The Logical Philosopher

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

I have a new hero

Kyle MacDonald, you are my hero.

Kyle MacDonald is working the barter system to turn a paper clip into a new house for him, all within 1 year. Realizing he didn't have enough money for a down payment for a house he turned to the next best thing - a red paperclip. Posting his paperclip for trade up on in Vancouver for barter brought two fast responses - trade for a fish shaped pen or an old fridge in Seattle; He wisely went with the pen and then moved on to a ceramic hand made door-knob, then to a Coleman stove, a 1,000 watt Honda generator, and finally an instant party kit. Today he is trading his instant party kit, complete with a Budweiser neon sign and an IOU for a keg of beer, for a 1991 Mach 1 Bombardier snowmobile.

As his trades have taken him to both coasts he is able to keep his bartering costs down by coordinating travel to pickup items with his current job of attending tradeshows. As fame is beginning to march him towards his goal this seemingly simple idea has turned his endeavors into almost a full time job once taking into account the time needed to field media interest. He maintains his list and quest on a blog ( and hopes to eventually land a publisher to let him write about his experience. So, all it takes is a red paperclip to hit the A list on the blogosphere...I've been doing it wrong all these years...

The really funny part on his website is the comments people are leaving for what they would trade the snowmobile for. So far there are several cars, a box of paperclips, a motorcycle and a vintage 1971 girlfriend that comes "well equipped with low mileage. She's very economical and cheap to run."

I looked around and have one left over tatertot from my 3 year old's dinner to trade. It even comes with ketchup on the side. Any offers? I would like to think I can trade this fine piece of machined potato into at least a new car...