The co-creator of Cranium, Seattle entrepreneur Richard Tait’s COVID. died after

Richard Tait, co-creator of hit party game Cranium and well-known Seattle entrepreneur Richard Tait, has died of complications from COVID-19. He was 58 years old.

Known as “Grand Pouba” in Cranium offices, Tait, a Scottish native, led the company until its sale to Hasbro in 2008 for $77.5 million. Cranium was named Game of the Year five times by The Toy Association, while Tait took the lead. company.

Tait’s fiancee Amy Parone said that Tait loved finding and celebrating “something special” that made each person shine.

“Even if you’ve met her for just 15 minutes, you’re going to feel connected to her,” Paron said Monday.

That goal, to bring out the best in everyone, formed the backbone of Cranium, the board game Tait co-produced. At work, his meticulous planning and incredible drive helped him turn ideas into real-life products and succeed as an entrepreneur.

Paron said that while he loved seeing his ideas come to life, he also cherished the time he spent with his friends and family. Outside the office, he inspired his children to dream big, and some to dream their own. He and Paron created a vision board in their living room, covering it with sticky notes that included vacation thoughts and life goals, such as buying a second home.

He didn’t have nearly enough time for all those dreams.

Tait died on July 25 at his Bainbridge Island home from “continued pulmonary complications of COVID-19,” according to a statement from his family. linkedin page,

His family remembers him as the force that brought people together.

“He was a brilliant storyteller,” said his eldest son, Finn Tait. “If he had lived in medieval times, he would have been a bard.”

Finn Tait remembers that even though his father was not a great reader, he would create bedtime stories for himself and his siblings, called “The Adventures of Thomas Potter Mole”, a The mole was about the detective.

Paron, who met Tait seven years ago, said she had a Thanksgiving dinner with her family, where the entire room of 20 people would be silenced, listening to Tait’s stories.

“Whether everyone was listening, or even if it was talking face-to-face or with two people,” Paron said, “he just knew how to connect and make you feel so special.”

Paron said her 14-year-old daughter, Bella, often spoke to Tait about what she wanted to be when she grew up. Each time he would have a new dream job and a plan to get there.

It was his combination of storytelling and careful planning, said Finn Tait, that made his father a successful entrepreneur.

According to his LinkedIn profile, Tait spent 10 years at Microsoft on projects ranging from operating systems to CD-ROM programs. He Just recruited – CEO Satya Nadella in the early 1990s and was Nadella’s first boss.

In 1998, he left Microsoft to work full-time at Cranium with fellow Microsoft executive Whit Alexander. The game debuted later that year and soon became a sensation.

Adam Tratt, a colleague from Tait’s early Cranium days, recalls that Tait came to him one day in a shoebox with a “raw prototype of a board game” and asked for his feedback. Tratt told him at best, it was a cool new board game, and at worst, a grab bag of many games that people had already played. It didn’t stop Tait.

“What Richard saw in that box was something big,” Tratt said. He wanted to bring people together and make connections, just as he did through storytelling, and give people the opportunity to “celebrate their special sauce.”

Tait’s next ventures included startup incubator Boomboom Brands and sports beverage company Golazo. He was an entrepreneur in residence at Starbucks and helped launch a range of health-conscious products in their stores. For the past four years, Tait was a partner at Valor Siren Ventures, a venture capital firm based in Seattle.

Finn Tait said that many of his father’s friends did not believe the man when they said he expected to retire within the next six years. Paron didn’t quite believe it either – retirement was a wall in Tait’s way and he didn’t want to think about what he would do after finishing it. After years of planning what he would do after leaving the world of work, Tait seemed content to live in the moment and take life as it is.

“I always expected him to work until he died, but I always expected him to retire,” said Finn Tait. “I’m glad he was able to do what he found to be really fulfilling, but at the same time, I wish I could know him when he reaches retirement – if that ever happened.”

Survivors include Paron, his daughters Bella and Finn Tait, as well as daughter Remy Tait and son Deacon Tait.

The memorial will be announced later.

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