Skunk Works and Bootlegging
I mentioned that I do Skunk Works projects to a colleague who was unfamiliar with the term. Turning to the all-knowing Wikipedia I pulled the following: Skunk Works is a term first coined in 1943 by Lockheed, currently trademarked by Lockheed Martin and widely used in business, engineering, and technical fields to describe a group within an organization given a high degree of autonomy and unhampered by bureaucracy, tasked with working on advanced or secret projects. Reading further, I saw a reference to "Bootlegging". I didn't know that there is a business world definition for the term. Apparently, there is: In economics and business administration literature, Kenneth E. Knight introduced the notion bootlegging in 1967. Bootlegging is defined as research in which motivated individuals secretly organise the innovation process. It usually is a bottom-up, non-programmed activity, without the official authorisation of the responsible management, but for the benefit of the company. It is not in the departmentâ€™s action plan nor are there any formal resources allocated towards it (Augsdorfer 1996). I do that too. I'm close to winding up a project that has been pretty much all consuming since sometime around October of last year. Can't wait to get back to the bootlegging stuff. It will come as a most welcome change of pace from the big ol' formal project.