Atari Founder Nolan Bushnell on Steve Jobs at Atari and Finding the Next Jobs

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nolanbushnellThe Next Web has dug up a video of Atari founder Nolan Bushnell's keynote presentation at Campus Party Brasil, where he spent time remembering Steve Jobs' work at Atari as well as talking about segments of his upcoming book "Finding the Next Steve Jobs."

What is one of the characteristics that made Steve Jobs successful? He was creative, but you know what else was really important? He was a very, very, very hard worker. How many of my employees did I find sleeping under their desks when I came in early on a Monday morning? Not many. Did he kinda smell bad? Yeah. That's cause we didn't have showers, and if you didn't go home for two or three days you could get gamey.

Bushnell goes on to mention that one of the most important messages he gave Jobs was that if 99 percent of people thought something was crazy, and the one percent that created the idea thought it was cool then the idea's creator should "pursue it with all vigor." This message has been echoed by Apple and Jobs multiple times, including in Apple's "Here's to The Crazy Ones" commercial and "Think Different" slogan.


He packs his hour-long talk -- the Jobs portion starts at the 13:00 minute mark -- with additional anecdotes about Jobs and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, like how Jobs offered Bushnell a third of Apple for $50,000, which Bushnell passed on.

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101 months ago

You obviously didn't read the autobiography on Jobs by Walter Isaacson.


You obviously don't know what an autobiography is.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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101 months ago

Sadly, a terrible autobiography.


May I ask what was so terrible about it?
Score: 8 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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101 months ago

Wow, I didn't know Jobs had been involved with Atari :)


You obviously didn't read the autobiography on Jobs by Walter Isaacson.
Score: 6 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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101 months ago
Re: not showering. I've read that Jobs truly thought that his fruit diet made him naturally smell good. Apparently the diet at least made it so he couldn't smell himself :)

As for Atari, Pong engineer Al Alcorn noted (http://www.gamasutra.com/view/news/37762/InDepth_Steve_Jobs_Atari_Employee_Number_40.php) that he later figured out why Jobs would only "work" at night when nobody else was around to see:

"Jobs never did a lick of engineering in his life. He had me snowed," Alcorn later recalled. "It took years before I figured out that he was getting Woz to 'come in the back door' and do all the work while he got the credit."

Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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101 months ago

I disagree. Showering is very important for hygiene and can stave off cancer.


Really? How so.

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Putting "things" above personal hygiene & health, speaks volumes about the person...


What does it say about the person. That he will end up as a billionaire and go down as a major player in history? Just wondering.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)
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101 months ago

The thrust of my response (especially the materialism) was to MacDav, rather than Jobs, but I apologize in my stereotyping of aspects which didn't apply to him. I only met him in-person once, very briefly at the Palo Alto Apple Store.

I think I'd be the same, given the situation, in that after a million or so, the amount would then become irrelevant. Apparently that IS NOT the case with many of the very wealthy, for whom the game is about finding more creative ways to amass as much as possible. I respect that aspect of Jobs very much, especially his drive towards the goal he set out to accomplish. However, that still isn't necessarily all positive in the big picture. Our vocation in life is VERY important, but not THE most important thing. Balance is needed, and I doubt Jobs was balanced in that regard (please correct me if I'm wrong). I don't see how anyone could work like that and have their family life in proper balance.

Many throughout history have achieved great things at some other cost (often high). The ends don't always justify the means.


Hmmm. "Proper balance"? Who decides what is proper balance? Is there actually such a thing? I don't believe there is. Every situation and circumstance is unique. You'd have to ask Mr Jobs' family if he was a proper husband and Father. From what I've read he was a doting father and a good husband. Although as I mentioned, who is the decider of such things? His family? The court of public opinion? Ultimately, no human knows such things. No human has all the facts and figures or the brain power to make a truly objective evaluation. I gave up that quest many years ago. Today I leave that quest to those who think they can manage such a monumental task.
Score: 2 Votes (Like | Disagree)

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