From digital tattoos that can unlock your phone to a tablet that can map the world around it in 3-D, Google’s Advanced Technology and Projects (ATAP) team works on a handful of incredibly innovative mobile-focused, research-intensive projects.
The catch: Every project operates on a two-year deadline.
In an excellent Fortune piece, reporter Miguel Helft profiles ATAP’s leader, Regina Dugan, who previously spent three years as the director of the Defence Department’s technology agency, DARPA.
Both DARPA and ATAP operate with move-fast mindsets and self-constrained deadlines, and each has its own interesting way of motivating team members to remember their time limits.
DARPA pushed people by printing the date of their last day on the badges they’d receive their first day. ATAP’s approach isn’t quite so blunt, but still keeps a sense of impatience alive within every project: ATAP techies are periodically reminded that they are 1% closer to their last day with every passing week.
“There is a sense of urgency,” Dugan told Helft. “You don’t come to build a career. You come to do a project, to do something epic, and then you go.”
Read the rest of the Fortune piece here.
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