Imagine a market in which all the various trading interests and requests of all the buyers and sellers, at all times, would be known to a single, independent person who would be the only one authorized to make trades. That person would be sworn to secrecy. Imagine further that it would be that person's legal responsibility--instantly and continuously--to make all the mathematically and logically possible matches between buyers and sellers, from the opening of the market to its close, but only if they were satisfactory to both sides. No buyer would ever pay more than he wanted to; no seller would ever undercut himself unnecessarily.
Jeffrey Davis in "Big Storm Rising" from Business 2.0 (September 1998) A woman was strolling along a street in Paris when she spotted Picasso sketching at a sidewalk cafe. Not so thrilled that she could not be slightly presumptuous, the woman asked Picasso if he might sketch her, and charge accordingly. Picasso obliged. In just minutes, there was an original Picasso. "And what do I owe you?" she asked. "Five thousand francs," he answered. "But it only took you three minutes," she politely reminded him. "No," Picasso said. "It took me all my life."
Source: Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith
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