Announcing the Infinibee Plan and Other Premium Changes

Tuesday, August 9, 2016
By dreeves

A bee carrying a moneybag

To paraphrase Teen Talk Barbie, pricing is hard. Not “P versus NP” hard, but here at the Beehive we’ve gone through seemingly every possible permutation on a revamp of the premium plans, as the daily beemail subscribers can attest. [1]

Here’s what we landed on after much hand-wringing and internal debate:

Tenet the first: You can still use Beeminder for free. (Assuming you keep your datapoints on track, of course.) And not a crippled or time-limited trial version, but real beeminding. We think Beeminder can quite literally be life-changing and have no plans to put the core awesomeness behind a paywall. Commit-wall [2], yes, but not a paywall.

Tenet the second: We want to get most serious users onto a paid plan. If you are getting noticeable value from Beeminder, it should be a no-brainer to at least get on the cheapest paid plan. We’re calling that plan Infinibee because we decided to use the number of active goals as the simplest proxy for how much value you’re getting. [UPDATE: We meant to say number of goals you create, not just active goals. In the meantime we decided active goals is probably better. We’ll delete this update when “active” is actually true.] Subscribing to Infinibee gives you an unlimited number of goals — otherwise limited to 3 — of any type except custom. Starting now, the free plan limits you to Do More goals, weight goals, and any autodata goals using our integration partners.

Tenet the third: Power user features go in the middle plan. Some features take a lot of time and effort to build and maintain. Auto-ratcheting, weekends off, and fully custom goals, to name a few. But they’re really good features if you’re a hard-core Beeminder user. Not surprising since we built a lot of them for ourselves or based directly on feedback from you. They’re not essential to basic beeminding (tracking your goals with the credible threat of charging you money) and can even be counter-productive to show to newbees. We’re calling this middle plan Bee Plus, because it gets you these power user features on top of the core Beeminder service.

Tenet the fourth: Revenue-impacting features go in the expensive plan. Some people hear about Beeminder and say “that would be really cool if only it did X”, where X is something that would mean that Beeminder wouldn’t make any money and therefore wouldn’t be around for that person to use it. The three most common values of X are:

  • “If only I could choose the starting pledge! (And set it to something really high so that it’s immediately so motivating that I never derail)”
  • “If only I could just use it to track my goals without this silly pledging business!”
  • “If only I could have the money go to charity!”

The first two have been premium features for a long time. Today we’ve added a partial charity option. We’ll continue to call this plan Beemium: it’s the fanciest plan and includes everything in Infinibee and Bee Plus as well.

“All your existing goals are grandfathered”

Tenet the fifth: People who are currently subscribers should be happy about any changes. Existing premium subscribers can keep their current plans as they are indefinitely and, as thank-you for supporting us early, we’ll be sending you discount coupons for the new plans. (And even if you’re not already on a premium plan, all your existing goals are grandfathered.)

So, with those tenets of liberté, égalité, and fraternité, let’s talk about the new Beeminder premium plans.

A Couple Carrots After All

Actually, we should first mention a tenet that got thrown under the bus. Well, a little bit under the bus. Thrown under a bicycle maybe. Remember our No Dangling Carrots Principle? Most of you don’t, since that was over three years ago. But back when we first introduced premium plans we wrote “we do not intend to hold important features as dangling carrots.” Well, here we are, dangling carrots in front of you. Not many. Mainly the carrot of unlimited goals. And the weekends-off feature is probably a violation of No Dangling Carrots, since it’s just a checkbox. We can’t claim that one’s too confusing for newbees.

What do we have to say for ourselves? Well, like Beeminder, reality is a harsh mistress. At the beginning of 2016 we hard-committed to making Beeminder revenue grow by the end of the year so Beeminder can keep existing for many years to come. This is part of that plan.

But enough of that, let’s talk about these plans!

Core Beeminder ($0/month)

We’ll start with the non-premium plan, just as a reminder of all the goodies that are still entirely un-paywalled.

Infinibee ($4/month)

This is the plan that we hope is a no-brainer if you’ve read this far. It has all of core Beeminder and no limit to number of goals and types of goals.

“You don’t have to remember to cancel your subscription”

We’re quite proud of our auto-canceling subscription feature (which applies to all plans). If $4/month had you on the fence we hope that not having to worry about remembering to cancel (should Beeminder somehow fail to enthrall you) will push you right off. And especially if you’re a startup founder yourself we hope you’ll hear us out on the virtue of auto-canceling subscriptions.

Bee Plus ($16/month)

This is the power user plan. The fanciest fanciness is here, things that might confuse newbees or matter to the most hard core folks.

Beemium ($32/month)

Finally, our VIP plan, which, in addition to unlimited goals and power user features has features that directly impact Beeminder’s revenue.

We’re very impressed with people who have value for shortcircuiting. We’re not sure we do ourselves! Beemium subscribers are highly akratic and have the foresight to know what will motivate them. We’re highly akratic, no question there, but we’re always a bit delusional about it. “Maybe this time $5 will be enough to keep me on track!” We’re pretty enamored with our exponential pledge schedule but some of our most hardcore users can save money by paying for Beemium so they can jump straight to commitment contracts that they know will keep them on track indefinitely.

Since Beemium is so super elite we’re also letting those folks hang out in our developer chat room where you can ask us questions and often get an immediate response.

(Speaking of personal attention, let us now pause for a moment of silence for the Beekeeper plan, which we’re officially retiring. We’ve been phasing it out for a long time. We’ll focus on what we’re best at — building very nerdy tools — and leave lifecoaching to the lifecoaches.)


 

So those are the premium plans! The discounts for paying yearly (or at any interval you choose using our exquisitely fair slider) still apply.

Think these are too expensive? Too cheap? Think our mother is cheap? Tell us about it in the comments or an email! Or subscribe to Beemium and tell us to our virtual faces ;-)


 

Footnotes

[1] Thank you, daily beemail people, for the brilliant feedback! You had a big impact on the new premium plans.

[2] By commit-wall we mean having to enter a credit card at some point (Beeminder can’t be a credible threat until you do) but not paying unless you derail on your goal


 

Image credit: Ms Travel Bee

Tags: , , , ,

  • Bryce

    I’m sad to say that this seems like the beginning of the end for my use of Beeminder. I won’t stop updating my 5 active goals right away, but next time I want to track something new, I almost certainly won’t be willing pay $4/month for it. Similarly, I think it will be a lot harder to enthusiastically recommend Beeminder if what you can track for free is severely limited.

    Beeminder is the only web service and the only freemium product I have ever paid money to, but I’ve gotten sufficient value from it over the past 3+ years to make those payments worthwhile. The auto-canceling subscription feature helps to slightly assuage my aversion to subscriptions, but not enough.

    I wish the Beeminder team all the best, and will likely pay for a couple more derailments before I leave for good, but you’ve probably lost a at least one loyal-ish user today.

  • http://beeminder.com Daniel Reeves

    Eek, this is the kind of feedback we need to hear. Did you see the “discount please!” button in the first FAQ item on http://beeminder.com/premium ? Is there a price and/or number of goals in the free plan that would change your feelings on this?

  • Anirudh Aryasomayajula

    oh no, I wish Beeminder was still free or atleast allowed a little more free goals…I have been actively beeminding for the past year and I have already learned a lot..I don’t know if I can join the subscription service which means I cannot add the next goal. But if the free Beeminder allowed to track 5 goals for free or if the infinibee was 2$/month I would totally be jumping in joy..

  • http://beeminder.com Daniel Reeves

    More excellent feedback! We’re pretty much giving out additional free goals like candy at the moment — in fact, there’s a “more free goals please!” button when you hit the paywall. So we’re actively experimenting with the right numbers of free goals and pricing.

    Thanks again for articulating your reaction to this! (Btw, also active beeminding for a year is plenty to get a premium hefty premium discount so we can certainly make you in particular happy. What we really have to figure out though is whether we’re shooting ourselves in the foot overall with this change!)

  • Bryce

    There probably is a price point or a number of free goals that would change my mind. I also hadn’t seen the “discount please” button or the “more free goals please” button you mentioned below. I’ll look into those and think a bit harder about my willingness to pay.

  • Anirudh Aryasomayajula

    Thanks for the reply. I don’t think we are shooting ourselves in the foot. May be I am just new to this idea and just need to think it over. But I am glad you are still experimenting…

  • http://eric.jain.name/ Eric Jain

    Why not simply make more features available to people who do higher pledges? Works for casinos :-)

  • http://beeminder.com Daniel Reeves

    We’re kind of experimenting with that too! Check out the first FAQ item on http://beeminder.com/premium

  • http://openmedi.de openmedi

    As someone who discovered Beeminder this week, loved the idea and the care you put into developing this nerdy service and then got immediately disenchanted as soon as I hit the paywall, I can tell you that limiting the amount of goals seems like an exceptionally bad move on your part. And making me press this embarrassing button for more goals and then granting me only one more seems like a slap in the face. I think you severely underestimate the resistance you create by imposing such a system and especially the implications of having a goal button “for the poor”.

    As I have said in an email answer after pressing the poor button to you before: Give me 10 or 20 goals more, especially in the exploratory phase (for a tracking service like this one to four weeks for a pretty high degree of freedom would be my estimate before money besides the pledges should play a role). Don’t _make me_ think about your money situation, business model and moral alignment in this time at all if you want my money.

    I’ll try to elaborate on that point about morals, because it’s an important one: The way beeminder works could be described as a service to create a contract with oneself to follow through on my goals. I, the user, grant the service (beeminder) a lot of agency over my life. This is why I need to trust the service that it has my best interests in mind. Making me crash into a paywall, dangling carrots in front of me (after stating you wouldn’t do that) and talking so nonchalantly about pricing ([I’m especially referring to this thread in the forums](http://forum.beeminder.com/t/help-us-decide-about-a-price-hike-for-beeminder-premium-plans/1512/1)) doesn’t give me a lot of trust in you. I’m sorry to say. But if I can’t trust you, then the question about beeminder being an especially effective racket ([as has been posed in the comments under your lifehacker writeup a while ago](http://lifehacker.com/5919627/beeminder-tracks-your-goals-motivates-you-by-charging-you-money-when-your-fall-behind)), especially for people with relatively low income, immediately comes back to haunt you.

    I’m not sure you want that. But I’m also not sure how you could win me back, since the whole problem seems to originate from a philosophical disregard for “first order” trust and its implications in relation to the management of your users agency (maybe not so much when it comes to all those grandfathered in users, who have been with you on this journey, but definitely when it comes to new ones).

  • http://beeminder.com Daniel Reeves

    This is good feedback and a few more like it could convince us to scrap the paywall. I don’t understand framing it as any kind of moral or trust issue though. I mean, this is our full-time job so one way or another we have to charge for it. If pledges pay the bills, that’s wonderful but if they don’t then… they don’t. We’re being wholly transparent about it. Eg http://forum.beeminder.com/t/mildly-panicked/1907 . Maybe too much so and it seems callous?

    In any case, thanks so much for writing up your thoughts and reaction. Everyone who does so will have surprisingly large influence over whether we keep the paywall. And in the meantime, please don’t feel bad about asking for more free goals. We’re happy to give those out like candy while we’re still experimenting with this.

  • hazelross

    Just wanted to chime in here and say – despite being a weekly beemailer, I somehow missed all the warnings this was happening. I went to add a new goal. I hit the wall, and thought “oh, that’s what they were talking about, huh, should have read those emails more closely”. I then thought “huh $4 a month is kind of steep by comparison seeing as how I rarely derail”. Then I played with the slidey-timeline.

    $135 doesn’t seem like a lot of money for a lifetime of awesomeness. More particularly, it doesn’t seem unreasonable to bet that I’ll still be using beeminder in 3 years’ time, in which case I’m winning by paying for a lifetime plan. In fact, I didn’t press your “I’ve been using this for, like, FOREVER” button because I have *definitely* already got more value out of beeminder than I’ve put money in, and I would feel like I was ripping you guys off if I asked you to make it cheaper for me.

    But then I can afford to make that call and shell out for a lifetime plan.

    TL;DR this was a surprise and then it was actually fine and I still feel like I am getting this for remarkably cheap.

  • Christopher Allen

    I’ve been beeminding for a little over a year, and I continue to feel kind of badly that I have taken up a non-trivial amount of your time with many, many support requests and yet have so far paid you absolutely nothing (and in fact have only one goal with a non-zero pledge). Beeminder has been exceptionally valuable to me, and yet I am just about the worst possible customer you could have.

    On the other hand, part of what makes Beeminder so effective for me is that I have a very small income at the moment; indeed, when I started beeminding any non-zero pledge was more than I can afford, and I was kept on track for a very long time just because I really wanted to avoid even so much as giving you my card details.

    Fortunately my income is gradually improving (at least in part thanks to Beeminder), and I recently signed up to Complice (though with a good discount, and only after it basically doubled the amount of useful work I was accomplishing), so it seems totally unreasonable to claim that I really can’t afford $4/month, or that I don’t get at least that much value out of it.

    And yet the question I will ask myself, next time I go to create a new goal, will be “is it worth $4/month for one more?” The answer will probably be no. If you still offered freebees, however, then that would be a different matter: in the face of uncertain future income a one-off payment is more palatable than a subscription.

  • Gretchen

    It’s a little surprising to me how bothered I am by this change,
    since: 1) I generally am willing to pay for services that provide value
    to my life, 2) I can afford to purchase a lifetime subscription if I so
    choose, and 3) I think the pricing itself is eminently fair for the
    value I’d be getting – I’ve been using Beeminder for ages and I’m certain I’ve paid more than a lifetime Infinibee subscription’s worth in pledges. I mention this to be clear that I don’t have issues with paying for subscriptions generally or for Beeminder in particular.

    The best sense I can make of my reluctance in the face of those facts is this: I have two different ways I use Beeminder. I have goals that are how I want my life to be all the time (eg: flossing, exercising 3 times per week, Inbox Zero) and goals that are a particular thing I want to accomplish in a relatively short period (eg: studying for a class).

    The “lifestyle” goals I have are more than three by themselves, and I anticipate keeping them running indefinitely. They’re a lot of things that don’t really matter to me at a core values level, but do support the things I want to do in life by giving me a foundation to work from. They’re not where I generally give you money, though. I use Beeminder there as just enough prompting that on days I’m tired I don’t talk myself out of doing something I’m mostly in the habit of doing already. The goals *look* like they’re constantly holding my feet to the fire (because every day is an “eep” day) – but really, there’s not much risk of me derailing. The decision point where I take action looks like “Ugh, fine, I guess I’ll floss my teeth again today, but only because I *have* to.” I only live on the edge of derailing because I’d rather take a day off then build up a safety buffer. They’re still tremendously effective, because one day off would otherwise turn into two, five, or hundreds. But their power is not so much the accountability so much as the reminders themselves.

    The short-term goals are the things I really depend on Beeminder to accomplish at all, and they’re where I give you a bunch of money (like the one I just completed that involved derailing five times in nine weeks). These goals are where I push myself that little bit harder than I really think I’m capable of doing. They’re where I find out what really matters to me, and that’s what makes Beeminding not just useful but *fun*. The decision points here look like “I’m not willing to give up on this goal today” or “Oh god, I am absolutely willing to pay money not to have to do this today.” These are the group of goals that really have the potential to be life-changing. They have a start and a more definite end, so they cycle through my gallery, and I don’t run many at once.

    The problem with this approach to plans is that it means I’ll get hit with a paywall at precisely that moment when I’m ready to commit to an exciting new project. It puts a barrier exactly in the spot when I’m most likely to abandon a project rather than dig in and get down to business. And that *will* happen, because the “lifestyle” goals will eventually add up to the limit, no matter how many goals that is. For me at least, that effectively turns the fun side of Beeminding into a paid feature.

    Or, to put it slightly differently: Would the Beeminder team find Beeminder as useful of a tool if they had to follow this guideline? You’ve got the UVI graph and the blog graph – what would you spend your last free goal on? Which of your projects is most worth giving up the option to create the next goal on a whim?

  • Penny Pincher

    Having a limit on number of goals sounds reasonable, though 3 is a bit low. Having a limit on types of goals sounds just plain stupid. At the very least Do Less goals should be core functionality.

    My friends may want to cut down on unread email or on smoking, but they’re sure not going to pay $4/month on nothing but my recommendation. Especially if my recommendation is tempered with a “…unless they decide to cripple it even more in a few months”.

  • Gretchen

    Here’s another way of thinking of it: The point when I want to give you money is when I realize Beeminder is succeeding (or at least, when I have a strong sense of its potential to succeed). Which means that effectively monetizing Beeminder means identifying what “success” looks like.

    In my experience, there are lots of ways Beeminder can succeed. In no particular order:
    * I’ve achieved a short-term goal without undue stress
    * I’ve realized that I don’t value a short-term goal enough to actually achieve it
    * I’ve tracked a lifestyle goal long enough to…
    a) know I need to continue tracking it indefinitely,
    b) stop needing to track it because I’ve established a habit I’m unlikely to break (for things that are intrinsically rewarding), or
    c) stop wanting to track it, because I’m no longer interested in focusing on that area of my life
    * I’ve set up a tracking mechanism for a “someday” goal, removing the barrier to future commitment, but I’ve left the dial at 0 because it’s not a focus right now. (This is how my Duolingo goal is right now, for instance)

    Similarly, there are ways Beeminder can fail:

    * I don’t achieve a short-term goal due to procrastination, even though it’s something I really value

    * I do achieve a short-term goal, but only with huge amounts of procrastination-based stress

    * I weasel out of my commitments and destroy my own sense of myself, whether I achieve the goal or not

    * I get out of the habit of doing a “lifestyle” task that supports my personal goals/values

    * I realize that the benefit of tracking a “lifestyle” task isn’t worth the effort of tracking it

    * It’s too much work to start tracking a goal, so I never do (and as a result, I don’t achieve the goal)

    * I can’t figure out how to effectively track a goal within Beeminder’s mechanics

    This new approach directly hits on those last two failure modes. It takes away methods of effectively tracking by reducing available goal types. Then, when a person hits the paywall, it adds work to the process of starting to track a goal. After sleeping on the matter, I think this is why I’m so reluctant about this change: I think it makes Beeminder a less effective service as a whole.

    Figuring out how to effectively use Beeminder is a long process. It takes setting up a bunch of goals, failing on some, succeeding on others, and

    All of that said, you must pay your bills, and I get that. So here’s some times I’d be more excited about giving you money (on a one-time basis, not a subscription):

    * When I archive a goal. Usually this means I’ve either achieved it or learned everything I can from it.

    * When I’ve tracked something for several months without derailing (on goals that don’t have “end date” set in the road dial)

    * When I achieve “Beeminder success!” (hit the target date and am still on the road)

    * In connection to, but not a mandatory part of the process of, creating my 10th/15th/etc goal

    And times I’d be more excited for signing up for a subscription:

    * On my Beeminder-versary

    * When I’ve tracked something for a year

    * On Beeminder’s anniversary

    Ideally, I’d like a subscription level that is nothing but “Thank
    you!”, with the guarantee that I’ll get grandfathered in if Beeminder
    becomes more of a paid service.

    In all cases, the format I’d most prefer to be reminded is an email that I could opt out of. I imagine it saying something along the lines of:
    “Hey there! We noticed you’ve [archived a goal/created a total of 15 goals/used Beeminder for a year]. We hope you’re finding Beeminder a valuable service. [As applicable, list of “Here are some things you’ve accomplished so far] Here are some links to ways you can give us money to continue providing this service [one-time link, subscription link]. If there are ways we can make Beeminder more valuable to you, click [here] or email support at any time to make a suggestion. If you’d rather not get emails like this again, click [here] to adjust your email preferences. Happy Beeminding!

    But let’s say your expenses are such that opt-in payments of this sort aren’t sufficient. In that case, I’d suggest a $4 per “Beeminder success!” fee ($4, because that way it’s still cheaper than derailing at the lowest pledge level, but you could provide the option to pay more I suppose). That puts the pain of paying as a one-time cost exactly at the moment when I’m happiest to spend it.

  • David Gessner

    Regarding the point about one-off payments being more palatable than a subscription in the face of uncertain future income, keep in mind that subscriptions can be cancelled. A subscription doesn’t mean that you’ll have to pay money forever if you don’t want to. So I’d go ahead and subscribe if you can afford it now (I’m already subscribed :)

    In any case, it would be nice if the Beeminder guys could clarify what happens with one’s goals when cancelling or downgrading a subscription.

  • Anirudh Aryasomayajula

    Actually this is a great suggestion (I am not sure it works for everyone, 135$ is still a lot… But then I thought I am paying almost the same for netflix in a year which adds 0 productivity to my life.) I didn’t even think about the life time plan. I totally forgot about the fact that the beeminder discounts increases with the increase in the amount of time(94% discount for life time) you pay for. I have already used beeminder for a year and I feel just the same as you. I rarely derail and I think I would be ripping beeminder off as time goes by. I think I am going to sign up for this…

  • hazelross

    Yeah my point was that because I can afford to cough up $135 all at once, it was fine, but I think if I were less comfortable financially then this might well have pushed me to quit.

    I’m curious about what happens if, like me, you have 33 archived goals, had three active ones, and then wanted to re-activate an archived one without infinibee…would it let you?

  • Anirudh Aryasomayajula

    I am not quite sure…bcoz it says all your existing goals are grandfathered but does that include archived ones?

  • http://beeminder.com Daniel Reeves

    Yeah, archived goals can be unarchived — it will always let you do that. The paywall only happens with new goal creation.

    Thanks so much for the kind words and vote of confidence and hardcore beeminding!

  • http://beeminder.com Daniel Reeves

    Thanks David! If you cancel or downgrade you still keep all the perks for the plan you paid for until the period runs out. That’s why you can buy a month of Infinibee, immediately cancel, and still be able to go hog wild all month creating goals.

    (It also means if you buy a year but downgrade or cancel after a month, you’ve still paid for and will get the whole year. That’s the point of the slider — a discount in exchange for committing to a longer period. But you can still ask for a refund if the perks feel disappointing and we’ll say yes.)

    For upgrades we apply the cost of the plan you have for as long as you have it. For example, if you got lifetime Infinibee then the other plans will be $4/mo less forever.

    Like we say at the bottom of http://beeminder.com/premium we’re trying to always do the exquisitely fairest possible thing. Let us know if you find a counterexample!

  • Daniel Weinand

    After reading this, I spent less than 5 minutes deciding to go for Infinibee. Beeminder has helped me keep on track learning Japanese and exercising through 3 moves (graduating college, coming home, starting full time) which have always been where good habits go to die for me.

    Incredibly worth it, and I hope that I can continue Beeminding for a long time to come!

  • Daniel Weinand

    Personally, I’ve found “Do Less” goals to be intrinsically more difficult than “Do More” goals, to the point where restructuring a reduction type goal to be an increase goal is way worth it.

    Like, if your friend is trying to quit smoking try something like “4 days a week without smoking”. Then steadily increase the number of smoke free days required. I’ve found myself far more satisfied being able to proudly input a 1 for a successful day that I did not do a negative activity than shamefully inputting the amount of the “bad” activity I did.

    It makes sense to me to discourage new users from “Do Less” goals, because they make you (or me at least) dislike Beeminder.

  • Dan

    I’ve never paid anything for Beeminder. Even though I’ve pledged 0€ for all my goals, the prospect of having to pledge more is enough of a deterrent. I think Beeminder works relatively well for me because I’m rather stingy. But of course that also makes me very hesitant to pay 4€/month. If I were okay with spending 4€ per month I could already have failed all my goals twice this month (once with the 0€ pledge, once with 1€ pledge for my four goals). (I fear that if I ever have to pledge a “significant” sum I’d get stressed out too much and archive the goal.)

    If anything I’d probably be willing to pay for being allowed to create a goal. Kind of a prepaid model instead of a subscription. Think about how the psychology works here: Do I want to pay 4/€ per month to support beeminder? Heck no (sorry). Do I want to pay 2€ (once or per year?) to loose weight? Sure.

    Also, it feels kind of shitty to have to pay for exactly the same thing that you could use for free before. I’d be nice if Infinibee had at least one wildly appreciated new feature.

  • Yonah Sienna

    SUGGESTION: I think a lot of people (myself included) would be more motivated to pay for these features “a la carte” rather than through subscription, and I wonder whether that could also be a good revenue stream for beeminder. For example, start your first 3 goals for free, pay $1 to start an additional goal, or $3 to increase your total goals to 10.*

    Basically, I feel WAY more willing to pay for features like more goals or FANCY goals etc as I want them. I would actually happily pay to start a goal, because I feel like I’m PURCHASING something, rather than paying every month to keep something unlocked.

    *Other possible a la carte features:
    – paying half your pledge to shortcircuit
    – paying upfront to buy goals pledging $0 initially
    – paying to start an ADVANCED goal
    – paying to add “weekends off” (extra fair because I’m paying you like $2 upfront to make it easier for my akratic self to avoid paying you $5 later)

  • http://beeminder.com Daniel Reeves

    More good feedback! Had you thought about the option of approximating this by adding a plan and immediately removing it again? That buys you a month of that plan during which you can go hog wild adding goals, editing yellow brick roads, short-circuiting pledges, etc, depending on the plan. We don’t undo any of that when the month runs out and you revert to the free plan.

  • Yonah Sienna

    It’s more about how it feels really. It feels “better” for micropayments to be purchase than to be cancellable subscriptions to the buffet. I’d FEEL more like I’m getting my money’s worth (even if there’s no real difference), and I bet I’d even end up throwing you more money.

  • Yonah Sienna

    And from my own experience actually – I almost NEVER subscribe to apps or web services, but I often pay to get rid of ads or get perks. I never signed up for premium on beeminder, even for one month, but I HAVE bought extra freebees when they were available, and was super happy with FEELING of purchase, and the value of what I got. :)

  • Vladimir Jaksic

    I was using beeminder actively for a long time, and I am a paying customer. I was recommending it to friends like hell, sending feedback etc. I think users should be able to pay for as much goals as they like without the need of a subscription. It is really making me consider to stop using this app, or just write my own one (being a software developer and all) that just gives the money to charity rather than being forced to a subscription plan….

  • Vladimir Jaksic

    Then why just not give the option to buy a goal? Why trying to lure the people in the subscription. Smells a bit like the whole gym subscriptions, download websites, internet radios and stuffs you guys are trying not to be like….

  • Vladimir Jaksic

    Just feels kind of disappointing to see this “but you can cancel your subscription anytime” approach (used by many commercial websites that suck) being applied here as well :(

  • http://beeminder.com Daniel Reeves

    Critical (in both senses of the word) feedback for us! Thank you! Do you feel like it would make the difference if it were 7 free goals instead of 3?

  • http://beeminder.com Daniel Reeves

    What are you referring to specifically here? Important question in terms of what we’re managing to convey through all of this: Did you notice that our subscriptions are auto-canceling?

    (I think that makes them just infinitely more palatable. We’re only asking to be paid conditional on you actively getting value out of the service and we mean that so hard that we’re assuming the burden of making it be true.)

  • Vladimir Jaksic

    I am sure you guys put a lot of effort into designing this pricing scheme, but to me it gave a first impression like you are going corporate on us users – “first we hook you on something, and then you need to subscribe or get out”. After a second look, the scheme seems fair.
    :
    The way I use Beeminder: I add a new Goal, pledge some money and if I derail – it’s OK – it is money I spent working on bettering myself and supporting you guys doing a good job so all is well. If I do not derail – great – I have the reward of having the money saved.
    So having a subscription which is taking money away from me periodically removes the element of reward from me.
    I also add new goals from time to time, and I feel glad to pay for adding new goals.
    I understand that adding a subscription for one month and then adding new goals and then canceling the subscription works as well, but it somehow removes the feeling of autonomy which I get when I just buy what I need.
    Also the “add goals during one month and cancel” option is not so obvious from the application UI, so I figured allowing people to buy goals per-goal is not a bad feature to enable beside the subscription.

    Sorry if I sounded too critical, it is just I learned not to trust anyone on the internet, but you guys are ok.

  • Vladimir Jaksic

    I think the number of free goals is not so relevant as the option to pay-per-new-goal beside the subscription.

  • Bryce

    Update: after mulling it over for a while, I’ve decided that beeminder is worth supporting with a subscription. I’ve chosen the lifetime infinibee plan as the best deal because I think beeminder’s time-discounting of money is far steeper than my own.

    I remain concerned that the paywall will make it very hard for me to recommend beminder to others. I hope y’all can figure out a way to continue growing despite it.

  • http://beeminder.com Daniel Reeves

    Awesome news! Thank you!

    As for recommending to friends, I feel like we’re overstating the significance of the paywall a bit. It’s still the case that anyone can create (at least) 3 goals and beemind them forever for free. Arguably it’s a good idea anyway, to pick the 3 most important areas of your life and focus on them.

    Not to mention that we’re experimenting with having it be 7 instead of 3 in which case I feel like the paywall would be especially irrelevant to recommending to friends. But the real point is that it’s not a paywall in the sense of a limited trial period or anything bait-and-switchy at all. We definitely don’t do the thing where we try to get you invested in something and then make you pay to keep doing it. Just some power user things — including having lots of goals — that cost money.