Today I came across a post by FamilyLink.com CEO, Paul Allen, that announced a new employee program where 10% of their work time (4 hours for a 40 hour work week) can be spent doing their own family history. The idea was patterned from Google’s policy that allows employees to spend 20% of their time on personal projects. This idea is very exciting to me and is one that I have been thinking about a lot over the last year specifically in the context of genealogy software. Maybe I should have blogged about it sooner.
The Genealogy Software Community is in great need of innovation and it is great to see an innovative company like FamilyLink.com spend some time “in the trenches” doing family history. Maybe they will come to understand and embrace the Genealogical Proof Standard and Source Citations and find ways to implement them in software in ways that won’t scare those who are starting out in family history.
Paul references a talk given by Marissa Mayer at Stanford a few years ago on the topic of Google’s culture of innovation.
She included the following 9 points:
- Ideas come from everywhere
- Share everything you can.
- You’re brilliant. We’re hiring.
- A license to pursue dreams.
- Innovation not instant perfection.
- Data is a-political.
- Creativity loves constraint.
- Users not money.
- Don’t kill projects. Morph them.
I met Paul last week during the BYU Computerized Genealogy and Family History Conference and was impressed by his sincerity and desire to grow the family history economy. This latest announcement is continued proof that he is out to make a positive change in the world of genealogy and family history.