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Trivial Pursuits

Jun 3, 2010 • Businesses, Economic History, Economic Thinkers, Innovation • 172 Views    No Comments

Playing Scrabble in a bar, Canadian journalist Chris Haney and a sports reporter friend thought they could do better. Within an hour, during December, 1979, the two created the idea for Trivial Pursuit and drew an initial version of the game board on bar room napkins. Haney focused on writing the first 6,000 questions for the game, they secured financing by gathering a group of small investors, and the game was launched in 1981. In 2008, Hasbro bought Trivial Pursuit for $80 million. 59 years old, Chris Haney died on May 31.

The Economic Lesson

The Chris Haney story started me thinking about the market system. Seemingly chaotic, only Adam Smith’s “invisible hand” gives instructions. The “invisible hand” tells businesses to make profits through the goods and services they produce. At the same time, it instructs consumers to purchase what they want and need at the lowest prices. Winding up as supply and demand, the two intersect and answer the three basic economic questions: What should be produced? How should goods and services be produced? Who should receive the income generated by production? Indeed, the “invisible hand” propelled Chrs Haney.

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