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What we learnt about Gathering from Spotify and Amazon

We're on a mission to add real value to peoples lives. We will do that by enabling more sharing, to build great friendships and to reduce the cost of equipment. To share, you need to bring people together, to Gather. But how?
It’s a challenge humanity has faced since we decided to feast on mammoth steaks. We needed to organise. To collaborate to achieve something we couldn't do individually. Thankfully, modes of communication have come on a long way since the guttural grunt.
“Internets to the rescue!” you cry. Well, yes. And no. Because: people.
The internet is an amazing tool for communication. It is changing the world. We've only just begun to exploit it’s potential. But the most important aspect, the most determinant factor in anything, is people. We are a self destructive bunch: willingly enthralled to selfie culture and Pinterest fuelled consumption. Its not enough to punch some code, flick a few switches, and say “Away you go!”. We need a structure, a framework that helps organise, collaborate and build the good.
The way we plan to Gather owes a lot to that most disruptive of businesses Spotify. They have a great way to order their staffers, their structure goes: Tribe, Chapter, Squad. Ours is kinda similar...
We've set our stall out to appeal to the Tribe of creative, interesting folk who love the outdoors. We will bring the Tribe together digitally. Yes via social media sharing, but also via a forum. The forum will help folk make links direct with each other. We'll just provide an enabling platform and leave folk to their own devices. Eventually we might have a grand Gathering IRL, but that is a way off.
We also know a little something about Chapters. Tim, our founder, is Good For Nothing Chapter leader in Leeds. Chapters are a powerful way to self organise and build relationships with like minded folk. Hey, it works for the Hells Angels. At this scale you can readily Gather round a campfire. We will organise popup events around Chapters. Popups will provide folk with things to do together, as well as a way to get hands on with our kit. We also envisage Chapters self organising their own gatherings. Adaptive social systems FTW.
If you think you have the makings of a Chapter Leader, get in touch.
So far we have two layers of organisation:
  • Tribe - global community
  • Chapters – city/towns
But there is another, more intimate level. We prefer the term Crew to Squad. These are small groups, Gathering to share equipment. Here, we’re standing on the shoulders of Amazons Jeff Bezos: you should be able to feed your Crew with two pizzas, so 2-7 people should be about right. There is obvious value to bring in a Crew by buying stuff at least half price. But there is added value, through providing a reason to come together. Think about that block of flats next to the river, where everyone is on nodding terms as the pass in the hallway. What if the residents shared an Oru Kayak between them? So on sunny mornings they just need to knock someone's door to pop out for a paddle. Who needs a cup of sugar when you can connect over something more life enhancing than rotting your teeth?
We'll have a call for first ever Gather Crew, to share an Oru Kayak Bay Plus, soon.
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