Many things go into a world-leading company, but constant advancement and innovation are vital to businesses that want to stay at the top. As a result, Apple is not the only company with a moonshot department. Due to the secrecy that surrounds these departments and the research they are conducting, it’s also difficult — if not impossible — to say how many companies have added this extra layer to their research and development wing.

We can say with certainty that one other major company does have a moonshot department. Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has openly had “X” for years now. Google’s department takes pitches from what it describes as a “diverse range of inventors” and attempts to develop the ones that can make a difference and have a slim chance of working out. So far, it has produced some of the tech used in Google Glass, Waymo self-driving car technology, and Loon internet balloons. None of those really worked out, but that’s moonshots for you. Like Apple, Google sees its moonshot division as an important asset. 

Following their semi-retirement, the company’s co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin were almost entirely focused on the moonshot department. Curiously enough, the only thing that dragged them away from their moonshot work in recent times is the ongoing AI arms race Google has embroiled itself in with Microsoft and OpenAI. So while moonshots are all about rolling the dice on outlandish game-changing technology, AI seems to be firmly in the mainstream category at Google.



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