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Innovation at google – how Google’s 80/20 rule led to development of Gmail?

About Google

Google is a search engine company based in the United States that was created in 1998 by Sergey Brin and Larry Page and is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. Google handles more than 70% of all global online search inquiries.

The Idea and Implementation

Paul Buchheit, a Google employee, was working on a web-based email service that was able to function as a search engine within an already existing email service. He and his team came up with the idea of Gmail in 2004. Gmail was cited as a result of Google’s 80-20 rule which allowed workers to utilize a portion of their work hours for a personal project. Buchheit used highly interactive JavaScript code to work around HTML constraints in Gmail. This gave it a more software-like appearance than a series of web pages He also came up with the notion that the Gmail service should be free of cost and must be financed through advertising to acquire maximum users.

“I had started to make an email program before in, probably, 1996, I had this idea I wanted to build web-based email. I worked on it for a couple of weeks and then got bored. One of the lessons I learned from that was just in terms of my own psychology, that it was important that I always have a working product. The first thing I do on day one is build something useful, then just keep improving it.”- Paul Buchheit.

Results

Gmail became the most widely used email service and surpassed Hotmail and Yahoo Mail, the two most popular free webmail services during the time. Gmail has grown into a crucial service in Google’s product portfolio, with more than 1.5 billion active users worldwide. Additionally, Gmail also helped Google to grow its advertising revenue through Google AdSense which was expected to generate $147 billion in revenue in 2020.

Encouraging ideas and establishing a culture of innovation have helped open up new business opportunities for organizations and enter new market segments. Organizations resultantly benefit both in terms of achieved objectives and generation of revenue. Did you know, you might also be sitting on a pile of wonderful employee ideas waiting to be discovered? With an idea capture system like Inspire IP Ideas, you can join these organizations too, and benefit from the ideas of your employees.

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