Then and Now –

It’s amazing how fast time flies. For one, my daughter wants to get a jump on college next year by starting spring term instead of waiting until the fall. The fact that I have a kid a year and half away from entering college is just….well, weird. But I digress. I was searching (via Microsoft’s internal Kumo search tool) for a link to an article I wrote a few years back and came across an interview I did for the San Francisco Chronicle’s in 2003 on the creation of the East Bay IT Group, a technology non-profit I started with Kristen Kuhns and Patrick Tardif (who now run Eravita and StoryOfMyLife).

There are few things Kristen Kuhns and Christian Buckley would rather do than hang out with their techie brethren, discussing the latest goings-on in the computer industry.

But given that the trek from their homes in Brentwood to the center of the high-tech universe, Silicon Valley, is often the equivalent of a Lewis and Clark expedition, regularly taking advantage of such gatherings is a chore.

That’s why Kuhns and Buckley, along with third co-founder Patrick Tardif, formed the East Bay Information Technology Group — better known as eBIG — last year. The nonprofit organization aims to create an avenue in which the growing IT community in the East Bay can network, while minimizing battles with SUV-clogged freeways.

When I moved from the Bay Area to Washington State in 2004, I left behind a still growing organization with around 2,000 members — which had expanded to over 10,000 members by 2007. I remained on the Board of Directors until late 2007 when eBIG was merged with Technology Ventures Corporation, and renamed the East Bay Innovation Group (a better name — we should have thought of that).

While I am two states away and completely detached from eBIG’s progress, it’s good to see that it is still up and running. I don’t know what their numbers look like, how many members and events they pull in each month, but in these hard economic times, it’s good to see that the East Bay has groups like eBIG still providing services catering to the entrepreneur. I wish there was something similar up here in the Seattle area. Hmm….maybe I should start something….

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and Office Servers and Services MVP, the Founder & CEO of CollabTalk LLC, an independent research and technical marketing services firm based in Salt Lake City, Utah, and CMO of, a blockchain-based video technology company.