On Google X

November 14, 2011

New York Times article on “Google X” – a top-secret (well, not anymore) incubator of sorts for big, future ideas. Top among them is the self-driving car. Which doesn’t sound particularly Googley until one realizes it may free up more time on the part of drivers to use smart phones during their commute = more web based ad revenue.

Anyhow, my first thought was of Apple’s secret “Top 100″ retreats where future products are discussed - would be fascinating to compare project lists from both companies and see any overlaps.

But of course, I must toss in mention of Yahoo!’s incubator, Brickhouse, which was supposed to bring forth cool ideas and never did. It was shut down.

If the secret lab churns out an iPod, awesome. But if the products aren’t so hot, the very existence of these incubators should be kept secret. Expectations for this Google Car are now going to be pretty high, enough to where the Google way of “beta” and early bugs aren’t going to fly. It’s one thing when the Google+ iPhone app crashes, but another thing entirely when you end up wrapped around a telephone pole.