Ming the Mechanic:
Paper Clip to House

The NewsLog of Flemming Funch
 Paper Clip to House2006-07-08 14:24
16 comments
picture by Flemming Funch

And it actually worked...! On July 12th, 2005, Kyle MacDonald took a little red paperclip off his desk and announced that he would trade it for something bigger and better, repeatedly, until he had a house. He made this site, blogging about each step of the way. How the paperclip was traded for a pen shaped like a fish, for which he got an artistically crafted door knob, which became a barbecue, an electricity generator, an instant party kit, a snowmobile, a moving truck, which became a recording contract, which then became one year's free rent, which was swapped for an afternoon with Alice Cooper, which became a KISS snowglobe, which became a paid role in a film, which became a two-story house in Kipling Saskatchewan Canada.

I was kind of pretty sure he was going to succeed after seeing the first 3 or 4 steps. Because it is a very unique idea, and he presented it in a charming way, and he got A LOT of publicity, because everybody was linking to it and writing about it.

What surprised me was some of the bizarre choices, which logically speaking should have been down-trades, but which somehow worked anyway. I mean, one year's rent in a nice house for an afternoon with Alice Cooper?!? And then down to a KISS snowglobe. Oh, horror!! Where a couple of steps earlier he had $9000 truck. But it worked. Corbin Bernsen was making a movie, and liked the publicity of offering a paid movie role for the snowglobe, and, yes, maybe he actually does collect snowglobes. And the little town of Kipling thought that was cool too, and they apparently had a house standing around to give away, so there you go. Rather illogical, but it doesn't matter at all.

Certainly demonstrates ... what? That you can achieve anything, if you set your mind to it, and you're doing it in an interesting and original way. That internet publicity has a lot of value, and you can get it for nothing, if your idea is fun and interesting enough.

Lots of news stories and mentions, like here.


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16 comments

8 Jul 2006 @ 22:00 by Lionel @82.227.198.101 : Paper clip challenge

Waw!!! I love that story. I remember you told me that guy was incredible. Waw, re-waw!!!  



13 Jul 2006 @ 02:10 by maxtobin : Inspiring thanks Ming!

Certainly demonstrates ... what? That you can achieve anything, if you set your mind to it, and you're doing it in an interesting and original way. That internet publicity has a lot of value, and you can get it for nothing, if your idea is fun and interesting enough.  



15 Jul 2006 @ 05:17 by Ge Zi @24.127.146.37 : absolutely fascinating
I have subscribed to Kyle's blog for a little while now and today was their day of officially making the deal.
He has some news coverage on the web and it's definitely worth watching.

Here is his Blog Entry.  



15 Jul 2006 @ 18:03 by ming : House
Wow, so he has really moved in. Sounds like the whole town are his friends already.  


16 Jul 2006 @ 01:03 by Ge Zi @24.127.146.37 : ABC 20/20
... and ABC has a real nice report on that whole story.
Well worth watching it.  



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