#3 One Red Paperclip


As a child Kyle MacDonald heard about an almost magical game called bigger or better. The idea was you started with some small object, like a toothpick, and traded it for bigger or better things until you had something really good, like a car. Out of work and tired of renting he decided to give bigger and better a go, beginning with one red paperclip attempting to trade up to a house.

Armed with his paperclip and craigslist he set out! After a few trades his website One Red Paperclip received hundreds of thousands of hits, despite his self admitted poor web design skills, and he became a global media sensation.

He realised, a few trades in, that he needed to not only trade for bigger and better things, but things with a high intrinsic value, such as recording contracts, to create a higher appeal and to prevent working up to things that were unshippable.

Did he eventually get a get a house? Well he wrote a book about his success so that probably gives you a clue…

Overall this book was ok. It chronicles the one year it took Kyle to make his trades including his movements to make the trades, a bit of backstory, personal relationships with his family and what it was like being in the centre of a media circus.

Its not the best written book in the world, owing probably to the fact that parts of the book are taken from his original log posts, however there are some interesting/funny emails he received. He also includes his little life lessons/motivational pieces at the end of each chapter which I’m sure some people really like, but I wasn’t really interested.

Overall this was an interesting book about a slightly quirky idea executed well.


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