Monday, July 5, 2021

Scripophily Puzzle No. 5 - solution

There was one scripophily detective that solved Puzzle No. 5. In order to solve the puzzle I provided three visual cues. These were images of an antique stock certificate, a banknote from India and a bronze commemorative coin. The common link between these three is a famous person. 

The correct answer for the puzzle is ... da-dum-da-dum-da-dum ... Steve Jobs.

The first image in the puzzle showed a stock certificate from the Xerox Corporation. The company is known for its multifunction office systems that scan, print, copy, email and fax. In 1973, about fifty years ago, Xerox's Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) was working on a small but groundbreaking computer, the Xerox Alto.  

Three years later Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne founded the Apple Computer Company. In 1977 the Apple II computer was released. At that time microcomputers were not the user-friendly systems that we know today. The Apple II however offered color graphics. It sold well but attracted mainly computer enthousiasts.

In 1979 Steve Jobs managed to visit Xerox PARC with several Apple engineers to see a demonstration of the Xerox Alto. Xerox granted them three days of access to the PARC facilities in return for the option to buy 100,000 shares of Apple for $1 million.

The Xerox Alto system must have looked phenomenal to the visitors. It supported a GUI (Graphical User Interface) that interacted with a computer mouse. Its innovative software included the first WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) document editing system, an email client, a network-based multi-person video game, and lots more. 

Apple used the Xerox Alto concepts to introduce its next generation of systems, the Apple Lisa and the Macintosh. 

The second visual clue in our puzzle was an Indian banknote. We'll skip this one for a moment and talk about the third clue : a commemorative bronze medal. Illustrated is the reverse, the obverse was shown in the Puzzle No. 5 challenge, see here

The medal was issued to commemorate IBM's 33rd anniversary (1914-1947) under the leadership of Thomas Watson Sr. After World War II the company became the biggest manufacturer of mainframe computers. Watson conceived the slogan "THINK" by which he meant "to take everything into consideration .. and then act". 

THINK signs were hung on the wall of every room in every building. Employees carried a THINK notebook in which to record ideas. IBM's monthly magazine Time was renamed 'Think'. Decades later IBM products like the ThinkPad laptop computers still honor the idea behind the slogan. The word was a part of IBM's corporate culture. 

In the 1980s IBM released several versions of its successful IBM Personal Computer. Apple, with its showpiece, the Macintosh, was unable to gain much market share from IBM and the many IBM PC clone manufacturers. In 1985 Steve Jobs leaves Apple after a management struggle. For a decade Apple failed to come up with profitable products, and it was only weeks away from bankruptcy when Jobs returned in 1997.

Steve Jobs then asked three advertising agencies to present new ideas for a marketing campaign that reflected his philosophy. The slogan "THINK DIFFERENT" was the outcome and was a response to IBM's slogan "Think." 

The THINK DIFFERENT campaign included promotional magazine ads and large billboard posters that had black and white photographs of revolutionary people and events. One ad had a photo of Einstein, another a photo of John Lennon and Yoko Ono. Another one had a photo of Mahatma Gandhi. The campaign was a huge success. The Apple iMac debuted in 1998.

The remaining visual clue was an Indian banknote. The 500 Rupees note, introduced in 1987, shows Mahatma Gandhi on the obverse. On the reverse we see Gandhi and his followers at the Dandi March.  

Steve Jobs was an admiror of Gandhi. He reportedly started wearing round, wire rim glasses just like Gandhi did. When asked by Time Magazine who would be the Person of the Century in 1999, he replied 'Gandhi'. 

Gandhi appeared on one of the posters from the THINK DIFFERENT campaign. Be the change you wish to see in the world, said Gandhi. No doubt, Steve Jobs (1955-2011) wanted to change the world too. And he did.

A quick wrap up. The clues of Puzzle No. 5 lead to the solution "Steve Jobs" in the following way:
  • stock certificate from Xerox Corporation : Xerox Alto computer
  • commemorative IBM medal : THINK slogan
  • 500 Rupees banknote from India : Mahatma Gandhi
Scripophily detective RS provided a correct answer. Great job. You are now entitled a portion of "eternal fame".

Friday, June 25, 2021

Puzzling scripophily - No. 5

Unleash your detective skills !

Puzzle No. 5 is about a famous person. The correct solution reveals his first and last name.

The following three visual clues may help you solve the puzzle. These are images of an antique stock certificate, a banknote from India and a weighty bronze commemorative coin. 

  • How to take part ? Submit your reply in the comments section of this post, or in any other way.
  • What's in it for you ? The first correct answer yields eternal fame.
  • When will the solution be revealed ? Check this particular blog post in a few weeks again.

Click the images to enlarge and inspect the details. Good luck and have fun !