business news in context, analysis with attitude

Bloomberg has a fascinating piece about Shopify and its founder Tobi Lütke, who has positioned the company as the anti-Amazon.  An excerpt:

"In a sense, Lütke and his colleagues are the opposite of Jeff Bezos’ army of techno-capitalists. Amazon, which has enjoyed its own Covid-fueled boom, celebrates the almighty customer. It will happily risk alienating small businesses by knocking off their products or soliciting new competition, if it means lowering prices and accelerating shipping times. Shopify, on the other hand, has a romantic view of the merchant - its executives rapturously extol the virtues of 'democratizing commerce' and 'making entrepreneurship cool.'  If Amazon’s devotion to customers and an infinite selection earned it the nickname 'the everything store,' Shopify … wants to be the everywhere store."

Since its founding 15 years ago, the story says, Shopify "has sold software that allows about 2 million merchants worldwide to run websites—free from the complicated embrace of Shopify’s chief rival, Inc. For $30 to $2,000 a month, Shopify offers sellers more than a dozen services to run an online store, from the actual e-commerce website to inventory management to payment processing.

"Its technology now undergirds the websites of giant retail chains such as Staples Inc. and Chipotle Mexican Grill Inc.; recently ordained public companies that grew up on the platform, including shoemaker Allbirds Inc. and medical scrubs maker Figs; and the retail side-hustles of Kylie Jenner, Taylor Swift, Lady Gaga, and other celebrities. But the company’s biggest impact has been at the smaller end of the scale, in the vast constellation of mom and pops, venture-capital-backed startups, influencer mini-moguls, twee entrepreneurs, merch heads, and more obscure outfits, like Offlimits - a two-person New York City startup trying to reinvent, of all things, breakfast cereal."

You can read the entire story here.

KC's View:

It may be unfair - because, to be honest, I have no idea how Tobi Lütke spent the holidays - but after I saw this story from Bloomberg a piece popped up on my news feed about Jeff Bezos cavorting shirtless on an 88-foot super yacht in the Caribbean.  And while Bezos no longer is Amazon's CEO, the juxtaposition - unfair though it may be - made me wonder if in some ways the folks at Amazon may be growing out of touch with Main Street issues.

Just a thought.