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In California, a woman recently dropped of several things to be recycled. Among them was a $200,000 computer!

A South Bay recycling firm is looking for a woman who, in early April, dropped off boxes of electronics that she had cleaned out from her house after her husband died. About two weeks later, the firm, Clean Bay Area, discovered inside one of the boxes a rare find: a vintage Apple I, one of only about 200 first-generation desktop computers put together by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ron Wayne in 1976.

The recycling firm sold the Apple I this month for $200,000 to a private collection, Vice President Victor Gichun said. And now, because company policy is to split proceeds 50-50 with the donor, he’s looking for the mystery woman who refused to get a receipt or leave her name.

San Jose Mercury News

Cost Effective Marketing and Computers Can be a Great Investment -- Apple I Computer

This, of course, got me thinking of the cliché, that one man’s trash is another one’s treasure. Our marketing works in exactly this way. How often do we have knowledge of things, whether its how to coordinate disparate styles of chairs in a living room, or how to market an online business? But we don’t see the value in any of these things.

How Does Someone Recycling a $200,000 Computer Relate to Cost Effective Marketing?

These bits of knowledge that we discard and undervalue are incredibly valuable to people looking for our skills. We should be collecting this to share with others. Another term I’ve heard for this is “looking around at your sawdust”. Is there anything in your recent projects that can be repurposed? Any research you conducted for a client that would make a great white paper? A remodeling job that would make an excellent case study on how to decorate a space with high ceilings? There is so much value that consultants produce that we sometimes forget that it can benefit several people. It is this saw dust that becomes the key to cost effective marketing.

Look around your “workbench” now. Is there some project sawdust you can repurpose for cost effective marketing? Let us know on Twitter.