One Red Paperclip, One House, One Year

On July 12, 2005, Kyle MacDonald offered up a single red paperclip for trade. Through a series of trade-ups, he will reach his goal of trading for a house next Wednesday. On July 12. Exactly one year later.

Last July, Kyle posted on his website that he wanted to trade a red paperclip for a house. As you would expect, the initial trades were rather humble. He traded his red paperclip for a wooden fish pen, which, in turn, was traded for a hand-sculpted ceramic doorknob.

So it went for 11 more trades: The doorknob for a Coleman stove, then for an electric generator, for an “Instant Party,” for snowmobile, for a trip to Yahk, for a box truck, for a recording contract, for a year’s free rent in Phoenix, for an afternoon with Alice Cooper, then for a KISS snowglobe, which was recently traded for a role in an up-coming move entitled Donna on Demand.

This morning, Kyle describes an offer he received from the town of Kipling, Saskatchewan. They would like to trade him a house for the Donna on Demand role. They plan on completing the trade on July 12. Exactly one year from when the red paperclip was offered.

I find it truly amazing that Kyle was able to reach his goal—from red paperclip to a house—in just a single year. But, to me, the most interesting part of this whole story is that he was able to accomplish it with only 14 trades!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *