Several of the projects and companies overseen by Alphabet Inc., the holding company Google created in 2015, have generated news of late.
On Tuesday, RBC Capital analyst Mark Mahaney issued a bullish report about the future of Waymo, the self-driving car company is due to launch commercial operations in Phoenix, Ariz., before the end of the year.
And on Wednesday, Alphabet's research and development arm, X, announced that two projects, Loon and Wing, would become independent companies within Alphabet.
This slight surge in news reminded us that it's been nearly three years since Google blew up its entire corporate structure to form a new parent company: Alphabet.
The shake-up was intended to help all of its businesses operate more efficiently, a move CEO Larry Page was working on for years as a secret project he called "Javelin."
This move also allowed Page to step back from day-to-day operations to "focus on the bigger picture."
Now, Alphabet is a massive corporation that encompasses everything from internet-beaming hot air balloons to self-driving cars to Google Cloud.
This seemed like a good time to revisit how Alphabet is structured.
Google officially became Alphabet in October, 2015, with the hope of allowing businesses units to operate independently and move faster. Google cofounder Larry Page is the CEO of the umbrella company, Alphabet.
Alphabet is divided into two main units: Google and Other Bets. Other Bets is best known for its "moonshot" R&D unit, X, but it also houses several other companies. Let's start with the smaller companies under Other Bets.
Alphabet's Access division includes Google Fiber, which launched in Kansas City in 2012 and expanded to about 9 cities. Fiber offers extremely fast high-speed internet (up to 1G) and some TV. It's billed as an alternative to traditional cable companies. It currently has about 200,000 subscribers.
GV is Alphabet's early-stage venture arm, formerly known as Google Ventures, GV has $2.4 billion under management and has invested in more than 300 companies, including Uber, Flatiron Health, and Slack.
Google Capital — now known as CapitalG — is Alphabet's growth equity investment fund. Its mission is purely financial returns, but unlike GV, Google Capital focuses on later-stage startups. Some of its investments include Airbnb, Glassdoor, and Thumbtack.
The "think tank" division within Alphabet was spun off into a company called Jigsaw early in 2016. Led by Jared Cohen, Jigsaw uses technology to tackle geopolitical problems like online censorship, extremism, and harassment.
Google DeepMind focuses on artificial intelligence research. Acquired in 2014 for $500 million, DeepMind has focused on adding artificial intelligence throughout Google products, including search. The DeepMind AI can also teach itself how to play arcade games and can play board games against humans.
Based in London, DeepMind is an artificial intelligence company that Google acquired in 2014 and is now setting up a sizable new team in the US in order to increase collaboration within Google.
Waymo, which stands for "Way forward in mobility," has the mission of making "it safe and easy for people and things to move around." The cars have now driven two million miles, but have not yet become available for commercial use.
Project Wing is also a former project inside X. The commercial drone delivery service made headlines in September 2016 when it flew Chipotle burritos to Virginia Tech students. Wing has had trouble though, such as accusations of harsh working conditions, and the project's leader Dave Vos, left the company in October 2016.
X, Alphabet's moonshot factory, X is led by Astro Teller.
Titan Aerospace was acquired by Google in 2014 and renamed Project Titan as part of X. Project Titan was charged with building solar-powered drones built to fly nonstop for years and beam internet around the world. But the project was shuttered altogether in late 2016 with the remnants of it lumped in with Project Wing.
Up next: Google itself.
All of Alphabet's "traditional" products — like Chrome, the new Pixel phone, Google Home, and Google Play — are still housed under Google, which is helmed by CEO Sundar Pichai.
Nest Labs built smart thermostats and other home devices, like outdoor security cameras. The company was acquired by what is now Alphabet in 2014, and in June 2016, CEO Tony Fadell stepped down but remains within Alphabet. He was replaced by Marwan Fawaz. In February it was announced Nest would be folded back into Google's hardware unit.
Google's hardware division was formed in 2016 when Google hired former Motorola president Rick Osterloh. Osterloh was put in charge of Pixel phones, Google Home, Chromebooks, and revamping Google Glass. Osterloh reports directly to Sundar Pichai.
ATAP, which stands for Advanced Technology and Projects, is a secretive Google division that works on projects like Jacquard, which makes smart fabric; Soli, which uses radar for touchless gesture control; and Spotlight Stories, which creates short VR films. ATAP now falls under Osterloh's hardware division.
Diane Greene — who Google hired in 2015 — runs Google's cloud businesses, which includes G Suite (formerly Google Apps for Work), Google Cloud Platform, and more.
Google Cloud is Google's cloud computing platform that competes with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. It reports to Diane Greene and is a major sources of investment for Google right now. Google execs have said that it could one day be bigger than Google's ad search business.
G Suite includes Hangouts Meet, Calendar, Mail, Plus, Cloud Search, and Drive. According to Google, millions of businesses are now using the service.