At an event earlier this year, media and technology venture capitalist Ken Lerer said that 75 percent of the companies his firm sees are iterations on an existing product.
No one could ever accuse serial entrepreneur Elon Musk of focusing on minor iterations of existing products. The co-founder of SpaceX, Tesla Motors, and PayPal has tweeted that he will be revealing tentative designs for something he calls "hyperloop." Previously, he has described the project as a "cross between a Concorde and a railgun and an air hockey table."
It seems to be an alternative to the U.S.'s various stalled or slow-moving high-speed rail projects. And it sounds like it will be a giant vacuum tube that shoots your pod from one place to another on magnets at supersonic speeds. If that sounds insane to you, it may make you feel more comfortable knowing that it's been theorized for decades. Or it may not. Either way, hopefully, you feel as I do, that we really, really need high-speed rail that would actually work in this country.
Unfortunately, I'm afraid Musk's idea won't actually do the trick, because it doesn't actually solve one of the primary problems that makes the U.S. so inhospitable to high-speed rail. Most American cities do not have good enough public transportation within them once you get there. So if I could buzz from Austin to Dallas in 45 minutes, I still probably wouldn't do it. How would I get around when I get there?
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