In the annals of Silicon Valley history, Nolan Bushnell’s name conjures up both brilliant success and spectacular failure. His two landmark achievements were founding Atari in 1972–laying the groundwork for the entire video game industry–and starting Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theatre in 1977. But there’s another highlight of Bushnell’s bio that has long gone undocumented: pioneer of the high-tech incubator.
In 1981, Bushnell created Catalyst Technologies, a venture-capital partnership designed to bring the future to life by turning his ideas into companies. In the era of the TRS-80, Betamax, and CB radio, startups funded by Catalyst pursued an array of visionary concepts–from interactive TV to online shopping to door-to-door navigation–that created entire industries decades later. “I read science fiction, and I wanted to live there,” Bushnell explains.
Experimental entertainment company Two Bit Circus has raised $15 million in a funding round led by Jazz Venture Partners, with participation from existing investors, including Foundry Group, Techstars Ventures, Intel Capital, and a handful of new investors. Founded out of Los Angeles in 2012, Two Bit Circus uses technology to create immersive and interactive spectacles through events. Among its […]
I have a new book coming out early next year, The Rise of Superman: Decoding the Science of Ultimate Human Performance. As the title suggests, my subject matter is the outer limits of human potential and the question of what might actually be possible for our species.