Why he matters: In tech circles, it's become a verb, as in "We got TechCrunched." Everyone knows what it means: Your phone starts ringing, and traffic to your website explodes.
Since Arrington launched TechCrunch two years ago, the site has become a must-read in the fast-growing Web 2.0 world. When Arrington reviews a company's product -- typically before others get word of it -- VCs often begin pitching the startup with funding offers. Arrington says he plans to stay independent, and why shouldn't he, given that his 10-person outfit brings in $200,000 a month. Look for him to begin buying up other blogs as he seeks to expand his reach as Silicon Valley's reigning kingmaker.