The Network State Podcast
#2 - Tobi Lütke & Kaz Nejatian on Shopify's Country-Sized Economy

#2 - Tobi Lütke & Kaz Nejatian on Shopify's Country-Sized Economy

Tobi Lütke (Shopify Founder & CEO), Kaz Nejatian (Shopify COO), and Balaji review how Shopify rose from tiny startup to $180B+ global economy, with an annual GMV on par with the GDP of New Zealand. In the process they touch on Hayek, the Hanseatic League, merchant cavemen, the history of the corporation, and the optimal level of platform decentralization.

00:00 - Introduction
02:39 - Shopify has the scale of a small country
08:49 - Lifestyle businesses take up your whole life
20:52 - SMBs can be harder than startups
27:13 - Shopify could invest in its merchants
32:23 - Shopify's economy is on par with Greece or New Zealand
38:40 - Money, time, risk, attention
39:55 - Is all retail a form of arbitrage?
47:14 - The history of the corporation informs the development of smart contracts
56:57 - Founders start as lead engineer, end up as chief psychiatrist
1:00:27 - Shopify is not just technology but community
1:06:26 - The concept of computational context
1:14:34 - Shopify as a dashboard for the global economy
1:22:48 - Atoms are so much more complex than bits
1:28:41 - Balancing centralized vs decentralized at Shopify
1:43:26 - If they could start a new country, what would Tobi and Kaz build?
2:03:28 - Kaz on working at Shopify
2:04:31 - Tobi's parting thoughts

1) 100 true fans:
2) Gobekli Tepe:
3) Shopify active merchant:
4) Fall of Civilizations:
5) Founding vs Inheriting:
6) Shopify careers:




The Network State Podcast
What comes after Google, Facebook, Bitcoin, and Ethereum? Perhaps it's the startup country — the network state. Balaji interviews tech founders and policymakers from around the world on managing billions of dollars and millions of people, as well as what it might take to start a new kind of state.
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