Once upon a time, two entrepreneurs had an idea: what if we used traditional bookbinding to make iPad cases?
It was a fun idea.
Then it suddenly became very, very profitable. The two entrepreneurs, Patrick Buckley and Craig Dalton, named the idea DODOCase and soon had sold more than 10,000 iPad cases at $60 a pop.
Soon thereafter, they were featured in The New York Times and had a multi-million dollar business on their hands, to the tune to $4-5 million a year.
That could be you.
See, DODOcase was far from alone. They were part of a simple experiment, a business-building competition I launched jointly with an incredible start-up called Shopify.
The results were amazing:
Revenue PER HOUR for the duration of the contest: $696.38
Total number of orders placed: 66,503
Most important — Total businesses created: nearly 1,400
1,400 &^%$ing businesses, created by people just like you.
People who’d become comfortable in a routine. People who’d dreamt of starting their own company… someday. People who just needed a quick slap to get off the tranquilizers of their 9-to-5. But did I say “people just like you”? Scratch that — 1,400 businesses, many of them created by people far less capable than you.
The Shopify Build-a-Business competition is back, bigger and better than ever. There are more than $500,000 in prizes, including:
$100,000 Grand Prize
VIP trip for two to New York City, where Seth Godin will cook you dinner
One-hour power session with Gary Vaynerchuk
VIP trip to San Francisco, where you’ll visit the Googleplex and have dinner (and wine, of course) with yours truly at one of my favorite restaurants in the world…
This time, it’s also international!
The contest is open to residents of the U.S.A. (excluding residents of Arizona, Maryland, Vermont, and Puerto Rico), The U.K. (excluding N. Ireland), Australia, New Zealand and Canada. Regardless of location, EVERYONE can participate to take advantage of the educational portion. You don’t need any experience starting or running an online store. Forget the “prizes.” Those are just window dressing. The real prize is creating a profitable business that could be the next DODOcase, the next 4-Hour Workweek, or far beyond both.
GigaOM noted today:
“The competition isn’t simply about the money. Shopify is teaming with marketing guru Seth Godin, wine video blogger and author Gary Vaynerchuk and angel investor Tim Ferriss, along with sponsors Google, MailChimp and PayPal to offer advice and counseling to start-ups. That along with AdWords credits help bring the total payout to $500,000.”
To reiterate the dilemma and solution, as I wrote last time:
“This competition is intended as a benevolent and encouraging kick in the ass. This stuff isn’t rocket science, but it does require stepping outside your comfort zone for a bit to realize: this isn’t that hard. It’s just unfamiliar. If you do it now, a lot of people will be in the same boat and you’ll take the trip together.”
Ready to join the ranks, shed a little blood with your brethren (mere papercuts, guys), and fundamentally change your life forever? If not now, when?
Odds and Ends: ONE Scholarship for $10,000 Event
As promised, I’ve thought a lot about financial aid requests for the $10,000 “Opening the Kimono” event in August.
I take your feedback seriously, but I also take the attendee selection seriously. I’ll therefore be offering one “scholarship” (covering attendance fee) to a qualified doer. To separate the talkers from the doers, and to reward loyal readers, here’s how a single winner will be chosen:
1) Upload a video to YouTube, no longer than 3 minutes, titled “4HB success story” or “4HWW success story,” followed by your full name.
2) In the video, describe the results you’ve created from implementing something from 4HB and/or 4HWW.
3) Then, leave a comment on this blog post with “SUBMISSION” at the top of your comment and a link to your video.
4) My elves and I will choose 5-10 finalists.
5) Those top 5-10 will be voted on by the blog community to determine the winner.
Your video must be submitted no later than this Sunday, May 1, at midnight PST. Earlier submissions get priority in the case of any ties.
I will ask the winner for their last year’s tax return and bank statements. If you can clearly afford it, the scholarship will go to the #2-ranked finalist. If #2 can clearly afford it, it goes to #3, and so on.
We look forward to seeing your videos, and to seeing one of you in Napa wine country in August!
Posted on: April 26, 2011.
Watch The Tim Ferriss Experiment, the new #1-rated TV show with "the world's best human guinea pig" (Newsweek), Tim Ferriss. It's Mythbusters meets Jackass. Shot and edited by the Emmy-award winning team behind Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations and Parts Unknown. Here's the trailer.