With all the people all around the world now getting their information online, TechCrunch has created a nice niche in the information market. The weblog, founded in June of 2005, specializes in profiling and reviewing new and existing internet products and companies making a significant commercial or cultural impact on the web. Edited by founder Michael Arrington, TechCrunch focuses on Web 2.0 companies and websites, with companion blogs and websites looking at tangentially related products and companies, such as the mobile Web 2.0 and new hardware and gear.
TechCrunch is lauded by internet industry and venture capitalist insiders, but has also received its fair share of controversy in its short existence.
Many people believe that a write up in TechCrunch can be a make-or-break proposition for fledgling tech companies. A post puts a company on the forefront, exposing their flaws and successes. According to The Wall Street Journal Online , "For many Silicon Valley venture capitalists and entrepreneurs, TechCrunch has become a must read. Internet companies mentioned on the blog often report huge increases in business after they're featured. Others get unsolicited calls from venture capitalists who want to give them money."
No way has this been felt more prominently than by the recent acquisition of YouTube by Google. TechCrunch was the first to break the story, helping to secure their reputation as being at the leading edge of the technology industry.
Which leads to some of the concerns about TechCrunch. Criticism has been lodged that because of its prominence in the industry TechCrunch can favorably influence the industry and that Arrington, a shareholder and advisor to several technology companies, would want to influence those companies. Other concerns have been raised that TechCrunch could be in a position to want to write favorably (or not disclose potentially damaging information) about it's advertisers or sponsors.
TechCrunch has been proactive to combat these concerns. The website's About page discloses these potential conflicts of interest, and posts that may contain a conflict are notated as such (along with a disclosure of the potential conflict). Additionally, TechCrunch has hired a dedicated advertising salesperson to separate the business-side of their company from the reporting/blogging side.
TechCrunch is staffed by three writers.
- Founder/editor Michael Arrington grew up in California and Surrey, England. He has a law degree from Stanford University. Arrington is also the founder and a board of directors member for the technology company edgeio.
- Nick Gonzalez has been doing analysis and research writing for TechCrunch since July 2006. He's a graduate of UC Berkeley with degrees in business administration, economics, and minor in computer science. He also blogs with RunningWithFoxes.com about emerging web apps.
- Marshall Kirkpatrick wrote for TechCrunch starting in June 2006. He has since left to become lead writer and a VP at ReadWriteWeb.com.
The success of TechCrunch has spawned a number of spin-offs from the main blog. Here are a few:
- Localized editions -- TechCrunch is available in three localized editions. TechCrunch France, TechCrunch UK and TechCrunch Japan.
- CrunchNotes.com -- An informal blog about web 2.0, is a companion blog to TechCrunch.
- MobileCrunch.com -- A blog about the Mobile 2.0 community, the technologies, applications, services and devices making up the mobile community.
- CrunchGear.com -- A blog about the latest gizmos, gadgets and computer hardware.
- TalkCrunch.com -- Podcast about Web 2.0.
- CrunchBoard.com -- A job board for the web 2.0 and technology industry.
Awards and Honors
According to a recent article in The Wall Street Journal Online , Arrington claims the site brings in "about $120,000 in revenue a month, mostly from ads, sponsorships, an online job-posting service and the parties it holds."
- Michael Arrington
- Alexa: TechCrunch.com