Semil Shah is the Founder and General Partner at Haystack: A seed stage investment fund that has backed over 70 companies like Instacart, Giphy, and OpenDoor. He regularly shares stories from his experiences in startups and venture capital on his blog.
Prior to founding Haystack, Semil worked on marketing and distribution at Swell and in operations at Rexly and Voitzen.
Episode #1391 Semil Shah: Strengthen Your Decision Making With These Tips
Semil Shah and Jenna chat about his first investments at Haystack in companies like Hired and Instacart and reflect on a few big bets taken by portfolio companies like Wag and Managed by Q. We discuss the realities of being a VC such as creating space to let your mind rest so your subconscious can kick in evaluating investments, the challenge of saying ‘No’ to founders you admire, as well as developing a willingness to concentrate risk to have outsized returns. We also walk through key insights from Semil’s blog including: whether you need to be paranoid to succeed, the difference between stubbornness and resilience and how to cultivate the latter, in the moment tips to take a step back to make decisions from a place of clarity not adrenaline, and always choosing the opportunity where you can learn the most.