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 M365 Apps & Services MVP, and an award-winning product marketer and technology evangelist, based in Silicon Slopes (Lehi), Utah. He is the Director of North American Partner Management for leading ISV Rencore (, leads content strategy for TekkiGurus, and is an advisor for both revealit.TV and WellnessWits. He hosts the monthly #CollabTalk TweetJam, the weekly #CollabTalk Podcast, and the Microsoft 365 Ask-Me-Anything (#M365AMA) series.

1 Response

  1. Do you remember the movie “Heathers” from ca 1988? “don’t do it…. don’t do it” (was regards to suicide but still apropos here) LOL

    EBIG is there but not doing much since TVC lost its funding. Rebekah still does 3 sometimes 4 SIGs per month. Other groups have started doing events and others too, which has taken some of the fire/need away from the non-profits.

    But one thing we see a lot is that networking is still important, and tech people need to keep up with their skill sets. Too many get copmlacent in their jobs, lose their jobs and suddenly find their skills sets are out of date. Those groups help etc.