It seems that Elon Musk recognizes the game when he sees it. While Musk may come across as a brash troll at times, the Tesla and Twitter CEO respects tech skills and people who demonstrate their technical prowess and know what they are doing.
Elon Musk has hired George Hotz, a notable engineer who made a name for himself for being one of the first to hack into an iPhone. Hotz is a noteworthy security hacker who recently turned down a job at Tesla working on its driver-assistance technology.
Musk had spotted one of the issues with Twitter: how jarring the platform search options operated. This is a sentiment that was shared by a lot of programmers, including Hotz. Hotz then suggested what he would do to remedy this and solve the search issue that users face with Twitter.
Hotz even offered to join Twitter as an intern under Musk, which Musk accepted.
The internship came about after Hotz expressed support for Musk’s “extremely hardcore” request to Twitter’s employees, which demanded that they work “long hours at high intensity” or depart the company. Hotz said that “this is the attitude that builds incredible things” and that he’d be willing to intern at the company. “Sure, let’s talk,” was Musk’s response.
Apart from hacking into an iPhone and the consequent battles with Apple, Hotz gained notoriety for founding Comma.ai, an advanced driver assistance company that creates autonomous driving solutions that can be retrofitted into older cars. Back then, Tesla said of Hotz’s ideas about autonomous driving as “extremely unlikely that a single person or even a small company that lacks extensive engineering validation capability will be able to produce an autonomous driving system that can be deployed to production vehicles.”
Tesla had offered to hire Hotz before he founded Comma.ai, to work on Tesla autonomous driving. However, he rejected the offer because Musk, as per Hotz, kept changing the deal. When leaving Tesla’s final bid, Hotz famously told Musk, “I appreciate the offer, but as I’ve said, I’m not looking for a job. I’ll ping you when I crush Mobileye.” At the time, Mobileye was the company supplying some of the technology Tesla used in its Autopilot system.
In exchange for fixing Twitter’s search function, Hotz only seeks that his living expenses in San Francisco are covered. Hotz’s internship comes when Musk desperately seeks engineers who can write software or code.
Musk is also looking for engineers with expertise in other avenues and salespeople for the ad-sales team.