Just a little over a year ago today, Canadian tech darling Shopify took their company public. To mark the occasion, Shopify CEO Tobi Lütke took to Twitter to release the roadshow video introducing Wall Street to the Ottawa company.
The 25-minute video outlines Shopify’s famous “10-year overnight success” story. Lütke discusses the struggle to get investment in Shopify’s early days. “Even in situations where we had weeks of money left in the bank, I insisted on the people who worked here to make plans and think about product that we needed a year later.” Interestingly, Shopify wouldn’t even exist without Lütke’s own terrible experience trying to set up a snowboard shop online; the industry was set up in a way that meant only existing businesses could create an online store. Lutke decided to take matters into his own hands.
“I sat down and started programming. I had a lot of late nights, and I sat back and said ‘I’ve got it. I think I’ve written the last line of code’,” said Lütke. “I remember shaking before hitting enter because it felt like there was so much energy going into this one command, which might change my life.”
When summer came around, his team was forced to confront the question of what the company would sell during the season — would it be skateboards, or could they turn their new creation into a software company? “We called it Shopify and launched it into 2006.”