A crazy thing happened last night: Why I’m giving up my iPhone jailbreak and updating to iOS 7

This is simultaneously the best and worst decision I have made in recent memory. For those who are unfamiliar with this whole iOS 7 thing, let me start with a little background. Earlier this year Apple introduced a new operating system for the iPhone. It was completely redesigned and looked nothing like the old version. I loved the old version, and I hate the new version.

Many people who updated their phones tried to convince me to do so as well. Even a coworker who previously hated iOS 7 as much as I do finally upgraded and decided that he really liked it. Despite the constant nagging, I declared numerous times that I would not update to iOS 7. So why have I suddenly changed course? Well, a crazy thing happened last night…

After an evening of the usual Twitter arguments about why I would not update to iOS 7, I made my Twitter followers an offer: if they could give me $500 in 30 days, I would upgrade. The offer was really meant as a joke, since I knew that no matter how many people wanted me to update, they wouldn’t actually donate that much money to make it happen. I was right about that. Two people donated $5 each, but that was it.

Now, let me explain how these donations work. The fundraising is being done through a website called IndieGogo, which is used for “crowdfunding” basically anything from new tech products to movies to someone’s medical expenses. Anyone can raise money for anything. When someone pledges money to one of these campaigns, the money is not immediately paid to the creator. Instead, the creator has to set a funding goal. If that goal is met within a pre-defined period of time, people who have donated are charged and the creator gets the money to fund their project.

So, those $10 in donations weren’t actually in my possession. They were just pledges to donate if enough other people also agreed to donate. I knew I would never reach $500 in 30 days for this. I was counting on that because I didn’t want to update to iOS 7.

That coworker I mentioned earlier was the first to donate. He immediately tweeted about it:

[tweet https://twitter.com/MichaelSteeber/status/409908079208062978]

After a brief conversation, he also said this:

[tweet https://twitter.com/MichaelSteeber/status/409910168437014529]

That got me thinking. A few hours later I decided not to keep any of the money. Instead, I started considering a few different charities to donate it all to in the unlikely event that I reached the $500 funding goal. I eventually settled on charity: water.

charity: water is a non-profit organization that builds wells in countries that do not have access to clean drinking water. They operate on a fairly unique business model. Instead of splitting donations up and putting part of the money into running the business side of things, 100% of all donations go directly to building wells and maintaining them. The operations side is funded by a group of private angel investors.

After settling on a charity, a made a few changes to my campaign and tweeted an update.

[tweet https://twitter.com/MikeBeas/status/409944179272593408]

Exactly five minutes later, this happened:

[tweet https://twitter.com/MikeBeas/status/409945618056884224]

[tweet https://twitter.com/MikeBeas/status/409945633231867904]

That’s right. Someone donated the entire $500 goal in one fell swoop. Who? I have no idea. The donation was made under the name “Scott Forstall,” Apple’s former head of iOS who was fired last year. He was responsible for the old (good) iOS design.

Now that I’ve reached the $500, I will continue raising funds for the next 30 days. I’ve set a few “stretch goals” that will go into effect if certain higher donation levels are reached.

Currently there are three stretch goals:

At $1,000 I will go for an entire week without complaining about iOS 7 on Twitter.

If I reach $2,000, I will write a post on this blog about my top ten favorite new things in iOS 7.

$6,000 is the cost to sponsor an entire hand-dug well through charity: water. If we reach this goal, I will give into the constant requests from numerous Twitter followers and allow my brony friend Steve Streza to select one episode of My Little Pony, which I will then watch.

So I’ll be updating to iOS 7 today. Somewhere in another part of the world, someone will get clean water as a result of my poor decision making. I think I’m OK with that.

If you’re interested in donating to my campaign, use the widget in the sidebar to the right or click here.