I do electronics. I hold a PhD in electrical & computer engineering from a top global university. I have also worked in a top global semiconductor company. I lead my firm’s design efforts. Yet, there are things I do not know how to do in the field. And some are not things that I can easily find someone to teach me. They are things no company develops expertise and competence around. People that know these things are tinkerers who seem to have new insights on electronics. No professor spends time mastering those things. Yet, markets need them.
By nature, I am extremely simple because America makes you so. That gives me the capacity to come down and learn when I need to do so. It does not matter who is teaching.
Few months ago, a bad guy blew people up in America. FBI wanted access to the guy’s phone to help their investigations. They asked Apple for help. Apple went to court to challenge the request. While Apple and FBI were getting into legal matches, FBI hired a company that helped it to access the iPhone the bad guy had used. It was rumored that FBI paid millions of dollars for that heroic act.
But on Nairaland, one Nigerian geek said he could easily do that. My team tracked him. I have two guys that do such in our business. We do prepare reports for clients on markets and we want them to be relevant. So we spend efforts on chat rooms and first-hand sources to understand the true market dynamics.
My Nigerian team tracked the guy. He was real and confident. Then I put a request that I would attend a four-hour training under his guidance. But we would use a PC instead of iPhone. I wanted him to teach me that art he claimed he knew.
I went to Walmart in U.S. and bought two laptops. I came to Computer Village Ikeja in this trip and met the guy. I came like nobody with slippers, and within three hours he delivered.
His name is Engr Seun. He has no degree. He has a 3-month diploma from UNILAG and a 6-month diploma from NIIT Lagos. But he is brilliant. In short, I could not believe what I saw. It took him 3-4 minutes to dissemble a laptop. He has 15 years of experience in his art. I videoed the training and took many photos.
At the end, he gave me a price. He looked at me. He noticed that I was getting emotional. He asked me “Oga wetin happen”. I said “Engr Seun, I was surprised how little you charged me”. In my mind, this guy has a top-class skill that could make him a very successful citizen. I paid him twice his fees.
To cut this story short: I told Engr Seun to look for a business partner with a business experience. I noted that I would be happy to provide initial seed funding of N5 million for him to go more upstream in his business. He promised that he would do so. He is the finest engineer I have met in a long-time.
Engr Seun taught me something really valuable. There is no book on earth I think anyone could read what he did. He went straight to a PC motherboard and soldered things, changed many things and did other things. What a country!
I will make a longer post when I have time on this topic with more photos. The brilliance of his skill cuts across platforms. I gave him HP and Gateway laptops and he was able to navigate them without issues. I changed the original challenge because I had no locked iPhone to be unlocked. Yet, he delivered on the things I wanted him to demonstrate with PCs. That was enough for the application we plan to use the experience for.