Some quick notes about my first Grubwithus dinner last night. In case you haven’t heard of it, it’s a startup that organizes themed “networking” dinners in over 40 cities. They’re only “networking” events in the same redefined sense that we would use the word at myG: opportunities to connect with new people, share passions, cool ideas, our best knock-knock jokes, and be helpful to each other whenever possible.
Grubwithus has done a great job setting the stage for everyone to have a great time – Keith and our myG team would approve. For example, most of the dinners are built and promoted around what we would call an “anchor” – either an interesting person or a common interest to be discussed. Last night’s was anchored by Y Combinator Ambassador/Breadpig creator Alexis Ohanian, along with a panel of people from foodie-related startups.
There was one area where this particular dinner departed from Keith’s playbook: Beer and sweet sangria only, no wine list; a small complaint. But I could have used wine to get over my minor fangirl fluster because I love that darn Breadpig so much. (I also really like the company who made their promo video, Grumo Media.) But no matter.
Really, I only have this to say: If Grubwithus has dinners in your city, GO! And if they don’t, find an alternative, like meetup.com (or write grubwithus and see if you can bring them to your city).
This is purposeful social engineering at its best: Everyone is there to enjoy a dinner with strangers, and maybe turn some of them into to friends. That means everyone’s mental/emotional door is already cracked open to connection. Grubwithus is engineering that subtle shift across hundreds of dinners, in dozens of cities. It’s karmic goodness right up there with the TM folks trying to levitate the Pentagon for peace in the ’60s. But probably more effective.