how tobi shopify

Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke | Full Interview | 2018 Code Commerce so I was backstage looking up your,mark


Updated on Jan 09,2023

Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke | Full Interview | 2018 Code Commerce

The above is a brief introduction to how tobi shopify

Let's move on to the first section of how tobi shopify

Let TThunt's experts help you find the best TikTok product on your Shopify business!

Find TikTok products (It's Free)
No difficulty
No complicated process
Find winning products
3.5K Ratings


TThunt has the world's largest selection of TikTok products to choose from, and each product has a large number of advertising materials, so you can choose advertising materials for TikTok ads or Facebook ads without any hassle.

Shopify CEO Tobi Lutke | Full Interview | 2018 Code Commerce

so I was backstage looking up your,market cap so I could make some sort of,funny comment that wasn't funny and you,said if you were one of my employees you,would now have to go by the office,donuts for looking up your stock price,yeah if you if you're caught checking,market cap or stock price in the office,on company gear then you have to buy,doughnuts for your team and is that a,that's a Shopify thing or you weren't,that elsewhere that's I think that's no,it's like a Shopify thing so actually I,think you get a sense for probably of,entire company by just knowing about,that one thing yeah that I think that,does tell me a lot and you know what I,want them to start with besides,doughnuts maybe we'll have some later,was obviously all this talk about Amazon,and then on the other side if you if you,only listen to the Amazon domination,story you'd be shocked when you look at,a company of yours like yours,with the size it is now that is,basically built its business by,supporting everyone outside of Amazon in,the digital world so like what how is,this both happening together I think it,talks to about material like the size of,the world thing right like I think this,is like I build my entire career on,especially certain valley under under,estimating online commerce right like it,is a huge market it is currently like an,early so right now it's about one point,nine trillion dollars of online commerce,going towards four trillion in the next,couple years probably the single largest,economic opportunity of our times,now what Shopify specifically does is,again if the company started 2004 in,Canada,I sold snowboards,I built an online snowboard shop and,figured out this was in 2004 that he,liked I thought ecommerce was figured,out at this point I mean like Marc,Andreessen run around telling everyone,you know the Netscape IPO is because,people use the internet for e-commerce,and therefore I figured they figured,figured out ecommerce in the 90s that,didn't work out no and and interestingly,people did build a lot of e-commerce,software but they build it for a very,specific reason which is to help,existing businesses also sell online,that is very specific because existing,business have a lot of they have legacy,systems they have people their money a,lot of it sometimes at least but once,we're doing about and against that,backdrop there was all these companies,competing but what I was doing was,building a new business online which is,I knew nothing about retail I had no,money I had no time I had I need for,everything and so after this realization,of building snowbird store realized no,one has actually been software to help,people build on lines first businesses,and then Shopify book software I hoped I,would have found in 2004 because I,realized based on this realization I can,I can I can use what the code I wrote,for snow devil and make Shopify out of,it so when I started covered in Shopify,maybe four or five years ago that,company in Canada that seems to be,really big and Silicon Valley investors,want to talk about but they don't quite,get you guys were known or at least to,me known as a company that really helps,support small online retailers and,online brands yeah since then you've,made a big push I don't know whether,it's just following your early customers,or making a big push toward up towards,Enterprise type sized companies what is,what was the strategy there yeah it's,not a push so Shopify it's really,Shopify is really all about what I just,talked about like this let's help let's,make entrepreneurship,on the Internet approachable to people,who have never done it before that's,that's the heart of a company everything,else that you're doing the enterprise,side like the Unilever and Nestle and,all these kind of things happened,because we're being pulled there and so,the reason why they're being pulled,there is rather interesting it's it's,the fact that again,no one thinks about it this way but it's,absolutely true the higher you go in any,software market the versus the quality,of a software gets and it's because the,people who buy the software are not the,people who actually have to use it they,throw it over like after they buy it,after six months on the golf course,they tend to then give it to people,whose entire job is to deal with,whatever crappy thing it is and Shopify,and really love your competitors well,this is by the way this is true in a,piece of there in it also believe is,literally true in every every discipline,at the moment there is no direct,relation between purchasing behavior,like we have a people who have to use,the software buy it,software quality is not the optimization,target for the team behind it anymore,it is blending sales that you do via our,piece and so on and and this sort of,strippers and stakes sales process that,people love so much in that industry and,so I contrast that to Shopify which was,forged in the fires of people reaching,for their own independence doing the,lunch breaks and trying to learn,something about a very confusing complex,market but making it work and then,succeeding in many cases and building,businesses for themselves and and really,changing the entire life because of it,that's what we have to support and and,and then after we were pulled into,service enterprising more market,everyone like responded with finally,there's high-quality software let's talk,about the CPG space for a little bit,we'll get to the younger fast-growing,company,you mentioned Unilever and I think you,mentioned a couple other CPG companies,we just heard Scott say predict that a,couple of them are gonna have to merge,or to bulk up against Amazon those,companies you know for years and years,and years their business has been,distributing through other retailers and,they still do so today they're being,squeezed on price by Walmart squeezed on,price by Amazon and and they're in the,middle yeah you have some interactions,with them though but it doesn't seem,like we see a ton of example of CPG,coming companies going direct to,consumer in a big way so what why when,do you see them using Shopify and in,what sort of situations yeah it's really,interesting it was really a surprise to,me too but it's it's a I mean it's a,very big trend and obviously I think,everyone on stage is going to talk,somehow about this and remediation and,and going direct to consumer and the,CPGs are not no different what happens,there is really fascinating well because,and they see this play out we suddenly,have a sign up from Budweiser or from,from anheuser-busch or from Nestle and,of course we're curious about this,because they had been served to software,which is again not the traditional way,of how software's procured and what's,going on so these are people inside one,of those big companies going on to,Shopify comm and using a personal credit,card or something sighs Lee and so these,are fascinating thing these companies,all have a usually a chief information,officer who owns commerce and it's a,department it often has many people,sometimes many hundreds of people,working on getting all their brands on,this sort of online store which is,there's the online strategy but,internally things are full of friction,like when a brand manager wants to say,hey I'm gonna launch of Budweiser,campaign around vera gel or I want to,sell Lay's chips into some customization,or something like this they are going to,be CEO and they go on top of a stack of,an implementation and hopefully then,after a period of weight we are supposed,to get this kind of thing but that,system is not,it's very obvious because we see it not,work well because at some point the band,manager goes and used the personal,credit card to sign up for Shopify and,just gets that stored down over the,weekend so these are turf wars inside,these big companies right and if you see,again like this is one side receivers,play out you know suddenly a new person,this year CIO is being cc'd on emails,and suddenly the basis there's a war,between various executive at this,company over the veracity of going and,doing it themselves so I've had a tough,time trying to judge how real of the,thing directly consumer can be in the,CPG space just because these companies,their DNA's were built on distribution,through part rights so are you seeing,signs that there is actual broad,movement here yeah absolutely so the way,the story continued from there is in,universally the brand managers one as,soon as at some point the decision maker,like a CEO got involved they said hey,this is great this is way faster this is,way cheaper we get to market and and the,crazy the crazy because my marketing,team can own the look and feel of the,entire strategy suddenly which is,incredible right and so then in this,cases we ended up like selling site,licenses saying hey you can bring 50,brands or something like this these kind,of deals because there's a real movement,towards this much more distributed model,I wrote a story a couple weeks ago that,was about fast growing digital consumer,brands that had avoided largely raising,venture capital and then it had pretty,good I heard some groans in the back for,my BC friends sorry about that I and and,you know a couple of the things these,companies had in common we'll hear from,some tomorrow tough to needle and native,deodorant one of them was that whether,it was Shopify or another software as a,service there was there was a reason to,get an easy way to get up and running,pretty quickly they did not need to,raise tons of venture capital for their,technology stack like some other digital,companies like bonobos,back in the day these companies were,started baby four or five years ago and,when cost to act acquired customers,online it was a different formula I'm,curious the companies that are starting,today are you thinking about like how do,you help them think about if at all you,know profitably building these companies,online either without outside an,investment and how do you look at what,we're seeing in the cost to acquire a,customer a landscape online across all,these channels I mean obviously we have,a front-row seat to this wood right we,are seeing unbelievable brands being,built in an absolutely record time it,used to be like even if you would have,said you have a year ago it would you,would just have to take my word for it,but like we now have thankfully some of,our breakout success stories merchants,are starting to actually share their,stories which I'm super glad for so,movement which you talked about is a,great example started as a drop shipping,business and sold for 100 million,dollars recently they never took,investment the story of Kylie cosmetics,which she was mentioned earlier is now,being told it's a saying right so this,is for those who don't know Kylie,cosmetics Kylie Jenner's gas growing,business that runs on Shopify fast corn,shop business that runs on Shopify in my,day Bob Eve could be the fastest growing,business ever it is you probably have,some internal sales data you can share,with us it's close to a billion dollar,business yeah,the Shopify is projected to hit a,billion dollars of revenue this year,several of our customers beat us to the,punch do you want to weigh it lay out,for us the other ones now there's no,breeze like fashion OVA out in LA which,doesn't get a lot of attention in the,business press,but it is a very fast growing business,that may or may not be one of those,businesses that beat you to that number,I know you never know so I mean and do,you get involved at all I mean how do,you,you obviously want what's best for you,is to have these businesses be,sustainable right and they can't and you,make it easy for them to sell in other,places including Amazon right but at the,core I would assume how they acquire,customers and whether they do that in a,profitable manner is it something that,is Korda it's I mean we assist but it's,that it's a business,right like and so this is the beauty of,Shopify it's to to create right like we,take care of everything that isn't the,product market fit component but because,if you want we want to make it so that,it like the experience of building these,businesses is purely determined by your,like extra tasks skillset rather than,you bet you need a PhD and how to set up,servers to run your business that happen,to stay up on the day the day you need,it the most because at some point,someone's going to talk about you or if,you're so lucky and then you've got a,lot of traffic and that's been everyone,everything falls over usually and so,this the every strategy that exists is,being employed to find customers it,depends entirely like vibius,you know like not all of Shopify are the,college and a breakout success stories,it's often the you want to break down,some of those percentages right,no but like it's the the library down on,the corner is also using Shopify on,their point-of-sale cash register and,like just so that because it happens to,end up being the easiest way for them to,also be able to show the products that,are currently in the store not yet sold,on their website and so on and that's a,large part of constituency as a customer,from the very first cohort 2006 queue in,2006 10 shop for launch which is I mean,that is really a hundred internet years,ago right that's really with a long time,ago we started in the like signed up,because he got the,the email from mailing lists and they've,made a small business making hand woven,baskets in east coast of Canada and it's,great business it's a couple hundred,thousand dollars a year they travel they,employ people locally and that's that,was exactly I go on I may have called,publishers too so it's really it's a,very broad you go all the way from,Procter and Gamble to the incredible,success of Kylie again seven people,staff like businesses nine hundred,million dollars of sales after two and a,half years it took 90 twenty four years,to get to this point these are the,brands of tomorrow it's the stories are,just so hard to even understand the,scale of this was what's going on and,then all the way to the again the people,who are reaching for independence,because that's really important to us so,at the same you know at the same time,that you have really really lowered the,barrier to entry for like just about,anyone you said you handle basically,everything but product market fit the,flip side of that is it's really really,easy to start up as a Shopify shop it's,really really easy to start advertising,a product whether or not you're actually,building it in the world and so you know,there have been some great stories which,you may or may not have liked about you,know what the weird Instagram brands and,things of that nature or Berner brands,which are friends that appear to be real,but turn out to be either really not,what they were advertising what is your,what a Shopify's role in making sure,that the companies that build on your,platform are putting out the product,they say they are and yeah now we,enforce that people the companies are,general right like you you can't sell,nor cause there there's a there's an,acceptable use policy on Shopify which,creates like a space for in which,entrepreneurship can happen and if,you're not if you don't deliver your,products on our platform be just because,of machine learning all these kind of,things we can usually tell that a store,before it ever sells anything so that's,actually no,the problem is you can usually tell,sorry you could usually tell well yeah,like just the product pictures have to,be seen it before or like this I mean I,just tried to ask a machine learning,algorithm how it's doing its thing it's,not often they no one really knows but,like we have a very high hit rate on,these kind of things so this is actually,the good news about us being a platform,of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of,merchants because we can use at scale a,kind of policing that is useful the,problem is of course after we say you,can't use this or you can do this thing,that you're doing people can always help,themselves to if they have a capability,a server somewhere and then sign out put,some open-source software on it and,they're back right yeah because my you,know when you look at the platform,businesses in the media world and sort,of their responsibility or lack thereof,for what's on their platform right right,and then slightly different these are,I'm talking about consumer but consumer,facing businesses while your b2b you,know there's been in you know up until,recently it's largely been you know we,just make the platform and so I just,long term I wonder if there's even any,potential dam like trying to figure out,if you should care about that long term,because what is the what is the threat,for you obviously there's threat to,consumers yeah I mean there,I think the platform every platform,company has to kind of figure out like,yeah like every I think one thing the,internet learned in the last two years,and in some cases this is quite public,in case of some businesses is that,everyone really has to create something,like an acceptable use policy but just,says if it here's the confines of what,in in which you connect and it's,important that every company reserves to,write to wake up smarter every day and,potentially as things change make some,adjustments to service policies and then,stick to them like the problem I think a,lot of platforms have been running into,is they had these situations but for,expediency they didn't end up enforcing,them,and then once certain actors drove it to,father for violations of the platforms,that they had to reconsider and then,enforce them and that felt very,arbitrary and selective it was yeah one,thing you've talked about a lot over the,years your company has is helping these,internet businesses find their customers,wherever they might be different sales,channels for years I wrote about buy,buttons on the social media sites they,they largely did not work although we're,seeing different iterations on that now,where when you hear the phrase social,commerce like what are you like what,does that mean to you today and is there,where is the potential there it's huge,it's absolutely massive and it's alive,and well it's just that you have not,figured out how to natively build it at,all it's it's still it's largely powered,by someone buying and purchasing ads you,go to a website and then it it's you're,broken out of a kind of experience they,saw one initial run net hey let's add a,Buy button to Twitter or something and,you know there was no customer demand,for that like this process of,understanding the product and like,purchasing directly from a tweet doesn't,make sense but you know we people see,more in the sort of broad story but the,Pinterest or Instagram does or I mean I,would say specific like Facebook,Instagram are large drivers of,purchasing traffic I mean this is where,you mentioned this sort of Instagram,France like I I some of those things we,were talking about hables are like,instagram brands as if this is like,somehow a bad thing there are bad ones,and there are different there are bad,ones and some of them are going to be,the Nikes or in 20 years like this is,playing out like this is the way to go,direct to an audience this club has,completely changed the possibilities for,small businesses,because of the because of a way,platforms work 20 years ago be only on,television right like 10 available it's,like how would you have even created a,relationship of all the board companies,if you remove Minh like you couldn't,have right would you have done,television at you know a capital,intensive the TV ads are now these,platforms have massive enablers of,distribution and this is really,important right because they got all the,way here because we started talking,about hey there's Amazon this is like,50% at least the United States and then,there's the rest that's obvious because,that's what paint head always does the,internet massively benefits,centralization in every category one,solution for everything there's one,store that's one social network and so,and so on what we do what Shopify does,is we have successfully,I think build a business model around,helping people get a part of that slice,like preserving the ability for people,to actually start online business that,you I think is super important I was,born I grew up not really fitting in I,don't think I could have ever looked for,anyone and so my only option at some,point was is like reach for independence,that I keep talking about and as because,I was I'm a computer programmer,I actually succeeded in this but looking,back I was saying I only succeeded in,this because I was a computer programmer,and how sad would it be that if only,people who can take in this massive,economic wealth creation are going to be,the people who hit the middle of a Venn,diagram between having a product finding,a market and being able to program,computers or at least set up computers,and maintain them to stay off that,seemed diminishing and so Shopify is,again this exercise of take the crazy,learning curve that's involved in,starting businesses and try to push it,down as far as possible and allow people,to,run an attempt at this and what you,sometimes see on Instagram to be fair,and that's worthy of criticism but it's,unfortunate the the truth of the matter,and has always existed is some of us,have failed attempts but they're not,failures what we see is a lot of,entrepreneurs and they engage in this,kind of thing what they will do is they,will try again and again every single,attempt of starting a business is,actually the successful discovery of,something that did not book and on that,path eventually they find success and,then start building these brands and,that's really important to us that's a,positive way to to look at it but,speaking of positive you talk about,independence a lot here you are 16 and a,half billion dollar public company at,the same time there are a lot of smart,people who say geez Shopify would be a,great piece of Facebook and Instagram,Shopify would potentially be a great,piece of Google if I talk to you two,years from now on this stage in New York,City hopefully again,will we still be talking about,independence or is there a world in,which you actually would benefit from,being a part of the big four I mean so,optimize so after the initial experience,of starting snowed ever I at some point,you know again I build the software and,I got an email from the software which I,wrote at some point which said that I,had my first sale right like this,someone in Pennsylvania purchased my,first snowboard and was I'll never,forget this day it's an you should talk,to any retailer in like you ever meet,and say hey when did you do your first,sale ever describe the day and whatever,and what I ate and all these kind of,things it's an so profound it's a,profound experience it's a life-changing,experience and in fact in some instances,it's an identity changing experience,because your children or grandchildren,will describe you as an entrepreneur,rather than whatever you were before so,from that moment like Shopify was a very,long exercise in me every single time I,got a choice,between two paths but they're valid to,go forward if one of us path led to more,entrepreneurship happening in the world,I always chose that one so the question,is if someone would have to make a,plausible case to me why it would be,better for Entrepreneurship in the world,that there would be more,entrepreneurship and more space for it,but after acquiring Shopify to even have,this conversation because that's the,only famous company is or it's all about,I don't I really think that the power of,Shopify is its independence and that it,comes from us being able to you know,look if everyone in the industry rather,than have to declare fealty at one of,those oversized quasi monopolies and I,think I I would like to preserve that,you don't want to be part of a quasi,monopoly do well my Owen maybe we're,gonna take some audience questions I'm,sure there are some there are two mics,right here coming up great just please,identify yourself sure hi I'm David,Escamilla with Abdul and I'd like to get,your thoughts on how Shopify might,compete for that startup merchants if,say the social platform begins offering,you know very bare-bones ecommerce,solutions so how we have Arden so it's a,question is how we would help in these,instances or we compete with that how,you would differentiate yourself yeah,yeah and compete with it there are a,couple hypotheticals I have in mind I,mean so like we tend to be first call,when anyone wants to add comment so,anything right so we're usually involve,is saying hey here's like how we,couldn't do this even and and so in 99%,of everything that's announced then,someone says hey if you like becoming,enabled in commerce you can the way you,do that as merchants is you have a,shopper go on which most at this point,have and then you add that social,platform or whatever it is let's say,house this is like furniture kind of,thing,you add that as a channel to your,Shopify store you select the products,and then you post them from Shopify in,there and let in some cases these,platforms also have like simplified like,just broke of a transaction kind of,component so people can just try it but,I always find that's a little bit naive,because 98% of all the code and Shopify,that exists is about what happens after,or around a transaction like I wrote the,quote that brokers the payment in 2005,and it hasn't changed much because,that's the simple bit the difficult,thing is going to warehouse getting,right things on the road informing,customers and obviously everything,that's integrated so even if you're not,integrated from day zero of a new,feature in common in commerce word being,launched the merchants were successful,on that will come to the platform and,say please we need the Shopify,integration so that they can actually,make sense of the business via running,so you're saying you would be surprised,if there's a social platform that has a,native commerce experience where they're,selling directly to their consumers and,you guys are not involved in some way,right at some point Shopify and maybe,even some other platforms will have to,be integrated because it's the only way,to make sense of it remember like going,in a new sales channel is like even five,years ago or actually not if right now,for most companies in the world is a,board of director level decision with a,implementation plan that takes a year,and probably a complete duplicate of as,teams that that handle to the previous,sales channels but on Shopify we have,business that you are happy year old,they sell by always thought five million,dollars of product and they are selling,across six or seven different sections,partly because we took something that,used to be that difficult and turned it,into a single click a at Instagram,channel and to be off to a racist kind,of saturation,hi I'm Elena I work at Gilder Gagnon how,an investment firm I was just wondering,we've seen a lot of brands recently that,were started on Shopify sort of move,into brick-and-mortar and I was,wondering if that's something that's,taking you by surprise and if that sort,of changed any of your plans or any of,Shopify's plans so it didn't take us by,surprise and I think we correctly,anticipated this,the first additional set general would,be ever launched for point-of-sale,products so in in most cases you will go,like I mean I just on my way here like,through a meatpacking district like,there about half of the business we,passed our Shopify customers most of it,use Shopify point-of-sale in the stores,so because again I again I'm sure this,is the theme you're gonna be a lot about,but there is no such thing as e-commerce,really it's it's a convenient thing to,talk about but it's ecommerce like,selling in your own online store is a,tactic in the larger strategy of a,business and and selling and like,selling everywhere is has to be part of,it too and so we enable all of that so,the customers will need to the merchants,who need to sell across a lot of,different channels tend to use Shopify,and that's that's why you see it a lot,one more quick one hi I'm Frankie I'm,here independently can you talk a little,bit more about the Shopify Plus product,roadmap like what do you see it's two,years from now five years from now and,so forth also how are you gonna,prioritize Shopify plus versus the,normal Shopify platform yeah we did,something really need so shopper plus,again is the more upmarket thing which,we created as a demand of being pulled,into this world we actually because most,companies stretch those are most,companies move up market which we wanted,to really prevent because of a hard our,businesses with their entrepreneurship,we decided the way we're gonna do is,this we put walls around it so it,actually exists in its own office in a,different City it uses the same basic,code base but that's the way the company,books and initial couple years will just,build up this this team and modify,Shopify through like a common,when all these kind of things the Tituba,expectations of this market now we have,a very strong roadmap that will help,customers go global faster and you know,do a lot of the kind of like multi,location map warehouse management is,something that is a big deal in in this,world which is launching and I mean I,denied we talked quite a bit about plus,because there's a lot of interest but we,did that by separating teams and,separate locations and trying to be the,first company that successfully manages,to stretch upmarket,rather than go up market the wave,Salesforce and others have done it okay,I lied I'll give you one more question,but super short answer I promise it's a,good question,I'm let the CMA Don them a retail,reporter with BuzzFeed news and I have,spoken to a few people from Shopify and,from what I understand,Shopify his relationship to Amazon is,mostly symbiotic a lot of your sellers,use it as like an advertising platform,so today Amazon announced it has Amazon,store fronts which seems to be sort of,cutting into your market where they were,going to be featuring small to medium,sized businesses so how does that change,the relationship that Shopify has had,with Amazon I mean it's a tech industry,right you're all frenemies we are all,kind of overlapping and it I don't think,anyone particularly cares about this and,and lots of our cares about their new,one who cares about like you're also,doing stuff but some other people do as,well and I think that's okay again,choppy first world view is the merchants,are super important we need them for,future of our economies we need millions,of small SMBs rather than a few mega,companies we need they are the drivers,of new product creation they have a,drivers of great customer experience,Amazon's world view is that merchants,don't matter and factory sync ones you,must matter and everything between,Berta's Jeff's opportunity and so,there's a storefront product which i,think is mostly a marketing a kind of,exposure for some much,and I on like it feels a little bit like,a trap to me and so I think people have,to wait a couple of years and look back,and if someone would come with a time,machine and tell me hey Amazon launch,this today but in a couple of years,merchants decided that giving all their,businesses data to to Amazon and then,starting to compete for the buy buttons,that every factory in the world didn't,work out as bad code of not year then I,would not be surprised I think that's a,perfect push there and Thank You Tommy,thanks

Congratulation! You bave finally finished reading how tobi shopify and believe you bave enougb understending how tobi shopify

Come on and read the rest of the article!

Browse More Content