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I can't get rich online and neither can you. Topics include why you won't get rich with your blog, ideas you wish you had thought of, and other Internet phenomena.

Don't kid yourself...

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Archive: Lucky Bastards

Contest: The Winner Is…

After tallying the votes and plugging the numbers into a random number generator based on atmospheric noise, I am happy to announce a winner. Congratulations Georgia, you’re the proud new owner of a $100 Apple gift certificate! Now answer your email =P

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You’ll Never be as Lucky as Tay Zonday

Once upon a time, there was an unknown composer and musician named Tay Zonday. Tay had a remarkable voice but lackluster writing skills. Nevertheless, he published videos on Youtube, showing the world his works. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately), one of his videos fell into the hands of a bunch of racist hyperactive lunatics.

You may know them better as 4chan or /b/.

With the intent of mocking and humiliating him, /b/ inadvertently drove Tay’s song “Chocolate Rain” to the top of Youtube’s ‘most watched’ list…and then others started watching. Suddenly, Chocolate Rain had hundreds of thousands of views. Currently, it has over 11 million.


Several interviews, TV appearances, and a few months later, Tay is back with a new song and a deal with Dr. Pepper. That’s right, Tay has gone professional…and I can’t seem to embed the video. Regardless, here’s Tay’s new video: Cherry Chocolate Rain.

Just goes to show you that if you catch the right person’s attention, you might just make it big.

My $100 Apple gift certificate contest is still going! Go enter!

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You Won’t Ever Be As Lucky As This Guy

One Red Paperclip

It’s embarrassing to admit, but One Red Paperclip flew right under my radar. I first heard about it a couple of weeks ago while reading The Something Store’s blog, over a year after the whole thing was finished. After reading the wiki article and website, I’m ready to crown this guy the King of lucky bastards.

What he did

As the title suggests, he started with one red paperclip. Then he traded the paperclip for a pen. Then he traded the pen for a door knob. He kept trading, up and up, until he finally traded a movie role for a two-story farmhouse. Then he got his paperclip back and used it to propose to his girlfriend. He went from paperclip to house in 14 trades. That’s pretty amazing.

Why you want it

Who wouldn’t want to trade a paperclip for a house? Ignoring the inevitable tax nightmare, that’s a pretty good deal. Plus, he got to travel all over North America while trading. On top of all that, he was famous, he got a book deal, and he got engaged. He is the very definition of creative success.

Why you’ll never get it

I noticed that his site has a forum encouraging other people to start their own paperclip adventures. Anybody who believes that they can copy his success is just fooling themselves. People just can’t seem to grasp the value of novelty. Not only was this guy creative, he was a marketing genius. He sold his unique idea to the Internet, and the only reason he was successful was because the people he traded with knew that they were part of something big. Really, some of those trades were just ridiculous (a keg for a snowmobile?). He wasn’t just trading items, he was trading fame and publicity.

The bottom line

The guy behind One Red Paperclip is probably the luckiest bastard on the entire Internet. He took an idea and ran with it, and it paid off a million times over. If you want to make it big like him, do what he did: Think of something new.

My $100 Apple gift certificate contest is still going! Go enter!

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