[MUSIC PLAYING] In the early days of Shopify, we really looked for potential because again we thought the people that are potential-- we all have potential, none of us has done this before and so we were a group of individuals who had a lot of potential but not a lot of experience. But there were a couple key roles where we felt that experience really does matter. But again in the early days of Shopify we didn't have much money to pay these big salaries particularly relative to other big tech companies like Google, for example.
Google was always able to outspend us and so what we thought about is what can we offer that Google can't. And so one thing that was obvious to us was when you come work at Shopify you're going to have an opportunity to come build a great company. When you go to work at Google, you're going to be part of a great company. The company's already been built. And so we felt that people that wanted to come build a great company with us as opposed to be part of it, be a bystander, that was one way we were able to convince people to come work with us as opposed to going to work for a big company.
That's the first thing. The second thing is, we were able to offer them equity. We were able to offer them ownership in the business that if things went the way we thought it would go, would be very meaningful and it turned out to be very meaningful for those people that ended up taking equity in the early days as opposed to getting another job with a big salary. And probably the third thing was autonomy. When you're small and you're scrappy and there's not that many of you, every person has a ton of autonomy.
And there are particular individuals that really thrive with great autonomy. And a lot of other big companies they may pay you a big salary but you're not going to have the freedom to try out a bunch of different things. You're not going to have the opportunity to ask for forgiveness instead of asking for permission. And so we figured out what we had that others didn't have we focused on that as opposed to trying to compete with Google for a big salary which was going to be a losing battle.