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Jump Ship

Nationwide, cubicle-bound techies are making the leap from tech exec to entrepreneur. Is it your turn?

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This story appears in the November 2000 issue of Entrepreneurs Start-Ups magazine.

Whit Alexander and Richard Tait, the minds behind the successful board game Cranium, both have a long history of entrepreneurial pursuits. Alexander, whose father lived down the river from Amway's founders in Ada, Michigan, would sell boat tours to visiting Amway believers willing to pay exorbitant sums to catch a glimpse of the founders' abode. Meanwhile, Tait had a gig selling fish door to door, which unfortunately proved to be somewhat short-lived. "There was a bit of a shelf-life problem," he quips.

Alexander and Tait will have you in stitches as they recount stories of these and other previous start-up ventures, but ask them about the major factors that contributed to the success of Cranium, and both will point to the years they worked for Microsoft. The partners join the ranks of many entrepreneurs who got their start as tech execs at big-name corporations and translated their experiences into innovative businesses.

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