Being a Good Neighbour in the Commerce landscape - (And Meeting the Canadian Prime Minister)

Being a Good Neighbour in the Commerce landscape
(And Meeting the Canadian Prime Minister)

Laura Qureshi

It's all about being a good neighbour in the commerce landscape. 

Today Martin and I attended the first main day of the Shopify Unite Conference in Toronto, Canada. Yesterday there was a special session for Plus Partners - getting early exposure to the amazing new feature releases to the Plus platform. We cannot wait to share this exciting information with our clients and general commerce community, but until we digest everything on the features front let us share with you the overriding key messages we have taken away from today.

A session to remember

To end the day, we all had a session with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Shopify CEO Tobias Lutke. The chat was centred around how much of a contributor the Shopify platform and it’s wider ecosystem of partners has contributed to the Canadian economy.

This was talked about in the sense of giving brand and credibility to Canada as thought leaders and genuine innovators within the tech industry. CEO Tobi was quick to clarify despite Shopify being the leading commerce tech company in the world - it is not because it is Canadian but instead because of the diversity and wide reaching global influence and contribution to its growth and success.

The Prime Minister was quick to jump in and expand on this, by saying instead of Shopify taking a traditional American approach of lets be the biggest, the best and focus on self centred growth, that Shopify’s success is because it has the ethos of being a good neighbour. Welcoming a diverse population through their open immigration policies and Canadian culture being underpinned by values of positivity, optimism and being a good neighbour.

This is something Martin and I have experienced first hand on our Shopify journey. The support you receive both from Shopify team members throughout the world, along with the camaraderie and friendship we share with other partners - all of whom are competitors, but ones we all wish success and great things for is what sets it apart as a tech community.

The Prime Minister explained that when your neighbours do well, we all do well.

So when the country next door starts to succeed, then the country next to that will and we can all share in a more prosperous, optimistic world. It sounds utopian in a way, however if individual citizens, tech companies, the business world and in turn countries develop this mindset then ultimately we can all enjoy success.

Our values 

This ties directly into our values as a business—designing and building wonderful Shopify stores is central to what we do, however what is more important is helping our clients succeed and grow in their business by selling more, reaching more customers and delivering a great experience.

Finally, our piece of luck for the day.

We got to meet and have a very brief conversation with the Canadian Prime Minister - and it is easy to tell why he is arguably the most popular politician in the world right now. He seems genuinely friendly, he is passionate about his country, he supports the tech industry and embraces diversity. He is also wonderful at helping very useless selfie takers such as myself, correct their phone and show the patience so two excited Australians could get a photo with him (credit to Martin for asking). His parting comment to me was “Don’t you own a tech company, and I am helping you work your phone. Yes true I respond, to which he replied, “It’s a good sign, it shows you aren’t wasting time taking selfies of yourself all day”.