Communication agency Boondoggle lets employees work on own projects during business hours

Thursday, April 15, 2010 — An iPhone application that teaches you how to drum in a completely new way or a notebook with one of your own Twitter messages on every page. These are the first two wild ideas to have been thought up, developed and released onto the market at the ‘Boondoggle Life Labs’ creative unit.

Since August 2009, eight of the 60 employees at the advertising agency Boondoggle have been members of a unique creative unit – Boondoggle Life Labs – with permission to come up with innovative, original and, preferably digital ideas during working hours, independently of existing clients.

The concept is simple: each member of Boondoggle Life Labs may is allowed to spend an average of one day per week working on his or her own ideas and projects. Half of this day is paid for by Boondoggle, while the other half is an investment on the part of the members themselves - equivalent to contributing 10% of their salary. The returns from the different products which are devised and developed are divided between Boondoggle and the members of Life Labs.

Boondoggle has started this creative unit with a combination of goals in mind. Firstly, the development of various Life Labs projects is enabling specific knowledge to be acquired internally concerning new technologies and digital possibilities. That knowledge will ultimately flow through into projects for the company's own clients. Secondly, the agency is experimenting in this way with new revenue models which can be discussed with existing clients at a later stage.

And Boondoggle Life Labs has proved not to be just another gimmick organised to give the agency's PR a symbolic boost. After barely five months, the first two products are online. You can discover the Drumtrainer iPhone App at, and you can order your own TweetNotebook at

Tweetnotebook - Prints amazing notebooks from your tweets.

drumtrainer - iPhone app demo