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Finding the Next Steve Jobs

How to Find, Keep and Nurture Creative Talent

By Nolan Bushnell
15-minute read
Finding the Next Steve Jobs: How to Find, Keep and Nurture Creative Talent by Nolan Bushnell

This book is about the most important element in any business: creativity. Companies need it to succeed, or even just survive. In this book, Nolan Bushnell reflects on his experiences working with people like Steve Jobs to explain how to recruit, retain and nurture creative talent.

  • Anyone interested in business
  • Anyone interested in recruiting and nurturing talented people
  • Anyone looking to create a more effective work environment

Nolan Bushnell is the founder of Atari, Chuck E. Cheese and over a dozen other companies. He's also one of the inventors of Pong. At Atari, he hired Steve Jobs and Steve Wozinak, and helped launch both of their careers.

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Finding the Next Steve Jobs

How to Find, Keep and Nurture Creative Talent

By Nolan Bushnell
  • Read in 15 minutes
  • Contains 9 key ideas
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Finding the Next Steve Jobs: How to Find, Keep and Nurture Creative Talent by Nolan Bushnell
Synopsis

This book is about the most important element in any business: creativity. Companies need it to succeed, or even just survive. In this book, Nolan Bushnell reflects on his experiences working with people like Steve Jobs to explain how to recruit, retain and nurture creative talent.

Key idea 1 of 9

Create a work environment that attracts creative people.

A good work environment is vital for creativity. A cold, bland environment just can't inspire people like an interactive and exciting one can.

There are many ways a company can foster a creative atmosphere. First off, the workplace needs to be fun and interesting for the employees.

One good way to spice up the workplace is to make use of positive and exciting secrets, because creative people have a particular love of secrets.

Apple employees, for example, aren't allowed to discuss the next Apple product with their friends outside the company. This builds anticipation, and also makes the employees closer; it's fun to be part of a group that shares secrets.

The workplace must also be free of stifling rules. Instead, rules should be flexible and accommodating.

Atari adjusted their policies to accodomate their employees when Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak worked for them. They had initially prohibited sleeping on the premises, for security purposes. Jobs and Wozniak, however, insisted on it. They liked working late into the night and sleeping only a few hours, then continuing in the morning.

So Atari changed the rules for them. Soon other employees wanted to stay late as well, so Atari added showers and couches to make them comfortable. Companies can attract top talent by being fun, flexible and engaging in this way.

It's also crucial to promote the company's creativity when advertising vacant positions. Highlight the most compelling parts of the job. The author, for example, gave Atari employees a summer off every seven years. The advertisement for the position read, “Frolic a whole summer every seven years, full pay.”

You can also use bold strategies to reach out to those who work for rival companies. Red 5 Studios, a computer game developer, poached employees from their competition by sending them iPods with personalized messages encouraging them to join. Unusual or intriguing strategies like this are certain to engage creative people.

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