Editor’s Note: Semil Shah works on product for Swell, is a TechCrunch columnist, and an investor at Haystack. He blogs at Haywire, and you can follow him on Twitter at @semil.
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 an end. I’ve been fortunate enough to be a very frequent contributor to TechCrunch, never a staff member, but always welcomed by all. I enjoyed the privilege and took it quite seriously. I thought I’d be writing here on TC for many years into the future, always, given the breadth and consistency of those contributions over time. Unfortunately, that is not the case, as there are editorial changes afoot and I was politely informed that TechCrunch could no longer support my weekly column. I will miss the cadence of posting here, but these things happen for a reason, and life will unfold and unveil new opportunities, which is an exciting prospect, especially living right in the heart of Silicon Valley.
When I started posting on TechCrunch, I was actively participating on Quora, learning about the Valley, and settling in to the region. I always tell people that if I didn’t have writing and TechCrunch as an outlet, I probably wouldn’t have survived this place. In search of meaningful work I was excited about — both at companies and on the investing side — the Valley doled out some painful medicine, and I took all of it. Were it not for having the platform at TechCrunch to interact with the community on a weekly basis, I’m sure I’d be living in some other part of the world right now, doing who knows what. TechCrunch, in a way, was a lifeline for me, as silly as that may sound. I tried to pay it back by helping a lot behind the scenes, connecting conference speakers, with helping others with their stories, and helping countless other founders and investors frame their own weekend guests posts over time. It never felt like work, and I was always happy to do it.
While it’s not my decision to leave TechCrunch, I respect the decision of the new editors and realize they all have a very tough job and are battered by an endless string of requests and deadlines — being an editor at TC can often be a thankless job, in fact, given the pace of news and competition in this atmosphere. It would’ve been my preference to continue posting, but I’m sure I’ll have a chance to do so elsewhere in the future. I’m grateful I had the chance for so long at TechCrunch (thank you), and am grateful for all the entrepreneurs, soon-to-be founders, college graduates, international students, investors, reporters, and many others who have reached out to me over the years, motivated to start a discussion (or disagreement) based on something I wrote. As someone who is still relatively new to this place and sector, TechCrunch afforded me a mechanism by which to quickly build up more knowledge and a network. It was a shortcut, but as they say, there are no shortcuts in life, so all I can do is say “Thank You” to all those who provided this opportunity to me and to those who have read my work — and then move on to the next thing, whatever that may be.