How do you keep and nurture talent?

Nolan Bushnell / November, 2017


Nolan Bushnell, Co-Founder and Board Chairman of Modal VR explains ways he made people feel valued by the company.

Video Transcript

How do you keep and nurture talent?

I think that today’s talented people really want their company to publish what they do and to value what they do, and to be fairly rewarded for what they do. And I think that as long as you keep that contract with your employees that they are going to be fairly treated and be treated like adults. I love companies in which everybody is an adult. Everybody is treating each other like an adult and with respect. Unless they screw up and then they can get bad mouth a little bit, but not in a mean way. Camaraderie is a lot about giving and take.

For example, I’ve always had a turkey award. In which, I would give an award for the absolutely worst executed idea in the last quarter. And what was that? It was a way to laugh at somebody’s screw up, but it was also a way to say that it was ok to screw up. Because if you’re not falling down you’re not skiing fast enough, and I think that companies need to understand that mistakes are necessary if you’re going to innovate because the future is uncertain.

What I never have tolerance for are political mistakes. The future is unknowable, but if the whole idea is to make a mistake and pin it on somebody else, you’re out of here. If everybody is running around trying to figure out whom to blame as opposed to fix the problem.



  • Nolan Bushnell, Modal VR
  • November, 2017
  • 2:29
  • Team, Talent and Recruiting

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