Tag Archive

Exquisitely Fair Pre-Pay Discounts

Monday, May 13th, 2013
Exquisitely Fair Pre-Pay Discounts

You know how a lot of services offer things like one month free if you pay yearly? We were nerding out over the math of that and thought, why not generalize to compute the perfectly fair discount for paying at any frequency you like, including every infinity years, i.e., paying once for a lifetime subscription? Just pick... »

Auto-Canceling Subscriptions

Friday, May 3rd, 2013
Auto-Canceling Subscriptions

“Well I’ve already paid for Netflix this month, so I might as well watch another episode of ‘Say Yes To The Dress’. I’ll get around to canceling later. You know, when I’m less busy.” — A slightly caricatured version of me. When you sign up for some subscription services they make... »

Announcing Beeminder Premium Plans: Bee Lite, Plan Bee, Beemium, and Beekeeper

Friday, April 12th, 2013
Announcing Beeminder Premium Plans: Bee Lite, Plan Bee, Beemium, and Beekeeper

We’ve been improving Beeminder at a brisk pace lately. First, just as you can... »

Intrafamily Bets and the Genius of the Exponential Pledge Schedule

Monday, March 25th, 2013
Intrafamily Bets and the Genius of the Exponential Pledge Schedule

My mom recently lost $5,000 to my brother in a commitment contract gone wild. That was started in part as an experiment early in Beeminder’s beta period before we’d thought of things like the exponential pledge schedule. Believe it or not, it was actually a pretty positive outcome: my mom gradually lost a tiny bit of... »

Socially Efficient Commitment Devices

Monday, March 4th, 2013
Socially Efficient Commitment Devices

StickK popularized the idea of the anti-charity as a commitment device. Another Beeminder competitor, Aherk, offers to publish embarrassing photos of you on Facebook to ensure you don’t fall prey to akrasia. Another clever idea — proposed by Jennifer Hamon on Akratics Anonymous — is to set up a... »

Beeminder Error in Your Favor, and Other Crashes of Ineptitude

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013
Beeminder Error in Your Favor, and Other Crashes of Ineptitude

Earlier this month some dozens of you got a delightful little email from us like this: this is super embarrassing but there’s a chance you were affected by a bug where we thought we canceled a charge but then it went through anyway. partly as self-punishment we’re just refunding all the charges where that could possibly have happened. so either you’re rightfully getting a refund or you’re getting a random reprieve on a past derailment! either way a refund of $... »

Perverse Incentives and the Paradox of Beeminder’s Sting

Sunday, August 19th, 2012
Perverse Incentives and the Paradox of Beeminder’s Sting

People often complain about Beeminder’s perverse incentives. We started to address that at the end of our recent blog post comparing ourselves to GymPact: It seems that from the perspective of those paying us, Beeminder is providing a ton of value and a ton of motivation and the occasional cost of derailment... »

Innocentive $10k Challenge: Increasing People’s Ability to Start and Stay on Task

Thursday, May 3rd, 2012
Innocentive $10k Challenge: Increasing People’s Ability to Start and Stay on Task

I recently won $1000 (sharing a $10k prize) for the following essay on how to solve what people in healthcare call the adherence problem, which costs the healthcare system "billions of dollars in unnecessary hospitalizations and nursing home and rehab costs". My prize-winning essay in its entirety follows. (I gave the actual money to... »