Nolan Bushnell | The Atari Founder, Steve Job’s First Boss, and the former Owner of Chuck E. Cheese

Show Notes

Why uninformed decisions are toxic, why you always have to be a little paranoid to be a successful entrepreneur, how he founded Atari, why Steve Jobs was the hardest working employee on the planet, how he went from repairing TVs to starting Atari, how he scaled Chuck E. Cheese, why you must work to learn and not to just earn and what  it was like being Steve Jobs’ first boss.

KickStarter – ScreenTest – Virsix

WeFunder – Perrone Robotics

Technology Enhanced Board Games

NOTABLE QUOTABLE – “He that walketh with wise men shall be wise: but a companion of fools shall be destroyed.” – Proverbs 13:20 

Learn More About Bill Draper – 

  1. Yes, yes, yes and yes! Thrivetime Nation on today’s show we are interviewing a Silicon Valley legend and the founder of both Atari, Inc and Chuck E. Cheese’s…Nolan, welcome onto the Thrivetime Show, how are you sir?!
  2. I know that you’ve had a ton of success at this point in your career, but I would love to start off at the bottom and the very beginning of your career. What was your life like growing up and where did you grow up?Nolan Bush, I know that you worked at the Lagoon Amusement Park while attending college…what impact did this job have on you?
  3. Nolan Bushnell, you are the Great Godfather of Video Games…when did you first figure out what you wanted to do professionally?
  4. How did you start your first company? 
  5. How did you go about funding your first company?
  6. Nolan Bushnell How did you go about getting your first 10 customers?
  7. When did you first feel like you were truly beginning to gain traction with your career?
  8. Nolan, throughout your career you have started 20 businesses, however, I would love to start by asking you…when did you first have the idea to start Atari? 
  9. Nolan Bushnell What was the first big video game at Atari…and what inspired the creation of it?
  10. Nolan, back in 1974 you hired a man by the name of Steve Jobs. What was Steve Jobs like at the age of 19?
  11. Nolan, in your mind what made Steve Jobs great?
  12. Nolan, in 1977, while at Atari, YOU purchased Pizza Time Theatre back from Warner Communications…what inspired this move?
  13. I know that you are a serial entrepreneur who has experienced massive success and super low points…walk us through the highest high and the lowest low of your career?
  14. Nolan Bushnell When you were at the bottom, what did you learn most from this experience?
  15. Today, I’d love for you to share with the listeners about the kinds of projects that you are up to?
  16. You come across as a very proactive person…so how do you typically organize the first four hours of your and what time do you typically wake up?
  17. What are a few of your daily habits that you believe have allowed you to achieve success?
  18. Nolan, you’ve interacted with some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley…who are some of your favorite people in Silicon Valley?
  19. What has been the biggest adversity that you’ve had to fight through during your career?
  20. What is your favorite old school jam?
  21. Nolan Bushnell What advice would you give the younger version of yourself?
  22. We find that most successful entrepreneurs tend to have idiosyncrasies that are actually their super powers…what idiosyncrasy do you have?
  23. What message or principle that you wish you could teach everyone?
  24. What are a couple of books that you believe that all of our listeners should read?
  25. You’ve got the mic, what is one thing that you want to share with the Thrive Nation before you drop the mic?
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