Rossi received $10 million from IH. I imagine he spent very little of that on his research or operations. So he kind of made out like a bandit in all of this. He has to keep up the charade like he is actually working on something just for window dressing. But on my last visit to ECW it seems like he is down to a small handful of believers at this point. For most people the show is over.
The sociological part of it to me is that people want to believe in the guy in the garage who is toiling 24 hours a day to bring a world changing idea to life. I think it makes people feel better about the future. But even people like Edison, Ford, Jobs, Musk etc had many, many people behind them working on those big ideas to bring them to life.