And so it came to pass! An interview with our Founder14th April 2014
Interview with Rebecca Gregory, Founder of thinking bob
Here’s an insight into what we do at thinking bob and how we came to be the socialising club that we are today, who better to tell us that than our CEO and Founder Becks.
First off, a little bit of background, Becks graduated in Maths – Leeds and Penn State – and chose to apply her logic skills, as well as her open and friendly nature to the world of events. Not doing anything by halves, she got deeply involved with many charities including the Steven Lawrence Trust before being chosen to organise the Brixton 2011 music festival ‘Oxjam’.
During the London riots, she helped spearhead the #somethingniceforashraf twitter campaign following the attack on a young Malaysian exchange student, Ashraf Haziq, which raised an incredible £23K in three days. In short, Rebecca has a real passion for people and loves a challenge – whether it be teaching in Ecuador, trekking across the Inca trail or retaining her quiz title.
So Becks, how was the concept of thinking bob born?
Raising the money for Ashraf demonstrated the power of social media but it also highlighted the fact that although we live in a world that is more connected than ever – on the ground our communities have never been more fragmented. The reality is making new friends in a city has never been harder. I had only just started using twitter and managed to rally 1000′s of people together in just a few hours yet my real social life was stale. I had been living in London over a year and was still single having met hardly any new people.
I did some research and discovered a lot of others were in this position – building new social circles in London is tough and catching up with old friends can take months to organise. I looked at what was out there to combat the problem; but the only few on-line social or dating sites and clubs I found and tried, promised a lot but disappointingly delivered very little. Finding people I clicked with was tougher than it should be in such a vibrant, bustling city.
and that’s how thinking bob began?
Pretty much, I got sick of wanting to go to things like pub quizzes and not being able to get a team together. I thought it would be great to have something where you just turn up and join in and actually click with people around you at a personality level as well as interest; something where going out on your own was a positive thing. As I couldn’t find what I was looking for, I started it myself! I thought it would be great to have events across the capital that enabled people to meet easily doing interactive stuff rather than just going to the pub. Although nearly all our events involve a drink or 2, they have a cerebral nature and actually get people using that useful brain. The thing that makes thinking bob special is the way we connect people by personality traits not interests. Just because two people like to eat Japanese food or go to the movies doesn’t mean they’ll really understand each other.
Can you tell us how do you do this?
Well, this is our secret. You’ll have to come along and see for yourself. Out of 200 new members recently surveyed 190 said they got on with 95% of all members. Its a great feeling when you connect with people, it can suddenly make London seem a much smaller place.
So why the name thinking bob? are all of the events ‘thinking’ events?
I wanted to suggest ‘using your brain’ rather that intelligence so ‘thinking’ just seemed to fit. Then i decided on our stickman – who needed a name! We went through everything thinking Kevin, thinking Steve, thinking Bob just works, it rolls off the tongue, everyone likes a Bob!
On top of our signature events – which I’m very proud of – we also throw one off themed parties or just go to the pub for a few drinks. In the summer, we do things like Retro Sports Day and BBQs. Basically, members can also create and suggest socials, giving them the power to control what’s on each month. One of our popular events is very simply called ‘Talking to Strangers’, it’s a social we run together with author Tom Jones who wrote ‘Tired of London Tired of Life’. If you like to talk, have fun, socialise and connect using a bit of grey matter then we have something for you.
To sum up, what sets you apart from other members clubs or socialising sites?
Good question! We’ve designed our signature events with our members in mind, they’re built for people meeting for the first time, helping to take the pressure off.
As well as our unique personality science which no other club/site uses, we attend our own events and make sure we listen to our members. Unlike other on-line sites and clubs, members can be secure in the knowledge when meeting other members that every member has been personally met and accepted into the club by one of the thinking bob team. On top of this members can create their own events enabling them to connect whenever, wherever they choose
What are your plans for the future of thinking bob?
We’ve quite recently moved offices to Ugli Campus, which has been fantastic for us, and our growing team. I don’t want to give too much away but we’re joining forces with other organisations and venues to bring our members some pretty cool stuff over the coming months.
We’re also improving our software behind the scenes so members have new and different ways to interact online; BUT too many of us are guilty of getting stuck in front of a computer so our focus will always be on growing our fantastic online community to connect offline. I’ve met a lot of great people over the last couple of years – people i can honestly call friends.