Elon Musk, enthusiastic entrepre-nerd that he is, might have gotten a little bit ahead of himself with all the Hyperloop talk recently. On an investor call, he indicated that he has a pretty good idea about the design for the high-speed travel concept, but no plans to move forward with it—at least not with the gusto he's pursued lofty goals like electric vehicles and private space exploration.
Musk has promised to show the world his "alpha" design for Hyperloop by Monday August 12th, but on yesterday's Tesla Motors Q2 earnings call, Musk tried to manage the expectations of investors and technophiles alike (my emphasis):
I don't know. I think, so out of the question, but I think I kind of shot myself if I ever mentioning Hyperloop, because obviously I have to focus on core Tesla business and SpaceX business and that's more than enough, but I did commit to publishing a design and provide quite a detailed design I think on Monday and then invite critical feedback and see if the people can find ways to improve it and then you can just be out there as kind of like a open source design that maybe you can keep improving and I don't have any plan to execute, because I must remain focused on SpaceX and Tesla. If nothing happens for a few years, with that I mean maybe it could make sense to make the halfway path with Tesla involvement, but I would say is you shouldn't be speculative.
In short, Musk is throwing out the concept out there to the world, to see what people do with his idea. But he's not about break out the shovel to start digging a foundation tomorrow.
In part, Musk is downplaying his plans because this is an earnings call, and every statement is subject to intense scrutiny by both regulators and investors. At the same time, though, we've all been putting a lot of stock in what amounts to not very much information from Musk. Sure, he's the guy who actually made an electric car and the guy who is actually making private space travel happen—but that doesn't mean he's about to build every idea he dreams up. [Seeking Alpha via BI via Slashdot]