There are few figures more legendary in Silicon Valley than Nolan Bushnell, the Atari co-founder who gave Steve Jobs his first tech job and the guy who turned down the offer to buy a third of Apple for $50,000. Bushnell has a new book out called Finding The Next Steve Jobs which, he told me, is designed to help companies find that “quirky” fellow who can do the “strange things” that will change the world.
We need to learn to say “yes” more often, Bushnell told me. The good news is that he is optimistic about the innovation in our digital economy, citing Tony Hsieh, Jack Dorsey and “hundreds” of entrepreneurs on Kickstarter as examples of successful innovators. But Bushnell is less complimentary about Apple which, he says, is still “stuck” on the iPod.
Somebody should probably write a book entitled How to find the next Nolan Bushnell. The 70 year-old serial entrepreneur remains remarkably productive. He is excited about his learning start-up Brainrush, and has plans to become involved in both the Internet of things and in personal robotics. Amazing guy and amazing life. We are lucky to have him.