Here’s How: Atari Break-Out was coded for $350 during the weekend

Failure is good for you, but everyone chases after success. And if the price is right, people will sell you out.

Aditya Roy
2 min readMay 20, 2021
Source: Telegraph

The essence of success is passion, invention, and resilience. There is an interesting story from the time when Steve Jobs used to work at Atari. He was offered $700 for developing Atari Breakout. And Steve Wozniak was contacted by Steve Jobs saying that he needed to finish up coding in four days.

Now, Steve Jobs dismissed the potential of games. And the Apple II was made for gaming. But, Steve Jobs brought one of Wozniak’s games named Pong. And Atari loved it! So, they hired Jobs who kept mouth zipped about it.

So, Wozniak worked for four days worth of sleepless nights for $350.

Lack of sleep leads to fool-hardiness.

Steve Jobs delivered the game to Atari and paid Wozniak the promised $350. And he makes a $5000 bonus which he never told Wozniak about. What’s more, the design was based off Pong.

This is probably the strangest thing about failure. It makes you selfish. As Steve Wozniak said in a recent interview, “Who cares about money? Well, I do care about friendship and honesty.”

Was it creativity? Hell yes!

We knew Steve Jobs as an enterprising individual, brimming with ideas for the future. But, he was a genius at design, marketing, and hiring. And Wozniak is clearly a hero in this story. Was it right? No.

How to look at problem-solving?

If a mathematician fails to solve a problem, they will keep at it. But, if a theory is refutable, they will consult other research material before moving ahead. And choosing to proceed requires understanding another mathematician’s mistakes. Steve Jobs took advantage of his friend’s nature.

“It is good to learn from your mistakes. It is better to learn from other people’s mistakes.” — Warren Buffet

But, here’s how I look at it. Necessity is the mother of invention and people will dupe you. Or they will act duplicitously, caring only for their best interests. And success is not permanent. Neither does fear of failure set you up for success. But, you will look at your friends as foes because of that fear. And you might be financially successful, but never truly happy. If you ask me about failure, you should try looking at it as a stepping stone.



Aditya Roy

I’m a copywriter with a passion for learning and playing chess. I write on fashion, technology, and literature. Do enjoy my work and leave any suggestions.