Monday, April 17, 2006

Great idea

Just read about this in CNet. (I know, I should be in bed by now...) This goes to the category "could work once", just like the Million Dollar Home Page. Kyle wants to trade his one red paper clip for a house. Rrright. The amazing thing is that he's almost there. He first traded his paper clip to a pen, and then via owning among other things a generator, snowmobile and a van, he went on to obtain a record contract, and currently he has a year's lease of a duplex in Phoenix in his hands.

I'm sure there will be hundreds of imitators, some of them just copying the idea, some others modifying it, maybe even coming up with something equally impressively simple and elegant. The same happened with the MDHP, selling pixels become a fad and everyone tried to follow Alex Tew's footsteps. Of course, the advertisers are interested in the novelty, the media coverage and curiosity of the masses, and only the original inventor and the first one to do it will be internationally newsworthy and get those interviews in the FT, NYT, CNN, BBC and other world-class acronyms. The rest will have to do with KACL, PBS, KCNA and the rest of them. And of course, only the original website will be generating the insane volumes of web traffic that makes these kinds of projects commercially viable for those who take part. While MDHP was just about business, the paperclip bartering seems to be more like mountain climbing, in that the people who take part seem to be more interested in making the project happen rather than any immediate financial gain.

Anyway, these two projects have really captured people's imagination, it's the "go west, young man" all over again, this time in the net.

(Pic: The Famous Paperclip from

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