Google has become a search and technology behemoth since its founding in 1998, but despite this, the company has maintained many of its startup qualities. One of the most noticeable startup qualities that Google has maintained over the years are something called “20% projects.” If you are into Google and Android at all then chances are that you have heard of these projects, but if you aren’t then this probably sounds a bit odd.
What 20% projects at Google are, are side/personal projects that Googlers can work on one day out of the week. More specifically, during these days Googlers can work on projects that are not part of their job descriptions within the company. Googlers can use this time to develop a new piece of software or product that they hope will evolve into something bigger, or they can use the time to fix something that is broken within Google. This time grants Googlers a bit of freedom to work on things that they would not normally be able to work on otherwise. Some great services have been born from these 20% projects, products such as Gmail and AdSense are two great examples of this.
The only bad part of these 20% projects at Google is that we as regular consumers never really get to hear about them unless they turn into something bigger. Nat & Lo is a new YouTube series that is changing this. Said new series will have two Googlers, Nat and Lo, take a behind the scenes look at some of the 20% projects that are currently being worked on at Google. Can you take a guess as to how a couple of Google employees have time for creating their own YouTube series? Ironically, they are doing this using their own 20% time.
In the first episode of the Nat & Lo series the two cover Google Street View. This is not a new service at Google and it’s definitely not a 20% project, so why is it being covered? Nat and Lo are covering Googles newest way of creating Street View maps, having Googlers on foot with backpacks that have cameras built into them. This is done to get a view of where Googles Street View cars can’t quite traverse.
If you want to take a look at the Nat & Lo series then you can watch a couple of their YouTube videos below. This includes the first episode of the series that was talked about above.