超级隐形卖货机器 – Shopify夹缝中拼出1400亿市值

■YYC超越集团主席叶志超

每个故事都有大智慧,“企动人心”单元希望与更多企业家及管理者,分享触动人心、启发灵感及商机的故事。

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超级隐形卖货机器

Shopify夹缝中拼出1400亿市值

如果说,马克朱伯克格当初为了泡妞创立了面子书,那市值1400亿美元的Shopify,起源也是因为一段异地恋。

讲起美国的电商,您一定会以为不是亚马逊的天下,就是eBay的地盘;但在亚马逊和eBay夹缝中生存下来的Shopify,其实是一部超级庞大的“隐形卖货机器”!

今天的“企动人心”要分享的是这间作风低调的加拿大独角兽企业,以及其联合创始人托比斯卢特克(Tobias Lutke)的创业故事。

简单来说,Shopify是一家帮用户建立电商网站的公司,它的操作简单并且有许多模板供选择,商户不需懂得任何代码,只需选择自己属意的模板网站就可网上做生意。

德国出生 有阅读障碍

1980年于德国出世的托比斯,自小有阅读障碍症,到了10年级就辍学,加入一个学习编程的学徒项目,这也造就了他喜欢用编程解决所有问题的个性。

关于Shopify的故事,要从一段爱情故事讲起。因为喜欢滑雪,托比斯从德国去到加拿大,也因而结识现任妻子菲奥娜麦基恩(Fiona Mckean)。

2002年,为了让这段异地恋开花结果,托比斯决定到加拿大发展。但是他却拿不到工作准证,得悉唯有自雇才可继续合法工作,他因而阴错阳差创业,成立了一个卖滑雪板的网站,叫Snowdevil。

在要创设Snowdevil时,托比斯研究了许多商业软件后都发现太贵,最惊讶的是即便到了2004年,市面上都还没有一个简易使用建网店的软件。

编程是他的强项,于是他使用开源编程语言Ruby on Rails建立Snowdevil,大概两个月半的时间,网站就顺利启用。

从卖滑雪板到卖软体

本来是卖滑雪板的网店,后来又怎么变成建电商网站呢?

托比斯在受访时曾透露,其实销售滑雪板的生意也经营得很不错,赚幅也相当高,投资很快也回本了。

托比斯也与友人斯科特莱柯(Scott Lake)一起合伙经营Snowdevil,他负责科技,斯科特则是CEO。身为科技人(IT guy)的托比斯,最热衷的事情就是一直研究如何让网店更美、更快、更好。

事情转折点就发生在当Snowdevil网站越来越好用,也越来越多人询问可否把Snowdevil网站软体授权使用,于是托比斯和斯科特就开始思考,到底要继续卖滑雪板还是卖网站软体?

答案很明显!在2005年夏天,托比斯好友丹尼尔魏南德(Daniel Weinand)也加入团队,Shopify正式诞生,公司名称取自“Shop + simplify”的缩写,想带出的意思就是用最简易便捷的方式设立网店。

靠岳父周转 发薪资

Shopify创始资金是源自跟亲朋好友筹资的20万美元,但初期发展并不顺利,很快就花光了这笔钱,还试过靠岳父的资金来发工资。

失败的原因是收费模式出问题,Shopify在每笔交易都收取手续费,这影响了商户把业绩冲高的意愿,因为卖越多被抽取的佣金将更高。恶性循环下,Shopify的收入成长非常缓慢。

就在托比斯与菲奥娜婚礼前一晚,Shopify把收费模式换成订阅式,托比斯说,也因为这个转换,使他在婚礼当晚非常忙碌,电话接不停。

到了2007年,Shopify终于迎来第一个春天!一位加拿大天使投资者注资25万美元,当时公司估值已经是300万美元。

有了这笔资金,Shopify开始设立自己的办公室,托比斯不再需要天天泡咖啡馆用免费wifi。公司也开始累积了商户数据,业务齿轮开始启动。

CEO离职迫使硅谷行

可是,此时担任总执行长的合伙人斯科特却要离开公司。这令托比斯感到非常担忧,因为他一直觉得自己是属于技术层面的,怕自己无法胜任CEO职务。

在听说风险投资注资后也会帮忙物色CEO后,2008年托比斯决定跑去硅谷碰运气,目的就是找资金、找CEO。

尽管是冲着去找风投,但有趣的是,托比斯连募资企划案都没有准备,因为在他的理想中只想组建约20人的高效团队,所以根本不需要筹太多钱。

于是,抵步后买了一部脚踏车,带着笔记本就去见投资人。

此趟硅谷行也算是有收获的,包括取得风投的投资意向书(term sheet),但倒是托比斯自己意识到不必太激进。在这段期间也渐渐转换角色当CEO。

然而人算不如天算,2008年下半年突如其来的次贷风暴,令全球陷入经济危机,之前投资意向书也不了了之了,公司又出现资金问题……。

失业军创业 开网店

可是谁也没料到,经济低迷使更多人失业,而这些失业军竟也因为找不到新工作而去创业,比起实体店需要更大成本,更多人倾向开网店,这却正正为Shopify打开商机之门,用户及订阅节节上升。

到了2009年,Shopify的现金周转终于不再绷紧,公司财务状况不再处于“天天忙着灭火”的状态,而且可以开始规划例如基建的长期投资。

在学习当CEO这件事情上,托比斯说,管人比管好电脑难太多,但也感激团队的给力及给予的耐心。而且托比斯认为,成为企业领导人压力也很大,自己所做的决定将会影响许多员工及家人的生计与未来。

到了2010年12月,Shopify获得A轮融资700万美元,公司估值也达到了2500万美元。2011年,Shopify获得B轮融资1500万美元,及2013年再以9亿美元公司估值,筹获1亿美元。

生活只需要一台笔电

在构思如何把业务做好时,托比斯的思想可以很复杂,但私底下他却是个生活简单的人,他形容基本上他的生活只需要一部笔记电脑就好。

从德国迁到加拿大的这些日子,托比斯在岳父母家共住了14年,之后才与妻子及三个孩子迁出組织小家庭。

托比斯也于2014年获得加拿大媒体《The Globe and Mail’s》评选为2014年年度最佳CEO。

截至2019年,Shopify共服务来自175个国家超过100万家电商,涉及成交额达到610亿美元,“隐形卖货机器”的江湖地位稳如泰山。

正如托比斯形容,如果您不是在阿马逊或者eBay网购,那您很可能刚刚光顾了一间用Shopify软体盖建的网店,只不过那里没有Shopify的标志而已,因为行事低调的Shopify,企业愿景就是“让商户看起来更棒”。

压倒eBay 股价5年飙75倍

但现今Shopify已经压倒eBay,成为二哥,并直挑亚马逊!

除了电商,Shopify也与面子书、Uber、推特、Pinterest甚至亚马逊有不同的业务合作项目。

电商网站业务已经打稳市场后,Shopify也不断升级,并且把平台开放给开发者,打造电商软件即服务 (SaaS) 平台;企业愿景也升级为“让所有人的交易更美好”。

随着平台规模的扩大,Shopify形成了无懈可击的护城河,令竞争对手更难以超越。

2015年5月,Shopify在纽约证券交易所上市,当时每股发售价是17美元,比起今年最高的1285美元,等于是5年内飙升了75倍!

2020年疫情爆发也加热网购交易量,使Shopify股价犹如“站在风口上的猪”般飞了起来,市值超过1400亿美元市值,占美国电商零售5.9%市占率。

两次危机变爆炸式成长

无论是2018年次贷危机,还是 2020年的疫情危机,都造就了Shopify两次爆炸式成长。

从当初原本只要20人高效团队,到后来扩展成为5000人的大公司。从当初未获工作准证,到后来成为加拿大的亿万富豪。

从只是想单纯卖滑雪板,到销售电商软体并形成生态圈;套一句老话,一切都是最好的安排。

如果说面子书改变了全球人类的社交形态,那么Shopify的阴错阳差,也为百花齐放的电商创造更多无限商机。

但是,在成为“风口下的猪”以前,都要时刻先把自己装备好,当机会来的时候才有条件“站在风口上”,进而把握机遇,把“危”转成“机”。

3大启示: 

  1. 专注极致:托比斯一直都以“IT Guy”做为经营自己及经营事业的核心理念,就算只是在盖一个卖滑雪板的网站,也不断改进做到最极致,从而也为自己打开了第二个商机。
  2. 自我突破:尽管只喜欢对着电脑、认为管人是很难的事,托比斯最后还是胜任了CEO的角色,调适自己来接下重任。
  3. 建生态圈:在稳定电商软体霸主地位后,Shopify把平台开放给开发者,打造电商软件即服务 (SaaS) 平台,加强业务竞争力。

A One-of-A Kind Liveable City Is Now in Malaysia. Where Is It?

Ever wonder why the core of a city is always known as the “heart” of the city? This is because the heart in our body functions as a focal region that gives life and growth to the areas surrounding it. The heart of the city is a technologically advanced location where information is exchanged daily, businesses flourish, social settings take place and where the best infrastructures are easily accessible. 

Gamuda Cove is designed in a way that allows residents to access healthcare centres, schools, offices, and other facilities all within 10 minutes. There are also walkways, bikeways, motorways, trams, and many more transportation amenities that connect homes to all the other areas in this smart sustainable city. When it comes to intercity traveling, Gamuda Cove is directly connected to the Elite Highway and access to Putrajaya will be connected via an upcoming direct flyover. 

Within the 1530-acre township of the Cove, lies the “Heart of Cove”, the busiest and most happening central hub of this liveable city. This 60-acre commercial area will be the connecting point of various districts and the entire residential estate of Gamuda Cove in the next 5 years. The “heart” was precisely planned and designed to create an environment where walkability, work, live, and play are not only accessible to each other but also able to form a dynamic relation that will encourage businesses and growth on all levels. From education to wellness, business settings to leisure and entertainment, Gamuda Cove has it all!

1. Contemporary Urban Lifestyle

The Cove will consist of a Wellness Park, Education Park, and  townsquare filled with cafes, restaurants, spas, and many more leisure and lifestyle vendors within the next 5 years.  There will also be a 60-acre pet-friendly Central Park that allows everyone to bring along their furry friends for a stroll. These facilities and development will in return cultivate the contemporary urban lifestyle which is also known as the “KL & PJ Lifestyle” to those residing inside and around Gamuda Cove. This is good news to those living within the radius of South Klang Valley as delicious food, beautiful parks, and fun entertainment will just be a heartbeat away!

2. Leisure & Entertainment

As Gamuda Cove is located next to wetlands and forest reserves, you can get close to nature at the Paya Indah Discovery Wetlands and Discovery Park. These parks are not only educational but also made for those who crave adventures and excitement. You can go on a safari tour, ride on a hot air balloon, participate in bird watching, and partake in many other interesting activities there. The SplashMania Water Theme Park on the other hand is a great place to drench the tropical heat away with your friends and family. After all of that fun and enjoyment, head over to the Leisure & Entertainment Park for a meal and relaxation, it’s that convenient!

Gamuda Cove’s Townsquare, which is made up of The Street, The Alley, The Plaza & Bond Avenue. Register here if you are interested to know more about Townsquare!

3. Live SMART With Technology

While connectivity is an important element in a community, the combination of technology and nature are equally essential in powering up the security, energy management, and sustainability of Gamuda Cove. The township is 5G ready and furnished with high speed internet while utilizing the enhanced SMART technology on all of its surveillance cameras and detection devices for crime prevention. When it comes to energy and waste management, Gamuda Cove implements solar systems to light up public spaces while food waste decompose stations and recycling stations are set up at residential areas. All of these features create a sustainable lifestyle and environment at Gamuda Cove.

4. Wellness & Community Engagement

Relaxation and living well has never been so easy with the community pocket parks and waterfronts at Gamuda Cove. Social integration and community engagement at this estate are well facilitated with scenic landscapes and greenery all around. The much anticipated pet-friendly park on a 5KM plot will be a favourable location for all who enjoy spending time with their pets and loved ones. The Cove will also have supporting facilities such as education institutions and health care centres within 10 minutes of wherever you are in Gamuda Cove.

5. A Nature Sanctuary

When you hear the name Gamuda Cove, you cannot help but to think of it as a nature sanctuary filled with a rich biodiversity and ecosystem. Due to its location between the Kuala Langat Forest Reserve and Paya Indah Wetlands, it was intuitive for Gamuda Cove to plan the township in a way that allows the land surrounding it to be at its most natural state. While the 60-acre Central Park is nestled in the middle of the township, to the south of Gamuda Cove is the waterway connecting the residential and commercial areas to the Paya Indah Discovery Wetlands.

The beautiful landscapes, developed infrastructures, and captivating nature of Gamuda Cove does not only contribute to the township’s aestheticism but also the liveability of the entire city. It is here at Gamuda Cove that you get to experience what it is like to live in a community that excels in all aspects of an advanced and refined township. This liveable city of Gamuda Cove will ensure that you live well, live connected, live smart, live green, and live vibrantly.

For more information about Gamuda Cove, visit the Gamuda Cove Experience Gallery or visit their official website here