Wednesday, May 9, 2007

New York CTO club

We started the New York CTO club (Igor Shindel and I) because we saw that many CTOs did not have a good network to get advice from. My contacts in Silicon Valley all seemed to have good networks, having worked with Joe at Apple, or Mary at Sun, and therefore having folks from which they could seek subject-matter advice. So, we wondered if we could create a network via a CTO club. The first few monthly meetings were lame, but then something clicked at a meeting called "Vendor Intelligence" where we discussed different vendors we used and how and why. We extended this meeting into "Vendor Intelligence II" at our next monthly meeting, everyone got very into it. My own breakthrough moment was getting information about a vendor from three CTOs who had recently signed contracts, right as I was myself in contract negotiations.

The club is coming up on it's 7th year anniversary. We've had some great speakers (including this morning's, Michael Miller, who was Editor-in-Chief of PC Magazine for nearly 15 years), but what really makes the club is the comraderie between the members. The New York CTO club works because it's a community of CTOs (or similar position) who help and argue with each other about technology and business. The advice is just spectacular, and cannot be beaten. It also helps that we have the same location and time for breakfast every month, we meet early so everyone can get to their jobs by 10am. We share a Yahoo Group for emails, although a number of conversations go off-line after inital connection. We are close to 70 members strong now.

I can safely say that I would not be half the CTO I am today without the experiences and advice I've gotten from the New York CTO club.

2 comments:

Amy said...

People should read this.

Gary Hagopian said...

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