Google’s self-driving cars are developed within X, the department colloquially known as “Google’s Moonshot Factory”.

Astro Teller is the head of X (his name was Eric until he changed it to something that suited him more).

Recently, in Backchannel, Teller describes the secret of X as trying to solve huge problems and then killing the solutions (and entire projects!) that don’t work.

It’s a great meditation on the Silicon Valley “fail faster” ethos.

Read the whole thing.

Originally published at on February 17, 2016.