Podcast

The Future of Ecommerce With Shopify's President: Harley Finkelstein

Harley Finkelstein is the President of Shopify, the all-in-one e-commerce platform that powers millions of companies in 175-plus countries and has captured 28% market share in the US alone. Harley has been passionate about entrepreneurship since he was 13 and founded his first company at 17. Most recently, he co-founded Firebelly Tea, a modern, high-end tea brand.

An accomplished entrepreneur, lawyer, and public speaker, he was named the Canadian Angel Investor of the Year and received Canada’s Top 40 Under 40 and Fortune’s Top 40 Under 40 awards. Harley serves on the board of directors of the National Retail Federation and previously served on the board of directors of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). Additionally, he created Big Shot, a project and podcast that archives the stories of the most outstanding Jewish entrepreneurs of the last century.

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Here’s a glimpse of what you’ll learn:

  • What is the future of e-commerce? Harley Finkelstein weighs in
  • How retailers can leverage social commerce to create extraordinary customer experiences
  • Harley addresses the rise of spatial commerce
  • Cryptocurrency’s role in the Shopify ecosystem
  • Preparing business owners in the making for the new wave of entrepreneurship

In this episode…

eCommerce accounts for over 15% of all retail sales, and consumers are driving the shopping experience for the first time in history. As purchasing power shifts from retailers to customers, what’s anticipated for the future of eCommerce, and how can brands capitalize on emerging trends?

With a finger on the pulse of the e-commerce trajectory, Harley Finkelstein highlights the consumer’s pervasive role in the future of retail. Rather than investing in various retail channels, he maintains that leading brands optimize the customer experience by focusing on their purchasing preferences. Social commerce is crucial in expanding your consumer base, as many brands sell products on social media platforms to access other merchandisers’ customers. Additionally, Harley warns not to ignore various forms of spatial commerce like VR and AR since these technologies will alter the e-commerce game by facilitating centralized and immersive shopping experiences.

In today’s special episode of the Up Arrow Podcast, the President of Shopify, Harley Finkelstein, joins William Harris to discuss how to prepare for the future of e-commerce. Harley discusses the role of cryptocurrency in Shopify’s ecosystem, provides advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, and explores the evolution of entrepreneurship.

Resources mentioned in this episode

Sponsor for this episode

This episode is brought to you by Elumynt. Elumynt is a performance driven e-commerce marketing agency focused on finding the best opportunities for you to grow and scale your business.

Our paid search, social, and programmatic services have proven to increase traffic and ROAS, allowing you to make more money efficiently.

To learn more, visit www.elumynt.com.


Disclaimer: William Harris does own stock in Shopify, Meta, Google, or many of the platforms we talk about on the show. These are products he truly believes in. William is an investor in Allegory XR.

Episode Transcript

Harley Finkelstein  0:00  

Look, I think we are living in the golden age right now of entrepreneurship truly, one of the first spatial commerce augmented reality experiments we did was with a company called, that was impossible five years ago, that I think is the future of retail.

Intro  0:18  

Welcome to the Up Arrow Podcast with William Harris, featuring top business leaders sharing strategies and resources to get to the next level. Now, let's get started with the show.

William Harris  0:30  

Welcome to the Up Arrow Podcast. My name is William Harris, I'm your host today, my guest probably doesn't need an introduction at all. We're gonna be talking about the future of e-commerce with the freaking president of Shopify, Harley Finkelstein. Harley, welcome to the Up Arrow Podcast.

Harley Finkelstein  0:45

I am so happy to be here. Maybe we should start by talking about what we talked about before we hit the record button, which is sure how this all happened. Because I think it speaks. I think it speaks volumes to not only your commitment to your listeners and your fans, but also talks about why you've been successful entrepreneur is sort of my art. My family motto with my wife and I is how you do anything is how you do everything. And I suspect the way that you were able to convince me to come on the podcast the same way that you run your business. So actually, I'd like to I'd like to turn around and ask you how this all happened.

William Harris  1:20  

No, well, that's good. Because the very next thing I wanted to say was a big shout-out to Aaron Orndorff. One of my best friends, he was formerly the editor in chief there at Shopify Plus, he's now the head of marketing at Ricart. He put together an absolutely incredible tweet, kind of introducing the two of us, he was like, Harley, you should go on his show. And, and obviously, I had talked to Aaron, Aaron was on the show. And he said, you know, hey, what else can I do to help? And I was like, if there's any way that you could make an introduction here, that would be amazing. And he said, Sure, I'll do it. And he did. And you're so polite, and we replied, and I appreciate that.

Harley Finkelstein  1:59  

Now, it is it's an honor beyond it's funny because that type of model where you know, it's like, it's borderline shaming me. But it's also incredibly motivating where you get people from, I mean, I'm like, like, my tribe are the commerce, ecommerce, entrepreneur, founder startup banner types like that's, that's, that's my tribe that so I've always identified, those are my friends with people I surround myself with. And so by getting other people kind of in that community be like, Hey, you should really join this podcast, like we, you know, up arrow is a really good conversation, he has a great audience base. I don't know, I think that's exactly the right type of hustle. So well done.

William Harris  2:35  

I appreciate it. I'm excited to dig in here. And I don't know, Harley, if you're like me, in this way at all or not, but I struggle sometimes to think about the here. And now my mind is often thinking about the future. And not just like five years into the future, but 50 years, 500 years into the future. And I've been thinking about this a lot about like nobody talks about mobile commerce or M commerce that much anymore. If they are I don't even realize that they're talking about it anymore. And so thinking about the future of e-commerce and where we go from here, and right now, it's still I still consider it to be in its infancy, not its infancy. It's growing up. It's a toddler, maybe. But it takes up I think maybe a little more than 15% of the total retail sales goes towards e-commerce. And so this first question is very generic and broad. And then we'll break it down more later. But the first question that I just want to start off with is, what's the future of e-commerce?

Harley Finkelstein  3:30  

Yeah, I mean, the first part of this is not going to be that surprising because I think if you listen to me talk about this at all on social or live or anywhere, I talk a lot about this particular concept, which is that the future of e-commerce and the future of commerce is exactly the same, which is it's going to be commerce everywhere. A little bit of sort of retail history. John Wanamaker created watermakers, department stores in Philadelphia in 1876. And it was the first time in America, sort of the Western world, where a bunch of different brands were resold under the same roof. And my hypothesis, or my sort of theory is that things have pretty much been the same ever since 1876. When it comes to retail, it's been, you know, stores got larger, more lights. Now you go to American dream, you know, in New Jersey, you see water parks and Ferris wheels and Mr. Beast burgers and pop-ups and there's, you know, there's cooler stuff happening there. But generally, it's the same model simply scaled for modern times. I think something fairly profound happen in the last 10 to 15 years, which is that ecommerce came about direct to consumer went from being a fad or a trend to being steady state, a bunch of sort of ancillary things or ancillary things kind of happened around the perimeter. But the biggest change is that for the first time in the history of retail, consumers began to dictate to the retailers how commerce shouldn't be done. And if you sort of juxtapose your own experience onto that, for example, I don't know, when you were eight years old, and there was a particular video game at the Gamestop, or some, you know, some some toy store in the mall, you know, Mom and Dad maybe takes you to the store, it opens at 9am, you wait outside the store at 845, the doors open, we all rush in and we grab the product, we wait up in the cache, we get to the cash register, we give a credit card, they say no, we don't accept that credit card gives us another one, get another credit card out, they give you a receipt, put into a bag and you walk out that entire eight-year-old at the mall experience is the perfect example or anecdote of how the retailer used to dictate to the consumer how to purchase that's over. Now, the consumer is dictating to the retailer how they want to purchase. And it's profound because it's shifting the power from the retailer to the consumer. It's making for a much more interesting, unique, fun experience. But it also creates, if you're not ready for it, it sort of creates a little bit of a of a habit have-nots. And actually, even as early as you know, a couple quarters ago, you still heard retailers, very large retailers on earnings calls talk about channel conflict, that online is hurting offline or offline, certainly online or wholesale was hurting redirect. And I mean, it's it's, it's total bullshit. The best retailers in the planet, the ones that I admire the most, the ones that I look up to, I'm just kind of thinking like thinking aloud here retailers, and I'm companies like irrigable, or Allah yoga, or GymShark or Viora, or James purse, which I'm wearing right now. They're not they don't care about channels, they're not talking about channel-like conflict, they're not at all they're talking about how can I create the best experience ever for my consumers. And that I think is the future of retail, it's retail everywhere and look at this was 15 years ago, we'd be talking about, you know, Myspace as a channel, because that would have been relevant and and 20 years from now we're gonna be talking about I don't know, like SpaceX as a channel like, you know, on your way to Mars for a vacation, you're buying stuff off the, you know, off their tablet. I think the companies that are do the best for the longest period of time will be channel agnostic but have deep empathy for what the consumer wants. And that's we're trying to build a Shopify, we're trying to build a future-proofed retail operating system that is completely agnostic to how the consumer wants to buy but incredibly opinionated in its approach to ensuring our brands or merchants are our businesses, big and small, the smallest merchants on the platform at their mom's kitchen table getting set up largest merchant on the platform, they can use this to ensure that they can always deliver incredible products and an incredible transaction flow to their end consumer.

William Harris  7:49  

That's huge. And so let's talk about one of those ways in which, you know, you mentioned being able to deliver the right customer experience to people, no matter where they're at. One of the ways in which that's being eroded to a point, or at least changed and challenged, would be, let's just say social purchasing. So we've got Facebook shops, TikTok shop, these are introducing a very unique way for people to buy and purchase things. But you as a merchant, have lost some of your ability to curate that experience that you want. Now there's benefits, but there's also trade-offs. What do you think about this trend? Because there was a time when we tried this before, and it failed. iOS 14 came out killed attribution, and there was a resurgence of this. And I think that now we're seeing this take off a lot more than we tried in the past. Do you think that there's legs for this in the future?

Harley Finkelstein  8:41

Yeah, I I don't believe that there's a trade-off there. There is. There's a channel a Shopify channel that is not well discussed because it's a very niche channel. It's not for most people most of the time. It is the Spotify Shopify channel. And it is for artists that have large followings on Spotify. Large subscriber base large fan bases, who wants to also sell commercialize, offer merchandise and physical products to their listeners. And again, not for everyone because most most merchants most do not have massive fanbase on Spotify. If you want to do that, there is a template of which you need to merchandise your products inside of Spotify. That is not too dissimilar. It behind me is is Firebelly tea. I have a little tea company on the side with my my best buddy David Siegel famously the founder of David's Tea, we started Firebelly tea during the pandemic, partially because we both are anxious entrepreneurs and coughing afternoon doesn't do the trick, but great green tea absolutely does. So we wanted to offer you know, he's the greatest curator of the pies and tea. We wanted to create that I also want to use Shopify as product in a very modern way as opposed to the first Shopify store I launched was 15 or 16 years ago on Shopify, one of the first merchants so I want to experience the product better We've been doing the whole direct to consumer thing with Firebelly has been amazing. But a year ago, Bloomingdale's contacted us and said, We want to put Firebelly on our shelves. And they actually gave us this literally, this like little little cart, almost looks like a, like a food cart kind of thing. And they're like, dress it up, make it look amazing. We'd never done that before. I mean, we didn't really merchandise Firebelly for the physical world, but here you had Bloomingdale's. That said to us, we are going to give you access to our consumers, our existing consumers, we're going to record give them to you, we're almost going to rent them to. But we're going to ask you to merchandise your products in a way that makes the consumer experience across all of Bloomingdale's feel incredible. So whether you're buying a great jacket, or a pair of shoes, or kitchenware, or Firebelly, if you're at the New York City, you know, Central Park West, Bloomingdale's iconic flagship store, it's going to feel like a great unified experience. We could choose to say I'm sorry, we're not going to do that. That's not you know, that doesn't give us the right attribution doesn't allow. Or we can say no, no, this is a great opportunity for us to access somebody else's consumer base. And that's the way they think about all these channels. If you're gonna sell on social media platforms, whether it's Instagram, or its, or its Facebook, or its TikTok, or its Snap, or its Pinterest, we make it really easy through Shopify to do that, but each of those are going to have their own set of limitations, which there are only really limitations because you're used to the open web, where you can build Firebelly t.com. And anybody can, you know, I can, I can make it look any way I want, I can have the, I can have upsells. And I can have feature list, and I can have embed videos, and I can have accelerated checkout buttons, I can have all the attribution and all the data and all the information I want. You're saying, you know, like, you're effectively when you're, when you're selling on someone else's platform, there's a massive benefit. And the cost of it is that you have to sell in the way that they want you to sell. But that sort of sort of makes the case for why this idea of Shopify being a retail operating system is so compelling and so interesting, because what it means is that regardless of where you sell records of how many channels you have enabled, it all feeds back into one centralized back office, which is Shopify. And that is, I think, the most important piece of all, all the stuff we're talking about online, offline, VR, AR, social media, pop-ups, wholesale, direct-to-consumer, whatever, it needs to all go back to one place. So you as an entrepreneur, as a founder, as a merchant, as a business can run your your business from a centralized nervous system. And so that's kind of how I think about some of these new channels is that yeah, you may not get everything you want from them, but you're getting something else, which is someone else is acquiring those customers, and they're going to rent them too. Sure.

William Harris  12:47

So you you mentioned Firebelly, firebellytea.com. And the idea of you have that ability to market exactly the way that you want and create that customer experience. And you also talked about this idea of people, consumers now kind of dictating the way that they would like to be sold to. And I'm thinking about something that somebody else that was a previous guest on the show Britain lads said, which is having a website at all, is going to be like the Stone Age very soon. The idea is like AI, your AI agent is gonna be trained to make purchases on your behalf. And so is there a future than where you would agree or disagree with this, where it's like, hey, the future eventually is, it's not even that you you as a consumer are going to be dictating how you want to buy, but your AI agent is actually going to be the thing, because a lot of times we're blocking AI agents and a lot of ways. But I think that that's probably going to be more important to the way that we think about our data feeds and things like that in the future.

Harley Finkelstein  13:49

I think if you have the type of product, so this new, like humane product came out the AI clip, have you seen that? Very? Yes. Yeah. With the projection right there on your on your hand, you can see it looks great, that retail spirit is powered by Shopify, which if I got the Early Access invites, so I think that's really cool. Can't wait to get in there, get it in early 2024. Because that's a good product for that type of customer base, that type of demographic, the AI agents probably really great. I'm not sure I want an AI agent across every one of my purchases. So again, like rather than think of an AI agent versus everything else, think about an AI agent or AI in general or VR in general or AR in general. I just someone just dropped these off. These are the new AR excuse me, the AI meta glasses. I just came in from Ray Ban. I haven't set them up yet, but they look pretty cool. And I'm going to set them up later. They're called the Wayfarers. Ray Ban meta. Yeah, and it was very cool. I can't wait to try to check this out. These are all just new channels. And again, when I go to buy a great James purse t-shirt in the physical store, let's say I'm at their New York store in Soho. I walk in the store smells a particular way I know it's James purse, the floorboards feel a particular way The people that work there, dress a particular way, whatever they've all these things, in aggregate, create that James purse experience. I'm not sure I need to have an AI assistant or concierge helping me with that. But when I was buying the humane clip, AI clip, I think it would have been an amazing experience to have someone say, you know, when I was choosing different colors, you know, hey, let me help you choose this color. Or, you know, I think there's only one subscription now, but I seem to have different subscriptions later. Tell me about your normal use. When you go out for dinner on the weekends with your spouse, do you take your phone with, you know, great, this is the better one, you do take your phone. Great. So this is an add on or supplement to the phone as opposed to a replacement for your phone. That's how I think about all these things. And so I don't think like 10% of all ecommerce in the US goes through Shopify, I have an incredible perspective on, you know, American commerce, but global commerce as well as millions of stores on the platform, there is no one formula or one particular channel that's going to be right for every single merchant. And that's the reason why, you know, I think shop has gotten one of the things doesn't get talked about we've gotten really good at these partnerships, these large scale partnerships with, you know, Google and met of course, but also Amazon and Apple and, and Spotify and Pinterest and, and snap and tick tock and part of the reason that we've gotten good at these partnerships is because commerce now the surface area of commerce is now universal. So if you're going to call yourself the retail operating system, the future perfect operating system, and you're going to continuously requalified to be that centralized OS for these millions of stores, you have to ensure that when they want to sell on a particular channel, the answer is Hell yeah, click there. Sure.

William Harris  16:43  

Okay, before we get too far into this episode with Harley Finkelstein, it is amazing. I do want to announce our sponsor. This episode is brought to you by Elumynt Elumynt is an award-winning advertising agency optimizing campaigns around profit. In fact, we've helped 13 of our customers get acquired with the largest one selling for nearly 800,000,001, that recently IPOs. And we were ranked as the 12th fastest growing agency in the world, by Adweek, you can learn more on our website@elumynt.com, which is spelled elumynt.com. Let's get back into the good stuff. I love that you called out the Ray Ban there with meta. I was there at that summit there.

Harley Finkelstein  17:26  

I just got them in brown, they're really I haven't tried to match. I literally

William Harris  17:29  

got them a few minutes I want I want a pair it's definitely on my list of things that I want to get this year. And I was I was I was at that, right? Like went through the whole VR situation, everything that they had set up there. And it was really pretty cool. And I liked some of the stuff that they're coming out with the new the new VR headset there. You've talked about spatial commerce before I've actually I'm an advisor for an AR company called allegory XR. Actually the great company. Okay, so you're familiar with them. So yep, yep. So Mike Maloney was the co founder, he started or he did a lot of the AR stuff over at Wayfair. And so I think about VR and where AR XR Mr. Whichever one we want to go with where that's going, I get excited about it. From a spatial cameras perspective, this is something you've talked about what gets you excited about spatial commerce. I like the idea

Harley Finkelstein  18:20  

that some things that historically, were so much better purchasing in a physical model can now actually be improved in a digital environment. One of the first spatial commerce augmented reality, you know, experiments we did was with a company called magnolia. That's Chip and Joanna Gaines is company TV show. They this crazy store. I think it's in Waco, Texas. And you've been there? Yeah. Yeah, I've never I've never been there. But I hear it's like fantast from retail, you know, experience. I hear. It's incredible. Yeah. So that's very cool. The products are quite expensive. And the majority of their consumers don't live in Waco, Texas. And don't visit Waco, Texas actually funny little factoid is apparently, that store has changed the tourism. in Waco, Texas, like more people now we're visiting Waco, Texas is that store, which is just a really cool kind of retail factoid. But the fact that I can now go to their online store on my mobile device, and I can actually place products around my home office or my house or anything like that means that I as a consumer, I'm just getting a better experience. Sure. And there's no other way that there's that was impossible five years ago. Now there was this sort of barrier to entry in terms of using AR or spatial commerce, which was hardware that initially needed special hardware for it, and they needed special software for it. But today, I mean, if you have modern iPhone, everyone's browser has AR Kitt built in. And so as far as I'm concerned, like, that is a step function better if you were only buying these products online. Now, where's this gonna go? I mean, I think, you know, being able to put on my glasses and look around and see a mirror and try on the new James purse t-shirt, or put on my glasses and see how a piece of furniture will fit or put on my glasses and say, Hey, you like this particular product? It's $200. What about this one for 50 bucks, or this other one made by an Italian artisan for $2,000. I mean, sure, now everything around me becomes not only shoppable, but provides me with incredible information. That's a pretty cool thing.

William Harris  20:40

That’s very exciting. You know, think about even just the future of driving, and there's a potential chance where we won't drive necessarily anywhere, will will actually probably have our VR headset on. And we're just watching doing whatever we need to do. And so you're interacting in that, that capacity, there is an opportunity for people to play games and buy stuff and what

Harley Finkelstein  20:59

I think but just I mean, just say thing, when I think of special commerce, I don't just think about putting on a headset, or using AR kit or using VR thing. I just think about the fact that he'll think about like a QR code, what does a cute QR could ultimately do a QR code take something that is physical and turn it into something digital. It's very, very cool. What I think is neat about spatial commerce, it takes something digital potentially, I mean, using AR technology or spatial commerce technology, and eventually leads to something physical, which is like a couch shows up. Yeah. And I think this idea of blending these two, like taking out my phone and ordering an Uber, digital, but a car shows up physical, like the fact that all this stuff is getting blended. That's the good shit. That's the stuff that is exciting.

William Harris  21:47  

Now that's very interesting. And then that leads into the next thing that I guess I would want to talk about which is like NFTs and cryptocurrency so like other things that are you know, let's say moving from analog to digital and beyond. You guys do a bit with this right now. I think that the the next halving of Bitcoin will see another resurgence of this, regardless of what people like or dislike about it. Do you think that there is a continued future for that type of digital good within the Shopify ecosystem?

Harley Finkelstein  22:17  

Yeah, but again, I don't think it's forever one, I think, you know, there was a period of time between 2000 and to I think maybe there's one sort of post like recession, and like 2005, where it felt like every single retailer had a DJ booth in the store. Like h&m, and the gap, and Home Depot, like just crazy. And then around 2005 to like 2010 or so felt like every retailer because a retailer had either a barber shop, or a coffee shop in their store. Yeah. Not everyone needs a DJ booth in their store. Not everyone needs a barber or a coffee, you know, a great Italian barista shop in their in their store. If it's a hardware store, you probably don't need a coffee shop. Maybe you have a demos place where someone's actually doing a bunch of really cool demos using like power tools and what I'm not really a woodworking type guy, but like I can see that being the thing. And but in the same I feel the same way. There are certain brands and certain merchants for example, Kith is a great example where their consumer is so loyal and so tapped into the larger kit community. That it just it kind of makes sense. The hundreds Bobby hundreds his community what they're doing incredible where that like having an NF T on my phone that provide me membership to exclusive kits drops or kits events. I mean, one of my favorite Shopify stores right there is supreme, its supreme skateboard makes total sense. Because that is not just a product that is a community. And so for communities who deeply understand that doodles, we did this crazy activation South by Southwest, and it was like it was a vent inside of an event inside of an event was like the big doodle thing to get in, you have to have doodles NFT. And then to get to the special room, you have to have like the premium NFT and then get the special special rewards like, like that was really interesting. Sure, but I think a lot of companies jumped into web three that had no business and web three. Do you remember I think Arizona iced tea like going to that for a second? I think they changed their name to like Arizona blockchain or something.

William Harris  24:27  

I don't remember what it was. It was very interesting.

Harley Finkelstein  24:29  

It was ridiculous. I mean, that was that was the DJ booth at the, you know, Home Hardware store. Yeah. So that's, I mean, I feel like I'm, you know, it's a little bit of repeat of what we talked about earlier, but having this deep empathy for who you're selling to, should dictate what tools you use, but I think there's definitely space for it. I think we got totally carried away in web three. I think we got a little more carried away with like every store needs to offer crypto. Another funny sort of little factoid is the first store in Shopify to accept crypto from a tree His action perspective was SMS by 5050 cents. Headphones. Sure. And again, like maybe he knew something about his community that and his fans and no one else did, in which case, makes total sense. But I suspect these things are important for some people some of the time. And if you want to be a platform or product that serves millions of stores that are processing, I think last quarter we processed but $56 billion of GMV in the quarter. That's a lot of GMV by a lot of stores, we need to ensure that no matter what you want to do, whatever your particular needs are, we have to serve you there. Yeah,

William Harris  25:36  

I know. We're coming up on time. So I'll make this the last question. Your Honor, I understand that you have a couple of kids. I've got three young daughters, I got two daughters. Yeah, I'm raising them to be entrepreneurs to the best extent that I can. And so it's funny that you called out DJ of all things, because I understand that you are a DJ when you were young. But is there something I know entrepreneurship is a big thing that you talk about a lot as well, just going beyond just commerce beyond the cameras going into entrepreneurship in general? Is there something that you are doing right now with your daughters that you think would be beneficial to everybody in the idea of preparing for the new wave of entrepreneurship? Yeah.

Harley Finkelstein  26:16  

Well, first of all, the reason that I'm so obsessed with entrepreneurship is not just because President Shopify, which is an entrepreneurship company, I think entrepreneurship is the greatest way for humans to self-actualize. I think it's the great equalizer. The reason I fell in love with entrepreneurship at 13 years old was to the DJ point, I want to be a DJ, nobody would hire me. And this thing, this concoction called entrepreneurship, meant that I didn't need to ask permission, I can just start my own DJ company, and have to ask anyone, I can just start it myself. Now. The market will dictate whether or not I was good or not good. And fortunately, the market was kind to me because I DJ like 500 parties, starting when I was 13 years old. But I think entrepreneurship is this way for us to solve problems. My grandfather, I've said this story and other podcasts before, but my grandfather came to Canada in 56. from Hungary, Holocaust survivor, Hungarian Revolution was basically pushed out of the country emigrated on a boat to Canada, no money, no language, no education. What did he do to survive? He didn't call it this. But it was entrepreneurship. He sold eggs at a farmers market for sick the next 65 years of his life, till he passed away. His problem was money and a roof over their heads and food on the table. Entrepreneurship helped. My problem was I want to teach him to hire me entrepreneurship was a solution to I just think it's an amazing tool. And I think that there's these, there's a connotation and entrepreneurship is like a category of like you are an entrepreneur, you are not men or no. Entrepreneurship is like is a way to solve problems, you can take an entrepreneurial approach, whether you work at a big company, or you work for yourself, or, you know, whatever the case may be. Now, what I realized, so my wife, who's my wife's a psychotherapist, by training, she's also an entrepreneur, she has an ice cream company called Sunday school, we want our kids to find their own way. And we think entrepreneurship is potentially a good path for them to navigate. And so, like anything else, if you push too hard on a particular thing, they're gonna go the other way, because that's for sure. So what we're trying to do is just kind of show them the opportunities that entrepreneurship may provide to them. So for example, you know, we don't just do put up a lemonade stand. Instead, we actually create a spreadsheet with costs and revenues and profit margin. And we effectively go through this and explain here's how business works. Like if you're if your cost basis $2 per per unit, you got to sell for $4 and that means you making $2 profit, and therefore you can take the $2 and you can reinvest in the business and inventory and marketing. And from that at some point you maybe take some money out of the company and that's called your you know, your your dividend or your profit. So we're trying to explain provide them and my kids are seven and four. So they're not really fully into like EBITDA yet or figuring out calculations CAC to LTV ratios, but we're trying to allow them to have a surface area that is large enough that they can kind of do whatever they want. But they have to be ambitious and I you know, our family motto that my wife and I use all the time is how you do anything is how you do everything. And the reason that is important motto is like we try to put as much intentionality into a random Wednesday night dinner as we do into planning application into the way we think about charity and community into how we run our businesses. And I want my mic I want my daughters to be intentional about those things now if they decide they want to do something totally different and they want to go work at a big company all I asked you they do so in a way that is true to themselves is ambitious. And so I you know I can I can talk about e-commerce I can talk about, you know, public company He's and leading big teams and startups, I'm not necessarily sure I'm the person that should be giving any advice on parenting because the truth is, I don't really know what I'm doing yet. I do have great mentors in my life, not just mentors for Shopify or, or business, not just mentors for, you know, investments, not just mentors for how to live a rich life full of heart and character and love. But I also have, you know, parenting mentors, and I also have marriage mentors, people that I think have great marriages and, and I try to get as much energy trading as much insight from them. To help me create my own version of my best self. So I don't know, I'd be curious, you know, I don't know how that's gonna work out. But I want to raise, I want to raise our daughters to be really thoughtful, and,

William Harris  30:44  

and passionate people. If there's any last closing words that you wanted to say or ways that people can continue to follow you connect with you. What would you want to say there? Yeah,

Harley Finkelstein  30:52  

I mean, if you want to, you can find me on Twitter, or X. @HarleyF on Instagram, just @Harley. And, look, I think we are living in the golden age right now of entrepreneurship. Truly, it has never been less expensive startup business, it's never been easier to scale a business, the cost of failure has never been lower. And the velocity of Business Acceleration is simply unlike anything we've ever seen before. The fact that you have companies that are now a billion-dollar brands, competing with the likes of Nike, that did not exist eight years ago, is insane. That velocity was never possible. It used to take multi generations to get to a point where you're competing with the biggest baddest businesses on the planet. And now you got you know, people like you know, Trina at figs doing it in the in the hospital scrub industry, and Ben Francis from Jim shark in the athletic wear industry. And you got the VRE, guys and you got the just it's it's unbelievable and then at the same time you got people like Jimmy let Mr. Beast disrupting the chocolate market. I mean, if you're if you're not watching skims you should sit with what Kim and her team are doing the skims is unbelievable. Unbelievable. Yeah, obviously, she has, you know, some unfair advantages given her, her her celebrity, but holy shit has had an incredible business and, and, you know, I was just, we were on tour with Drake, the last over the summer, Drake's it was all a blur tour, and the shop app was on tour. And we were doing these crazy things where after the show, we would do a QR code projection on the side of the stadium. QR code would lead to a drop where you can get a pair of sneakers, limited edition sneakers knocked in Nike sneakers for like $1 from Drake. And people were leaving the concert early. I watched from my own eyes. I was there. I was like, I ran the projector for the final the finale, which was in Toronto. I ran the projector with with Hamza and Lindsey who ran this team credible people. And people left the show early to go get access to the drop. And it's crazy. These are like, these are unprecedented times that we're living in right now. And anyone can build anything you all you need is deep ambition. You know, you don't necessarily need experience. You need perseverance. You need to have hustle and character. And just separate yourself from the pack community. Because everyone because so many people can participate. You have more competition. But if you're creative, you can build these incredible things. And never before could these companies, these businesses, these ideas get this much scale this quickly. It is unbelievable. I feel I can't believe we get to participate in business in these times because our parents and grandparents could never have imagined this.

William Harris  33:37

No, Harley, thank you for being on the show. You've been absolutely incredible. You're an inspiration to me, like so many other people. Thank

Harley Finkelstein  33:46

you. I'm glad to be on here. Keep going with Up Arrow. It's it's really cool that you're focusing on on these topics in this particular time. It's a great honor. William, thank

Outro  33:55  

you very much. Thanks for listening to the Up Arrow Podcast with William Harris. We'll see you again next time, and be sure to click Subscribe to get future episodes.

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