Stop Worshiping Fake Visionaries

“Elon Musk’s idea for a Hyperloop is not possible, according to experts. The reasons why are complex, but the people saying this cannot work, are often willing to prove it mathematically. At best, it’s dangerous and less efficient than air travel; at worst, it cannot work over any distance long enough to matter.

A visionary or someone cosplaying in a visionary’s armor will ignore these people as naysayers. Part of being visionary is to ignore people, after all. And as an established visionary, people without the requisite knowledge to evaluate the problem will cheer them on.

The Hyperloop is getting a lot of money and cheering. Perhaps some of the research involved will prove valuable, but I cannot help but think of all the projects that could be funded for the same money. I believe the Hyperloop distracts from better solutions to the same problem and from other equally important issues in need of solutions. 

Hogging funding and attention isn’t the only way “visionary” ideas strangle innovation. Many innovations creatively combine, remix, and iterate on what already exists. Thinking of an idea as so unique that all of the problems are new to it sends people on innovators’ snipe hunts.”

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