There is a nice Q & A with Shopify's CEO Tobias Lütke over at 37 Signals talking about the history, culture, product and philosophy of the company.
It's a great, motivating success story, and I'm proud to have played a small part of that by making the introduction to John Phillips after I had experienced the product and was so impressed with the company and technology choices:
We ended up taking an investment from an angel investor, who just called us up one day because he heard about our company. This is certainly an outlier, but taking this investment from John H. Phillips was probably the best decision we ever made. Apart from allowing us to meet payroll for the first year, he has spent countless hours teaching me all the things I needed to know about running a company. Without him, we simply could not have survived the years and would not be around today.
There are some interesting comments on Hacker News, including Tobi talking about a momentous occasion in their lifetime when the new business model was put in place (which I blogged about at the time):
The problem was that our old system was setup so that Shopify was very cheap for people who weren't successful and became quickly expensive for people who actually sold a lot of product. Everyone who expected to setup a 1M revenue store ( e.g. everyone ) picked up a calculator and realized that.
I really admire how Shopify stuck to their guns on the new pricing structure despite huge pushback from the community at the time. Now with the benefit of hindsight, it was clearly a very smart move.