The Man Who Took Shopify from Idea to Billions

I recently had the chance to meet Tobi Lütke, CEO and cofounder of Shopify. Shopify’s platform provides technology that allows retailers to easily sell online. Said differently, it makes e-commerce easy. Tobi initially built Shopify to solve a personal pain point but soon realized that other entrepreneurs were experiencing the same problem. In 2004, he embarked on solving the problem for others, and as of the writing of this post, Shopify is a publicly traded company with a market capitalization (i.e., valuation) of just under $100 billion.

Last fiscal year, Shopify recorded $5.6 billion in annual revenue. The Shopify platform processed almost $200 billion in gross merchandise value (GMV); i.e., revenue on behalf of its customers. Tobi has built a company that’s having a large impact on how commerce is done.

Tobi is one of those rare founders with the ability to take a company from idea to billions. I was interested in learning what trait allowed him to achieve such a rare feat. Tobi shared a variety of valuable insights, but what stuck with me most was his conviction about the power of entrepreneurship. Tobi believes entrepreneurship is a powerful force that can change the lives of those who pursue it. He’s expressing that belief through Shopify’s mission of helping people achieve economic independence by making it easier to start, run, and grow a business. And his belief and mission-oriented mindset have likely been a significant driving factor in his ability to continuously level himself up as Shopify has grown from an idea to an international company generating billions of dollars in annual revenue.

I’m glad I had the opportunity to meet Tobi, and I look forward to following his entrepreneurial journey. I can’t wait to see where he takes Shopify next and the impact it has on entrepreneurship.