Shopify featured (briefly) on 37signal's "profitable and proud" series

June 3, 2010 in A blog post, An interview

Over on the 37signals blog they've started a "Profitable and Proud" series where they highlight companies who've bootstrapped to profitability with revenues over $1mil. They started last week with a WH favoriteCampaign Monitor, then today (before revoking the "P&P" status) they profiled Shopify (another fav). 

Here are the gems I found from today's interview:

This comment surprised and intrigued me:

Our hiring is based on the assumption that there are fundamentally two groups of people in the tech industry: there are left brained science type programmers who can write amazing amounts of complicated code with ease; and then there are the right brained creative types. While left brained programmers may be 2-3x as fast when writing code, the right brained programmers can use their creativity to come up with elegant solutions that only require 1/5th of the work. Based on this understanding, we hire the creative types.

And this struck me as a great litmus test for new offerings/features:

When you build your product ask yourself “What do most of your customers need most of the time?” We test any idea we have against this simple sentence and if it doesn’t check out we don’t add it to Shopify.

I really look forward to more from this series.

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Although Shopify has been successful to be featured in this 37 Signals piece, I question the assumption that creative types are better suited than science type programmers. As with most team type arrangements my assumption is that there is an ideal mix to be found depending on the objectives of the project. For example, it has been my experience that the "science" types dislike the creative, design aspect of coding, or layouts. On the other hand the "creatives" dislike the purely technical aspects, for example database creation. Of course this may be an over generalization, but to achieve balance both types are required.

Posted by: John R. Sedivy | Jun 14, 2010 7:55:46 PM

I like the concept, but when someone does not understand the technical details well (that comes from spending a lot of time on left brain science activities), then all the creative skill in the world will not help. I tend to think that an excess of either is not desireable and agree with John Sedivy

Posted by: Grant | Dec 31, 2010 8:54:39 AM

Wow this such a great article and the tips are very comprehensive. For sure many entrepreneurs with small and big businesses are going to benefit from this. Keep it up!

Posted by: MyATM | Jan 22, 2011 12:28:47 AM

I like the way they were presented! but the question remains will they still be around in 5 -10 -15 years time or will facebook market / deals swallow them up like a vacuum!

Posted by: Online Shop Cart | Mar 22, 2011 1:31:27 PM