Failure is always disappointing, but two things can help take the sting away: Dispassion and money.

As the head of X, Alphabet's so-called moonshot factory, Astro Teller has plenty of both.

Funded by parent company Alphabet to the tune of billions each year, X is dedicated to ambitious and sometimes wacky research and development projects.

“Running the experiments is itself hard,” Teller said onstage Friday during the WIRED25 Festival in San Francisco.

That sounds like an easy enough approach, but it has to be coupled that special X touch: A long time horizon,and a willingness to give employees the space and time to pound away at hard ideas and truly learn.

Add those together, and you have the secret to X’s success, says Teller.

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