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Personalized To My Bonus Dad You Didn’t Give Me The Gift Of Life But You Sure Made My Life Better Poster
Today as we sit here in 2021, when I’m given a decision, the nice part of Shopify is we can test almost every assumption. We can test it anecdotally, because we can have a set of merchants that we say, “Hey, look, we’re thinking of doing this thing called Shopify Capital. We think that capital would be very useful, we think you can use it for inventory or marketing or what have you. So, we’re going to start this program, this alpha called Shopify Capital. And if it works and we hit these metrics, we’re going to scale. And if it doesn’t, we’re not going to do that sort of thing too.”
I also think that having a company that has a deep growth mindset, to use Carol Dweck’s term of growth mindset, whereby we’re constantly getting really comfortable with being uncomfortable, that has created an environment for those of us that work at Shopify, whereby we have strong opinions, but they’re weakly held. So, I may come in with this assumption that I know exactly how this experiment’s going to go. And I may say so with conviction, because I think I’ve seen it before, but if you’ve got a better idea or you can challenge me with either data or evidence, I’m going to change my mind fairly quickly. And that’s worked out really well.
And on a personal level, I know a lot of other entrepreneurs and leaders of companies, they use books. And books are great because I can get an insight into some brilliant person’s mindset and how they think about things, but actually mentorship for me has been far more valuable in terms of growing my own understanding of how to run a company.
And when I got married, this is super weird, but before I got married, I called the four or five people that I knew and felt had the best relationship with their spouse. And I said, “I’d like to talk to you for the next couple of weeks, every couple of days, about how to be a great spouse.” When I became a father, I called people that I thought were really great fathers and dads, and said, “Hey, what do you do?” So, mentorship for me has been a really valuable way to scale my own abilities.
And it’s fairly well known that what got you to where you are, is not going to necessarily get you to the next phase there. It’s like the Red Queen race, do you know that concept?
No, I don’t.
Oh, I think it’s an Alice in Wonderland reference, but effectively it’s like a treadmill. In order for you to actually go faster than the treadmill, you actually have to outpace it. So, if you were going at the same pace as the person next to you in the race, you’re actually standing still.