Harley Finkelstein attributes CIX award to Shopify’s culture on #TheDisruptors

Harley Finkelstein Shopify

On the heels of Shopify accepting the CIX Innovator of the Year Award this week, Amber Kanwar talked to chief platform officer Harley Finkelstein about how the company has become a Canadian tech giant.

“I often hear about this overnight success story theory, but we’re an overnight success story that’s taken the better part of a decade,” Finkelstein said. “What I say is that if you believe in what you’re doing, go along. Be bullish, be aggressive, be ambitious. I think Canada’s one of the best places in the world to build a company.”

Kanwar wondered about the transition from being a scrappy startup to a billion dollar public company, but Finkelstein noted that the transformation has been so successful thanks to the company’s mantra of constant self-improvement. “We’re a culture that is extremely self-aware and committed to betterment. I think what we try to do is explain to people that a lot of what we’ve done to get us to where we are today, may not get us to where we need to go. So we’re constantly re-evaluating.”

It also definitely helps that Shopify is establishing itself as a player in the social media space, as it integrates with Twitter and Facebook on their ‘buy’ buttons.

“I think consumers want to purchase in the most convenient way possible, and a lot of these social media platforms are just a great place where there’s existing audiences,” said Finkelstein. “One of the tough parts about building an online store is getting traffic, but these audiences already exist on social media. And when we say the future of retail is everywhere, that’s what we mean.”

As Shopify continuously dominates the news—most recently, its share lockup period for its employees has ended—Kanwar wondered if there was pressure to be an industry leader. “We now have over 900 people that are committed to this goal of making commerce better for everyone. So it’s just a great time for us right now.”

Watch the whole video below:

BetaKit is a production partner on The Disruptors. Tune in to BNN every Thursday night at 7pm for full episodes!