Saturday, July 08, 2006

He's done it!

One paperclip, one year, one house. Amazing! Kyle has done what he set out to do: barter one red paperclip to a house, becoming a celebrity in the process.

Don't we have enough publicity-seeking money-for-nothing cyber-beggars out there already? Well, yes, but the thing is, Kyle isn't one of them. First of all, apart from providing his readers great entertainment, his trading up step by step has actually benefited a lot of other people. Second, when things started to get a bit stiff and money-focused he derailed and re-trained the whole project in the coolest possible move. Third, he decided to take an offer for a house in Kipling, Saskatchewan, bringing the project to a close in exactly one year.

A bit of analysis, if you don't mind... First the randomness of the first trades, things ranging from a doorknob to a ski-doo, was mind-boggling to follow. One of the points this project has made is that things have more than monetary value: something you no longer need might be very valuable for someone else. Interestingly, the first thing ORP was traded to was a fishpen. The new owners of the fish pen want to send it around the world so that people can sign their charity donations with it. A nice idea and I hope it will materialise.

Then, the brilliant, or as Finns would say "blood-stopping" move. See, a singer called Jody Gnant offered a year's stay in her house in return for a record deal (getting one step closer to fulfilling her dream). Lots of offers were pouring in, and then some businessman offered one month's stay in his luxury apartment in LA (free use of the pool and the Porsche) in exchange. Now, people started calculating how much a year's rent in Phoenix is worth, how much a month's rent in LA is worth etc. In other words, it all got a bit stiff in the comment section. People were losing the point, but Kyle didn't. He bartered the year's rent to an afternoon with Alice Cooper, and then went on to rapidly trade that to a KISS snowglobe. A KISS snowglobe, can you believe it? It has a motor that rotates the globe, but still.

And people were devastated; back to square one, stupid move, what are you thinking etc. Until Kyle broke the bank with announcing that he'd accepted to trade the snowglobe to a speaking role in a movie by the most famous snowglobe collector in the world, the Hollywood director Corbin Bernsen. He is known for LA Law, and has directed masses of other tv-series, and working on a new movie.

So, it is not about trading things that have monetary value, but things that have utilitary value or are completely immesurable, like fame. And then the icing on the cake, the movie role was traded to a house in Kipling, Saskatchewan. That sounds such a cool location. I bet it is very nice. But, the best of all is that the offer was made by the Kipling town council, who wanted to invite Kyle as an honorary citizen, give him the key to the town, declare 12th July as one red paperclip day, and set up an open audition for the movie role. It might be far from the madding crowd (a good thing in my books), but the deal has all the components of a good closing deal to bring the ORP saga to its end. Congratulations, Kyle!

The project I'm following now was actually brought to my attention when Kyle promoted it in ORP: Sean is trying to turn his life around, lose 250 pounds of his weight and raise $50 000 for diabetes research in the process. I'm sure he will succeed as well!

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