Two years ago, Patrick Buckley and Craig Dalton had an idea–an iPad case made using traditional bookbinding. Today, DODOcase is a multi-million dollar business that’s been featured in The New York Times and beyond. They have more than 20 employees, and customers all over the world, including
Is that a freaking DODOCase in the Oval Office? Of course it is.
Their rocket-like trajectory started with the 2010 Shopify Build-A-Business Competition. They were the grand-prize winners, but they weren’t the only success story. The stats:
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
In the subsequent 2011 Shopify competition, more than 3,000 new businesses were launched, generating more than $12,000,000 in revenue. Dave Jackson and Dave Petrillo used Kickstarter to fund their product and went on to win big. Now they’re bringing Coffee Joulies to the mass market on a global scale.
I’ve been involved with the Shopify competition since it was a brainstorm with Tobi, their CEO. Now, it’s your turn to jump in the fray…
This year, I’m joined by three exceptional mentors: Eric Ries (The Lean Startup), Daymond John (FUBU, Shark Tank), and Tina Roth Eisenberg (swissmiss). The education will be better, the community will be bigger, the prizes will be cooler, and the support will be unequaled.
What I said back in 2010 is still true today:
“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.”
By turning your idea (that one you’ve reserved for “someday”) into reality, you could win:
- A VIP trip to New York City for a day of meetings with all the mentors
- $20,000 in Google AdWords credit
- A feature on the Fast Company website
- A $50,000 investment in your company from Tim Ferriss, Eric Ries, Daymond John or Tina Roth Eisenberg
If you prefer to take Benjamins and don’t want the involvement from us, that’s cool, too. We’ll give you $50,000 cash. No strings attached, no sweat.
And… even if you don’t win the grand prize:
- You still receive a free .CO domain for 12 months, $100 in Google AdWords Credits, and $100 in MailChimp Credits, just for entering the competition.
- You could end up with the greatest gift of all: a profitable business that becomes your muse.
The latter is the whole point.
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?
Related and Suggested:
Looking for business ideas? Browse some of the detailed case studies in the “Engineering the Muse” posts, digest 17 lessons from six-figure business started for $100 or less, or take a peek at successful examples on Shopify.
Odds and Ends:
Wow. Thank you to everyone who shared their personal career struggles and aspirations around risk. Ben Casnocha and Reid Hoffman selected three finalists from over 500 comments — Samuel P.N. Cook, Dennis Keochane, and Cheryl Obermiller — and they’d like to ask YOU to vote on who should win mentorship for their next career move.
Although they sadly cannot offer direct mentorship to everyone, they can offer the next best thing — the mentorship of their network! Repost your story of risk or other thoughts on career strategy as a new discussion in their LinkedIn Group. Their online network has more than 2,000 career experts who are committed to investing in themselves and helping others.
Posted on: July 10, 2012.