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Until now, the company had been quiet on the subject. Google  has allowed its engineers and other employees to spend a day a week (or 20% time) on side projects, but the program has been pared down significantly. The company has also sought to satisfy many of its employees in different ways, allowing some to start new projects internally, and using its venture arm, now called GV, to finance the startups of some of those who choose to leave.

Area 120 is a new approach, half incubator, half new take on the spirit of the 20% time program. (It’s name, sometimes shortened to 120, is a reference to the 20% time idea).Instead of spending a day a week on a side project, those accepted into the program may be able to spend six months on it.

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