Monday, April 17, 2006

My Kingdom For A Paperclip

Would you be able to find someone to trade you a house for a red paperclip? Sounds highly unlikely, but that is just what Kyle MacDonald is attempting to do. Kyle started with one paperclip and is making a series of trades in the hopes of eventually receiving a house in return. He is documenting all his transactions on his blog, One Red Paperclip.

While Kyle obviously doesn't have a career in web design (the site is SLOW), his ingenuity and sales skills are already paying off. Through a series of trades, Kyle is already up to a rental apartment for a full year in Phoenix (which he got by swapping a recording contract, which he obtained in exchange for a moving truck, etc.) His story has been covered on Good Morning America, and in a host of newspapers, and I'm sure that house is just around the corner.

If the story interests you, definitely keep an eye on Kyle's website. That is where he lists all the competing offers he has on the table for any given item. So far for the Phoenix apartment he has offers for a 24 hour lapdance, a low rider, and a summer rental in Hollywood complete with a Porsche.

I'm still amazed he found anyone willing to trade anything for a red paperclip, but it seems like the biggest jump was when someone traded him a snowmobile for a keg of beer and a Budweiser sign. That is a significant change in value in my eyes.

To me the most genius aspect of the project is that it correctly predicts that people are willing to sacrifice material goods to be a part of something bigger than themselves. That, and the fact that Kyle is getting a once in a lifetime experience for free, and will be a homeowner long before me!


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