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Exploring the differences between dropshipping and print-to-order (POD) fulfillment

As COVID continues to transform the way we work, many people are now exploring e-commerce to generate income. The opportunities are pretty endless as more people start to exclusively do their shopping online. The Canadian government has even partnered with Shopify to make it easier for Canadian entrepreneurs start an online business. You might have even seen ads on social media about working from the comfort of home and being your own boss with a dropshipping or print-on-demand store. Is it really that simple, and can anyone do it?

The answer is — yes and no.

Anyone can do it. The problem is that not everyone does it well. Much like any other business, the failure rate is high if you don’t take the time to do things carefully and with calculated risks. For every single aspiring e-commerce merchant out there, there are ten “authorities” that will tell you that they can guarantee you sales with a quick one-time payment. There’s no magic formula to online sales — everything I know I learned online — , but there is some truth to the statement that e-commerce is easier to get into than traditional retail, and here’s why. …

Or, how not to give patients a heart attack.

In 2018, I went to see my doctor for a routine physiological exam. I’m as healthy as someone who smokes can be (I know, I know…), so I didn’t really have any significant concerns about my health. After the exam, the doctor told me that I should only expect to hear from the clinic if any abnormalities are detected in my lab results. As per usual, good news is no news. I thanked them for their time and went on my way.

A few weeks letter, I got a letter in the mail in a plain envelope addressed to me from the Ontario Cervical Screening Program. My stomach dropped. I caught my breath and sat down, trying to stay calm while I opened it. Inside was a letter addressed to me by a doctor. I felt my heart drop. The letter started with a doctor introducing themselves, and I already had tears running down my cheeks because all I could think about was the fact that this was it. Through tears, I finally made my way to the sentence where the doctor kindly explained that my results, in fact, had been normal.

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From a not-so-qualified “qualified” candidate.

I got into work this morning and was informed that there was an individual looking to speak with me from an ominous sounding organization, and that the manner was ‘urgent’ and ‘confidential’. I put down my things and got on the phone immediately. Urgent means now!

The individual who picked up my call cheerfully informed that he was from an IT talent agency and he was very confident that I would be a great match for a position he had in mind. He then requested my cell number in return. After asserting that while he knew he was a complete stranger to me, he was confident I’d be a great full-stack developer. …

In which our protagonist ends up in a sleep-induced lock down, featuring an iron turkey and a leftover sandwich.

I left anatomy class this morning, the realization of the true weight of my life’s decisions causing my legs to buckle as I realized that weight was actually about 28lbs (4000 kg) in textbooks in my backpack. …

5 Steps to Winning Startup Weekend

Last year on a whim I entered Startup Weekend Toronto. I was a higher ed web developer who had lost some of her love for startup culture after getting burned and learning a few lessons. What was supposed to be a weekend of learning and observing turned into one of the craziest and most meaningful weekends I’ve had yet. Our team started out as strangers, but by the end of the 72 hours, we knew we’d made friends for life. Winning Startup Weekend EDU last year opened up a lot of doors for our team, and this year I’m fortunate to be participating as a mentor. …


Sidra Mahmood

UX Fellow @ Federal Gov, E-commerce side hustler

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