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Constant Gardener Cultivate 
visionary talent on your 
team with these tips from tech pioneer Nolan Bushnell.

Never Stop Nurturing

“You can’t expect to get anything in return without first giving,” Bushnell says. “Mentor your employees, and, in turn, they will teach you new ways of thinking about things. By doing this, you create a working infrastructure of shared values, ideas, and accomplishments that will only serve to push your company 
forward creatively.”

Try What Might Fail 

“It’s OK to celebrate failed ideas: You can’t learn to ski fast if you don’t fall down. Even though Apple’s Lisa computer and Apple III were flops, they were the underpinnings for the wildly successful Macintosh. Empower your employees to try things that aren’t necessarily guaranteed to work.”

Spotlight the Standouts  

“It’s easy to get caught up in the ‘everybody gets a trophy’ mindset, but if you want to create a successful 
business, you have to encourage your employees
to do more than simply show up. Keep a close eye on outcomes rather than dwelling on processes. People who are doing a really great job need to be recognized and awarded accordingly.” 

Get Some Fresh Air 

“If you want your team to bond, create physical 
separation from the office. Hold a retreat away from headquarters that allows 
people to liberate their brains by telling jokes, playing games, and, most importantly, ditching their routines. There are different rules when you’re not in familiar territory, which is why we are fundamentally more creative when we’re outside of our comfort zones.”


Nolan Bushnell, the founder of Atari, is the co-author of Finding the Next Steve Jobs: How to Find, Keep, and Nurture Talent.


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