At Alphabet’s secretive X laboratory people are paid to dream big – and fail.
Since 2010, the lab has been turning science fiction into reality, from driverless cars to balloons that bring Internet to remote regions and kites that act as wind turbines.
The goal is to solve the world’s technology problems by reaching for a “moonshot,” an idea that expands the frontiers of what’s considered possible – like U.S. President John F. Kennedy’s 1961 call to land a man on the moon. Or “shooting the moon” in the card game Hearts.
But X lab doesn’t just pursue any crazy idea. Like those who plotted the moon mission, the dreamers at X must have both a vision and a concrete plan to achieve it.
Ideas first go through a period of “rapid evaluation” in which teams conduct initial research and in the best case scenario receive a budget.