Kyle McDonald, a guy (26 years old at the time of the events) who in 2006 managed to trade his way from a single red paperclip to a house.
It happened in Kipling Saskatchewan, Canada. In July 2005, Kyle posted an ad on Craigslist: "My name is Kyle, I'm an unemployed 26-year-old Canadian, I want a house in exchange, starting the trade by offering the red paperclip on my desk." The idea came from a popular Canadian children's game called "Bigger and Better," which involves trading an object for something bigger or better until you get what you want. It took 14 trades and one year, but he finally succeeded.
The first to respond, two days after the initial blog post, were Rhawnie and Corinna: via email, they offered a wooden fish-shaped pen. Kyle went to Vancouver and met them, completed the trade, then posted their photo on his blog. And so, he waited for another trade. In Seattle, the pen was traded for a ceramic doorknob made by a lady named Annie. The doorknob turned into a barbecue, then a gas-powered generator (September 24). Within weeks, the internet buzz about young McDonald's idea reached the media, and CNN and BBC competed for his interviews. The electric generator was traded for a beer keg, a snowmobile, a trip for two to Yak, British Columbia (February 2006), until he got a van and a record contract with Metal Works (February 22, 2006).
Later, he could trade the contract for a year's free stay in a house in Phoenix. Kyle accepted, updated his blog, and started again. But renting wasn't enough for him; he wanted his own house. Then came the real turning point in Kyle's already lucky story: metal rocker Alice Cooper offered an afternoon in his company in exchange for the year's rent. Leslie, an employee of Alice Cooper's restaurant in Phoenix, lived in the apartment rent-free for twelve months. After closing the deal, Kyle had many offers to choose from, and he made the only trade that seemed like a loss: the afternoon with Alice Cooper went to Mark Herrmann of Kentucky, for a KISS band glowing orb. His popularity helped in the search, and in February, director Corbin Bernsen offered a role in his next movie in exchange for the KISS orb. At this point, the town of Kipling stepped forward, offering McDonald a recently renovated house in exchange for his role in Bernsen's film.
It was July 5, 2006, a year had passed.
Kyle had made it, and on the lawn of his little house with red windows, there's a large red metal paperclip.