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Innovation Blog

Trivial Pursuits Is Anything But Trivial —

In Memory of Chris Haney  1951 – 2010

A Canadian high school dropout had an idea.  He joined with a fellow apprentice journalist named Scott Abbott — and in 1981 created a huge fad:  a board game that tests whether you can answer the most trivial unimportant questions.  The game was perfectly  named: Trivial Pursuit.  It comprised some 6,000 questions, none of which was about anything of importance.  E.g.,   Who was Howdy Doody’s twin brother?  (Double Doody).  [Who has Howdy Doody?  Star of a kid’s TV program in the 1950’s….].

According to the Global New York Times,    Trivial Pursuit has sold more than 100 million copies in over 26 countries and in 17 languages.  Haney, who struggled to implement his dream, died a millionaire, owner of gol courses, vineyards and race horses.

In 2008 the global game company Hasbro bought Trivial Pursuit for $80 m.

Haney died Monday, at a relatively young age, after a long illness.

I wonder how many people have thought about making a game out of trivia.  Why then was it Haney, and his partner, who made it a success?

The key is the Nike mantra:  Just Do It!    Creative people who change the world have a passion to see their inventions come to life and find use.  Creative people who fail to  change the world get great mental satisfaction out of coming up with ideas, without the need or passion to actually bring them to the marketplace.  It’s great to have ideas. It’s even better to make at least a few of them a worldwide hit — definitely,  non-Trivial.

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Blog entries written by Prof. Shlomo Maital

Shlomo Maital
June 2010
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