Shopify is a billion dollar e-commerce company based in Ottawa. Such was the success of Shopify that it has been deemed Canada ‘smartest company’. So that is what Shopify is, but here are some amusing facts about what it once was.

A Plain Old Shop

Shopify was originally not a platform but a store. When the company was formed, there had never been any intention of it becoming a platform for e-commerce. There were not even any plans to create its own software for the e-commerce avenue.

Head for the Snow

The first version of Shopify, long before it was awarded its final name, was a snowboard store. The seeds were being sewn, though, for its final metamorphosis – it had its own e-commerce software. Other online stores saw the benefit of this, and interest started to snowball.

What’s in a Name?



Initially, the store focused on a very niche market by selling only snowboards. The store chose the apt name of ‘Snowdevil’. Then, when the store initially became an e-commerce platform, a name change was needed. Another descriptive name was chosen: ‘Jaded Pixel’.

Love Changes Everything

The founder of Shopify, Tobi Lutke hails, is of German origin. He met his future wife on a snowboarding holiday. She stayed with him in Germany initially, but then they ultimately settled in his wife’s home town of Ottawa.

Tobi, it seems, was born with a natural facility when it came to computer coding. At the age of six he was awarded the ‘equivalent of a Commodire 64’, and at eleven he began writing successful codes, creating his own games. He was also adept at modifying the hardware of computers. His obsession with computing concerned his parents to such an extent that they had him psychoanalysed. The verdict was simply that he was an exceptionally clever child and early to discover his life’s passion. Such was Tobi’s success that he was recently named CEO of the year, which you can read more about here:  https://techvibes.com/2014/11/27/tobias-lutke-2014-11-27. The success of Shopify has been an inspiration to many businesses across the globe, including https://www.redsnapper.net, a professional web development company in London.

Tobi’s story and the way in which he rose to fame, letting his business model evolve and change, is an inspiration to us all. There is something we can all take from Tobi’s story.