In the domains of media, marketing and technology, to be merely young and successful isn’t so remarkable. But to be influential—seriously influential—is something else altogether: to imagine the truly new and different, to impel real change in the way business has been done before, to lead the way and to inspire others to follow. Those are a few attributes that define and set apart these individuals, the Young Influentials, as determined by Adweek’s editors: individuals who have achieved not only a standing in the industry—in most cases, a standing far beyond their years—but who also constitute the very vanguard of innovation in media, technology, brand leadership and creative work. If you haven’t heard of them already, you will.
For those seeking to understand the anatomy of a viral hit, Peretti is their man. The 38-year-old entrepreneur has spent much of his career monitoring online social behavior and creating the most buzzed-about Web content. He co-founded The Huffington Post before going on to launch BuzzFeed. Lately, Peretti has been busy signing up big-name journalists to work at BuzzFeed in a mission to transform the meme-centric site into a next-generation news authority.