Shear holds significant recognition in Silicon Valley, yet remains largely unfamiliar to the general public.
The platform, initially established by Shear as Justin.tv in 2006, underwent a name change to Twitch in 2011. Swiftly gaining popularity within the gaming community, it was eventually acquired by Amazon for just under $1 billion in 2014.
For the past seven months, Shear has been serving as a partner at Y Combinator, providing guidance to startups on a range of topics, from fundraising strategies to technical approaches.
Shear, who hails from Seattle, holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from Yale University.
In a LinkedIn recommendation, Justin Kan, co-founder of Twitch, describes Shear as an exceptional co-founder, highlighting his strong work ethic, lack of complaints, and being the most intelligent person he knows.
While at Twitch, Shear faced challenges from streamers who felt the platform wasn’t supporting them enough. There was also a fierce competition with YouTube for top talent.
After leaving Twitch, Shear joined Y Combinator, a startup accelerator. Before Twitch, he co-founded a calendar app called Kiko Calendar.
In a recent post, Shear explained why he took a job at OpenAI. He mentioned resigning from Twitch because of his new baby but felt a duty to help OpenAI, considering it one of the most important companies around.