Assume you are approached by the world’s richest person with a small request which will not affect your either financially or personally; I am sure most of us won’t dare to turn our back to the request. But what if he puts a cherry on the cake and offers you jaw-dropping compensation for the same job? Will you revisit your decision?
The billionaire we are talking about here is no one but Elon Musk, CEO – Tesla Inc., and the person who got lucky in terms of being approached by Elon is Jack Sweeney, a 19-year old boy.
But the story is yet to begin!
Unlike most of us, the 19-year old didn’t find Elon’s request lucrative enough and turned his back towards it. Elon requested him to shut down the Twitter account that tracks the billionaire’s jet, and also offered a generous compensation of $5,000 for doing so. The boy, however, found more joy in keeping the Twitter account, named “Elon Musk’s Jet”, active than pocketing $5,000.
Protocol first reported that Musk had approached Jack Sweeney via private messages on Twitter. Through the DM Musk asked Sweeney to delete his Twitter account which was actively tracking and tweeting about Elon’s Jet location. Elon found it a great risk to his security.
Early this month, Musk tweeted stating that social media accounts discussing his whereabouts had “become a security concern.”
The Twitter conversation, viewed by BusinessInsider, between Elon Musk and Sweeney was all about how the latter’s bots track Elon’s jet and offered technical advice to make his jet less trackable.
Musk, apparently, and impatiently, made a move that gave a sense to Sweeney about Elon’s desperation to go off the public radar.
“How about $5k for this account and also to make it harder for crazy people to track me?” Musk was curious.
The reply from Sweeney indicates that he was well aware of Elon’s stature, financial capabilities, and urgency. And he tried to make the most of it.
Sweeney replied: “Sounds doable account and all of my help. Is there a way to increase that amount to $50K?”
The 19-year old cited college funding and said to the billionaire that the money could be used for a Tesla Model 3.
Sweeney stated that he has done a lot of work and 5k was not enough. He said that $5,000 was not enough to replace the “fun I have in this, working for it”
Musk agreed to consider Sweney’s counter-offer. However, he later stated that it didn’t make sense to pay to close this down.
Sweeney said that Musk seems to have followed his technical advice and used a blocking system to change his jet’s identifier, making it more difficult to track.
But it also appears that Sweeney has not given up entirely after the deal falls apart.
Sweeney stated, “I just need to work around it.“
When BI contacted Sweeney he said that Musk had apparently dropped interest in the deal and he decided to make it public.
“He chose to go the opposite direction of me so why would I choose to follow his lead?” He said.
In June 2020, Sweeney created Elon Musk’s Jet Twitter account. The account uses bots that scrape public air traffic data to alert followers about Musk’s private jet movements. He claimed that he had been working on technology for the account for a few months prior to launching it as a lockdown initiative.
Sweeney claimed that he came up with the idea after being a Musk fan. He said, “I knew that he had the jet and it tells a lot about what Elon is up to and where he’s going.”
Sweeney stated that his father was an aviation pilot, which sparked his interest in planes. He stated that he had used the apps to track planes and other stuff.
Sweeney revealed that during his college days, he worked part-time with UberJets. There, he built a platform to track chartered flights and help the company find clients who are willing to pay less.
But then came a bummer which should definitely make Elon Musk – and many other billionaires too – quite concerning. He revealed that his work on Elon Musk’s Jet Twitter account is public on his GitHub so that he can show it off to employers. However, this is still not clear whether the code is accessible to the developers’ community, or if he has any plan in the future to make it public.
It appears that there is still a lot to happen, and we may see some interesting development in relation to this development in the future. Until then stay tuned.