This interview with Tobi Lütke,C.E.O. of Shopify, an e-commerce software company, was conducted and condensed by Adam Bryant.
Q. Tell me about your early years.
A. I grew up in Koblenz, a small town in Germany. I got my first computer when I was 6, and I was part of that early generation of children who grew up with computers always being around. I fell in love with them early on.
I never cared a lot for school. I categorized school as a history lesson because it was so obvious that computers were different. My parents didn’t understand them, my teachers didn’t. You can imagine the authority problems that stem from a situation where the people you know don’t know anything about the things you care about.
This is probably why I had to start a company at some point, because I don’t think I could have worked for anyone else. So I taught myself programming, and picked up an apprenticeship when I was 16 as a programmer at Siemens. I never went to university.
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