Astro Teller

Dr. Astro Teller currently oversees X, Alphabet's moonshot factory for building magical, audaciously impactful ideas that through science and technology can be brought to reality.

Before joining X (formerly Google[x]), Astro was the co-founding CEO of Cerebellum Capital, Inc, an investment management firm whose investments are continuously designed, executed, and improved by a software system based on techniques from statistical machine learning. Astro was also the co-founding CEO of BodyMedia, Inc, a leading wearable body monitoring company. Prior to starting BodyMedia, Dr. Teller was co-founding CEO of SANDbOX AD, an advanced development technology incubator. Before his tenure as a business executive, Dr. Teller taught at Stanford University and was an engineer and researcher for Phoenix Laser Technologies, Stanford's Center for Integrated Systems, and The Carnegie Group Incorporated. Dr. Teller holds a Bachelor of Science in computer science from Stanford University, Masters of Science in symbolic and heuristic computation, also from Stanford University, and a Ph.D. in artificial intelligence from Carnegie Mellon University, where he was a recipient of the Hertz fellowship. Through his work as a scientist, an inventor, and as an entrepreneur, Teller holds many U.S. and international patents related to his work in hardware and software technology. Astro is also a successful novelist and screenwriter. And he makes a mean margarita and other memorable potions.

“It's an honor to accept a 2016 Edison Achievement Award on behalf of X, a moonshot factory within Alphabet. Our hope at X is that we can speed up the process of finding, in Edison's words, ‘10,000 ways that won't work’ and more quickly uncover ways to repeatedly invent and launch new technologies that could someday make the world a radically better place. And just as importantly, we want to encourage others around the world to take their own moonshots.”
- Astro Teller



Career Accolades

Astro Teller has received numerous accolades throughout his career including:


Astro Teller at TED

Watch Astro Teller give a TED Talk about the unexpected benefit of celebrating failure. "Great dreams aren't just visions," says Astro Teller, "They're visions coupled to strategies for making them real."

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Astro Teller in the News

The difference between Google and Alphabet, explained
Washington Post | February 2016
Did you know that Google doesn't actually work on driverless cars? That's right. In fact, that's technically an Alphabet project.

They Promised Us Jet Packs. They Promised the Bosses Profit.
New York Times | July 2016
Projects at the Alphabet-owned division have included efforts to change seawater into fuel and make jet packs.

Google[x] Head Astro Teller Says Moonshots Are All About Embracing Failure
TechCrunch | March 2015
Google’s ‘Captain of Moonshots’ Astro Teller admitted to a packed crowd at SXSW that a number of Google[x] projects have experienced a series of “bumps and scrapes” over the last five years. But he also highlighted how the Google lab attempts to overcome those issues and “embrace failure” in projects that aren’t going so well.

Astro Teller: How Google X works
Fortune | December 2014
There are few people more qualified to talk about shaping the future than Google’s Astro Teller. His official title the oh-so-Googley “Captain of Moonshots.” His day job is running Google X, which the company calls its “moonshot factory.”

The Truth About Google X: An Exclusive Look Behind the Secretive Lab's Closed Doors
Fast Company | April 2014
Astro Teller is sharing a story about something bad. Or maybe it's something good. At Google X, it's sometimes hard to know the difference.

Inside Google's Secret Lab
Businessweek | May 2013
Last February, Astro Teller, the director of Googles (GOOG) secretive research lab, Google X, went to seek approval from Chief Executive Officer Larry Page for an unlikely acquisition. Teller was proposing that Google buy Makani Power, a startup that develops wind turbines mounted on unmanned, fixed-wing aircraft tethered to the ground like a kite. The startup, Teller told Page, was seeing promising results, and, he added proudly, its prototypes had survived all recent tests intact.

Astro Teller
Astro Teller is the Captain of Moonshots of X

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Every year, the Edison Awards honors one or more individuals who, through their careers, their leadership and their achievements, have distinguished themselves by making a significant and lasting contribution to the world of innovation. View more Edison Achievement Award Winners.