10 Great Entrepreneurs Talk about their Start-up Days

cranium, Richard Tait
Dick Loek / Newscom
2 of 10

Cranium’s Founders on Focus

Richard Tait and Whit Alexander, makers of the board game Cranium, needed a way to get their entire company on the same page about the brand. How did they do it? They created CHIFF, an acronym—clever, high-quality, innovative, friendly, and fun—conveying everything they stood for. And it worked like a charm. A recent hire once pulled the plug on French-Canadian marketing materials using the phrase Épatants talents--“splendid talents”--because the concept was too dry and the wording too clunky. Instead, they went with Époustouflants: “mind-boggling.” This level of attention to detail was endemic. As Tait told Inc. in 2002, “We’re so focused on our company’s success we could pee through a straw.”