Working at Google X is a tinkerer's dream. Not only do you get to indulge your every creative whim, but you get to work with some of the brightest intellects of your generation. Failure isn't frowned upon; it's encouraged. And you get to work on futuristic technology like hoverboards and space elevators.
So how does one go about getting a job there? Google X head Astro Teller reveals in this month's feature story how one recent hire landed a gig: He built a helicopter.
Fast Company's Jon Gertner writes:
Inside the lab, now more than 250 employees strong, I met an idiosyncratic troupe of former park rangers, sculptors, philosophers, and machinists; one X scientist has won two Academy Awards for special effects. Teller himself has written a novel, worked in finance, and earned a PhD in artificial intelligence. One recent hire spent five years of his evenings and weekends building a helicopter in his garage. It actually works, and he flew it regularly, which seems insane to me. But his technology skills alone did not get him the job. The helicopter did.
Now before you jaunt over to the helicopter parts store, it's worth considering what makes an ideal Google X-er. The lab isn't looking for "experts" in a single field. Rather, it would rather bring in insanely curious minds who don't mind taking risks in as many technological domains as possible. "What we want, in a sense, are people who know less and less about more and more," says Google X's Rich DeVaul.
Quite simply, it is a place where today's Da Vincis could feel right at home. Read the rest of Gertner's Google X feature here.