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Inside Google's Secret Lab - Businessweek

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As the polymath engineers and scientists who work there are fond of saying, Google X is the search giant’s factory for moonshots, those million-to-one scientific bets that require generous amounts of capital, massive leaps of faith, and a willingness to break things. Google X (the official spelling is Google [x]) is home to the self-driving car initiative and the Internet-connected eyeglasses, Google Glass, among other improbable projects.

Thrun always thought of corporate labs as playgrounds for lifetime employees who were overly absorbed by the abstractions of pure research. He wanted to focus on research that was at least commercially plausible and let talent come and go as projects evolved. Thrun says he seriously considered calling the new group the Google Research Institute, but that carried exactly the kind of sleepy connotations he was trying to avoid. Google X, he says, was a placeholder, a variable to be filled in later.

…While Teller runs the day-to-day operations at X, he reports to Brin. (“Sergey is Bruce Wayne, and I’m Lucius Fox,” Teller says.)

Google Research Institute of Technology = TRUE GRIT.

Can a true Google University be far behind?

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