Nolan Bushnell, the man responsible for creating Atari, and either starting or having involvement with over 20 other companies and startups, released a new book, “Finding The Next Steve Jobs: How to Find, Hire, Keep and Nuture Creative Talent.”
While the book clearly uses Steve Jobs as the main example, because it’s such a recognizable name, and one of the most noteworthy hires in tech history. Steve Jobs worked for Atari for a short while. Back then, he was just a dirty, smelly teenager. Seriously, several employees at Bushnell’s Atari were offended by Jobs and his smell. Regardless, Jobs, even then was such a smart kid that Bushnell kept him. He simply had him work nights, so that no one else was around.
Long story short, Bushnell and Jobs had a lot of respect for each other. Bushnell taught Jobs some things about being a boss. He also gave him his first real work opportunity. Had Bushnell not seen the potential in a guy like Jobs, he would have fired him immediately based on employee complaints. He didn’t, because he saw the potential in the smelly kid.
It’s a very cool bit of Silicon Valley History. NPR has a good AP article talking a bit more about the history of the two, who remained friends until Jobs’ last days.