general question/SHOP

my background:
small business owner 30+ years
BS degree computer science 27 yrs. ago - never used it :slight_smile:

OK, the naive question:

How much complicated code does Shopify really need? Seems like a lot of staff is needed to email clients, both new and established…helping on a personal level with great info and (wonderful if they can) business building tips. That non-technical work should not be overly expensive.

HP

OK, the naive question:

How much complicated code does Shopify really need? Seems like a lot of staff is needed to email clients, both new and established…helping on a personal level with great info and (wonderful if they can) business building tips. That non-technical work should not be overly expensive.

Hi HermanPotter.

Naive question…so here is a simplistic answer. I don’t know how complicated this is, but if it was really easy I guess Amazon would have done it themselves rather than partnering with SHOP.

Jeb
Long SHOP and AMZN
Explorer Supernaut
You can see all my holdings here: http://my.fool.com/profile/TMFJebbo/info.aspx

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Herman:

Shop is providing the front end (sales), but you need to tie it into the back end (accounting) and analytics (inventory management, and marketing management. The more you help retail shops manage their inventory and logistics chain, and help maximize their advertising outlays, the more valuable you become. doesn’t help your bottom line if you advertising to sell a SKU you don’t have.

I wrote specs for years. Others coded from my specs, so I can take a stab at your question.

SHOP has a lot of code that most clients don’t ever see. They provide a lot more than tools with which to build a customer facing user interface. They have to keep very detailed accounting of every transaction. This is used to calculate part of their revenue, it has to be spot-on accurate, protected from tampering, auditable and reportable (should disputes arise). They support multiple spoken languages (presence in 175 countries). They support building stores on multiple platforms (AMZN, EBAY, etc). They support social media integration. They manage all the shopping cart and checkout functions. They provide the shipping interface. They provide analytics for the shopkeepers. They are expanding into AI driven lending. And the list goes on . . .There’s a lot more they do and they for sure have a product road map of features and functions for future enhancement. They support multiple devices (PC, tablet, phone) and multiple browsers.

You need to understand that it’s not just code jockeys. There are spec writers, DBAs, testers, change control and configuration management folks, security specialists, language experts for localization, social media integration, documentation folks, training material developers, project management, and a lot of hardware and network people are involved involved.

In other words of their current 1,900 employees, 500 or more techies would not surprise me at all.

Before I retired I worked on a project that was basically the purchasing application for a Fortune 50 company (this was in the days before you could buy a COTS MRP product. The project encompassed four primary functions: 1) purchasing functions (RFP, PO, PC, etc.). 2) Shipping (mode, route planning (a lot of oversize/overweight stuff), pricing, schedules, etc.). 3) Quality Control (later known as “Quality Assurance”, inspection planning, shop paper generation, inspection routing, inspection criteria, inspection results, grief process, etc). 4) And Accounts Payable (invoice/PO reconciliation, discount calculation/application, check writing, etc.).

This was quite a few years ago, so my memory is not precise, but I’m certain there were well over 200 techies dedicated to the project during development. Once the project moved to production, the support staff was a lot smaller. But SHOP never finishes development.

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It might also pay to remember that SHOP is getting into lending, and while that may sound straight forward and simple, I dare say Mastercard, Visa, PayPal, Paycom and many others would disagree. And for what it’s worth, so would I.

There’s no grass growing under the CEO’s feet, and I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that there are more surprises around the corner, and so far they’ve done nothing that I know of that’s half-a$$ed. When starting to lend to thousands of small businesses, maybe this is not the time to start taking short cuts.

I think he’s too smart to hire a bunch of tech folk just because he can and I, for one, am willing to spend now to keep on building some of the most profitable online applications ever written.

There’s plenty to worry about if that’s your goal; let’s not be dreaming up problems and mistakes. Someone already beat you to the punch anyway.

Just my opinion of course.

Dan

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Thank you very much, Brittlerock, for helping me to understand the complexity.

HP