Out of the Box WeekMarch 10, 2009
I haven’t posted for a bit…it’s been Out of the Box Week here at Live Labs. Once a quarter (more or less) we all take a week away from our normal work to pursue whatever interesting ideas we can come up with. We’ve been doing it for a couple of years now, and it’s a great source of innovation, as well as being an opportunity for us to recharge our batteries and collaborate with people on other teams.
A couple of my previous Out of the Box projects have gone on to be published: Seadragon Ajax (after plenty more work by Aseem Kishore) and Infinite Canvas. Seadragon Mobile also started as an Out of the Box project, by Ben Vanik. Jeff Weir’s Colour Picker is another example. Of course some projects simply end up as features within existing products, and some just remain novelties.
We’re not the only ones in the industry doing this sort of thing. Google has their 20% Playtime, and there are lots of examples from smaller companies, such as Meebo’s Hack Day, SharedBook’s Cool Factor Projects, and many others. Even inside Microsoft, other groups, such as Office Labs, are giving it a spin.
Hopefully this is a trend that will continue…I highly recommend it for any team that needs to stay fresh and innovative.