Search Interviews:

Jeremy Weisz 12:18

Yeah, I remember hearing you say, seeing the people running it. And it was successful that you could you know, that you didn’t call them not smart, but that you saw these people running it. And you could do it too, was that one aspect that you saw that made you kind of launch out on your own?

Nolan Bushnell 12:36

Absolutely. I mean, they were not just not smart. They were buffoons. You know, and when you say, gee, you know, they’ve got a company, and they they’re doing everything wrong. And yet, they’re still making payroll and doing all this stuff. So I think that, that in Silicon Valley, one of the corporate one is sort of the Silicon Valley Valley cultures is almost everyone who’s worked there. has sat next to somebody who went off on their own and did well, you’re gonna say, Gee, I know that guy. He’s smarter than I am. Right. And I like to say, you know, Nadine was was I thought they were buffoons, jobs officers, obviously left me He must have thought I was. So you know,

Jeremy Weisz 13:26

as you as a mentor, he considered you a mentor. And you didn’t consider the other people mentor. So a little bit different. But so what were was the early days of Atari, like, what did you do first, when you got started?

Nolan Bushnell 13:39

Well, the, the thing that people don’t understand is that there was no real venture capital for us at the time. Yeah. So we it so every day was a scramble for cash. And we were able to finance Atari by building building products with parts that we got on 30 60 90 day terms, turning into a product really, really fast and selling it for cash. Right. And so we had cash for the product plus the margin, long before we had to pay our bills. And so we funded the company on accounts payable. And and, you know, we invented just in time inventory before we had been named.

Jeremy Weisz 14:32

Yeah. I mean, you still the produce things that people want, and what was that creative process, like when you were creating those things for these companies that you were selling?

Nolan Bushnell 14:43

Well, the real creative process, then was strict was was heavily bounded by what we could do. Yeah, the technology was very difficult to it didn’t have really extremely high resolution and The screens could not be busy, they couldn’t have a lot of elements to them. And so we would constantly try to figure out the creativity was, what can we do, given the living limitations that we have, right? And then, and then dot, dot, dot? How can we remove some of those limitations with better technology? And so we were kind of pushing both threads all the time. Yeah.

Jeremy Weisz 15:26

So how did you originally meet? Al Alcorn?

Nolan Bushnell 15:30

Alcorn worked for me at Ampex? Oh, yes. He was on a work study program with with Berkeley. And he was an engineer at Berkeley. And they had a thing where you’d work in industry for six months, then you’d go back to school for six months. And just to add that, Steve Bristow, who was the other big, you know, name in Atari, would was the other half of him. So he would be my my tech for six months. And then Bristow would be my tech for six months. And they ended up being vice president research Vice President of Engineering for Atari, and we’re brilliant guys. Both. Yeah.

Jeremy Weisz 16:18

So Nolan, how fast you know, Atari grew. Super fast, how fast it actually grow.

Nolan Bushnell 16:24

Went from? Well, you know, it grew super fast. In those days, you know, in the internet days, I think we’ve been succeeded in many times. But we basically went from a stub year of three and a half million to 19 million to 38 million 204 million.

Jeremy Weisz 16:48

And with that, you have to hire tons of people, how do you manage? How do you manage that? That growth, but people?

Nolan Bushnell 16:56

We, we really hired almost anybody we could, and then we’d fire the bad ones. We call it rotating to excellence. And, and you know, we’d give everybody a chance that we, we could, because there are some people who are really good, really good employees, but really horrible interviewers. And right, yes. And the other part about it is we didn’t care about degrees. You know, if you’re smart enough, that’d be good. Yeah, one of the prime designers of the Atari 2600 was a high school dropout. And you know, like, companies like Google and Facebook, and those are now just catching on, they don’t even asks if somebody has had a college degree. They’re just looking for what the person could do.

Jeremy Weisz 17:51

Yeah. And you had an innovative way of looking at culture. Can you tell people a little bit about the culture at Atari and what you did?

Nolan Bushnell 18:01

Well, it was really about a meritocracy. And that I said, we are going to focus strictly on outcomes, not process. And so you can, you can wear what you want, you can come to work when you want, you don’t even have to come to work, just get your, your project done, and I’ll be happy. And, and then we jumped through hoops to make sure that people were happy. And then we’d have then we’d celebrate we, we had the Friday afternoon beer busts on the loading dock, and they were just, you know, that was that was the reward and we partied a lot because, you know, everybody get quoted,

Jeremy Weisz 18:47

you know, how do you you know, you’ve straw in your book, you talk about it, too, you have strong personalities, like Steve Jobs and other people. How did you, you know, manage that with all the other employees?

Nolan Bushnell 19:02

Well, whenever you have, not everyone not everyone is a social being. There’s a lot of people that are abrasive, you know, have bad, you know, social habits, bad, bad social skills. And yet if they’re capable people, you want them on your team. So I would cloister them I’d figured out, you know, another building backroom, you know, in the basement. In Steve Jobs case, we created an engineering night shift, which previously didn’t exist. And so he was the only one on the engineering night ship. But there was, I was being a little tricky, because I felt that you know, I knew that he was hung out and was was a savant and you know, you could tell that a minute you know, immediately he really understood Technology the time like no other. And I knew that was would work at Hewlett Packard and come and hang out with with jobs and night. So I thought I was getting to Steve’s for the price of one, right? Yeah.

Jeremy Weisz 20:13

So did he officially work there ourselves? Or was he just there? No, he didn’t. He didn’t really get to for the price of one. So what what what made you decide at the end to to sell Atari?

Nolan Bushnell 20:31

I was tired. Like I said, we were constantly chasing cash. I, I’ve often thought that if I’d have just taken a two week vacation, I wouldn’t have sold. But it was just getting difficult. And then, you know, I was a farm boy from Utah. And all of a sudden, I could sell and have more cash than I ever thought I’d have ever in my life. Right. And you know, you say sometimes you hold him sometimes you volman Yeah.

Jeremy Weisz 20:58

Yeah. So what happened after you sold with Atari? And I want to talk about Chuck E. Cheese a little bit, too. But I know that Warner Warner Brothers bought it, right?

Nolan Bushnell 21:09

Yeah, yeah. Well, they, they really, were mana focused in a lot of ways. And, and I hadn’t realized that when I sold them, but they really didn’t care that much about the coin op business, they really didn’t understand it that well, and they didn’t understand technology. They thought they were in the record business. And that the cartridges were the record of the future. And it had record kind of margins, it had record kind of marketing programs, what have you. And they didn’t realize that, while it took 40 years to replace the 78, rpm was a 33, and then another 20 years to 45, and then another 20 years to get the 33 RPM record and then that that the game technology is moving so quickly that they really needed to upgrade the hardware on a much bigger standard than they did. And, you know, they just didn’t, that just didn’t grok to them. And remember that Chuck E. Cheese was started inside atari and they didn’t want it. And so I bought it personally. So they did me a big favour that way. Mm hmm.

Jeremy Weisz 22:22

So what are big mistakes people do make with video game companies that you maybe have made or that you’ve seen these other companies make? Because obviously, you’re a thriving company. And you think a big company like Warner Brothers would have the wherewithal to make launch further.

Nolan Bushnell 22:39

They didn’t understand enough about the technology to understand that they had Atari, didn’t it? Usually companies get killed by competitors? Yeah. Atari got killed by a total lack of understanding and hiring people that didn’t understand games, didn’t even play games themselves. And so there was no resonance with the business. And when it crashed in 83, their ego said, Oh, the business must have crashed. It wasn’t us. You know, there wasn’t us, because we’re what, obviously were the smartest guys through. And so therefore, but what what can we do when the business just goes away? Yeah. And what they really did, they saturated the business with 2600. They tried a couple of feeble attempts at upgrading it, but it was the wrong product. And there was a lot of confusion in the market, because the target was the leader. And all of a sudden they were in disarray. Then there was the the winter of discontent in 83, where everybody thought the business and gone away. And then gendo came back and said, No, it hasn’t.

Jeremy Weisz 24:00

So normally after you sell what was that like? Like you said, your farm boy from Utah, and then you build up this company, huge growth and then you sell.

Nolan Bushnell 24:12

It was delightful. I mean, I bought a 15,000 square foot house in Woodside fixed it up and and started looking for a wife and found one and filled the house with kids.

Jeremy Weisz 24:27

You surely did that. So what was the beginnings of Chuck E. Cheese after you bought you bought it from them? Right or like

Nolan Bushnell 24:36

I started it inside Atari. And the idea was our coin op games. We were selling them at the time for about $2,000. But during their life, they take 30 to $50,000 in coin draw. So it didn’t take rocket science to say we’re on the wrong side of this equation, right? But I didn’t want to compete with my customers. So I said I’m just going to create my own venue. Where I would I’ll have a place for young kids. The other issue was it was a marketing issue that we knew that young kids had a high desire to play video games, but there was no appropriate venue for them. Yeah. Video games weren’t really in, in restaurants at the time. They were sort of in bowling alleys and bars. Yeah, neither of which were the appropriate thing for for an eight year old kid. No. And so created a family entertainment center, filled it full of video games and kiddie rides and pizza. worked like a charm. I like

Jeremy Weisz 25:41

the what was Tell me what well, their original name that you that you thought was good. Yeah, but after that, there was another name after Coyote Pizza with Rat in it, Rick Rat’s Pizza. Yeah, that wasn’t. Everybody was horrified with that. What were some of the challenges with Chuck E. Cheese? Obviously, it’s a household name.

Nolan Bushnell 26:10

I think. I mean, there were compared to Atari Chuck E. Cheese was was pretty easy. The challenges were learning how to, to manage big geographic diversity diversities did? You know, I used to say, when you’re chairman of a multi chain restaurant, it’s like the kid in the backseat with his little steering wheel. He’s driving, he’s driving, he’s driving. It’s not connected to the wheels. That’s what it feels like when CEO of thing had. How do you drive? Yeah, you haven’t connected the wheels when it’s in Omaha? Right. Yeah. And that and you fit in, you realize quickly, that the linkages between command and control, and the units in the field is very, very loose and very widely.

Jeremy Weisz 27:15

Yeah. So how did you do it? Because I could see like Atari and Chuck E. Cheese are

Nolan Bushnell 27:21

there were much different, much, much different. Well, we, you know, I would wish that we’d had Skype in those days, we’d have conference calls. And that was a help. But in those days, conference calls were expensive. You know, I remember having a conference call that cost the company almost 800 bucks. Wow.

Jeremy Weisz 27:47

You know, just as much as getting on a plane and yeah, over there.

Nolan Bushnell 27:52

Well, no, it was multiple people though. It was a competence. Conference. But, you know, it’s funny to think about how, how things that we take advantage of that we’re clear is, is is free. Now, you know,

Jeremy Weisz 28:12

right? We take it for granted that technology for granted. It seems like you’re ahead of the curve on all these technologies. To get that good. You know, I’m

Nolan Bushnell 28:22

gonna just unplug the phone. Oh, no, I’ll just do DND I forgot about that. There we go.

Jeremy Weisz 28:31

So the with Chuck E. Cheese, when you look back in Atari, you look back, what were what was a couple big lessons that you learned that you bring to BrainRush?

Nolan Bushnell 28:42

Well, I think that the main thing I try to learn is that how do you

Nolan Bushnell 28:52

how do you market into new places, and schools are probably the most noisy environments or friction and environments to sell because highly bureaucratic. They really are afraid of making mistakes. They’re very backward thinking not forward thinking, right? in general. You’re you’re looking at the most innovation avoiding segment of the population that you could. And, and so it’s represented a very big new challenge to me because usually, you have a product that’s the best in the market. It just flies off the shelf right? Not only now you have to you not only have to have a great product, but you have to bribe people and jump through hoops and, and you I could I could spend my whole life speaking at education conferences that are full of people. People who are educators, not a decision maker in the blog in the US, not one.

Jeremy Weisz 30:07

Yeah. So how do you get traction with BrainRush? Because that is the market? Right?

Nolan Bushnell 30:11

Yeah, that’s the market. You just keep plugging at it. And slowly you, you get some help. One of the things that slowing now is schools are really having trouble getting the technology, right. And deploying tablets or Chromebooks, for example, you get a great big, you know, 20 gigabyte gigabit pipe into the school. And then three kids start streaming and they shut the whole thing down. Right. So how do you keep the kids from streaming on that? You know, that? Yeah, it’s just,

Jeremy Weisz 31:00

you know, there’s a few things that don’t get mentioned a lot in interviews that I want to ask you about. Is Kadabrascope. I yeah. told me about that, that I read that it sold the Lucas, and was sort of the beginnings of Pixar.

Nolan Bushnell 31:17

That’s correct. Well, I had this idea that that computers were going to take the drudgery out of animation. And so we bought a Chuck E. Cheese we did we bought a PDP 750. I think it was 780. And it was, it was a pretty hot scientific computer at the time. And we bought some core software from New York University because they had a little project on computer assisted animation. And, and we worked on it for probably close to two years, and got to really understand what it was. And one of the things we realized is that to do graphics at the time, was so computer intensive, that even though we had a very hot computer at the time, it was not nearly hot enough, like a lot of times we were, it was taking us 12 15 hours to render a single frame. Wow. You know, you say Oh, yeah, you know, that’s that’s,

Jeremy Weisz 32:34

that’s not do people have a too easy these days, then you compare those days to people today, and the people today maybe are complaining about certain things. Do we have well, easy now?

Nolan Bushnell 32:45

You know, I’m sure that there will be people that, you know, no, I mean, people have it a lot easier. They can do things now the number of MIPS. I mean, we I didn’t foresee that we’d have gigabit gigahertz processors, that just seemed too fast. It seemed like there were some speed of light things. And the problem, there’s no question me that we’re going to have quantum computing that’s going to make our curtains things look slow. Yeah.

Jeremy Weisz 33:22

I want to hear what you think next on the horizon? Because it almost always seems like you’re too far ahead of yourself. Is that why you ended up selling that with the Kadabrascope? You were just too far ahead.

Nolan Bushnell 33:33

I was, I was too far ahead. For the amount of cash and time that I had, I realized that it was one of those things, it was going to take a lot of cash and a lot of time before it could be profitable. And I didn’t feel like it was an appropriate thing for Chuck E. Cheese to do at the time. Yeah,

Jeremy Weisz 33:52

yeah. I want to hear about what you think is next. But another kind of too far. How to yourself. You had a catalyst incubator. Correct. What were some of the cool things that came out of catalyst and I think without you My wife and I could not get around because we have horrible senses of direction and and you have something called e tak

Nolan Bushnell 34:10

Etak was the first automobile navigation company.

Jeremy Weisz 34:15

And when was that? What, what what timeframe? What, what era? We

Nolan Bushnell 34:19

three started? Yeah. And we ended up in fact, if you use Google Maps or anything, it’s all using our core software. Right? That that we’d licence. But we did that we did one called by video, which was probably the first online shopping even though they were kiosks in airports and things that you could order on the screen and the order would be sent in by modem 1200 baud modem. So it was was not online, but it was kind of close to being online. Yeah, we did a we came very Close to creating a chip that would allow for a well, we, we thought at the time, we could do 50 cent video screen using a liquid crystal projection technology. And we got it working on a small scale. And then and then we just decided that to get it from there into the market was going to be too much. So we kind of shut that down. And I did Andrew Barton and Andrew bought was or that was a big problem because I fell in love with it. I just knew there had to be a robot. And we sold a lot. And

Jeremy Weisz 35:47

why was it a problem?

Nolan Bushnell 35:49

Because the, the unit that we thought was gonna make the breakthrough, we just could not get it to be reliable. And, you know, a 50 pound robot rolling down Stairway to somebody crushing them. Yeah. And crushing them was not a good idea. And and, and there were a lot of things that would cause the computer to crash. Technically, if you were rolling around on a carpet, you’d pick up static electricity, the static and jump across the bearings of the wheels, that would be enough EMF to to shut down the computer to crash the computer. Yeah. And you know, and we tried putting the whole the whole computer in a Gaussian enclosure and Faraday cage and all that just could not the noise immunity of chips now can handle the noise immunity of the chips in those days just couldn’t. So yeah.

Jeremy Weisz 36:55

So what were some of the big lessons? Was that one of the first incubators?

Nolan Bushnell 36:59

I think so. Well, the the big lesson with an incubator is you should have a two year and out philosophy that there is no startup that cannot be fixed with a little bit more money. And unfortunately, the walking wounded you can’t always tell whether it’s the wrong market, the wrong team, the wrong product. And so after a while all the good companies have moved out and all you got left with are these walking wounded. It’s kind of like, you know, the day of the incubators zombie.

Jeremy Weisz 37:47

So know what’s next? What should people start thinking about? or looking at? Because you know, what’s next in the horizon? for me or for, for you and for the world? Yeah.

Nolan Bushnell 37:59

Oh, I think I’m going to be doing a new kind of amusement park. I’m going to call it a micro amusement park. Think of a of a Sears Roebuck that’s gone out of business and it’s the end and there’s all this square footage that’s available. Think of it just full of bush now crazy stuff.

Jeremy Weisz 38:24

That includes sun as well. Oh, yeah. Brent.

Nolan Bushnell 38:27

Yeah. Well, you know, I’ve got I’ve got five sons that are involved in some level of technology. Oh, really? Okay, daughters as well. So it’ll basically be mentored by my my second daughter, and it’s the PR is going to be handled by my first daughter, all the money we make is going to be handled by my third daughter. And the tech is going to be in the boys.

Jeremy Weisz 38:56

So what’s next for the world? Because it seems like you’re always one step ahead with Atari, you know, the robots pics are Etak you know, what’s, what’s next that people should be looking at?

Nolan Bushnell 39:08

I think I think robots are going to be very, very important. You know, people have talked about him. But when I say robots, I’m saying little guys are rolling around your house and doing stuff for you. You know, that become a member of your family. And, and I think that probably the biggest social impact will be the auto drive cars. Were just just around the corner. And you know, the autobahn?

Jeremy Weisz 39:39

No pun intended.

Nolan Bushnell 39:40

Yeah, right. The the autobahn just made them illegal. So now you can have pilotless cars and trucks on the Autobahn in new union. Nevada has said that they’re legal. I think the sharing economy is going to continue to pick up speed, you know, Uber Lyft. Airbnb. I think those things change an awful lot of existing structures. But the real impact on life will be the auto drive car because it get rid of congestion you’ll be able to get home hammered.

Jeremy Weisz 40:25

If the right you want to your parties that’s important. So you know nonsense. It’s Inspired Insider always ask about the lowest point. And how you got through those tough times because people just see you now after, you know, being the father of video games, Atari Chuck E. Cheese, it wasn’t always an easy journey. What was the lowest point, and then how you push through.

Nolan Bushnell 40:49

I think the lowest point was when I was I did some personal guarantees. And I was basically underwater financially. And, and I ended up having to sell the Woodside house, and I had all these kids and everything and scary. And I you know, I wasn’t destitute, but it was a bit it was a thing where I, the kids were zero between four and 20. And, and I, I was concerned about their lives, actually more than mine, because you know, going from living in this 16,000 square foot mansion with a waterslide. And, you know, a lot of goodies to a rental in Palo Alto wasn’t going to work. Right. And so I decided I was going to take everybody on the long awaited trip to Europe for a year. And we could do it very cheaply, because I had friends all over the world that had always said, Oh, come come and stay. And so we we spent four months in London in a month in Scandinavia. Now, that doesn’t sound like a low point. But just before that, before we made that decision, it was pretty, it was pretty bleak the year before was really bad because we were struggling. And you know, we the house went into foreclosure a couple of times. And you know, that was bleak and scary. Yeah. But you know, I hate to say this, but it’s it was it was all an illusion. We didn’t really we did we thought we had problems. But we the family was healthy. We were all together. You know, the and the Woodside house, in the broad scheme of things. Didn’t matter. Right. Yeah. Yeah. And, and so. So I think a lot of times, you just have to get your head wrapped around what what are the important things in life? And what are the non important items?

Jeremy Weisz 42:57

Just having your kids safe and healthy was what you focused on? It was important. Yeah, yeah. And then on the flip side of that, knowing what’s been the proudest moment, one of the proudest moments Oh, wow. That’s a real hard one. I don’t know. I, you can choose a few. What you can choose a few. If there’s not just one. I

Nolan Bushnell 43:26

you know, it’s actually not the way my brain works. Like, I can think about what will be my proudest moment when I do certain things, you know, my goals, but the stuff that I’ve accomplished, it’s kind of okay, yeah, done that done that. You know, I really enjoyed those. What

Jeremy Weisz 43:43

was one accomplishment you have that you were you had that goal, and you had it set? And you finally hit it? And then what’s the next one’s going? It’s back in 1983? What was that?

Nolan Bushnell 43:54

I won the transpac. I was the it was the it was a you know, sailing race, Sanford, Los Angeles to Hawaii. And, and I and I won that puppy in two years before I went on the race just kind of as a participant. And then and then I then I, when I was out in the middle of Pacific I said, you know, in two years, I’m gonna win this puppy. Yeah. And I did

any business related ones that you had your sights set on? Oh, hitting, getting 250 Chuck E. Cheeses was one, you know, selling. You know? Gosh, I don’t know. Yeah, what’s next? You said you have you big goals still. Oh, I really want to positively change Education, I think that our education is totally mismatched with today’s technology. I mean, our kids are so much brighter, they have so much more multitasking ability, batch processed, the classroom should be abolished, there should be no classes, there should be no, the concept of grades is wrong. There should be no grades, no grades. People should enter school, travel the throne speed, focus on their own interests and, and quit when they want to get a job. You know, or move into apprenticeships, and it should be. There shouldn’t be this broad link between somebody who’s in school and somebody who’s working because we need to be lifelong learners, right, as well. And so I think wife needs to be more of an amalgam of the educational self in that and, and I believe that there’s so many ways you can learn that you don’t want to have it be so stilted and and pedantic. Yeah. I like that. And for for someone with kids, anyone with kids? Where should someone start? You know, because they are in this system? Where should Where should someone start with that? I know, and, you know, it’s hard. Besides BrainRush, we’re off. Yeah, green rush and a lot of the other stuff. What? But, you know, the biggest thing, there are hours and hours and hours of boredom in a classroom. Because, you know, lecture is just the wrong way to do to give information right now. And, and what, what is being crushed is enthusiasm for learning. Yeah. You know, kids don’t know the difference between learning. And school. They think they’re the same. No, they’re not. School is boring. Learning is fun, right? And, and you really want to have these other constructs, developed. And I mean, creativity. If you look at all this statistics, we’re training creativity out of people. Right? And it’s just anyway, I could go on. Yeah. Yeah. That’s what I’m wondering, we’re showing someone should start, like, do you have kids or just entering school? Or they’re already in school? Where should people start? Because they’re in the system. So how do you get them on track?

I would be less worried about the system. In some ways. I took the kids out of school when we went to Europe. Yeah, homeschool? Yeah. And using the museums around the world is sort of a background, you know, what better way to learn about World War One and World War Two, and then the British War Museum, right? What better way to learn about physics than going through the Science and Industry museum? And, you know, what better what you mean, and some of the museums in that in in Scandinavia and Germany. So just being, you know, on the location of the Battle of the Bulge, and talking about what was happening, and they were coming over this ridge, and

Jeremy Weisz 48:40

you can really visualize that, yeah,

Nolan Bushnell 48:41

you can visualize and so it becomes contextual learning, which is always better. Yeah. And I think that, I think that take, my kids have all been very well, I was willing, I’ve been willing to take kids out of school. at the drop of a hat. Like, I would always take one of the kids with me on my business trips, you know, in when they were 12, they’d get to come to Europe with me, because, you know, sometimes they’d have to stay in the hotel, but most the time I take them right to the business trips, you know, sit sit in the negotiations, and that and I know that one time, I was taking the kids to one of my boys to Japan with me. And, and they didn’t know quite what to think about it. They thought that maybe he spoke Japanese and was a spy or something like that. And I said, No, I just want him to know what’s going on. Yeah. what my life is. Yeah. And so that was that was kind of a my attitude is that if there’s something more interesting going on in school, let’s go do it. Yeah,

Jeremy Weisz 49:55

yeah. No, this has been fantastic. I really appreciate it. Now. You have another appointment today. To where should we point people towards? And what are some what’s some final words? We should leave them with?

Nolan Bushnell 50:08 You know, Yeah. My brain, my website @NolanBushnell is my Twitter. Yeah. And, and I don’t Twitter as much as I should. But I do when I think I have something to say. And and if you’re seeing this from Australia, I’m going to be in, in Australia, giving a speech, the end of next month. I’m going to be in Norway a week before that, give me a speech. And I’ve been trying time. And, you know, I just I’m, I’m building some really good stuff. And you’ll be able to download some new apps that will be fun to play as well as learning. Yeah.

Jeremy Weisz 50:59

Any final words what people should get out of this? I know I love the ending of your book. When you talk about what you told Steve Jobs when he was asking about Pixar, yeah, just do it. Just action. Acts. Just act. Just act. Yeah. It’s a little bit like Nike. Yeah, yeah.

Nolan Bushnell 51:21

Change Your Life, do different things. Mix it up. Every time I try something new and different. It engages me in a very powerful way. And it turns out that there’s some good brain science behind that. And plus, when you do different things, you create new dendrites and build your brain, you’ll actually get smarter. Yeah.

Jeremy Weisz 51:47

No, I’m Thank you. I really appreciate it. Fantastic. good fun. All right, now.

Nolan Bushnell 51:54

Let me move my screen to the right. I’m looking at you instead, off to the side here.

Jeremy Weisz 52:01

Also distinguish with the pipe and everything. Like Masterpiece Theatre.

Nolan Bushnell 52:09

The looking I’m working on an app that is of you if you played the room or room two, which is on the iPad. No, I haven’t. It’s a it’s a sort of a room escape kind of thing on on an app. And I’m doing one that overlays a knowledge of electricity. So once you escape the room, you understand the basic BrainRush

Jeremy Weisz 52:36

for BrainRush is if you’re brand new, okay. Yeah. But I, I still like to design games. Yes. So usually, like, do you have like an inventor’s like Thomas Edison space like behind you? I see a bunch of electronic there’s light bulbs. There’s what’s behind you.

Nolan Bushnell 52:53

It is. It is my cave. It’s my my kids said that if I wanted to. I’ve got enough parts here to build a space shuttle. I guess I could turn a little more light on to you’d like to sort of see a little more of it. That works. Yeah. It’s got all kinds all this amazing stuff here.

Jeremy Weisz 53:16

Wow. You couldn’t build a space shuttle? What is that? Yeah.

Nolan Bushnell 53:19

It’s anyway, it’s I’ve always had a cave. You know? Yeah. Yeah. And, you know, in high school and what have you, my, my bedroom was in the basement, and I had it turned into a workshop in a lab. And, you know, Mike, sisters, We’re all afraid to come down. They get electrocuted.

Jeremy Weisz 53:44

They probably would expect nothing less from you, I guess. What’s a fun fact about you? Most people don’t know. I’ve watched numerous interviews videos of you. What’s What’s something people don’t know?

Nolan Bushnell 54:00

Oh, I don’t know why. I think there are a few things. I’m, I’m a big punster Oh, you are okay. You know, and my kids. I always start with a joke of some sort.

Nolan Bushnell 54:19

I snowboard. Really?

Jeremy Weisz 54:22

Okay, I wouldn’t have guessed that. Well,

Nolan Bushnell 54:27

one of the rules in my family is that you have to be an elegant beginner. Okay, you know that everybody, you know, there are a million things that you don’t know when you need. And whenever you start on something that you don’t know, you’re a beginner. Yeah. And you have to learn to do that with grace and aplomb and not get so full of yourself. And so, we were skiing and the boys were snowboarding and they said Dad, come on, you got to learn to snowboard. I was 55 years old. And you know the All the people who were snowboarding are all in their teens and early 20s, right? And of course, they started jazzing me about being an elegant beginner. So I said, Okay, I’ll learn how to snowboard. I learned how and it’s fun when I’m with them. I snowboard, and when I’m with my wife, I ski.

Jeremy Weisz 55:17

Nice. And then I mean, Another fun fact, I looked up that I don’t know if most people know you have eight kids. And that’s remarkable. That’s probably one of the most remarkable feats you have out of everything.

Nolan Bushnell 55:28

Yeah, and it’s actually I like to say that it’s, it’s my best accomplishment. Yeah. And and I like you know, like Brenton, those guys, they all grew up with projects. We had we were we were a building tinkering family. Sure, yeah. And always had a metal metal shop and woodshop and, and chemistry lab and electronics lab available to them. Yeah,

Jeremy Weisz 55:55

that’s fantastic.