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Les Paul Google Doodle Cost $268 Million in Lost Productivity, Says Flawed Calculations

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By HVnews on June 16, 2011

So about last week’s awesome Google Doodle that paid homage to guitar maven Les Paul? A website called Extreme Tech says according to its calculations, it cost the world $268 million in lost productivity:

As of June 2011, Google has somewhere in the region of 740 million visitors per day. During the two days that the Les Paul doodle was online, those 740 million visitors, according to analytics from RescueTime, spent 26 seconds more on the Google home page than normal. 740 million times 26 seconds is 5,344,444 hours — and over two days, that’s a total of almost 10.7 million man hours spent playing with the Les Paul Google Doodle. Assuming the average Google user earns $25/hour, the doodle cost companies around the world $268 million in lost productivity.

But something seems a little amiss with those numbers, no?

From where did Extreme Tech pull that $25/hour number? Is that an industry standard everyone secretly knows about but can’t find online, ironically, even on a simple Google search?

Regardless — or irregardless, as the keedz say — the bigger problem with reports like these arise from the “lost productivity” conclusion. Are we really expected to believe workers would be tooling away diligently if it weren’t for distractions like the Les Paul doodle? “You know what, I’m NOT gonna go on Facebook today, I’m NOT gonna go on Dlisted or Perez today…I’m gonna sit here and do my work and…HOLY HELL, IT’S A GOOGLE DOODLE, AND I HAVE TO PLAY WITH IT!”

This thing likely cost us nothing. Because people who sit around and play with Google Doodles for a cumulative total of 10.7 million man hours are not using that time to be productive had it not existed.

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