I’m really kind of dubious as to how much finger crossing is actually going on. The folks running the companies could be positive that they’re going to fail and just be in it for the paycheck for as long as possible. And it probably doesn’t need to be that long. The investors likely know that they’re not getting their money back but are planning to used the loss as a tick in a box that shows that they helped a popular, sexy, environmentally minded start-up.
There’s a lot of social capital to be built through the abject failure of the programs. If there wasn’t, we wouldn’t have streets loaded with bikes that are increasingly being ignored (via my very scientific data collection through observation).