Nolan Bushnell is one of the few people who can say that they were in a job interview with Steve Jobs sitting on the side of the table where the decisions are made and not the opposite. The co-founder of Atari, company in which Jobs worked just four years before creating Apple with his friend Wozniak, already had shared in the past some of your memories about that young man and complex Jobs with phrases like “was very often the smartest in the room type, and was in charge of the others knew it.” but a recent interview has left us with new comments about his former pupil and the company which could have been partner.
“Steve asked me if I would put $50,000 in Exchange for one-third of the company. I was so ready that I said that not. It’s almost funny when I think about it now, except when I’m crying”
At age 71, while Apple registered the greatest benefits obtained in a single quarter by any other company, Bushnell recalled this chapter of his life. “Steve and I got to be very close friends. “We lived about two blocks each other and appeared a Saturday or Sunday morning on his motorcycle to take a cup of tea and talk about different business dilemmas that faced and on which I could advise you.”
When he had the opportunity, Bushnell rejected this third Apple to consider that it would be a conflict of interest taking into account that Atari was also dedicated to making computers. “If… that was a big mistake, what I can say?”
Changing the subject, Bushnell says that Apple could face in a future not too distant to a “terrible problem”:
“I think that Apple has a terrible problem. There is something known as the ‘the innovative extra’ which means you can get an extraordinary margin thanks to your innovation. Even though the followers ‘fast’ to reach even your features, you still being known as the one that innovates, so your brand has an image better. That extra used to have a life expectancy of about eight years, but now I think that it has narrowed to the four as much. “If [Apple] non-continuous performing some truly remarkable innovations, soon could dismiss their ability to charge price premium.”
It is an interesting theory, but perhaps the error is to think that the key to Apple’s success can be reduced simply to a single parameter. Innovation is important, of course, but if the iPhone put upside down an entire industry was not simply by being innovative, but to offer a really satisfying experience for your users.
It has been repeated over and over again, Apple is not usually the first in anything but himself who gives the nail on the head when he arrives. Apple Pay could be the latest example; a service which hardly can be labeled innovative but which is nevertheless sweeping competitors.
Perhaps in April, with luck, let’s have another case study more with the launch of the Apple Watch. Until then, what we can be sure is that any company in the world dreams of having such terrible Apple’s problems.