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A skunkworks project is a project developed by a small and loosely structured group of people who research and develop a project primarily for the sake of radical innovation.[1] The terms originated with Lockheed's World War II
World War II
Skunk Works
Skunk Works
project. Definition[edit] Everett Rogers
Everett Rogers
defined skunkworks as an "enriched environment that is intended to help a small group of individuals design a new idea by escaping routine organizational procedures."[2] The term originated during World War II
World War II
when the P-80 Shooting Star was designed by Lockheed’s Advanced Development Projects Division in Burbank, California, under similar circumstances. A closely guarded incubator was set up in a circus tent next to a plastics factory in Burbank. The strong smells that wafted into the tent made the Lockheed R&D workers think of the foul-smelling “Skonk Works” factory in Al Capp’s Li'l Abner
Li'l Abner
comic strip.[3] Since its origination with Skunk Works, the term was generalized to apply to similar high-priority R & D projects at other large organizations which feature a small team removed from the normal working environment and given freedom from management constraints.[3] The term typically refers to technology projects developed in semi-secrecy, such as Google X Lab.[4][5] Another famous skunkworks was the lab of about 50 people established by Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs
to develop the Macintosh
Macintosh
computer, located behind the Good Earth Restaurant in Cupertino.[2] See also[edit]

Hacker (programmer subculture)

References[edit]

^ "Skunk works". The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition. reference.com. Retrieved October 12, 2009.  ^ a b Rogers E. (2003) Diffusion of Innovations, 5th ed., p. 109. ^ a b "Idea: Skunkworks". The Economist. August 25, 2008. Retrieved 2013-03-19.  ^ Stone, Brad (22 May 2013). "Inside Google's Secret Lab". BusinessWeek. Retrieved 13 February 2014.  ^ Daft, Richard (2013). Management. Cengage Learning. p. 361. ISBN 9781285068657. 

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