20VC: Building Shopify From $5m To IPO, Why The Future Of Retail Is Not Online vs Offline & Why Law School Is Like Finishing School For Entrepreneurs with Harley Finkelstein, COO @ Shopify

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Harley Finkelstein is the COO @ Shopify, the e-commerce platform that has allowed a generation of people to become entrepreneurs and business owners. Harley joined the business with revenues of $5m, today the company has targeted this year for over $600m with over 400,000 merchants on the platform. They have raised over $120m in VC funding from very good friends of the show including Aydin @ Felicis, Jeremy @ Bessemer and Amish @ Firstmark. In May 2015, Shopify went public with a valuation north of $1bn.

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In Today’s Episode You Will Learn:

1.) How did Harley make the move from laywer to COO @ Shopify?

2.) Question from Aydin @ Felicis: What have been some strategic inflection points that at the time did not seem like a big deal? How have Harley and Shopify produced and maintained such consistent revenue growth? What is the secret?

3.) Why does Harley believe that the future of retail is not online vs offline? How does Harley react to the suggestion that retail stores need to transition from transaction based, to experience based?

4.) How does Harley view the rise of personal brand in today’s technological world? How has this allowed previously non-monetized channels to be monetized? What are some good examples of this?

5.) Why did Harley and Shopify choose to IPO in 2015? How was the roadshow? What was the key learnings for Harley both pre and post-IPO? What does Harley believe it means to be a trusted public company?

Items Mentioned In Today’s Show:

Harley’s Fave Book: High Output Management

Harley’s Fave Blog: Wait But Why

Harley’s Fave Shopify Store: Boosted Boards

As always you can follow Harry, The Twenty Minute VC and Harley on Twitter here!

Likewise, you can follow Harry on Snapchat here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.

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