Shopify teams up with 4-Hour Workweek guy to offer $100K prize

by Rob Lewis | Startups

Tim Ferriss of 4-Hour Workweek fame has partnered up with Tobi Lutke of Ottawa e-commerce platform Shopify to run a pretty cool contest with a very large prize. $100K to the entrepreneur who's NEW online store has the most revenue for two consecutive months.

Why is Ferriss working with an Ottawa startup on a contest of this grand scale?

Recognizing that building an "automated businesses" like the ones he preaches in his best-selling book isn't easy with most blaming a lack of technical skills, Ferriss polled his 50,000+ Twitter users about e-commerce platforms.

The near-unanimous response was that Shopify offered the easiest-to-use full-service platform in existence. Having never heard of Shopify Ferriss searched out CEO Tobi Lutke at a conference and shortly thereafter became an advisor to the Ottawa startup.

Brainstorming ways to promote Shopify, a long-distance phone conversation between the two went something like this:

“So, do you have any ideas?”

“Well, if we’re going to do something, it should be big. It should make people sit up and say OMFG. Make people actually do something,” I responded.

The conversation continued in front of the Thai restaurant, me pacing on my cell phone in San Francisco — foregoing food in excitement — and Tobi in his offices in Ottawa, Canada.

We decided in the subsequent 10 minutes to offer $100,000 cash as a bribe to you all. The overview?

  • $100,000 for the grand winner
  • $120,000 total in prizes
  • 6 months starting January 1 but you can (and should) get started now
  • Even if you don’t win the prizes, you should end up with a viable business at the end of 6 months

Unfortunately the contest is only open to US residents but Lutke urges wanna-be entrepreneurs from around the world to give it a shot.

That being said, you can still participate in this contest wherever you are. The prize money is significant, but don’t forget the spirit of the contest: to give a kick in the pants to all those people who have wanted to start businesses but haven’t. The real prize is having a business of your own at the end of the six months. You’ll still have all the same resources and guides as everyone else: support from the Shopify team, help and guidance from Tim and other experts, and more control over your financial independence.”

Still interested? Read more details on the contest here.

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Shopify is a leading cloud-based, multichannel commerce platform designed for small and medium-sized businesses. Merchants can use the software to design, set up and manage their stores across multiple sales channels, including web, mobile, social media, marketplaces, brick-and-mortar locations, and pop-up shops. The platform also provides a merchant with a powerful back-office and a single... more

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Rob Lewis

Rob Lewis

Rob is the President of Techvibes Media and Editor-in-Chief of  His diverse background includes stints in International Trade Finance, Web Development, and Enterprise Software and he is a graduate of the University of British Columbia, British Columbia Institute of Technology, and Simon Fraser University. When not running Canada's leading technology media property, Rob can be... more

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