Tobi Lutke – Building a Modern Business – [Invest Like the Best, EP.173]

My guest today is Tobi Lutke, the co-founder and CEO of Shopify.  This is both a timely and evergreen conversation.  Timely, as the world as moved aggressively digital in the past two months, and Shopify powers so much of digital commerce.  Evergreen, because while we touch on Covid and the Shopify business, this is much more a conversation on business and personal principles, learning, design, and growth. Tobi is one of the CEO’s I look up to most for the type of company he is building and for the way he conducts himself.  We discuss business focus, why video games help you learn the power of attention, what design means for products and organizations, and much more. Please enjoy my conversation with Tobi Lutke. 

This episode is brought to you by the MIT investment management company (MITIMCO)

Reach out or learn more: 

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub.

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag

Show Notes

(2:35) – (First question) – The launch of the new Shopify shop app

(2:44) – Deniel Ek Podcast Episode 

(2:45) – Jeff Lawson Podcast Episode

(4:56) – Having the right focus and growing a good business

(9:06) – Marketplace business model vs the merchant driven business model

9:16 – Bill Gurley Podcast Appearances – 162 | 144 | 137

(11:47) – His role as a decisionmaker as CEO of the company 

(14:07) – What does he mean when he talks about quality

(18:28) – His thinking on design and quality 

(18:32) – Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance

(19:59) – The Design of Everyday Things

(21:06) – Friction as a force in business and manufacturing

(26:04) – His thoughts on systems and being free of process

(26:08) – The Systems Bible

 (30:01) – The game of Factoria and how it relates to systems

(32:16) – Transfer Learning

(34:33) – What Real-Time Strategy games have taught Tobi

(38:30) – Building context inside of a company and making it scale

(41:17) – Personality typing 

(46:22) – The Tobi Blueprint

(46:04) – Why he likes The Guide to the Good Life and stoicism

(55:38) – Raising kids and the impact of Covid

(1:03:16) – Kindest thing anyone has done for Tobi

Learn More

For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast.  

Sign up for the book club, where you’ll get a full investor curriculum and then 3-4 suggestions every month at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub

Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag