Just Because…

LearnPlay Foundation was intrigued by the story of the fabled red paperclip and realised nothing is quiet as it seems.

The Science

The story of the red paperclip is inspiring for any entrepreneur. With the purchase of a single red paperclip, Canadian blogger Kyle MacDonald, was able to barter his way into owning a house in Kipling, Saskatchewan.

To do this Kyle engaged in a series of fourteen online trades that took him from paperclip owner to homeowner.

1. First he swapped the paperclip for a fish-shaped pen.
2. Then he traded the pen for a hand-sculpted doorknob.
3. He traded the doorknob for a Coleman camp stove (with fuel).
4. The camp stove was then traded for a Honda generator.
5. He traded the generator for an “instant party”: an empty keg, an IOU for
filling the keg with the beer of the bearer’s choice, and a
neon Budweiser sign.
6. Kyle then traded the “instant party” for a Ski-Doo snowmobile.
7. Within a week of that, he traded the snowmobile for a two-person trip
to Yahk, British Columbia
8. He traded the second spot on the Yahk trip for a box truck.
9. The box truck was traded for a recording contract with Metalworks.
10. He traded the recording contract to Jody Gnant for a year’s rent
in Phoenix, Arizona.
11. The ones years rent was traded for one afternoon with Alice Cooper.
12. He traded the one afternoon with Alice Cooper for
a KISS motorized snow globe.
13. The KISS motorized snow globe was traded to Corbin Bernsen for
a role in the film Donna on Demand.
14. Finally, on or about July 5, 2006, he traded the movie role for a two-
story farmhouse in Kipling, Saskatchewan.

The Present

All this goes to show that nothing is quite as it seems.
Who knows, maybe that toothbrush you’ll never use or that book that is holding up the kitchen table is your own Little Red Paperclip, just waiting to be realised.
You’ll never know if you don’t try.

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