What Is a Company?

How you ever thought about, "Just what is a company?"

Is it the name? Is it the buildings? Is it the equipment?

For my money, the people are the company.

In that spirit I am posting the Atari Telephone Directory for 1983; specifically, the directory for 11/08/83.

To put the directory in context, by the end of 1983 Atari had already reached its peak and the seeds of its destruction were starting to germinate. The Supernova was only eight months away.

From her excellent book Master of the Game: Steve Ross and the Creation of Time Warner by Connie Bruck (published by Simon & Schuster in 1994 and still available at amazon.com),

" By mid-1983, it was plain that not just Atari but the whole video-game industry had crashed: Mattel had suffered enormous losses; Imagic was laying off a fourth of its work force; and many others who had entered the field the previous year had gone bankrupt.  Ross, who had revived his old idea and started looking for a partner for Atari in early 1983, had been unable to find one.  So, in the summer, efforts were made to take remedial steps at Atari.  Kassar was fired, and James Morgan, a former executive vice-president of marketing at Phillip Morris U.S.A., took his place.  Thousands of employees were laid off.  And, too late, in what proved to be only a costly move, many of Atari's independent distributors were let go in favor of a better-controlled distribution network."  {page 198}

I scanned the 11/08/83 telephone directory, used OCR to convert it to ASCII text, and then did a great deal of hand editing to correct the OCR errors. (There may still be some.)

You may be surprised to see how many Atarians there were and how spread out they were all over the world.

Directories from other times would show different Ataris, but this was Atari in November, 1983.

Atari Telephone Directory, 1983
(253K ASCII Text)

Jed Margolin
San Jose, CA
May 17, 2003

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