Nolan Bushnell - Inventor & Entrepreneur
What do the Atari company and Chuck E Cheese have in common? Well, besides offering a lot of options for entertainment, it might surprise you to learn that they were both founded by the same man–a Silicon Valley entrepreneurial legend who holds the distinction as first and only person to ever hire Steve Jobs. But rather than resting on his achievements, he’s chosen to spend the autumn of his life (his words, not ours) trying to understand how gamifying the learning process could supercharge the educational experience for the next generation. He’ll help us consider:
How can we create the school of the future?
A conversation with Nolan Bushnell, on this episode of Lead With a Question.
In 1972 Nolan Bushnell created an industry when he founded Atari and gave the world Pong, the first blockbuster video game. Today his design credo—that games should be “easy to learn and difficult to master”—is inspiring a new generation of developers. A prolific entrepreneur, Bushnell has started more than 20 companies, including Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theater, Catalyst Technologies, the first Silicon Valley incubator, and Etak, the first in-car navigation system. In the process, he pioneered many of the workplace innovations that have made Silicon Valley a long-standing magnet for creative talent. Bushnell was the first and only person ever to hire Steve Jobs, which he details in his 2013 book, Finding the Next Steve Jobs.
He is currently Chairman of ExoDexa, a gamified education company, CKO of Moxy, a “play to earn” game and token platform, and an advisor to companies in the gaming and esports spaces. Additionally, he sits on several Boards, focusing on games, gaming and robotics.
A true icon of the digital revolution, Bushnell was named one of “50 People Who Changed America” by Newsweek. A biopic about Bushnell, tentatively titled “Atari”, was acquired by Leonardo DiCaprio’s production company and is in pre-production.
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