[MUSIC PLAYING] TIM FERRISS: So build the business competition day zero was a conversation that I recall having very distinctly, headphones in, walking down the sidewalk in San Francisco actually pacing back and forth on one particular hill right outside of a Thai restaurant where I'd had lunch. And I was chatting with Toby and we were talking about making Shopify explode and different options that might be available.
And I wanted to explore the most outrageous, kind of absurd ideas possible because as Peter Diamandis who's chairman of the X Prize wants. The day before something is a breakthrough it's a crazy idea. So it's like OK. Let's forget about the incremental 2x stuff, what if we want to 10x. And we're batting around ideas and one of the common themes that we were exploring was how do you prove to people that it's actually easier than they think to create a business.
What would that look like? And ultimately I don't know if it was the caffeine-- I had had a lot of green tea and ice tea. Don't think I was on any substances but what if you had a competition and you incentivized it with $100,000 to get people to build companies as quickly as possible and then you could show exhibit A, we have this woman, this guy, this retiree, this person, that person from these different countries who have all created fantastically successful businesses as first time entrepreneurs.
What if you did that? And [LAUGHING] chatting with Toby I think he just keep in mind too at the time. I mean this was-- I'm making this number up but I want to say maybe Shopify had 12 employees. It was small and now it's whatever it is, 1,200, 1,400. How many employees. But $100,000 is not a small amount of money to Toby. So I remember batting it around and Toby his it's very thoughtful, analytical, engineering, German mind asked some very good questions and bounced it around and the more we bounced around the more excited we got about it.
Because the point I wanted to try to convey were-- and it was certainly, I mean we batted around a lot of different ideas-- is that, if it's a laptop or it's something like that it's no different than everything else that's out there or it won't be perceived as very different. So how do you create something that is in a category by itself. And that is with lots of legal fine tuning and figuring out how to do it without getting everybody in trouble is how build a business was born.