put in a comic... They get 20% to work on personal stuff, but they work 60 hours a week.

http://dilbert.com/strips/comic/2011-12-19/
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NinjaHERO Avatar
120 months ago
So little information, yet so much cynicism and apparent expertise. I'd love to know more so I could form an informed opinion.

Informed opinion? This is the internet. We take one small piece of speculation and we run wild. It's like streaking...only you don't get arrested. ;)
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)
NinjaHERO Avatar
120 months ago
I think it was a good idea at Google and hopefully it will be a good idea at Apple. Giving creative people a bit of freedom can't be a bad thing, can it?
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

maxresdefault

Review: M1 Max MacBook Pro After Three Months

Wednesday January 19, 2022 11:30 am PST by
It's now been a few months since the M1 Pro and M1 Max MacBook Pro models launched in October, and MacRumors video editor Dan Barbera has been using one of the new machines since they debuted. Over on the MacRumors YouTube channel, Dan has shared a three month review of his MacBook Pro to see how it has held up over time and how it's changed his workflow. Subscribe to the MacRumors YouTube ...
airpodsinear 1

AirPods Save Woman's Life With Feature Everyone Should Know

Friday January 21, 2022 2:13 am PST by
Apple's AirPods have been credited with saving a woman's life after a potentially fatal fall, People reports. When a 60-year-old florist in New Jersey tripped and hit her head in her studio, she lost consciousness and awoke heavily bleeding. With nobody around to call for help, she realized she had her AirPods in, and used a "Hey Siri" command to call 911. An operator was able to stay on the ...
iphone se 2020 top

New iPhone SE Likely to Launch in April Based on Production Timeframe

Wednesday January 19, 2022 6:44 am PST by
Apple suppliers will begin producing display panels for the third-generation iPhone SE this month, with final assembly of the device likely to start in March, according to information shared by display industry consultant Ross Young. Based on this production timeframe, Young believes the third-generation iPhone SE is likely to launch in the second half of April, or perhaps in early May at...
iphone 13 earpods

Apple to Stop Including EarPods With Every iPhone Sold in France From Next Week

Friday January 21, 2022 3:21 am PST by
Apple will no longer include EarPods with every iPhone sold in France, starting on January 24, according to a notice posted by a French carrier (via iGeneration). Apple was previously required to include EarPods in the box with the iPhone due to a French law that required every smartphone sold in the country to come with a "handsfree kit," but the law has now been changed in favor of reducing the ...
Spring 2022 Apple Products Feature

New iPad Air, Macs, and iPhone SE With 5G Likely to Be Announced at Apple Event This Spring

Thursday January 20, 2022 8:32 am PST by
Earlier this week, Bloomberg's Mark Gurman tweeted that Apple "will be holding a spring event" to announce a new iPhone SE and other hardware. In a recent edition of his newsletter, Gurman said the event is likely to occur in March or April. Gurman did not elaborate on what "other hardware" will be announced at Apple's purported spring event, but rumors suggest at least four products are...
appleeducation

Apple's US Education Store Now Requires Institution Verification to Buy Discounted Products

Wednesday January 19, 2022 2:22 am PST by
Apple is now requiring that customers in the United States verify that they're active students, teachers, or staff members at an educational institution in order to access education discounts on products. Previously, little verification was needed for customers to purchase products through Apple's education store in the United States. Apple's education stores offer models of the iPad and Mac ...
AirPods 3 New Firmware Feature

Apple Updates AirPods 3 Firmware to Version 4C170

Tuesday January 18, 2022 11:46 am PST by
Apple today released a new 4C170 firmware update for the AirPods 3, an update from the prior 4C165 that was made available in December. Apple does not offer details on what's included in new firmware updates for the AirPods‌, so we don't know what improvements or bug fixes the new firmware brings. There is no standard way to upgrade the ‌AirPods‌‌ software, but firmware is...
appleprivacyad cleaned

iOS 15 Patched Security Hole That Potentially Exposed Users' Private Apple ID Information to Third-Party Apps

Thursday January 20, 2022 3:32 am PST by
Apple patched two significant security vulnerabilities when it released iOS 15 that could have potentially exposed users' private Apple ID information and in-app search history to malicious third-party apps and allowed apps to override user Privacy preferences, Apple has revealed in a recent support document update. With most iOS, macOS, tvOS, and watchOS updates, Apple provides a list of...
apple watch series 7 aluminum colors yellowbg

Apple Watch Charging Bug Fixed in watchOS 8.4 Release Candidate

Thursday January 20, 2022 4:01 pm PST by
The watchOS 8.4 release candidate that was seeded to developers and beta testers this morning addresses an ongoing bug that could cause some Apple Watch chargers not to work properly with the Apple Watch. Back in December, we reported on a growing number of charging issues that Apple Watch Series 7 owners were facing. Since watchOS 8.3, there have been a number of complaints about...