Introducing Lillian Karabaic, Minister of the Exterior

Wednesday, September 28, 2016
By Lillian Karabaic

Big news today: we have grown! We’ll leave it to Lillian to tell the backstory but we are pretty over the moon about this. We’ve been courting Lillian forever, even before it was financially realistic, since it seemed pretty clear she’d be able to whip our marketing and advertising and social media-ing into shape in a way that would pay for herself many times over. With the nice little jump in revenue from last month’s revamp of premium plans mitigating the financial risk of a new hire, we decided to jump in together. In fact, Lillian has been promoting us for years, just out of genuine fandom, as you can see in her post about the robots she uses to stick to her new year’s resolutions or her 15 new year’s resolutions for 2015 and her meticulous follow-up a year later. In fact, that only scratches the surface of her type bee personality, as you’ll see below. So there’s no doubt about Lillian fitting right in here and we’re incredibly proud to have her.

I first met Danny and Bethany when they were presenting on Beeminder at Portland Indiewebcamp 2014. When doing a live demo of beeminding, Bethany dropped to the floor to do a push up before recording it because “the data must be pure”. I was immediately charmed. With a degree in economics and more than my fair share of time dealing with messy data sets, I have a healthy respect for those who keep data pure.

The day after I met Danny and Bethany, I dipped a toe into Beeminder with a Duolingo goal and from there, I got hooked. Somehow, my friend Aaron knew that Beeminder might be the perfect match for my personality, as recorded in this Twitter exchange shortly after I began:

I started down the path of optimizing everything in my life by using Beeminder — from packing my lunch to sleep to flossing. I even went as far as to create a custom Gmail script to beemind both my work and personal inbox, unsure of how else to achieve “work/life inbox zero balance”.

I have a good 20 years of data nerdery under my belt. One of my earliest memories is conducting a detailed census of all my stuffed animals — annually. They were all assigned jobs and salaries (5 peanuts/year for Snuffy the elephant, 25 bamboo/year for Baby the panda). Besides pointing to my future as an economics scholar, [1] it’s no surprise that I got into Quantified Self before I knew there was a name for it. Since 2008, I’ve been logging stacks of data about myself and publishing it into a zine each year. You can see the past three years’ zines on my website. They include gems like this:

Which of course, given my data nerd background, means I need to run the regressions on the data.

The most recent result — significant at the $p=.05$ level — is that each burrito I eat corresponds with a .01 increase in happiness. Good thing I can beemind burritos!

Other than my deep love of data and Beeminder, you might know me from around the internet for co-creating a community podcasting studio in a 1960s airstream trailer, talking about bicycles professionally, leading the 1,500 person Bowie vs Prince mobile dance party for the past decade, or taking a picture of every single thing I bought in 2015 and posting it in on the internet.

So how will I be helping out now that I’m on the Bee Team?

Well, I’ll be the person to talk to if you’re:

• interested in covering Beeminder in a news article
• generally want to talk about ways to spread the word about how Beeminder is the bees’ knees.

I’ll also likely be covering some operational stuff behind-the-scenes, since I’m the kind of person who gets giddy when the words “tax planning” and “double-entry bookkeeping” come up. And if I’m lucky, I’ll be the puppetmaster behind a new referral program — hopefully with some inventive and appropriately bee-like perks for telling your friends about Beeminder.

I’m stoked to help out as Minister of the Exterior (less fabulously referred to as Digital Director) because there’s not a more dream position in the world than being a chief ambassador for the life-changing magic of Beeminder.

Excited to see you all around on the forums and on the internet. And hopefully I’ll see you at the upcoming Carrot/Stick, a conference about behavioral economics in everyday life, happening in 2017 (where Beeminder is the lead sponsor). Feel free to email me any time at lillian@beeminder.com to talk about marketing or just to say hi.

Footnotes

[1] Yes, I really did have a future doing research with both census and IMF data sets.

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• Cameron Harris

Congratulations Lillian!

• olimay

Lilian, I know you will probably be busy now, but I am most excited to hear about your data gathering schemes. What’s your preferred way of tracking mood? How much data do you gather? Anyway, I’m excited to see you join the team!

• http://www.graysonbraymorris.com Grayson Morris

Welcome, Lillian! I’m kind of giddy about having you on board at my favorite productivity app, after reading this post. :)

• voot