Semil Shah

Semil Shah

Semil Shah is currently working on a few project:

(1) product marketing and distribution for Swell;

(2) working in venture capital and currently an investor in Developer Auction, Paddle8, Instacart, Hashicorp, Exitround, HelloFax/HelloSign, and a few more to be announced soon;

(3) have been a long-time columnist for TechCrunch;

(4) am building Haywire Media as my blog and video forum.

Previously, He spent six (6) months in 2012 as an EIR with Javelin Venture Partners, a San Francisco-based venture capital firm investing in software startups for consumers and the enterprise, as well as in cloud technologies and infrastructure. Prior to this, he has held operational roles at Votizen and Rexly (acquired by Live Nation) and have also been an Official Columnist at TechCrunch since January 2011, where He write a weekly column on Sundays ("Iterations") and run a weekly television show on Thursdays ("In the Studio)," where he host founders, operators, and seed-stage and venture capital investors in the TechCrunch TV Studios. He has written extensively on the forces changing high-technology venture capital, how the industry is transforming, and consumer-facing and enterprise IT technologies. For more information.

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Featured Picks from Semil Shah


Latest from Semil Shah

  • My Weekly TechCrunch Habit Ends

    Over the past three years, every weekend, I sit down with my laptop and write something that eventually becomes a blog post on TechCrunch. Every Sunday, 10am PST. It started back when Mike was writing here, as was MG, and Erick was the editor (thanks for giving me the opportunity). It continued during the Eldon regime. Today, this is my last column, my 207th post on TechCrunch, all coming to… Read More

  • In Digital Health, Does Nike Have A Path To Victory After Fuelband?

    In Digital Health, Does Nike Have A Path To Victory After Fuelband?

    This past week, conflicting reports about Nike leaked, suggesting either big changes or outright abandonment of its high-profile Fuelband line. For those focused on the intersection of digital health, wellness, mobile startups, and wearable technologies, a move by Nike, one of the world’s most iconic brands and visible companies, will be examined under the microscope. With the news… Read More

  • UberRUSH Raises Three Critical Questions For The Future Of Mobile On-Demand Services

    UberRUSH Raises Three Critical Questions For The Future Of Mobile On-Demand Services

    Last week, my column discussed how on-demand mobile services — Tap Your Phone, Get Stuff — are ripe for venture capital investment. In the seven days that have passed, more startups in this category have been handsomely funded by some of the best investors in the world. And, to cap off the week, the leader in this category, Uber, announced UberRUSH, its local courier service. Read More

  • Tap Your Phone, Get Stuff (Including Funding)

    Tap Your Phone, Get Stuff (Including Funding)

    Earlier this week, Steve Schlafman, an investor with RRE in New York City, created this image about all the various startups that offer consumers the ability to order goods and services directly from their phones. These startups — Uber is the prime example — turn our phones into remote controls. I call it, “tap your phone, get stuff.” And if we look at the list, we see… Read More

  • Microsoft Office, Now On iOS, Highlights A Powerful Lesson For Incumbents

    Microsoft Office, Now On iOS, Highlights A Powerful Lesson For Incumbents

    Finally, Microsoft’s flagship Office suite (Excel, PPT, Word) is available on one of its key rival’s mobile operating systems: Apple’s iOS. Nearly seven years after Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone, Microsoft has finally built native products for Apple’s iOS to extend its popular, high revenue-generating Office suite to another platform. It begs the question: Why so long? Read More

  • Mobile Platforms, Smartwatches, And Golden Handcuffs

    Mobile Platforms, Smartwatches, And Golden Handcuffs

    Ask three different smart, knowledgeable people in tech about their views on smartwatches, and you’re bound to receive at least four plausible opinions on the matter. As someone hilariously snarked on Twitter, “even a broken smartwatch opinion will be write twice a day.” Jokes aside, I’ve been getting more excited about smartwatches with the news dribbling out over the… Read More

  • Looking In The Rearview Mirror For Mobile App Inspiration

    Looking In The Rearview Mirror For Mobile App Inspiration

    Every Sunday, I try to write something about mobile that’s relevant today or tomorrow. This week, I thought it would be fun to briefly look back in time. When it comes to mobile (and this doesn’t include gaming), the apps that have proven to breakout either harness the phone’s most important sensor (the camera), tap into a network effect (mobile messaging), or use mobile… Read More

  • How Secret May Uncover A New Secret To Mobile Growth

    How Secret May Uncover A New Secret To Mobile Growth

    Greetings from a rainy (but always fun) Austin, TX. As is the case leading up to every SXSW, many wonder what will be the breakout app. As someone who works in, invests in, and writes about mobile, the app that’s come up the most in conversation, offline and online, is no “secret.” It’s not too surprising given Secret launched publicly at the right time (a little over… Read More

  • The WhatsApp Effect

    The WhatsApp Effect

    It’s no secret that many entrepreneurs and investors are seduced by the specter of network effects. Walk around any young company fine-tuning their product to fit their market or any early-stage investment committee meeting, and inevitably, network effects will be discussed. “How do we tweak the product to ignite a network effect?” “They’ve built a great product… Read More

  • The WhatsApp Story Challenges Some Of The Valley’s Conventional Wisdom

    The WhatsApp Story Challenges Some Of The Valley’s Conventional Wisdom

    Silicon Valley and the tech world at large are filled with a variety of conventions. These conventions are now created, captured, and shared ad nauseam disguised as blog posts, tweets with links, and countless message boards. The benefit of such a canon is we all have access to a rich repository of knowledge — the cost, however, is we all, perhaps unwittingly, are exposed to the same… Read More

  • An iPhone Loyalist’s First Few Weeks With Android

    An iPhone Loyalist’s First Few Weeks With Android

    A year ago, I wrote a post titled “Silicon Valley Slowly Awakens To Android.” Recently, I purchased a Nexus 5 as we develop and begin the early tests of Swell for Android, and I wanted to share some of my initial user experiences carrying phones on both mobile platforms. What I want to focus on in this post are the elements of the Android experience I enjoyed and the elements of… Read More

  • How CodePath Trains Developers To Build In A Mobile World

    How CodePath Trains Developers To Build In A Mobile World

    Late in 2013, I stumbled upon two bootstrapped entrepreneurs — Timothy Lee and Nathan Esquenazi — who were on very focused, technical, educational mission: To take some of the best web developers and train them to develop for mobile platforms. Everyone knows it’s impossible to find good mobile engineers across iOS and Android, and with talent either locked up in big companies… Read More

  • Unpacking Facebook’s Mobile Strategy: Paper, All The Mobile News That’s Fit To Print

    Unpacking Facebook’s Mobile Strategy: Paper, All The Mobile News That’s Fit To Print

    In the world of mobile apps, the biggest news from this week was the announcement, by Facebook, of a new app, built by the social network, to read news and stories: Paper. Make sure to watch the video, which is very Apple-esque in its elegance and emotion. When Facebook announces these kind of apps, it evokes memories of their previous attempts to build and distribute standalone apps that… Read More

  • Enterprise Mobility: Devices, Security, Design, And Distribution

    Enterprise Mobility: Devices, Security, Design, And Distribution

    Every Sunday for this column, I write on something related to mobile. To date, it’s mostly been about consumer-facing apps, device sensors, user interfaces, tactics like push notifications, and a range of other topics. However, I have yet to dig into mobile for more business-facing, enterprise-oriented users and considerations. That’s partly because I do not work at a large company… Read More

  • Revisiting Mobile Identity, TouchID And Beyond

    Revisiting Mobile Identity, TouchID And Beyond

    About three years ago, Rebekah Cox, an early product designer at Facebook and Quora, tweeted: “The first company to fully execute on embedding your identity into your phone (making a truly first class experience) wins the next decade.” The tweet was widely-circulated, and given Cox’s experience, provoked thought. A day later, she expanded on her tweet by writing a longer post… Read More

  • The Automobile As A Consumer Mobile Frontier

    The Automobile As A Consumer Mobile Frontier

    I’ve never been to CES before, but it’s hard to escape the flurry of noisy tweet, and headlines. One morsel that managed catch my attention centered around major automobile manufacturers announcing deals with the leading mobile operating system players, Android (Google) and iOS (Apple) and dark horse Microsoft. Now, it’s hard to know if these are true statements of intent or… Read More

  • A Passive Yet Potentially Aggressive Mobile App Strategy

    A Passive Yet Potentially Aggressive Mobile App Strategy

    Yes, we know…If you’re reading TechCrunch, there’s a great chance we all look at our phones too many times during the day, during meetings, during conversations, during dinner, and every other piece of dead time in between. Mobile apps and the connectivity they provide to us induce addictive behaviors. So, as we think about how mobile evolves, two questions have been on my… Read More

  • How Snapchat Became The Breakout Consumer Product Of 2013

    How Snapchat Became The Breakout Consumer Product Of 2013

    Last year, as 2012 ended, I scanned the early-stage startup landscape and tried to identify one company that was a breakout for the year — I ultimately selected  Stripe, and explained why, here. I liked the thought-exercise so much I decided to do it again this year, and it didn’t take much deliberation to choose Snapchat — in my personal opinion, the clear breakout… Read More

  • For Holiday Shopping, Mobile Apps Bring Out My Inner Grinch

    For Holiday Shopping, Mobile Apps Bring Out My Inner Grinch

    Every week for this column, I write about something related to mobile technology or apps. It would be only natural, then, for me to devote at least one column to the intersection of mobile and commerce, especially during such a festive time of year. I’ll state upfront that I don’t particularly love the hecticness of holiday shopping — the overcrowded stores, the same… Read More

  • The Shifting Ways In Which We’ll Interact With Mobile Apps

    The Shifting Ways In Which We’ll Interact With Mobile Apps

    ‘Tis the season to reorganize the apps on my iPhone. With iOS 7 and the shift from spotlight search to swipe-down-to-search for apps, I’ve noticed my app behavior has changed a bit, as it’s become easier to search for apps with the new UI and therefore less important where the app is located on my phone. For instance, the Amazon app is buried in my Shopping folder (on my… Read More

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