Google's 'Moonshot Factory' Is Known for Wild, World-Changing Ideas. Here's What It Took For One of Them to a Become a Real World Startup.

Google's 'Moonshot Factory' Is Known for Wild, World-Changing Ideas. Here's What It Took For One of Them to a Become a Real World Startup.

Elaine Weir is retired, which means that — apart from the swimming lessons she teaches a few times a week — she has a lot of time on her hands. So in the summer of 2019, when she saw a Facebook ad for the geothermal energy company Dandelion, she called them up to investigate. “I had no intentions of buying this thing,” she says, with a conspiratorial cackle. “But my daughter suffers from asthma, so I wanted to do my small part to reduce our footprint. We were considering an electric car, but then I saw this…”

She agreed to let a salesman come to her home, a 100-year-old Tudor in the New York City suburb of Scarsdale. “He explained this and that,” she says. “But when he said I could get rid of the air conditioning, that’s when my ears perked up.” Like many homes, her HVAC system required a giant, noisy set of outdoor AC condenser units. “I said, ‘You mean these don’t have to be here?’ They’re right next to my screened-in porch, and I can hear them in the middle of the night, and they’re just plain annoying.”

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