A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from June 11, 2015
“The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer”

"The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer” is a quotation that has been credited to Nolan Bushnell, an American engineer and entrepreneur who founded both Atari, Inc. and the Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza-Time Theaters chain. However, this is not exactly correct. From “Have You Got What It Takes?” by John Merwin in Forbes magazine, August 3, 1981:

“There’s Nolan Bushnell, 38. In 1972 Bushnell founded Atari, the electronic games company, on $500. Four years later he sold it to Warner Communications for $28 million, and since he has started several other companies. ‘The critical ingredient,’ says Bushnell, ‘is getting off your ass and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today.’ The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”

The words are outside of Bushnell’s quote and appear to come from the article’s author, John Merwin. “The entrepreneur is a doer; he works hard to accomplish things” was cited earlier, in a 1978 thesis.


Wikipedia: Nolan Bushnell
Nolan Kay Bushnell (born February 5, 1943) is an American engineer and entrepreneur who founded both Atari, Inc. and the Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza-Time Theaters chain. Bushnell has been inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame and the Consumer Electronics Association Hall of Fame, received the BAFTA Fellowship and the Nations Restaurant News “Innovator of the Year” award, and was named one of Newsweek‍ ‘​s “50 Men Who Changed America.” Bushnell has started more than twenty companies and is one of the founding fathers of the video game industry.

Google Books
The Minority Entrepreneur and Business Success
By Georgia Williams Bowser
Dissertation: Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Wisconsin-Madison
1978
Pg. 46:
The motive that has been associated with the entrepreneur most often has been “the need for achievement.” In search for an answer to the question, “who is the entrepreneur?,” it has already been seen that the entrepreneur is a doer; he works hard to accomplish things.

Google Books
3 August 1981, Forbes, “Have You Got What It Takes?” by John Merwin, pg. 60:
There’s Nolan Bushnell, 38. In 1972 Bushnell founded Atari, the electronic games company, on $500. Four years later he sold it to Warner Communications for $28 million, and since he has started several other companies. “The critical ingredient,” says Bushnell, “is getting off your ass and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today.” The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.

Googel Books
Wake Up Your Creative Genius
By Kurt Hanks and Jay Parry
Los Altos, CA: W. Kaufmann
1983
Pg. 130:
Says Nolan Bushnell, founder of Atari, “The critical ingredient is getting off your rear end and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today.”

Google Books
Divorcing a Corporation:
How to Know When - and If - a Job Change Is Right for You

By Jacqueline Hornor Plumez and Karla Dougherty
New York, NY: Villard Books
1986, ©1985
Pg. 135:
As the founder of Atari said, “The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”

Google Books
The Quotable Billionaire:
Advice and Reflections from and for the Real, Former, Almost, and Wanna-be Super-Rich...and Others

By Steven D. Price
New York,NY: Skyhorse Publishing
2009
Pg. ?:
The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.
-- Nolan Bushnell

Entrepreneur
50 Inspirational Entrepreneurial Quotes
By John Ramptom
DECEMBER 09, 2014
(...)
1. “The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something. It’s as simple as that. A lot of people have ideas, but there are few who decide to do something about them now. Not tomorrow. Not next week. But today. The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.” –Nolan Bushnell, entrepreneur.

Twitter
Entrepreneurs Facts
‏@entreprenrship
The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer. ― Nolan Bushnell
11:15 PM - 11 Jun 2015

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWork/Businesses • Thursday, June 11, 2015 • Permalink