The Observer Effect: Tobi Lütke
by Sriram Krishnan
Tobi is the CEO & co-founder of Shopify.
“I find myself more interested in the inputs of an idea than the actual decision. I say this because when I have my own ideas, the first thing I tend to do is just try to falsify them, to figure out why what I’m thinking about is probably incorrect. This is actually something that I have to explain to people that I work with. If I like someone’s idea, I tend to do the same thing: I try to poke holes in it.” — Tobi Lütke
“Effectively, I’m trying to figure out if an idea is built on solid fundamentals. I find that shaky fundamentals tend to be where things often go wrong.” — Tobi Lütke
“The valuable thing about any of these personality-type constructs is that they do a really good job of teaching people that other people are very different. That realization is probably one of the biggest growth moments for people in general. It tells you that different people play different roles.” — Tobi Lütke
“Every field has fundamental wisdom that you discover when you’re learning and talking to the people who have mastered it. I find that going wide and learning the best lessons from the people who have dedicated their entire lives to a certain pursuit gets you really, really close to mastery.” — Tobi Lütke
“I believe that the job we all have in life is to acquire knowledge and wisdom and then share it.” — Tobi Lütke
“I really love failing. I feel so good when I do something, and it just doesn’t work; especially if I get the feedback about why it didn’t work. That gives me a project to work at to improve. And so maybe that’s sort of interesting regarding losses.” — Tobi Lütke
“I think a lot of success in life is how good you are at making long term choices.” — Tobi Lütke
” A coach is probably one of the highest returns on investment anyone can do with their attention. An hour spent with a coach has a 10x, 50x, 100x potential return on time spent. I was really lucky and met a great coach who actually joined Shopify full time just to do coaching and lead our talent acceleration team.” — Tobi Lütke
“Personal growth has no real speed limit. It’s more dependent on how often a student is ready, and that often depends on the environment and the norms of a culture around the student.” — Tobi Lütke
My two cents: If there’s one CEO I fanboy over more than any other CEO it would probably be Tobi. Elon Musk comes as a close second, but on a personal level, Tobi is a bit more discrete and lesser known, which I like. Elon is the G.O.A.T, though.
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