Google X, Alphabet’s secret division that works on long-term “moonshot” projects, has reportedly been restructured to be more efficient, with a renewed focus on releasing actual commercial products.
Alphabet has decided to drop the “Google” from Google X’s name. The newly renamed division, now known simply as X, also has a fancy new logo (enjoy the gif below).
Along with the logo change, X projects will now be killed far earlier in their development process when they aren’t working out. Alphabet reportedly found that some employees became too close to their projects, making it difficult for them to pull the plug on their own when it was necessary. To avoid this issue, X projects are now managed by a group within X called Foundry, which is tasked with reducing risk and ensuring the eventual commercial viability of what the division is working on.
In a lot of ways, the restructuring brings X closer to Google’s Advanced Technologies and Projects (ATAP) group. Like X, ATAP is quick to kill projects that don’t appear to be moving quickly enough. At most, the secretive lab gives its engineers two years to do something with an idea. It’s a cutthroat approach, but one that has produced results. Project Tango, Jacquard and Ara have all come out of the lab in recent years.