As an organization, we maintain a portfolio of research projects driven by fundamental research, new product innovation, product contribution and infrastructure goals, while providing individuals and teams the freedom to emphasize specific types of work. We strive to create an environment conducive to many different types of research across many different time scales and levels of risk.
Our goal is to create a research environment rich in opportunities for product impact, to build a product environment that actively benefits from research, and to provide our staff the freedom to work on important research problems that are not tied to immediate product needs. Some of the most exciting research enables new products, or even new businesses, that we cannot imagine today. Given the diversity of research projects that we pursue, we have found it useful to define four types of work to help crystalize the goals of projects and allow us to measure progress. Although the organization as a whole needs to include all four types of work, teams or individuals typically emphasize a subset of them.