It all started in 1985 with a Commodore 64. I was only two and a half, but I was hooked for life. Something about the freedom of the blinking cursor - the ability to question, to try, fail, and try again... it captivated my imagination and led to a series of amazing adventures.
TakingITGlobal (1999 - Present) Charity
The idea for TakingITGlobal came about when Jennifer and I were rollerblading during a conference in Ottawa in 1999: Why wasn't there a place for young people to help each other with their ideas? To learn more about the world, and create positive change: It wasn't on the agenda of the dozens of teen sites that sprung up as the Internet matured, they were more interested in advertising revenue from the likes of cosmetic and fashion companies. So we set out to create an online community where ideas could flourish, and youth from anywhere in the world to connect to make a difference. The mission of inspire, inform, and involve, still used today as the tagline for the site, leads users through a pathway to action that has empowered thousands of young leaders to create change in their communities. In 2005, we redeveloped the site to support translation by members, which has now launched in over 10 languages. In December 2008, the sixth revision of the site launched, with a renewed focus on personalization and new user experience. I'd love for you to learn more about TIG's impact or visit the site!
After hearing a story of someone having a terrible printer reccomended to them by a salesperson at a local computer shop, I thought it would be amazing if there was a web site where people could find unbiased product information and reviews, along with comparison shopping features to help you find the best price for any item. After convincing a handful of merchants to share their pricing data and to pay for traffic sent to them through our site, BuyBuddy was born! Initially funded by Internet.com Venture Fund, and later by XDL Capital Partners, BuyBuddy grew to a staff of over 30, with dozens of the top merchants on the Internet listing themselves on our site. However, with the corrections in the stock market leading many Internet merchants into bankruptcy, and forcing other to minimize their spending for a period of time, BuyBuddy was unable to continue operation, although Michael Hayman and I purchased the company and domain back from the investors as a souvenir of the company.
A group of about 15 avid computer enthusiasts gathered in the #html IRC chat room in the web's infancy, and created a site together, writing articles to comment on the latest technology developments, and reviewing whatever manufacturers would send us to try out. In 1997, the Win Nuke vulnerability in Windows 95, first reported on our site, led dozens of news outlets to promote our site in the mainstream news, causing such a surge in traffic that our servers were overloaded. By 1998, we had over 100,000 regular monthly readers, and signed with Doubleclick in New York to sell advertising for us to some of technology's biggest names: Microsoft, IBM, HP, but I doubt any of them had any idea that a group of students were behind the site! In 1999, we were approached by Internet.com and agreed to be acquired by them leading up to their successful IPO, and moved on to focus on developing BuyBuddy.