Mary Quant did it for me. Jeff Bezos had McDonald’s. For Steve Jobs, it was Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari and American food chain Chuck E. Cheese, who gave him a start in his career.
Now Bushnell has co-authored a book about finding the right creative minds for your company. Though Finding the Next Steve Jobs: How to Find, Hire, Keep and Nurture Creative Talent, is titled after Jobs (publishing needs marketing after all), it is less about him and more about finding the right creative minds for your company.
Bushnell tells us to focus on who a person is rather than what they can do. Passion and intensity should take weight over qualifications. Training can fill gaps in skill, but a weak spark is likely to die out fast. If you want to spend your time fanning it into a flame, you’ll be wasting time and energy best placed elsewhere. Also, hire people for their hobbies. “Show me someone who doesn’t have a hobby,” Bushnell says. “And I’ll show you someone who is not very creative.”
In the book Bushnell writes about a conversation he had with Jobs where they discussed the importance of creativity in business. “Without creativity your company will not succeed…That concept may not sound surprising, but what is surprising is how few companies realize it, or actually do anything about it. Creativity is every company’s first driver. It’s where everything starts, where energy and forward motion originate. Without that first charge of creativity, nothing else can take place.”