Semil Shah

Semil Shah
I am 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; and (4) am building Haywire Media as my blog and video forum. Previously, I 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, I've held operational roles at Votizen and Rexly (acquired by Live Nation) and have also been an Official Columnist at TechCrunch since January 2011, where I write a weekly column on Sundays ("Iterations") and run a weekly television show on Thursdays ("In the Studio)," where I host founders, operators, and seed-stage and venture capital investors in the TechCrunch TV Studios. I have 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, please visit: blog.semilshah.com/about CrunchBase profile →

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Latest from Semil Shah

  • The “Twitter Mafia” Poised to be Silicon Valley’s Next Great Network

    The “Twitter Mafia” Poised to be Silicon Valley’s Next Great Network

    In middle school, my teacher assigned a book by Mario Puzo called “The Godfather.” Yes, it was pretty epic. From that work of art, mass audiences were introduced to Don Corleone and eventually its derivatives Goodfellas, Bugsy, Capone, Casino, Heat, The Departed, and scores of other pieces that romanticized the notion of organized crime across the globe, a world of big bosses… Read More

  • Sam Shank Talks About the Travel Space Tech Innovation

    TCTV: In the Studio, Sam Shank on Hotel Tonight’s Extreme Focus on Mobile Travel

    “In the Studio” welcomes today a successful, repeat founder in the travel space who has started and sold a company already, hails from a family of entrepreneurs, and who caught the travel bug early in life and decided to to mix his pleasure with business for his career. After working for a bunch of consumer Internet companies back in the late 90s, Hotel Tonight CEO Sam Shank felt… Read More

  • In the Studio With Linden Tibbets

    TCTV: In the Studio, Linden Tibbets Says ifttt Helps Control the Information Around You

    This week’s “In the Studio” installment welcomes a guest who has spent time as a video game development tester, a communications engineer at one of the world’s foremost design firms, and a builder who has noodled on scores of projects up until about a year ago, when he and his colleagues have created a product that may just have the lift to breakthrough. You may have… Read More

  • In The Studio With Morgan Missen

    TCTV: In the Studio, Morgan Missen Says Technical Recruiting Is Often Too Transactional

    Editor’s note: TechCrunch contributor Semil Shah currently works at Votizen and is based in Palo Alto; you can follow him on twitter @semil “In the Studio” rolls on this week with a guest who studied computer programming, went on to be a technical documentation writer, and was the first person in her family to attend to college, after which she moved to Silicon Valley… Read More

  • TCTV: In the Studio, Klout’s Joe Fernandez Answers the Naysayers

    TCTV: In the Studio, Klout’s Joe Fernandez Answers the Naysayers

    This is one of those posts where the video itself and the subsequent comments will be far more interesting than anything I can write, so I’ll just briefly set the stage. For the past few months, as Klout has increased its own influence as a consumer web company and recently raised $30m in Series C funding. Along the way, there’s been no shortage of commentary and criticism about… Read More

  • Asana and Orchestra Help Me Slowly Regain Control of Email

    Asana and Orchestra Help Me Slowly Regain Control of Email

    This is not a rant against email. There are plenty of those out there. This is a story of hope. It sounds nuts, but I really enjoy email, though I realize I’m in the tiny minority and that it’s legitimately unmanageable for many, especially those that don’t use interfaces that automatically thread messages by subject or label. The complaints against email are universal: Lines… Read More

  • The Forest, the Trees, and the Next Big Thing

    The Forest, the Trees, and the Next Big Thing

    They say hindsight is 20/20. By now, everyone knows about the fastest-growing site on the web. Yet, for a period of time in 2011, despite all the signals pointing toward the phenomena, most in Silicon Valley weren’t able to sniff out the trend even though, looking back, the clues were right under our noses. I wanted to write this post to offer a theory as to why the Valley, at large… Read More

  • Gautam Gupta of Naturebox

    TCTV: In the Studio, Gautam Gupta Reflects on His Experience as a Teenager in VC

    “In the Studio” at TechCrunch TV continues this week with a guest who began his career as a venture capitalist at the ripe old age of 18 and today, after eight years as an investor, is now going out on his own with a new e-commerce venture. As a freshman at Babson College in Massachusetts, Gautam Gupta led his school’s entrepreneurship club and, in the process, fostered… Read More

  • Ajay Agarwal Talks About Bain Capital

    TCTV: In the Studio, Bain Capital Ventures is California Dreaming

    “In the Studio” at TechCrunch TV this week welcomes a former California resident and current investor back to the west coast, where he and his partners have embarked on a new journey to build out a physical presence in Silicon Valley and San Francisco for one of the most dynamic business groups in the world. Ajay Agarwal, a managing director with Bain Capital Ventures (BCV), is… Read More

  • John Lilly of Greylock Partners

    “In the Studio,” Greylock’s John Lilly Examines the Opportunities in Personal Health Data

    “In the Studio” at TechCrunch TV continues today with a guest who was once a Senior Scientist at Apple and CEO of Mozilla Corporation before eventually making the trek up Sand Hill Road, where today he’s a partner at a leading venture capital firm. John Lilly, an investor with Greylock Partners, has kept himself busy. Having invested already in properties like Tumblr… Read More

  • Danny Trinh of Path

    TCTV: In the Studio with Danny Trinh, Path’s 21-Year Old Product Designer

    “In the Studio” at TechCrunch TV kicks off today with a guest who deferred college, and eventually dropped out, and moved out west to pursue his dream of building products in San Francisco. Danny Trinh, a product designer at Path, is perhaps one of the most talented, up-and-coming product designers in the social and mobile space today. At all of 21 years old, Trinh has already… Read More

  • Announcing A New TechCrunch TV Show: “In the Studio”

    Announcing A New TechCrunch TV Show: “In the Studio”

    I’ve been contributing to TechCrunch for a while now, and, it’s been a blast and a privilege. As 2011 ended, I reached out Erick and Jon Orlin (who runs TechCrunch TV) and shared some ideas I had for a TV show around technology and entrepreneurship. After many email debates, we settled on something we’re excited about and is dead-simple, which we’ll simply call… Read More

  • The Dawn of Social Lobbying

    The Dawn of Social Lobbying

    The word “lobbyist” surely doesn’t have the best connotation in the world. Depending on your reading of the definition, it generally signifies an attempt to influence government decisions, traditionally by targeting legislators or regulators. What isn’t often taken into consideration, however, is that while there are lobbyists in dark suits roaming the halls of… Read More

  • Uber’s New Year’s Eve Surcharges Demonstrate The Harsh Reality Of Dynamic Pricing

    Uber’s New Year’s Eve Surcharges Demonstrate The Harsh Reality Of Dynamic Pricing

    I woke up this morning to tweets from Uber customers nationwide who felt taken for a ride, literally and figuratively, after requesting an Uber on one of the busiest nights of the year. Despite the fact the company said as such on their blog and communication channels, riders were apparently not expecting the surcharges to be so exponentially high. In exchange for providing cars on demand… Read More

  • Despite Attacks, Klout Is Poised To Boost Its Influence

    Despite Attacks, Klout Is Poised To Boost Its Influence

    If you even so much as whisper your Klout score within specific circles, you’re likely to be met with a piercing stinkeye. Based in San Francisco with a small pot of funding, there’s something about Klout’s mission — to rank online influence — that ironically draws the ire of many influential people. Despite the sentiments, Klout continues to roll with the… Read More

  • IFTTT Triggers Loyal, Nerdy Following

    IFTTT Triggers Loyal, Nerdy Following

    One of my favorite services to pop in the second half of 2011 is “If This, Then That,” or if you’re really dorky, IFTTT. Among a small group of faithful nerds on Twitter, IFTTT is a simple yet powerful service that generates warm, fuzzy feelings among those who are hooked. Based in San Francisco, the company has received funding from Betaworks and is closing out 2011 with… Read More

  • Social Censorship in India: Much Ado About Nothing

    Social Censorship in India: Much Ado About Nothing

    Another year, another attack on the Internet. Lately, though, it’s not a loose collective of individual hackers sitting in dark rooms trying to wreak havoc. This time, stronger forces and vested interests are stepping into the game. In a matter of a few weeks, the world’s most powerful democracy and the world’s largest democracy engaged in their own specific battles over… Read More

  • Exploring The “Labs” Trend in Consumer Startups

    Exploring The “Labs” Trend in Consumer Startups

    For those of us who studied (or suffered through) chemistry at some point in life, images from the chem lab inspire nostalgia (or dread). White lab coats. Protective goggles and gloves. Glass beakers and measuring cups. It is a place of experimentation. Students are given strict lab instructions, such as “Don’t mix baking soda and vinegar,” which many of course ignored. Read More

  • Social Travel: Rediscovering the Friendly Skies

    Social Travel: Rediscovering the Friendly Skies

    We’ve heard endlessly how “social” will eventually disrupt and transform old, stodgy industries, perhaps even reinvent them for the better. The promise of this change, of course, is often tempered by the reality that, if indeed this stuff actually happens, it will take time and we’re currently in the early stages of the game. And when it comes to travel, one of the… Read More

  • The Big Data Bottleneck In The Consumer Web

    The Big Data Bottleneck In The Consumer Web

    Earlier in the year, I wrote an opinion column on TechCrunch that big data “needs to think bigger.” At the time, I kept hearing the term “big data” over and over, and wondered how much of the emerging insights and techniques would be applied toward the Internet versus the larger problems society faces, such as detecting fraud in financial markets, finding new deposits… Read More