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 MacDonalds generosity, free-spirit and willingness to look for the positive in things is what makes his story significant.
He has now set two Guinness World Records: one for Most Successful Internet Trade, the other for erecting the World’s Largest Red Paperclip.
“Everything has to start somewhere” says Kyle. “The most important trade was the first, when I traded away the red paperclip. If I hadn’t tried the idea out, I’d just be a guy with a red paperclip on his desk and the adventure would’ve never happened.”