Shopify Leaders Praise Canada’s Startup Environments
Tobias Lütke and Harley Finkelstein riff on culture and hiring employees with the right attitude.

Canada is the best place for a startup to knuckle down and work on a product that they believe in, Shopify’s Tobias Lütke said on the first day of Montréal’s Startupfest.

Lütke, in an discussion with Re/code’s Kara Swisher, told the audience that Canada didn’t lend itself to explosive growth, but is a good place for a startup to build a growth culture: a sentiment shared by tech industry thought leader Tim O’Reilly:

Still, a more subdued environment isn’t an excuse for complacency.

It’s critically important to “keep connecting with the front line,” an effort that Blackberry didn’t make, Lütke said, referring to the once-dominant smartphone maker based in Waterloo, Ontario. “Stay hungry,” he warned.

To achieve this, bring people on your team that think as founders and builders, not just joiners, said Shopify COO Harley Finkelstein. It’s important to keep your team focused, which is why he worked to keep Shopify’s culture open despite its rapid growth.

“We’re a company that sets our philosophy around personal growth where people are comfortable with the uncomfortable,” he said.

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