Zillow Employees Dedicate Time to Innovation

Three weeks each year employees pursue new ideas and play with emerging technologies.

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Three times a year Zillow employees devote a week to collaboration and creation. They partner with individuals across the company to produce a feature or product that can be launched.

Hack Week, now known as Innovation Week, gives Zillow employees a chance to pursue new ideas. At the end of the week they present their projects to the company and employees vote for their favorites.

One thing employees enjoy most about time dedicated to innovation is the opportunity to play with emerging technologies.

“A few Hack Weeks ago, a couple of people experimented with a new search technology called ElasticSearch. That now powers both Zillow Digs and Agent Finder,” said Kristin Acker, one of the event’s organizers and a vice president of product teams.

She said that she enjoys seeing the creativity that shines out of every project.

“There are some really big ideas and you only have a week, so you have to make decisions and move on,” Acker said.

Chief Technology Officer David Beitel said employees’ ideas, and their dedication to the company’s mission to bring power to consumers, are among the company’s greatest assets.

“Time after time, I am amazed at what our teams can accomplish in a week. Giving folks three special weeks to go beyond the planned and more coordinated work was been a game changer. Our employees are happier and our products are better. We will never run out of things we want to test and experiment with as we look at the future of our business and technology,” Beitel said.