Lessons from the IPhone Hack

George Hotz IPhone HackGeorge Hotz, now a student at RIT, was highlighted in the press for hacking Apple’s IPhone to work on any GSM-enabled network.  [From a business perspective Apple is probably overjoyed, but Apple’s business partner, AT&T, is most likely pissed.]  George’s blog on the steps required to unlock the phone is a fascinating technical read.  The link takes you to his summary explanation of the hack; and all subsequent steps follow, starting with “Step 1” in his blog archive.

For anyone really technically savvy about electronics and software this will not be a hard read, but that’s not what’s interesting, anyway.

Lesson 1:  It’s the eloquence of George’s instructions.

Read any step in the instructions.  Then read the blog comments, ignore the shorthand geekspeak and note how poorly most of these comments flow:  bad grammar, atrocious spelling and a worse than elementary grasp of the English language.  George is more than just technically astute.  Relative to his audience he’s also a great communicator.

George does not take solo credit for this hack; on the contrary, throughout the blog he compliments those who helped work out the hack.

Lesson 2:  Teamwork rules the workplace.

The best employees are not necessarily the most intelligent.  The best employees are the ones who are able to constructively participate in group developments.

I understand that corporate trade secrets are necessary in a capitalist society, but I wonder how much further along we’d be in technology and especially medicine if information sharing were the norm rather than the exception.


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