Date: May 28, 2021
“Shopify CEO Tobias Lütke has issued a statement that the company is FOR PROFIT and should be APOLITICAL. This after Coinbase and Basecamp issued similar statements. After years of pandering to Twitter, will tech companies finally get a clue, or will anti-capitalist activists actively try to burn these companies down from within?
Here’s what he said…
“We are trying to create a world class product that gives superpowers to the merchants that we are obsessed over,” Lütke wrote. “Everything Shopify does is to accomplish this, and everyone at Shopify should be able to describe how their job, through a series of direct or indirect steps, furthers this mission.”
“Shopify, like any other for-profit company, is not a family,” he continued. “The very idea is preposterous. You are born into a family. You never choose it, and they can’t un-family you. The dangers of ‘family thinking’ are that it becomes incredibly hard to let poor performers go. Shopify is a team, not a family.”
“We cannot solve every societal problem here,” Lütke warns. “Shopify’s worldview is well documented—we believe in liberal values and equality of opportunity. Sometimes we see opportunities to help nudge these causes forward. We do this because this directly helps our business and our merchants and not because of some moralistic overreach.”
The CEO reiterated his commitment to a meritocracy-based employment system, driven by efficiency, not politics.
“We will always have compassion for team members in truly difficult situations… [but] we need to remind everyone that like any other competitive (sports) team, it matters how you show up every day and contribute to the team’s success,” he wrote. “Beyond straight performance output, everyone that engages in endless Slack trolling, victimhood thinking, us-vs-them divisiveness, and zero sum thinking must be seen for the threat they are: they break teams.”
“We want to build one of the best companies in the world,” Lütke concluded. “We want everyone to have a shot at bettering their lot through entrepreneurship… when we succeed in our mission, millions of merchants do better. Millions of people find employment. We have the opportunity to make that tens and even hundreds of millions in the future.”