Apple’s new “Blue Sky” initiative sounds a lot like Google’s 20% time

by: ŠtefanNovember 13, 2012

Google is famous for the “perks” that they give their employees. Things like gourmet free lunches, shuttle service to and from work, an on-campus laundromat, but their most recognized program is easily “20% time”. In case you haven’t heard of it by now, Google basically gives employees one day of the week to work on whatever it is they want. Here are some Google services you might have heard of that started out as a 20% project: Gmail, Google News, and AdSense. Apple, looking to copy the best parts of Google, began something called the “Blue Sky” initiative earlier this year according to The Wall Street Journal. Here’s the exact wording:

“Earlier this year, Apple told some employees about a new initiative called “Blue Sky” that allows a small group of staffers to spend a few weeks on a pet engineering project, according to three people told about the program.”

It’s obviously not as widespread as Google’s 20% time since “Blue Sky” is only open to a select few, but it is a sign that even Apple is starting to recognize that some of their ideas are getting a bit stale. Scott Forstall, the former Head of iOS, is said to have been a part of this program.

Will Apple’s employees come up with something as ground breaking as Gmail or as profitable as AdSense over the coming years? That’s hard to say. As much as the media loves to give Apple attention and call them an innovative company, they’re fundamentally in the box moving business. By that we mean they make money by selling you physical goods. That’s made them the biggest company America has ever seen, but all it takes is a few misteps for the empire to crumble. Google meanwhile, as long as advertising exisits, they exist.

We don’t see the death of advertising happening anytime soon.

  • Nothing but good can come out of this. For the past few years, all Apple has been doing is playing “catch-up” to it’s competitors, but maybe this will introduce some fresh ideas and produce a better competition between companies so that we the consumers win, as well as the companies. Glad to hear Apple is finally taking some initiative and ready to finally begin “innovating.”

  • MasterMuffin

    Lets sue them!

  • padlock1

    Too bad such ideas cannot be patented with slightly rounded corners…Apple would have had to cough up!

    • 13ThGorilla

      hahaha… good one.

  • Always copying others… but, no, I’m sure they thought of it first; must be a patent for it in the pipeline too…

  • Justin Quang

    Hahaha… They work for the richest company that has the bestselling phone and tablet, and yet, just now, they’re only starting to get these awesomeness that Google has had for a while.
    Oh. It has a (corny and nonsense) name. Fancy fancy. LOL.
    And is their plan to have a cafeteria, laundromat, gym, etc. (again, just like what Google’s been having) still going on?
    I don’t know why these people still hang in there up fruity’s ass.

  • aholsteinson

    Oh, just like Google…

  • ApplePiePatentExpert

    I can imagine that the only projects selected are for “innovations in the are of patents” LOL!

  • Benedict Tan

    frankly, apple taking ideas from a company with a better ethical structure i can only see as a good thing