The Third Degree

Q&A With Brandon Diamond on His Plans for the New York Tech Meetup Board

brandon diamond Q&A With Brandon Diamond on His Plans for the New York Tech Meetup Board

Mr. Diamond at NYTM.


Brandon Diamond is a New York Tech Meetup superuser as well as the proprietor of the blog Your Startup Sucks and an engineer at one of New York tech’s most hardcore techie companies, 10gen. The hacker has been volunteering for NYTM for two years. Last year, he ran for one of the board’s four open seats and lost; but this year he won by a landslide (just 126 votes, as the election had just a 3.68 percent participation rate, but it was more than double the second-place candidate). It’s unclear what kind of influence the community board members wield, as the meetup just incorporated as a nonprofit last year and the organization is undergoing a lot of change. Betabeat caught up with Mr. Diamond by email to ask about his hopes for the future of the mothership of all tech meetups.

You didn’t win last year—what made you try again?

This is a community that means a whole lot to me; when I lost the election, it hurtbut it also helped me to learn something about myself and my career. Thatplus plenty of support and encouragement from my friends and familymade running again an easy decision.

What are your actual duties?

In a nutshell, board members are responsible for guiding the organization in the fulfillment of its mission; this can include everything from organizational oversight to legal and financial governance. At the NYTM, our mission is “to support and advance the New York tech community for its people and the world”I’ve always interpreted this as a call for the inclusion, engagement, and empowerment of the broader NY Tech community through focused programming and open involvement.

What’s the first thing you’re going to do?

I’m launching a website (http://BrandonForNYTM.org/) to use for weekly check-ins and open discussion with the NYTM community. My goal is total transparency and accountability: the NYTM membership put me on the board, now it’s my duty to represent them faithfully.

How will you measure your success?

I’m going for total accountability. Everything I work on will be documented online at BrandonForNYTM.org, right beside an open comments section. My goal is to understand what the membership wants and needs; if I’m ever surprised, I’m not doing my job. I’ll count myself successful when more folks vote in next year’s election, when we’ve got five volunteer organizers helping to grow our community, when more hackers and more creatives and more students join us as members of the NY Tech Meetup. Until then, I expect to be very busy!

What does this mean for Hacker Union?

Joining the NYTM Board offers a great opportunity to work together on issues that affect both organizations. While my responsibility lies first and foremost with the NYTM membership, the two organizations are fundamentally related: hackers need the tech industry and the tech industry needs hackers. Collaboration is our best bet.

Any other thoughts?

Please bookmark and share BrandonForNYTM.org. It’s essential that we work together in growing and improving the NY Tech Meetup!

Follow Adrianne Jeffries on Twitter or via RSS. ajeffries@observer.com