Atari Founder’s New Book, ‘Finding the Next Steve Jobs’, Describes Hiring and Grooming Creative, Talented People

Nolan Bushnell

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.


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