Samir Arora

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Samir Arora
Samir Arora in 2013
Born (1965-11-05) November 5, 1965 (age 50)
Residence Woodside, California, Los Angeles, and SoHo, New York
Alma mater INSEAD business school, Harvard Business School, London Business School, BITS.
Occupation CEO of Mode Media
Title Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Mode Media
Chairman of Information Capital LLC

IIA Entrepreneur of the Year (1997)[1][2][3]
CNET Web Innovator of the Year (1998)[4][5][6]

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year for "Media" in Northern California (2009)[7]
Website Samir Arora

Samir Arora (born November 5, 1965) is an American entrepreneur, inventor and investor. He is best known as a veteran of Apple Computer, Inc. from 1983 to 1992; the founder, CEO and Chairman of Mode Media (formerly Glam Media), and General Partner of the venture firm Information Capital L.L.C. He founded and was the CEO and Chairman of the web design company NetObjects, Inc. that he later sold to IBM. Arora is listed as one of the 100 Internet Pioneers for his work in Information Navigation at Apple Computer, Inc. in 1986 and as the 21 people that shaped the World Wide Web at the 1st Web Innovators Awards by CNET.

Early life and education[edit]

Samir Arora was born in New Delhi, India, as the eldest son of a wealthy Indian family and moved to New York in his teens. His father and family ran multiple restaurants & hotels business and diversified into manufacturing. Samir Arora attended high school at St. Xavier's and went on to study electrical and electronic engineering at Birla Institute of Technology and Science.[8][9] He later took the executive management program at INSEAD Business School in France, and the executive education program at Harvard Business School and gained a diploma in sales and marketing from the London Business School.[10]

Apple Computer[edit]

Samir Arora worked at Apple Computer[9][11] in Software and New Media from 1983 to 1992, and moved to Cupertino, California, in 1986.

Arora wrote a white paper called "Information Navigation: The Future of Computing" in late 1986,[9] and worked on early Desktop Publishing, HyperCard and 4th Dimension systems.[12] He is known for creating the first "External Objects" specification, coined the terms "MacNavigator" and "MacBrowser" and worked on the early prototypes that lead to the making of the "Knowledge Navigator" video in 1987, 25 years prior to the launch of Siri at Apple.[13] Arora worked for the Chairman and CEO of Apple Computer, John Sculley, from 1987 to 1991.[8]

In 1990 to 1991 Samir Arora worked on the first tablet Apple called Pen Mac, creating the framework and API's for the first browsable apps for the operating system created by Paul Mercer, The project later was cancelled by John Sculley in favor of the Newton. When Steve Jobs returned, Apple used PenMac to launch iPod then iPhone and iPad.[14]

Rae Technology[edit]

From 1992 to 1995, Arora was Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Rae Technology (a spin-off from Apple Computer),[4] which developed "information navigation applications".[8] Rae Technology created Rae Assist, one of the first Personal Information Managers (PIM).[15]


In 1995 Samir Arora co-founded NetObjects, Inc. and together with a design and development team including David Kleinberg, Clement Mok and Sal Arora, created NetObjects Fusion, one of the first Web design products. This Web design software was innovative at the time of its introduction in 1996 because of the way Web sites were designed and structured.[16]

In 1998 Samir Arora was named as one of the "Web Innovators of the Year" by CNET,[5][6][12] and, together with Pointcast, was named Entrepreneur of the Year 1997 by the Emerging Business Council of the Information Industry Association (now Software and Information Industry Association).[1][2][3]

After the launch of NetObjects Fusion, IBM invested approximately $100 million in a share exchange to buy 80% of NetObjects, corresponding to a valuation of around $150 million.[17][18] NetObjects, Inc. went public on NASDAQ in 1999 with IBM staying the majority shareholder. Dependencies on IBM were high as the registration statement pointed out.[19]

NetObjects, Inc. and its products including NetObjects Fusion were sold to Website Pros (now named, a web services company, based in Jacksonville, Florida, USA. A portfolio of seven patents was acquired by Macromedia (now Adobe Systems), the distributor of Dreamweaver.

At NetObjects, Inc., Arora was granted the patent for the first Editor for Web Sites in 1996, and the first WYSIWYG Draw-based Editor for Web Pages, along with David Kleinberg, Gagan Arora, Rajagopal Lakshminarayan, Gregory Brown, Martin Fried-Nielsen, and Clement Mok [20]

Considered innovative at launch in 1996, NetObjects Fusion won several awards, including PC Magazine's Editor Choice, CNet's Top 5 Internet Products, MacWorld Hot Pick, ZDNet Best Authoring product, InfoWorld's Analyst's Choice, Internet Magazine's Product of the Year.[21]

Information Capital LLC and Tickle[edit]

Since 1997, Samir Arora has been the Chairman and General Partner of Information Capital LLC, a venture capital fund based in Woodside, California, USA, which invests in consumer publishing, media & technology companies.

From June 2003 to February 2004, Arora served as Chairman of the Board of Tickle, Inc.[22] Tickle, one of the first social networking sites, was founded in 1999 in Boston, and moved to San Francisco in 2000.[23] Tickle was acquired by in May 2004 to compete with LinkedIn and merged into Monster June 2008.[24]

Mode Media[edit]

Main article: Mode Media

In 2003 Arora was one of the founders and investors in Mode Media formerly Project Y and Glam Media—a privately held company that operates, a platform for creation and distribution of curated videos and stories and is rated "one of the Top 10 Internet Properties".[25] He currently serves as both Chairman and CEO.[26]

In April 2015 Arora launched its new owned & operated Mode Platform, which has grown to 31 million users a month and crossed 1 billion video views in August 2015.[27]


In 1998 Samir Arora, along with Clement Mok and the NetObjects team received the Gold award of the world's best designed consumer products from the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA).[16][28]

For his work at Mode Media, he was included by min Magazine in the The Digital Hot List 2008[29] in November 2008 and was named Web 2.0's Don Draper as one of the 30 men shaping our digital future by GQ Magazine [30]

He received the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award in 2009.[31]

Arora is listed as co-inventor in 14 US software patents, with 4 new patents under file in 2012.[32]

He has frequently been featured and quoted over the years, including on the cover of MacWeek, MacWorld, AdWeek, Folio, Business Week, The Wall Street Journal and several times in the New York Times, Newsweek, Bloomberg TV, and Fortune Magazines.[9]


Arora is listed as the Editor and Publisher of the book "Foodie Top 100 Restaurants" selected by the World's Top Food Critics and Glam Media's Foodie Editors.[33] a top 300 book on food along with Patricia Wells, Gael Greene, Ruth Reichl, and Masahiro Yamamoto.

Arora is featured in Fearless Genius: The Digital Revolution in Silicon Valley 1985-2000 [34] by Doug Menuez a chronicle of the Silicon Valley technology boom, capturing key moments in the careers of Steve Jobs and other leading innovators as they created today’s digital world.

Theatre, Film and Entertainment[edit]

Arora was trained by Barry John, the leader of the Theatre Action Group (TAG), and took part in over 30 theatre and TV productions, including Jesus Christ Superstar (1975–76), Tommy (1978), Kidstuff (1979), Death of an Anarchist (1980), and The Day of Atonement (1981). Samir Arora studied theatre and music composition and wrote as well as produced several plays and musicals during this time, amongst them the plays: The Pinnacle (1982) and The Vulture Stooped Low (1984), and two musicals: The Wall (1981) and Stronger than Superman (1984).[9]

Arora serves on the board of trustees of TheatreWorks of San Francisco Bay Area and is an associate producer of that institution[35][36]

Arora started Mode Studios in April 2014 to produce original digital series, films and branded entertainment.[37] In May 2015, Mode Studios film Allen and Alinea directed by Dan Addelson was selected by the American Film Institute in its AFI DOCS 2015 Film Festival. In August 2015, Mode Studios launched the "100 Years" Series, which became the first digital style series to cross 250 million views.[38] Mode Studios has produced 14 digital series and over 500 videos.

Personal life[edit]

Samir Arora divides his time between his home in Woodside, California, Los Angeles, California and SoHo, New York.[9]

He has studied several forms of alternative health therapies since 1991. He is certified in body therapy (AISI) and has studied various forms of bodywork, including Ida Rolf's Structural Integration, Moshé Feldenkrais' Functional Integration, Zen Trigger Point, Berry Method, Trager Work, Energy Work, BKS Iyengar Yoga, Shivananda and Agama Tantra Yoga, Charles Muir Tantra, and Dub Leigh's Zentherapy.[9]

Arora studied Shojin-Ryori, Cha-kaiseki, Japanese tea ceremony and Zen in Kyoto, Japan in the Tenryū-ji branch of Rinzai Zen Buddhism at the Zendo under the direction of Muishitsu Rotaishi who was trained by Omori Sogen.[39]

Samir Arora serves as the Chairman of the non-profit organization International ZenTherapy Institute, Inc. (IZII) [40]


  1. ^ a b "The Mac Observer: October, 1997 Archive / NetObjects' CEO, Pointcast Take Home IIA Awards". The Mac Observer. The Mac Observer, Inc. Retrieved July 9, 2009. 
  2. ^ a b "Accel 14th Stanford Symposium: Speakers". Accel. Accel Partners. Retrieved July 9, 2009. 
  3. ^ a b "IIA's Entrepreneur of the Year: Samir Arora—Chairman CEO and Founder". NetObjects, Inc. Retrieved June 16, 2007. 
  4. ^ a b "BUILDER.COM - Web Business - The 1st annual Web Innovator Awards - Samir Arora, NetObjects Fusion". CNET CNET Networks, Inc. Archived from the original on 1998-12-12. Retrieved June 21, 2008. 
  5. ^ a b "The Mac Observer: April, 1998 Archive / NetObjects Chief Wins Web Innovator Award". The Mac Observer. The Mac Observer, Inc. Retrieved June 16, 2007. 
  6. ^ a b "NetObjects CEO Receives Web Innovator Award From CNET's". NetObjects, Inc. Retrieved June 16, 2007. 
  7. ^ "Northern California program – 2009 Award recipients". Ernst & Young LLP. Retrieved June 20, 2009. 
  8. ^ a b c "Samir Arora". Dot Commerce. Archived from the original on 2001-01-24. Retrieved June 26, 2008. 
  9. ^ a b c d e f g Davidson, Andrew (June 22, 2008). " Samir Arora boss is in the pink". Times Online (London: Times Newspapers Ltd.). Retrieved June 23, 2008. 
  10. ^ [1]
  11. ^ "Face to Face - Net Luminary". Incisive Media Ltd. Archived from the original on September 30, 2007. Retrieved December 8, 2007. 
  12. ^ a b Shafer, Dan. "BUILDER.COM - Web Business - The 1st annual Web Innovator Awards - Samir Arora, NetObjects Fusion". CNET CNET Networks, Inc. Archived from the original on 1998-12-12. Retrieved June 21, 2008. 
  13. ^ N, Kontra (June 13, 2012). "Spirit of Siri at Apple 25 years ago". CounterNotions. 
  14. ^ Arrington, Michael (October 27, 2009). "Exclusive Picture Of Unlaunched Apple Tablet (circa 1990)". TechCrunch. TechCrunch. Retrieved December 23, 2009. 
  15. ^ Tessler, Franklin N., Rae Assist 1.0.2, Macworld, January 1, 1994.
  16. ^ a b "Gold Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA) Winners 1995–1999". Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). Archived from the original on 1998-05-19. Retrieved June 27, 2008. 
  17. ^ Sreenivas, I. Satya (May 18, 1997). "NetObjects chooses Big Blue fusion". Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal. Retrieved 2008-03-05. 
  18. ^ "IBM Archives 1997". IBM Archives (IBM). Retrieved 2009-01-27. 
  19. ^ "February 5, 1999 Form S-1 Filing". SECURITIES AND EXCHANGE COMMISSION. Retrieved June 23, 2008. 
  20. ^ "Samir Arora - Google Patents". Google Patents. Google. Retrieved 2008-07-09. 
  21. ^ Fusion, NetObjects. "NetObjects Fusion Awards". NetObjects. 
  22. ^ "Emode Names Samir Arora Chairman of the Board, Enters Media Metrix Top 50". ADVFN PLC. Retrieved February 28, 2008. 
  23. ^ Juan Carlos Perez. "Social networking site Emode tickles Ringo". Infoworld. Retrieved February 28, 2008. 
  24. ^ Vasanth Sridharan. "Monster-owned Social Network Tickle Shutting Down". Silicon Alley Insider, Inc. Retrieved June 23, 2008. 
  25. ^ "Internet Industry Trends". Mary Meeker. The Atlantic. Retrieved May 2013. 
  26. ^ "Our People",
  27. ^ "Mode Media crosses a billion video views". Matt Marshall. 
  28. ^ "Gold Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA) Winners 1995–1999" (PDF). Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA). Archived from the original (PDF) on September 28, 2007. Retrieved March 5, 2008. 
  29. ^ "min magazine 2008 The Digital Hot List: Samir Arora". min Online. Access Intelligence, LLC. Retrieved November 23, 2008. 
  30. ^ "Digital Top 30". GQ Magazine. 
  31. ^ Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year Award Hall of Fame
  32. ^ "Samir Arora - Google Patents". Google Patents. Google. Retrieved 2008-07-09.  See also US Patent Office Database.
  33. ^ "Foodie Top 100 Restaurants Amazon Book". 
  34. ^ "Foodie Top 100 Restaurants Amazon Book". 
  35. ^ "Theatre Works Annual Report 2004-05, p. 14, 23" (PDF). Retrieved July 18, 2008. [dead link]
  36. ^ "Theatre Works Annual Report 2006/07, p. 16, 26" (PDF). Retrieved July 18, 2008. [dead link]
  37. ^ "Launch of Mode Studios". 
  38. ^ "10 Years Series crosses 250 million views". 
  39. ^ "Amazon Book Author Bio". 

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