Google X: Another Wizard Blasts Off with a Tether

September 24, 2014

I read “Google X Founder Sebastian Thrun Has Left His Role As Google VP And Fellow.” Google’s moon shot research facility sent Babak Parviz (also Amirparviz packing). Dr. Parviz landed at Amazon, not far from Microsoft where Dr. Parviz worked on Microsoft’s contact lens project.

Now Sebastian Thrun (yep, the online learning, Udacity guy) has left the mothership. He has a tether as an advisor. The article reports:

Thrun has been in more of an advisory role at Google for a while now, with Chris Urmson leading the self-driving car project, and Ivy Ross leading Glass. Astro Teller continues to run Google X.

Astro is related to Edward Teller, a scientist of note.

What’s with the Google X operation? For something that is supposed to be really secret, the departure of high level experts seems to be a bit of a secrecy risk.

The write up mentions a number of secret Google X projects, including the mysterious “indoor localization” operation and Flux. The Loon balloons are ready to float over various countries. How will some countries react to Loons. Maybe with a demo of the SU 27 and SU 35 firepower?

The Google X outfit is of interest to me because of the very non secret relationship between a Google founder and a certain marketer. The marketer may have had a bit of a re-entry problem earlier this year.

Google X has impact. Some may not be what the doctor ordered.

Ah, I long for the good old days of precision and recall. Technological revolutions, marital discord, and secrecy leakage are indications of some interesting management methods.

Stephen E Arnold, September 24, 2014


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