Google has long argued that its approach to R&D includes the “20 % time” its engineers are encouraged to take for side projects. Gary has a list of top R&D spenders this year, and Google makes the list, but is way down on it (#79), lower than Valley middle fry like Sun and NEC.
Google R&D: Not So Much
Google has long argued that its approach to R&D includes the "20 % time" its engineers are encouraged to take for side projects. Gary has a list of top R&D spenders this year, and Google makes the list, but is way down on it (#79), lower than Valley middle…
3 thoughts on “Google R&D: Not So Much”
Given the size of each company listed there, the 20% practice is not enough to make a difference on the list, unless you consider the R&D Expenditures per Employee.
That makes Google reach the 6th position, and I believe it’s where the “20% practice” really impacts Google’s R&D expenses.
Top 10 then are:
1. Broadcom Corp., U.S.
2. Amgen Inc., U.S.
3. Genentech U.S.
4. Qualcomm Inc., U.s.
5. Electronic Arts U.S.
6. Google U.S.
7. Takeda Pharmaceutical Co., Japan
8. Astellas Pharma Japan
9. Daiichi Sankyo Co., Japan
10. Microsoft Corp., U.S.
How much of the 20% time is actually used? How many employees have a consistent, weekly period in which they really do put everything else on hold to work on some side project? I am not asking about what Google encourages or discourages. I am not asking about either incentives or disincentives around putting your 80% time on hold, in order to use the 20% time. I am simply asking, per employee, how much of that 20% time actually gets used. Anyone?
And this listing from Baseline.com gives some insights into technology company R&D. The first 10 make about 70% of the total.
Technology’s Top R&D Spenders
RANK COMPANY BUSINESS R&D SPENDING IN 2006 (millions)
1 MICROSOFT Software $6,584
2 IBM Computers $6,107
3 INTEL Semiconductors $5,873
4 CISCO SYSTEMS Communications $4,067
5 HEWLETT PACKARD Computers $3,591
6 TEXAS INSTRUMENTS Semiconductors $2,195
7 SUN MICROSYSTEMS Computers $2,046
8 ORACLE Software $1,872
9 SAP Software $1,781
10 EMC Storage $1,245
11 GOOGLE Software $1,228
12 ADVANCED MICRO DEVICES Semiconductors $1,205
13 BROADCOM Semiconductors $1,117
14 SYMANTEC Software $950
15 YAHOO Internet Services $833
16 SEAGATE Storage $805
17 CA Software $715
18 APPLE Consumer $715
19 MICRON TECHNOLOGY Semiconductors $656
20 NVIDIA* Semiconductors $554