Tag Archive

Make A Plan To Forget

Thursday, August 26th, 2021
Make A Plan To Forget

This is going to sound painfully obvious at first — “Don’t assume you’ll remember things! Create reminders!” — but bear with me. There are two useful, nonobvious things here: Sometimes you think of something you need to remember while, say, driving, or talking to someone. You can’t always email yourself or write something down but you can still do something like... »

Incentive Alignment

Saturday, May 15th, 2021
Incentive Alignment

This is a revised and slightly expanded version of something we originally wrote as part of our post on Bayesian Willpower. Immediate incentives are inordinately powerful. Beeminder’s philosophy is to find ways to make your immediate incentives... »

Bayesian Willpower

Thursday, April 8th, 2021
Bayesian Willpower

A couple weeks ago, Scott Alexander wrote “Toward a Bayesian Theory of Willpower”. This is my recap of the theory, my tentative verdict, and what I think it means for Beeminder and motivation hacking more generally. Let’s start with defining terms! Akrasia means failing to do something you rationally want to... »

Beemind What You Buy

Friday, March 12th, 2021
Beemind What You Buy

“It would be a good thing to buy books if one could also buy the time to read them; but one usually confuses the purchase of books with the acquisition of their contents.” — Arthur Schopenhauer, before Beeminder existed Are you about to buy something that requires ongoing time or energy? Some things don’t. A meal,... »

The Burgle Bug Fairness Principle

Wednesday, February 3rd, 2021
The Burgle Bug Fairness Principle

Beeminder’s bug classification system is like so: Bitty Bugs are barely bothersome. Baneful Bugs make Beeminder blatantly wrong, but not in any breach-of-contract way, unlike… Bum-steer Bugs which may make you derail by leading you astray about the state of your graph, or, worse: Bamboozle Bugs making our marketing mendacious... »

Strategy Memo: Beeminder Is Pledge-Focused

Friday, January 22nd, 2021
Strategy Memo: Beeminder Is Pledge-Focused

Since we like letting you all peek behind the curtain of Beeminder, let’s dive in with this internal strategy memo that our beeloved Queen Bee sent to the team last month, reproduced here verbatim: Howdy my sweet bee people, We’ve subjected you to a lot of polarized ideas about Beeminder pricing over the last month. Whee! I’m... »

Death To Lifetime Plans

Saturday, January 9th, 2021
Death To Lifetime Plans

Announcement! Beeminder has stopped selling lifetime plans. Obviously if you already have one, we will honor it forever and ever . We’re just not selling new ones. We’ve thought about this hard and have five(ish) reasons: Inability to give lifetime people premium credit Special cases and complexity in the subscription logic Lifetime plans take away your leverage as... »

Ice Cream Truck Loopholes

Thursday, December 3rd, 2020
Ice Cream Truck Loopholes

Sometimes Beeminder goals have loopholes, like you could dehydrate yourself to get your datapoint below the bright line on your weight-loss graph (please don’t!). There are plenty of things like that and I probably shouldn’t think too hard about more examples. Sometimes loopholes like that can ruin a goal. But other times, ironically, such loopholes... »

Strategy Memo: Beeminder Is For Nerds

Saturday, November 7th, 2020
Strategy Memo: Beeminder Is For Nerds

This is crossposted at essay.dev which is clearly also for nerds! For years we’ve gotten advice to »

Choices are Bad: The Anti-Settings Principle

Thursday, July 30th, 2020
Choices are Bad: The Anti-Settings Principle

What’s the most absurdly provocative way I can put this? Never imagine what your users will want! Apps must only ever do one single thing! If-statements considered harmful! Yes, this is all pretty rich coming from the people who built a goal-tracking app with, if I’m doing this math right, multiplying out all the various settings… 73,728 types of... »