When Steve Jobs first came to work at Atari, he wanted to be able to sleep overnight at the office.
We always had a guard on the premises, but there were alarms as well.
If people were sleeping under the desks and moving about at 3 a.m., the alarms would be blaring nonstop. So, there were rules: No overnight sleeping at the office.
But Steve was insistent. His friend Steve Wozniak felt the same way. Our chief of Security, however, was equally insistent that we should not allow it. But in the end, we decided to permit sleeping and rely on Guards rather than alarm for security, because we wanted to create a comfortable environment for the Steves.
Soon the Steves brought in Futons and stored them under their desks so they could work until 3 a.m. and then catch five or six hours sleep. There wasn’t any place to shower or bathe. They didn’t mind that. They didn’t believe in bathing.
Once we allowed sleepovers, we found several other employees with long commutes decide they would prefer to stay over at the company as well.
So, we went the extra mile and added showers to one of the restrooms. Some of the staff actually lived bathing. And we liked them for that.
De-briefing if the story
When you are trying to make your company creative, you want to relax the rigid rules and give your creatives room to stretch and grow.
Create a company known for this kind of freedom, and creatives will come looking for you.
From the book – Finding the Next Steve Jobs by Nolan Bushnell with Gene Stone.
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