If any of the candidates I've interviewed and hired had this sort of independent and outside-the-box thinking, I'd have doubled their salaries when I hired them.
Do you have the power to double salaries of people in your org?
If the implication is false, it would be an exciting data point!
HN being what it is, here is quite a non-zero chance to meet a person with real hiring power who really could have made an offer to the person in question.
Seems to me like an org that uses a recruiter isn't looking for "outside the box" employees. Obviously they aren't sourcing candidates with outside the box processes.