• Katie McLean

Shopify's Long-Term Pivot

TuskHub names Shopify the pivot of the week - a pivot they made sixteen years ago positions them well for our 2020 reality.

When Shopify began in 2004, the founders were searching for a digital shopping cart for their new snowboard business. When searching the availability for applications which could assist them in their online sales, they realized a gap in the market for an e-commerce program to simplify the checkout process. The group then changed their direction and created the Shopify platform which is a subscription service to a customizable digital storefront, finding a solution to a problem they personally encountered while designing a business.

“It is incredibly powerful if you solve the problem you actually have yourself” - Tobias Lütke

The importance of long-term and meaningful pivots can be understood by examining other company’s previously successful shifts in their purpose models. Shopify was able to quickly shift direction and expand their model to fit within a guideline that was better suited, and one which they personally understood. Looking at Shopify in this time of crisis is important because they exemplify an ability to reorganize values and purpose in order to create a product in which they themselves also fill the demand group. An open mind, and a commitment to that in which you are creating, ensures success. The group created an easy to use platform which helped small business owners, a group they fell into themselves, and with a unique understanding of the problem, they became committed to a solution. This commitment to helping small businesses which has been built into Shopify’s value production means that during this pandemic there was a certain ease in changing direction as they understand what is necessary for small businesses in this uncertain time. While many Canadian companies struggle during COVID, Shopify has become Canada’s second biggest stock, a testament to their commitment to helping.

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