- Erecting the World’s Largest Red Paperclip: Guinness World Records
- Most Successful Internet Trade: Guinness World Records
Kyle MacDonald bartered his way from a single red paperclip to a house in a series of online trades over the course of a year.
Running with the idea of taking one small item and attempting to trade it for something bigger and more substantial, MacDonald has become renowned for his off-beat and inspirational ideas and goals.
On July 12, 2005, Kyle posted a picture of a red paperclip on his blog and in the barter section of craigslist, and asked if anyone wanted to make a trade for something bigger or better. A few days later, he traded the paperclip for a pen shaped like a fish. He then traded the pen for a doorknob.
His yearlong adventure in bartering includes trading for a Coleman stove, a ski-doo, a moving van, a music recording contract, an afternoon spent hanging out with Alice Cooper, a movie role, and finally, a house.
“A lot of people have been asking how I’ve stirred up so much publicity around the project, and my simple answer is: ‘I have no idea’”, he told the BBC.
The stories that have come from these adventures are impressive, but MacDonald’s generosity, free-spirit and willingness to look for the positive in things is what makes his story significant.
Kyle MacDonald has spoken to thousands all over the world about the lessons that he learned from trading a red paperclip to a house.
He has been interviewed by 20/20, The Today Show, Good Morning America, MSNBC, BBC, CBS, CNN, City TV, Global, USA Today, Maclean’s, The New York Times, The New York Post, In Touch Magazine, VH1, MTV, The National Examiner, Reader’s Digest, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post and The Toronto Star.
He’s been on Japanese television (multiple times), on stage with Alice Cooper at a concert in Fargo, and gained considerable media attention on television and radio around the world. In addition, Volkswagen Spain and Grolsch Beer made TV commercials based on the story, and Kyle starred in a Mastercard commercial that played off of the Red Paperclip story.
He has now set two Guinness World Records: one for Most Successful Internet Trade, the other for erecting the World’s Largest Red Paperclip.