George Hotz achieved amazing feats of hacking at a young age. Now he should clean up Twitter in no time.
It’s one of those gut decisions that fans adore Elon Musk for: When hacker legend George Hotz suggested himself for an internship on Twitter, Musk just replied, “Sure, let’s talk.” Now Hotz is supposed to turn Twitter into a kind of second Google in the shortest possible time. And that despite the fact that Musk and he hadn’t gotten along well in recent years.
The two announced this – where else – on Twitter. During a free internship, Hotz should “repair the short message service’s search,” he summarizes Musk’s work assignment. He confidently dismisses Twitter comments that say this is hopeless. “That’s exactly what Elon says is my job and I’ll try my best. I have 12 weeks,” he said.
The fact that Hotz got the job so quickly is probably mainly due to his reputation. The 33-year-old software developer has always been good for a headline since his youth. At the tender age of 17, he was the first to remove the iPhone from his network lock from the exclusive provider AT
The latter is also the reason why the collaboration with Musk is particularly surprising: the two have known each other for years and were considered at odds. Musk had already wanted to hire Hotz to develop his driving software in 2015. But the two could not agree on the terms and parted ways. Hotz founded his own company. He wanted to prove that his solution was better than Tesla’s, he announced at the time. Musk bet against it: He offered Hotz $12 million if he actually managed to beat Tesla. Every month he needs it would be a million less. Hotz didn’t get the money, but Comma.ai showed again and again that its technology worked. The company is about to launch a self-driving kit for more than 200 cars, Hotz revealed to “Techcrunch” in October.
That is also the reason that he announced a break from the company in the same interview. He is more someone who can give his best in hot phases. “I’m not that good at day-to-day business when it comes to patiently scaling up the idea,” he openly admitted. His passion is solving complex problems rather than expanding a supply chain.
A life for the challenge
That’s why he should see his job at Twitter primarily as an exciting new brain teaser. He himself would be satisfied if Twitter would no longer be annoying with a pop-up if you use the site unannounced. “If I can do that, I’ll see my internship as a success,” he quipped.
In fact, he seems to take his mission more seriously – and has high expectations of himself. A survey of what users would hope for from a search made one sit up and take notice: “What would it take for you to search on Twitter instead of Google?” His tweet says. Wanting to compete with the most successful search engine of all time suits the ambitious Hotz perfectly. However, the answer from a former Tesla developer should take the wind out of his sails a bit: Andrej Karpathy dryly explained to him that he uses Google the other way around to search Twitter. “That works pretty well.”
Sources: Twitter, Techcrunch