The Truth About Rejection…Nolan Bushnell

5 Sep

As a child of the 1980’s, I find that it would be an impossible task to even begin to describe the lasting impact which video games have had upon me. Countless arcades filled with flashing screens and computer clamor remain extremely cherished elements of my childhood memories, while equally dear are all of those fun weekends off from school devoted to playing the home versions of beloved video game classics (successfully adapting the excitement of the arcade to one’s humble abode); the stuff of truly exciting family nights or friendly competitions among the best of friends. This entire realm of childhood, universally shared by each fortunate generation since the dawn of video games in the 1970’s, is entirely attributable to the vision, innovation, and skill of the one and only Nolan Bushnell. From Atari (I remember mine well) and Pong (arguably the most famous game of all time, and extremely addictive), to Chuck E. Cheese (where I believe every child wishes they could spend their birthday), to current and future pioneering ventures tackling such societal challenges as education and the needs of the elderly, Mr. Bushnell continues to create new and positive breakthroughs in the fields of entertainment, technology, and business. He remains the definition of bona-fide genius.                    

A very special thank you must be accorded to Mr. Bushnell’s daughter Alissa, who was kind enough to forward her father’s response to my recent inquiry on rejection, allowing readers to receive this special and encouraging insight which can help motivate all of us in pursuing the fruition of our own endeavors. 

Nolan Bushnell:

The nature of entrepreneurship is rejection, upon rejection, upon rejection.  Atari was rejected by all venture capital until we were already at $30 Million in sales.  Everyone rejected the idea of Chuck E. Cheese.  Persistence is necessary.  You have to believe in your project beyond all “no’s”.


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