Leadership | Human Resources/Workplace Issues | Management | Entrepreneurship | Corporate Culture
“Ever since the age of four, I’ve been creating businesses in my head. The greatest gift my parents gave me was the freedom to dream.”
Richard Tait is an entrepreneurial pioneer who lives by the mantra “Orville Wright did not have a pilot’s license.” His inspiring approach to business, brand building, and corporate culture has influenced our relationships with technology, play, work, and retail for two decades.
Best known for his groundbreaking turn as Cranium, Inc. co-founder and Grand Pooh Bah, Mr. Tait first honed his entrepreneurial instincts at Microsoft. A former “Employee of the Year,” the native Scotsman started more than a dozen new companies in his 10 years with the software developer. Among these were several advancements that transformed the consumer technology experience.
As head of Microsoft’s Reference CD Rom Publishing businesses, Richard Tait oversaw the development of Microsoft Bookshelf, a reference collection that showcased the power and potential of CD-ROM technology, and Microsoft Encarta, a landmark multi-media encyclopedia. Inventive in its design, Encarta made it possible to quickly and easily browse volumes of information in an age before Google and Wikipedia.
In 1994, Richard’s vision, natural curiosity, and experience took him to the next emerging technology: consumer Internet applications. As head of this Microsoft team, Mr. Tait managed the development of portals that would help consumers better realize the power of the Internet. Microsoft Car Point, Microsoft Sidewalk, and Microsoft Expedia are all businesses that were brought to life under Richard’s tutelage.
Then, in 1997, Richard Tait left Microsoft and went on to make board game history. As co-founder and Grand Pooh Bah of Cranium, Inc., Mr. Tait crafted one of the toy industry’s most cherished brands and built an award-winning corporate culture.
In Mr. Tait’s decade at the helm, Cranium received numerous honors worldwide, including recognition for its break frame approach to word of mouth marketing; over 100 awards for product excellence, including winning the Toy Industry Association Game of the Year award five times in six years. They received accolades for the company’s corporate culture, which was both celebrated as one of the best places to work in Seattle and featured on The Today Show, Good Morning America, and the best-selling Mavericks at Work. In 2008, Cranium was successfully acquired by Hasbro, Inc., the world’s largest game maker.
However, Richard Tait’s vision wasn’t limited to the toy industry. Driven to bring the Cranium experience to where customers were, not just where games were sold, he became an agent for change at retail. Cranium was the first non-coffee-related product sold in Starbucks, the first game sold on Amazon and at Barnes and Noble, and a catalyst for a new era of consumer-driven retail strategy.
Deemed one of the “most powerful people in Seattle” by Seattle Magazine, Mr. Tait is recognized as a passionate visionary. He is among Fast Company magazine’s “Fast 50,” the Puget Sound Business Journal’s “40 Under 40,” and was twice nominated for the Ernst & Young “Entrepreneur of the Year” award.
Richard Tait is distinguished worldwide for his maverick approach to building brands and corporate cultures. A member of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization Hall of Fame in the U.S., Richard was also elected to the Entrepreneurial Exchange Hall of Fame in his homeland of Scotland. He is a former member of the Toy Industry Association board of directors.
Mr. Tait is passionate about sharing his secret sauce for success. In addition to being included or quoted in nearly a dozen business books, he has been on The Big Idea with Donny Deutsche, and featured in multiple media outlets, including USA Today, New York Times, New York Times Magazine, Investor Business Daily, The Financial Times, and more.
Today, as founder of BoomBoomBrands, Mr. Tait uses his leadership, infectious enthusiasm, and global insight to inspire business leaders and entrepreneurs. Whether creating new brand concepts for existing corporations; incubating ideas that build equity or acquisition opportunity; or sharing a rich knowledge base through training, the goal of BoomBoomBrands is to make big ideas bigger.
A Peter Pan at heart, Richard Tait still believes in the explosive power that comes from the freedom to dream.