Best Quotes by Tobias Lutke

E-commerce is not an industry; e-commerce is a tactic.

Tobias Lutke

We are at our best when we are at our proudest. Canadians need to harness that confidence in every arena, not just the ice rink. The Maple Leaf stands for quality, thoughtfulness, and innovation, so let’s brand it proudly on the things that we’ve invented, created, and figured out.

Tobias Lutke

Products are a form of speech, and free speech must be fiercely protected, even if we disagree with some of the voices.

Tobias Lutke

One of the most important tasks as a leader in a startup is to pick the right metric to track. This is often referred to as the ‘compass metric’ because it will be your compass for growth. It’s important to note that ‘compass metrics’ will likely change over the lifetime of a business.

Tobias Lutke

Computers add convenience to our everyday lives, but we are limited in what we can do with technology others have imagined. The ability for humans to teach machines entirely new things – coding – is nothing short of a superpower.

Tobias Lutke

I find the strongest predictor of people who do well at Shopify is whether they see opportunity as something to compete for, or do they see opportunity as essentially everywhere and unlimited? It’s a rough proxy for pessimism and optimism.

Tobias Lutke

Everyone loves feeling comfortable. But it’s actually completely useless.

Tobias Lutke

Being a start-up has nothing to do with the numbers. It’s that everyone who works there has the chance to do everything and have an impact.

Tobias Lutke

We need a lot more technically literate people. The computers are the tools that are going to solve essentially all problems, and the people who can use them better will be more effective.

Tobias Lutke

Our hiring is almost completely built around just going through someone’s life story, and we look for moments when they had to make important decisions, and we go deep on those.

Tobias Lutke

At Shopify, we are trying to make things as simple as possible, but for the business owner, it’s not unlike starting your own little shop along Main Street somewhere.

Tobias Lutke

I’m a liberally minded immigrant, leading a predominantly liberal workforce hailing from predominantly liberal cities and countries.

Tobias Lutke

I’m against exclusion of any kind – whether that’s restricting people from Muslim-majority nations from entering the U.S. or kicking merchants off our platform if they’re operating within the law.

Tobias Lutke

Commerce is a powerful, underestimated form of expression. We use it to cast a vote with every product we buy. It’s a direct expression of democracy. This is why our mission at Shopify is to protect that form of expression and make it better for everyone, not just for those we agree with.

Tobias Lutke

Being part of something that’s growing fast is better than being part of something that isn’t growing fast because opportunities are essentially everywhere, and you’re not competing for something.

Tobias Lutke

I got my first computer when I was 6, and I was part of that early generation of children who grew up with computers always being around. I fell in love with them early on.

Tobias Lutke

I never cared a lot for school.

Tobias Lutke

I never went to university.

Tobias Lutke

I’m always trying to think of ways to make something more efficient. If I have to do something once, that’s fine. If I have to do it twice, I’m kind of annoyed. And if I have to do it three times, I’m going to try to automate it.

Tobias Lutke

I think I probably had to start a company, because I don’t think I can work for other people.

Tobias Lutke

My early interactions with VCs were really, really poor.

Tobias Lutke

I have serious, serious problems with personas – with unauthentic individuals.

Tobias Lutke

To kick off a merchant is to censor ideas and interfere with the free exchange of products at the core of commerce. When we kick off a merchant, we’re asserting our own moral code as the superior one. But who gets to define that moral code?

Tobias Lutke

Different people need different kinds of communication for it to have the same effect. That was something I had to learn.

Tobias Lutke

It’s not a principle unless it costs you something.

Tobias Lutke

Shopify has been a perpetually underestimated company at every point of its history.

Tobias Lutke

It took about 10 years’ time for Shopify to be an overnight success.

Tobias Lutke

Once you’ve made peace with the fact that you’re hardly ever going to work on anything that you’re actually good at, the only thing that you can do is get good very fast on everything you have to do.

Tobias Lutke

All of us in Canada have to be better at making a dollar count, because we have fewer dollars.

Tobias Lutke

You have to put more of a well-rounded company together to make it in Canada, and I hope the Canadian market is going to be known for these well-performing, solid companies that people can rely on.

Tobias Lutke

We’re trying to build the largest start-up ever without becoming a big company.

Tobias Lutke

Change has to be fundamental to a company’s culture, or there is no way it can survive.

Tobias Lutke

I’m ridiculously lucky.

Tobias Lutke

Growing up, I spent my time doing useless stuff looking at computers.

Tobias Lutke

If you believe something needs to exist, if it’s something you want to use yourself, don’t let anyone ever stop you from doing it.

Tobias Lutke

I spent my time, growing up, essentially between two things: technology and retail. I was fascinated by selling and loved the idea of making a profit, but I also spent a lot of time on technology.

Tobias Lutke

Why do Canadians sell themselves short? I’ve never been able to answer that question.

Tobias Lutke

What could be more Canadian than working hard to figure out something new and sharing it with the world? The world wants to hear from us!

Tobias Lutke

No one benefits from us not taking credit for our successes. There is no virtue in allowing kudos to go unclaimed or elsewhere.

Tobias Lutke

People say Facebook connects the world. Facebook has 5,000 Ph.D.s that think about how to make you click on ads you don’t want to see. Their business model is about something that most people would not perceive as making the world better.

Tobias Lutke

Every phase of building a company is really hard.

Tobias Lutke

When the market turns down, a lot of people lose jobs… and that’s the time people become entrepreneurs. Downturns end up being the best times to start companies.

Tobias Lutke

A lot of the best technologists live and work in Canada, and every once in a while, they are aggregated by a Canadian company, and then suddenly, they’re not anymore. But the people are still here – they’re just working for American companies to the benefit of American bottom lines.

Tobias Lutke

You really want a company that’s full of people from all these different backgrounds and then allow them to be creative as possible, come together, and come up with great ideas.

Tobias Lutke

It’s this concept of ‘just fill up a building of smart people.’ It sounds so basic, but honestly it might just be the secret behind Shopify’s success. We just do that and get out of the way.

Tobias Lutke

Sometimes, when you’re building a company, out of necessity there’s just a gazillion things you have to learn and figure out.

Tobias Lutke

A lot of people have a great business idea; they just need a little push to make it a reality.

Tobias Lutke

To me, a great company starts with a great product and ends with a great product.

Tobias Lutke

It is incredibly powerful if you solve the problem you actually have yourself. It’s really tough to develop a good product when you don’t have very close proximity to the people who actually use your product. The closest proximity you can have to those people is to be that person.

Tobias Lutke

I got my first computer at the age of 6. To me, it was magic. By the time I was 12, I wanted to know the secrets behind the wizardry, and that started my journey toward computer programming. This was the early 1990s, when computers weren’t built for the mass market.

Tobias Lutke

Computers are the most powerful tools that humanity has ever created. Yet, we treat them largely as a black box; as if it were an alien artifact that magically appeared on desks, in homes, and in our pockets.

Tobias Lutke

It is my strong belief that computer literacy should be part of our educational system’s core curriculum.

Tobias Lutke