TechCrunch's story began on June 11, 2005, when founder Michael Arrington launched a blog from his home in Atherton, CA, as a way to share information and get informed about people and companies that were making waves in the burgeoning world of Web 2.0. At the time, Arrington was founding another start-up, Edgeio, and blogging in his spare time; yet, in less than a year and a half, TechCrunch was drawing several million page views every month and the attention of top entrepreneurs and VCs.
Before long, Arrington was launching supplemental sites to cover startups and gadgets to nearly every fold of the tech industry, and he began to throw parties at his home in Silicon Valley, which have since grown into some of the largest and most popular conferences in the technology arena. The TechCrunch Disrupt conference series, for example, combines leading innovator interviews with a startup launch competition and attracts over 2,000 attendees in New York and San Francisco.
The big break for TechCrunch came, however, in October 2006 when Arrington first broke the news of YouTube's acquisition by Google, landing the hobbyist on the homepage of the Wall Street Journal's Marketplace section and marking an important turning point for the site - and for new media. Thereafter, Arrington's TechCrunch was no longer relegated to simply providing opinion about breaking news; it became a complete news outlet in its own right. By 2008, Time Magazine recognized Arrington as one of the World's 100 Most Influential People.
In 2007, Arrington brought CEO Heather Harde and co-editor Erick Schonfeld into the TechCrunch ranks. Harde was a tenured media veteran, having grown through the rank and file of various News Corporation properties. Schonfeld had previously been editor-at-large of Business 2.0, ran its main blog, Next Net, hosted an online video series on CNNMoney, and organzied a regular series of industry conferences. Harde and Schonfeld have since helped build a talented stable of writers, engineers, and contributors.
In September 2010, TechCrunch was acquired by AOL and is now one of its leading power brands. Today, TechCrunch has moved out of Arrington's Atherton ranch, re-locating to San Francisco, and now boasts over 40 employees, as it continues to become one of the most influential news brands in the tech industry, maintaining its place at the top of TechMeme's Leaderboard as the #1 source of breaking tech news.