The world of commerce is constantly evolving, creating new opportunities to build lucrative businesses based on the tools and services that enable merchant success.
With this in mind, every year, we bring together Shopify Partners and Developers from around the globe for two days of talks that educate on the needs of our merchants, and inspire our ecosystem to tackle the complexities of entrepreneurship — with the goal of providing the tools needed to build and launch successful Shopify projects.
Today, we’re thrilled to announce that tickets for Shopify Unite 2018 are on sale. Our third annual partner and developer conference is bigger and better than ever, and will take place over three days this year, from May 7 to 9.
We love to see our partners grow. So to enable more face-to-face time between partners and Shopifolk, it only made sense to bring Unite 2018 to a central Shopify hub: Toronto, Canada.
This year, Unite will provide fresh talks from Shopify executives, platform news and updates, networking opportunities, and plenty of content to help you grow your business. If you’re an app developer, agency owner, freelancer, or Plus Partner, this conference is for you. Don’t miss out!
Need a refresher on Unite? Check out what last year was all about
If you want more context on Shopify Unite, read on to learn about seven Shopify Partners who attended Unite in the past, and came away with new collaborations that changed their businesses for the better.
Stay tuned! We’ll be releasing more information about programming in the months leading up to Unite 2018.
How 7 partners found collaboration at Unite
For Steve Deckert, it happened accidentally while rubbing shoulders over a drink at a pre-conference cocktail party.
For Kate Schneider, it hit in the midst of a session talk.
Joe Monastiero says he came with poster board and demo in hand, ready to make it happen.
Wherever they were, whatever they were doing, when the inspiration to collaborate hit at Shopify’s Unite conference, these Shopify Partners grabbed the opportunity by the horns.
A big part of the partner and developer conference is about understanding how to grow your business alongside Shopify. But in addition, Unite has organically come to focus on meeting like-minded individuals.
Partners come away with new working relationships, collaborations, and joint project plans. It’s not just about hearing what Shopify has planned for the future of commerce, it’s also about our partners making that future happen.
With all this in mind, here are four stories from seven Shopify Partners who attended the Unite conference in the past, and came away with a new collaboration that made a positive impact on their respective businesses.
Lucid + Out of the Sandbox = No more update pain
Galen King has always admired Out of the Sandbox, an Ottawa-based theme building agency.
In fact, he sees parallels in how the theme developers run their business, and how he runs his own agency, Lucid, which is based in New Zealand and New York City.
“They’re very low key and unassuming, just sticking to what they’re really good at: offering amazing support and building beautiful themes,” Galen explains about Out of the Sandbox.
Despite being a self-proclaimed “non-prolific networker,” and having no real strategy for who to talk shop with at Unite, Galen knew he wanted to say hello to Brad Miller of Out of the Sandbox.
Having developed Shopify themes in the past, Galen had been mulling over an idea for a while — an app that would make it easier to manage theme updates and track changes.
“I remember, I was sitting listening to one of the talks about some new feature that was coming out — I think it was the new Sections — and going, ‘Oh boy, this is a big change. I wonder what the implications are going to be for Out of the Sandbox?’”
Galen decided to find Brad in the sea of web design and development creatives, and share his thoughts.
“I guess I’ve learned that sometimes it’s better to just talk about your ideas,” he says. “Maybe somebody else will take the idea, but at least it will get built. It’s better than holding it close to your chest, and it never seeing the light of day.”
The funny thing is that Brad and his team at Out of the Sandbox had already been reaching out to app developers to work on a new app — something similar to what Galen was considering.
“When I met Galen at Unite, I described this app concept to him and he was the first to really understand the problem,” Brad explains.
A few weeks later, the pair set up a meeting, and by September 2016, Lucid had built Out of the Sandbox’s Theme Updater app.
The app helps automate the process of updating Out of the Sandbox themes, without setting up the theme from scratch again — a real pain point for some merchants who at times are confused by the process, creating unnecessary support requests.
“We saw an opportunity to automate this process, to help improve our customer experience, and alleviate theme support from upgrade requests,” Brad explains.
For him, the app is just one of many examples of the talent that permeates the Shopify Partner Ecosystem.
“It makes sense to work together whenever the opportunity arises,” Brad adds.
Galen adds that collaboration in the ecosystem really boils down to idea sharing, and seeing it less as competition and more as a community.
“There is more than enough work for everybody. What’s special about the Shopify community is that generally people don’t hog their knowledge and wisdom, they share it.”
“What’s special about the Shopify community is that generally people don’t hog their knowledge and wisdom, they share it.”
—Galen King, Founder of Lucid