Lessons From Video Games, & The Importance of Communication| Tobi Lutke on Invest Like the Best with Patrick O’Shaughnessy

Check Out the Invest Like The Best Podcast Episode Page & Show Notes

Key Takeaways

  • “A retail store is really a participant in the global world of commerce”Tobi Lutke
    • The pandemic has closed most physical stores, but virtual stores are still alive and thriving
  • The most important realization from personality tests is that people are different and see the world from different perspectives
    • “Just having a working understanding of this and actually having an appreciation for other people’s perspective is just hugely valuable and I think personality tests are a way to get there” – Tobi Lutke
  • One important skill people learn from video games is decision making, strategy, and resource allocation
    • The most important lesson Tobi learned from video games is managing his attention“You’re tested at how good are you at paying attention to what’s going on. How well are you investing your attention?”Tobi Lutke
  • A key takeaway from stoicism: Only focus on influencing the things you can control, such as yourself
  • 2030 came a decade early because of COVID: Everyone is on web conferences, more people are working from home, and online learning has skyrocketed. People are also getting a glimpse of living in a business world that is almost completely digital

Intro

Books Mentioned

Thoughts on Shopify

  • Shopify recently launched their Shop app
    • It’s an app for consumers which helps people find local and independent brands
  • Tobi started Shopify because he saw that there wasn’t software to help entrepreneurs build an online store
  • When you buy a product, you’re voting for that business to stay open
  • Tobi is a very detailed oriented person and is fascinated by the philosophy of making good decisions
    • He spends most of his time of product development
      • “I like being in product meeting” – Tobi Lutke
  • A lot goes into the quality of a product
    • “It’s everything from the frame rate of animation, to the copywriting, to the precision of illustration, all the way down to the architecture” – Tobi Lutke
  • “A retail store is really a participant in the global world of commerce”Tobi Lutke
    • The pandemic has closed most physical stores, but virtual stores are still alive and thriving
      • “Everything is now digital”

Company Systems

  • If you want employees to change their behavior, make it easier to perform that specific behavior
    • E.g: Shopify wanted their employees to return their lunch trays so they put lunch tray racks near all the exits
  • Employees have about 5 hours of valuable work in them a day
    • You want to make sure they’re using that brainpower towards their job and not towards dealing with red-tape
      • You want to have a process-light company where you trust your employees to do the right thing instead of enforcing corporate rules like strict dress-codes

Communicate With Your Employees

  • Shopify has 6,000 employees
    • Tobi hosts an internal weekly podcast where he shares his decision-making process and the results from it
      • Shopify is a default-open company where employees can sign up to get updates on different projects
  • The most important realization from personality tests is that people are different and see the world from different perspectives
    • “Just having a working understanding of this and actually having an appreciation for other people’s perspective is just hugely valuable and I think personality tests are a way to get there” – Tobi Lutke
      • Tobi shares his personality type with his employees so they can better understand how he functions and works

Lessons From Video Games

  • Tobi learned to code mainly because he wanted to make a change in a video game
    • Video games can be good for you because they teach you how to transfer talent from one area to another, Tobi recommends the book The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle to learn more
      • One important skill people learn from video games is decision making, strategy, and resource allocation
        • The most important lesson Tobi’s learned from video games is managing his attention
          • “You’re tested at how good are you at paying attention to what’s going on. How well are you investing your attention?”Tobi Lutke

Thoughts on Stoicism

  • Tobi really enjoyed reading A Guide to the Good Life by William B. Irvine
    • The book does a great job of providing a good life philosophy without focusing on religion
      • “I just think it’s a really, really good book…it’s my go-to recommendation” – Tobi Lutke
  • A key takeaway from stoicism: Only focus on influencing the things you can control, such as yourself
    • For example, you can’t be insulted by what someone says unless you accept the insult 
      • “My brain has assigned the power to this other person to make me feel insulted and I chose to go along with that” Tobi Lutke

Additional Notes

  • 2030 came a decade early because of COVID: Everyone is on web conferences, more people are working from home, and online learning has skyrocketed
    • People are also getting a glimpse of living in an almost exclusively digital business world
  • Tobi has 3 kids and was impressed by how quickly they adapted to the new norm of life
  • “This is a choose your own adventure world” – Tobi Lutke
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Notes By Alex Wiec

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