The Team Behind Finding the Next Steve Jobs

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The Team Behind Finding the Next Steve Jobs by Tim Sanders

March 29, 2013

About one year ago, I met Nolan Bushnell after giving a talk on the future of publishing in Los Angeles.  He told me he had a few different ideas for a book, and gave me his email address.  My wife Jacqueline had been raving about him, after reading Steve Jobs by Walter Isaacson. After reading the book, I too was intrigued about his history with young Steve Jobs.  Nolan and I met a few times over the next month and settled on a Net Minds project called "Finding the Next Steve Jobs".  He wanted the book to be on sale much quicker than what literary agents had quoted: Approximately two years or so.  I promised we could cut that window in half, but would want to make sure it was a quality project at the same time.

Nolan explained that he always built A Player Teams around his projects, and this book would be no exception.  At Net Minds, we help authors like Nolan build publishing teams including editorial, design, marketing and media relations services.  Right off the bat we found his writing partner, Gene Stone.  He's the author Forks Over Knives and The Secrets Of People Who Never Get Sick.  He's also ghostwritten dozens of books, including books of mine such as Love Is the Killer App.  Gene saw the potential of this book right away and after a few discussions with Nolan he was on board.  In May of 2012, we sent our first list Net Minds Select projects seeking partners.  There were several responses for Nolan's project from designers, marketers and publicists and that got the ball rolling on building out his team. 

This Tuesday, the book was published and I have to say, I'm incredibly proud of the team's work.  At Net Minds, we also believe in giving recognition for the work, so here's the team:

Gene Stone - Co-author and project manager.  Gene not only helped focus Nolan's ideas, he contributed greatly to fleshing them out and making them sing on the printed page.  Early reviews by reporters have been universally positive about the book's readability, freshness in voice and value.  Gene also managed the ensuing rounds of editing.  First, he brought in Miranda Spencer to do a round of line editing.  She's highly experienced, and likely, you've seen her handiwork on projects such as Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie.  Next in the editorial chain, we brought in magazine veteran Michael Pinchera who performed a round of copyediting.  He added great value too.  Finally, towards the end of the process, we brought in Gwen Roolf from Queen's English Creative Services for a round of proofreading.  Adam Wren conducted research for the book, bringing its concepts into the modern era of business.

Alex Miles Younger - Designer.  You likely know Alex's work, as he served as Creative Director at Seth Godin's Domino Project, creating many compelling book packages such as Steven Pressfield Do the Work.  He pored over the manuscript and came up with several creative ideas for Nolan to consider for the cover.  In the end, taking a page from the manuscript (Creativity Is Messy), he came up with a compelling cover concept that evokes the feel of the 70's with the widely recognizable silhouette of Steve Jobs.  His interior design was equally amazing, and his patience with our team during multiple rounds of iterations was nothing short of saintly.  His deliverables were also thoughtful, including collateral for the print, eBook and other marketing purposes.

Chris Brogan - Social Media Marketing.  Chris is one of the smartest and classiest people in the social space, and gave the team great advice on how to correctly engineer a long-term campaign around socializing the book.  He discouraged any tactics that created marketing noise, and instead focused on how Nolan could interact with well-wishers and supporters to create a community around the book for some time.

Alissa Bushnell - Media Relations.  She's not only Nolan's daughter, she was a long standing PR executive at PeopleSoft and currently serves as the West Coast bureau chief for 104 West, a leading PR firm.  She engineered a release campaign that tapped into numerous media outlets that cover Nolan, Apple, innovation, hiring, and other related topics.  Through her tenacity and pluck, she hit it out of the park on release day, delivering coverage from AllThingsD, USA Today, Mashable, ReadWrite, New York Times Bit Blog, Forbes, US News and the Associated Press just to link to a few.  Whew.  Now that's how you do it!

Finally, Zack Lien and Gavin Bushnell built a new website for Nolan, which showcases the book, his speaking services as well as a slew of other useful tidbits.  They did this on a quick turnaround, and they did a great job!

Collectively, this project speaks to the heart of what Net Minds is all about: Team work.  Many of the team members are in it for the long haul, taking some or all of their payments in royalty sharing.  The net result is a remarkable product that came to market in slightly less than a year.  If you haven't picked up your copy of the book, check it out right away.

PS - I am aware that this post was unusually linky.  In this case, the addition of links to people, products or websites are intended for deeper dives for interested parties.



Tim Sanders

About Tim Sanders

Tim is a bestselling author and former Yahoo! executive with a mission to disrupt the traditional publishing and self-publishing industries and share knowledge with authors looking to publish and market high-quality books.

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