“everything is tough” and you can grit your way through it and come out the other side, battle-tested, and with rings on your fingers
If you talk to the animals they will talk with you and you will know each other. If you do not talk to them you will not know them and what you do not know, you will fear. What one fears, one destroys.
—Chief Dan George (read in this week’s hacker newsletter)
I never really got Facebook, so I was a Twitter guy, but since mid-2016 engaging with Twitter has simply made me anxious, upset, jangly, and distracted.
—Brad Feld in Relentlessly Turning Input Knobs To 0
I couldn’t have put my feelings about FB & TW more concisely.
In the East, I’ve heard it said, there’s intimacy without friendship; in the West, there’s friendship without intimacy.
Amazon will never win all of online shopping, “even in Bezos’s wildest dreams,” Lutke said. The Seattle-based web retailer will exist for everything people need on a regular basis, like food, toilet paper and batteries, but for the stuff they desire rather than need, most people still want to shop, whether it’s in physical or online boutiques.
This is an interesting view of Amazon’s positioning in online retail, and the gap that it leaves for independents (and Shopify).
As for Facebook and Google, Shopify could be an e-commerce appendage that helps these companies keep a foothold in the space even as Amazon rolls on. Shopify has been building the operating system for independent merchants to sell online for years, and even if Instagram were to get over its hesitance to turn itself into an online mall, Shopify would still theoretically be powering all the boring, difficult stuff that comes with selling, like order tracking and logistics, Lutke said.
This is quite ambitious, and a bit too hopeful. Lutke has correctly identified the opportunity for Facebook and Google. However, his belief in F/G turning to Shopify, instead of enabling the independent merchants directly seems tenuous.
There may be an opportunity with Facebook, but Google has quietly been pursuing shopping, money, and commerce related products for a long time. Google does lack capabilities in order tracking and logistics, that it could offer merchants. But these aren’t capabilities that Google, or the merchants, couldn’t buy from other third parties. Logistics-as-a-service isn’t a category lacking in providers.
Irrespective of my qualms, I really like the thinking that Lutke has presented here. His view of the opportunity space, him using Amazon’s dominance into a selling point for Shopify both display the clarity of his mental model. I love that in a (not-anymore) startup CEO, all the more in one from a core developer background.
Egon Bittner, a sociologist, once defined policing as responding to “something that ought not to be happening and about which someone had better do something now”
As temperatures soar, some may be tempted to think again. But as the late Lord Donaldson, a senior judge, once put it: “There is no urgent need to go discarding something which has been out of date for at least a century.”