It’s believed that any dispute, big or small, can be settled through a game of rock-paper-scissors.
It’s simple, really. Like flipping a coin or drawing straws, rock-paper-scissors (otherwise known as RPS) is a fair decision-making method between various parties. There’s equal footing since everyone has the same, equally random chance of winning.
Or is it?
The $20 Million Auction Dilemma
In 2005, Takashi Hashiyama was in a bind. As CEO of the Japanese television manufacturer Maspro Denkoh, he decided to auction off the corporation’s collection of Impressionist paintings, including works by Cézanne, Picasso, and van Gogh.
Hashiyama contacted the two premier auction houses, Christie’s and Sotheby’s, for proposals. Although both auction houses provided extensive plans on how they would market the collection and maximize profits, Hashiyama still couldn’t pick. Finally, he asked the two houses to make a decision using rock-paper-scissors.