San Francisco to Los Angeles in 35 minutes flat—that was the dream of the Hyperloop.

Back in 2013, Elon Musk introduced the world to this dream with a 60-page white paper. The paper caused a stir. The idea—a levitating, solar-power, supersonic train—was both pure geek porn and a transportation revolution in the making. It definitely captured people’s imagination.


But would it ever get made—now that was the question.

Musk himself said he was too busy to take on the project, but if other people wanted in on the cause, well, that was just fine with him. As it turns out, other people have taken him up on his offer—about 100 in total.

Meet Hyperloop Transportation Technologies, (HTT) a company that is not quite a company.

Using JumpStartFund, a crowdfunding and crowdsourcing hybrid service/model, wherein the workers who are going to build the Hyperloop aren’t paid until the train turns a profit. How is that possible? Simple, the workers don’t actually work for HTT, or not many of them. Most of them work day jobs at companies spread throughout the country—Boeing BA -0.2% or SpaceX or NASA or Yahoo YHOO -0.98%! or Salesforce or Airbus, to name but a few. HTT is a company built on quasi-moonlighters, lending their cognitive surplus to supersonic train design. In technical parlance, they’re a mesh network.

Sketch of proposed “Hyperloop” transport system proposed by billionaire Elon MuskMoreover, they’re a mesh network who had to apply for the job. This means that unlike most crowdfunding efforts, where you have to take what you get, this one got to pick and choose. Not only does this give them a much higher level of talent working on the project, it also gives them a pretty healthy reserve pool, should workers involved get sucked into other projects—which, since nobody’s getting paid for a while, is bound to happen.

NOTE:  Daryl Oster and ET3 are also working on building a similar tube transportation system.

Article Source: Forbes.com