20% Time Done Right

Originate is passionate about innovation.  We tackle tough transformational software challenges, helping our partners achieve things they never thought possible.

Great innovation comes from passionate people – people who are excited and challenged by their work, their lives, and their opportunities.  People to whom creation is as natural as breathing.

To spark and cultivate each individual’s passion and drive to create, Originate offers 20% Time to each of our employees.  One day per week, or one week out of five, is entirely yours to work on a project that interests you. We believe that by empowering you to exercise your personal interests while at ‘work’, with no strings attached, we create a fertile environment for world-changing ideas.

Unlike other companies, we explicitly grant all intellectual property rights for work done on the 20% Project to you.  Anything you build or develop on your 20% Time projects, even if it uses Originate resources, is yours to do with as you please.  We hope that you’ll give us first shot at funding your great idea, but that’s entirely your call.

Also, this 20% time is part of your normal work week.  It’s not “20% of 150%”!  We manage our partner projects to ensure that you get dedicated time to work on your project.

The process is intentionally simple:

  • Come up with an idea
  • Bounce it off of your coworkers to refine and improve the idea.  Or (even better!) recruit your coworkers to be part of the team.
  • Discuss with your supervisor to get feedback
  • Write up a project description with milestones and deliverables, and complete the simple legal Agreement that grants you all rights to your work.
  • Execute!

20% Time is to be used for things that benefit not only you, but also Originate and/or the greater good.  Examples of good projects include:

  • Contributing to (or creating) a popular open source project, with the goal of achieving committer status
  • Developing expertise in a new technology, and presenting your learning publicly (a blog post, a how-to, or a conference talk)
  • Developing software for a local nonprofit
  • Developing a new product or service that can be grown into an independent company

If you have a great product or project idea, and are a top-notch designer, developer or product strategist, we’d love to hear from you.  You’ll get a salary, shared upside, and support for your idea, all while working on interesting projects!

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