Semil Shah

Semil Shah is a GP @ Haystack & a Venture Partner @ Lightspeed. Haystack is an early investor in Instacart, DoorDash, Hashicorp, Hired, Narvar, Giphy, eShares, OpenDoor, Chariot, Navdy, Managed By Q, and many other companies

The Latest from Semil Shah

On Mobile, The Location Arrow May Finally Be Pointed In The Right Direction

<p dir="ltr">From time to time on Twitter, I’ll unknowingly dip my toes into contested waters. There are some debates which run deep, like strong ocean currents. Occasionally, I muster up the courag

A Tweet About Mobile That Took On A Life Of Its Own

<p dir="ltr">I’ve been <a target="_blank" href="">fascinated</a> with mobile startups like Uber and

QuizUp’s Mobile Play May Be Anything But A Trivial Pursuit

<em></em>About every three months or so, the early adopter tech crowd fixates on a new mobile app as the hip, new thing. It’s not too similar from fashion, I’d imagine, when certain looks go in an

Ephemerality Aside, Snapchat Sends Its First Permanent Message

<p dir="ltr">In Silicon Valley and the consumer technology world at large, the zeitgeist surrounding <a target="_blank" href="">Snapchat</a> is undeniably the talk of the town.

How Mobile Alters Traditional Network Effects In Marketplaces

<p dir="ltr">On the web, marketplaces are the stuff of legend. With properties like eBay and Amazon, among many other, an online marketplace harnesses the openness of the web, more efficiently matches

App Indexing, Predictive Services, And Unlocking Mobile Distribution

<p dir="ltr">There is a “perfect storm” brewing in consumer mobile: Developers, companies, and investors see the explosive growth of smartphones (with no sign of slowing down), yet consumers only

Fancy Hands Enhances Mobile Search In Novel Ways

<p dir="ltr">This weekly column has been focused on mobile lately and will likely stay this way. Last week, I wrote from a devil’s advocate position to consider situations in which entrepreneurs may

Rethinking The Seductiveness Of Mobile-First

Editor’s Note: Semil Shah works on product for Swell, is a TechCrunch columnist, and an investor. He blogs at Haywire, and you can follow him on Twitter at @semil. For the past few months, m

The Precise Art Of Mobile Push Notifications

<p dir="ltr">I may sound like a broken record when I consistently reference this phrase in my weekly column: “mobile is the only under-hyped thing in tech.” Yet, it is hard to argue with, and if w

The Future Of Mobile Taps And On-Demand Services

<p dir="ltr">One of the hottest trends in “mobile consumer tech” is the idea where one can simply just tap their phone and receive a range of services in the form of on-demand labor. While many se

The Harsh Realities Surrounding Mobile App Investing

<p dir="ltr"><a target="_blank" href="">Rohit Sharma</a> from True Ventures likes to say: “Mobile is the only under-hyped thing in tech.” I think

Mobile Apps, Card Interfaces, And Our Opposable Thumbs

<p dir="ltr">This is a post about “cards” as an interface in mobile apps. I am not a designer. I am also unable to mention every single app that uses cards -- feel free to mention others in the co

For Mobile Developers, iOS 7 Is Greater Than The Sum Of Its Parts

<p dir="ltr">Leading up to last week’s Apple event and the unveiling of the iPhone 5s, the Internet may have led you to believe that “<a target="_blank" href="

The Scale, Competitiveness, And Industrial Strategies In Mobile Computing

I will admit upfront - I am finding it hard to keep up with all the major moves happening in mobile and among the top technology companies. I realize intuitively all these moves are critically importa

Five Forces Fueling Frontback’s Fame

<p dir="ltr">“<em>Not <span style="text-decoration:underline;">another</span> photo-sharing app</em>!” is an oft-heard or tweeted phrase. After Instagram combined the power of a networked camera,

A Story About Threading The Needle On Mobile

As some of you may know, I’ve been lucky to be a small part of the team behind <a target="_blank" href="">Swell</a>, a new kind of radio experience built initially for iPhone. Aft

Required Reading Regarding Mobile

It's cliched, overplayed, and the obvious new normal: mobile is the big, fundamental force driving consumer tech. Yes, we all know that, but even taking a few steps back for a minute, we should stand

Harry Houdini, Lock Picking, And Entrepreneurship

It’s summer here in Silicon Valley, and for my column this month, I’ll try to finally polish and publish some of the old posts that have been collecting dust in my “drafts” folder. Usually, I

From Fail Whale To Uncaged Bird, Twitter’s IPO Drumbeat Will Get Louder

<p dir="ltr">Do you hear that faint drumbeat? In the background. Barely noticeable, amid the frenzy around Facebook’s stock price resurgence, or the noise of your Twitter stream, there is a slow, st

How Social And Primary Sources Affect Online Media Brands

Throughout high school and college, I took a heavy dose of political science and history classes. As a result, those teachers and professors stressed the importance of investigating <a target="_blank"
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