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Craft is Culture

I’ve now been at Shopify for two months. One month in, the leadership team announced that we’re moving to “Digital by Default”: permanently. The era of office centricity is over; it’s time to figure out what comes next. I’ve had mixed feelings about this announcement. On the one hand, I was disappointed. I like having somewhere to go for the day, and having done so much travelling over the last several years for work, I was even excited to have a “regular commute”. I was especially looking forward to building… Read more Craft is Culture

The Most Famous Loop

Kevin Kwok had a great essay the other day on Figma, and how its runaway success is based on hundreds of successful loops baked into its product and business model: Why Figma Wins | Kevin Kwok It got me thinking about loops. Loops are important and they are everywhere. Businesses are fundamentally made out of them. It’s obvious to say that a business is a collection of repeatable processes; but it’s worth going the next step to specify: if a process is truly reputable, then it must be a loop,… Read more The Most Famous Loop

Let’s just get rid of peer review

As you may know already, ten years ago (before I got into the tech world) I lived in the academia world, as a grad student doing neuroscience research. Scientific research, to put it bluntly, needs to be fixed. There are so many smart and well-intentioned people working really hard in university labs and research institutions, but whose best years are getting wasted through no fault of their own. It’s not an easy problem to fix, but we’re going to have to.  Several months ago I wrote a post called Can… Read more Let’s just get rid of peer review

Download Cards, “eCommerce”, and Covid Commerce

In June 2011, my band The Fundamentals headed out for our first multi-week long tour, playing shows across Canada. It was a wild time: we were opening most of the shows for an Australian band called the Resignators, and we found out halfway through the tour that their guitarist had been one of the founding members of GWAR. (If you know, you know.) We also fell victim to a couple of pretty bad van breakdowns, including one at the end where we got stuck in a tiny logging town in… Read more Download Cards, “eCommerce”, and Covid Commerce


Hello everyone! I have some big personal and professional news: I’m joining Shopify. In my mind, Shopify is the most interesting company in the world right now. If you took everything I’ve ever written about scarcity and abundance, about technology, friction, complexity, and antifragility, and expressed it in a business, you’d get Shopify. They’re an accelerant of the future of commerce, and a lifeline for this present crisis. This is their moment.  Beyond Survival My grandfather, Léon Danco, loved small businesses and the entrepreneurs who ran them. He dedicated his… Read more Shopify