Tag Archive

1000 Days of User-Visible Improvements

Thursday, November 21st, 2013
1000 Days of User-Visible Improvements

UPDATE: A revised and updated version of this article is now on Messy Matters. It’s amazing where one trivial user-visible improvement per day will eventually get you to. We’ve made 1000 user-visible improvements (UVIs) to »

Spiraling Into Control

Tuesday, July 23rd, 2013
Spiraling Into Control

This is a guest post by Nick Winter, cofounder of Skritter and CodeCombat and author of The Motivation Hacker. He also works on Quantified Mind. We’ve mentioned Nick Winter and The Motivation Hacker before, in particular because... »

To Break From Routine Is Human

Thursday, May 16th, 2013
To Break From Routine Is Human

This is crossposted on AndyBrett.com. The third James Bond movie, Goldfinger, opens with an amphibious mission to destroy an illicit chemical processing facility. After emerging from the water and planting the explosives, Bond strips off his drysuit to reveal a perfectly pressed white tuxedo and calmly affixes a red carnation... »

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... »

Weasel-Proofing and the Definition of Legitimacy

Thursday, April 4th, 2013
Weasel-Proofing and the Definition of Legitimacy

Remember our elaborate SOS clause? It describes in excruciating detail what to do if unforeseen circumstances cause you to drive off your yellow brick road. Well, we’ve since realized it suffices to just believe people. If you don’t want us to “just believe you” — it does have the danger of... »

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... »

Beeminding Outside the Box

Friday, March 15th, 2013
Beeminding Outside the Box

Let’s talk about some novel ways to use Beeminder! Whenever we hear about one of these I want to slap up a big smiling picture of the user in our “new favorite Beeminder” frame. First though, this entire post is a thinly veiled excuse to point out that OHMYGODGUYS Fog Creek likes us, they really really... »

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 —... »

Precommit to Recommit: The Third Great Beeminder Epiphany

Tuesday, February 12th, 2013
Precommit to Recommit: The Third Great Beeminder Epiphany

UPDATE 2013 August: We decided this was so ingenious that we made it fundamental to Beeminder. There’s no longer such a thing as not precommiting to recommit. In other words, goals no longer freeze when you derail. Below is the post in its original form for posterity.   The First Great... »

Everything is Amazing, Even Gratitude Journaling

Thursday, January 24th, 2013
Everything is Amazing, Even Gratitude Journaling

My first reaction to the idea of gratitude journaling — which I didn’t realize was a thing, until people started beeminding it — was, well, I’ll spare you my snark. Then I tried to articulate my knee-jerkery and came up with this: It seems to have a protesteth-too-much vibe. I mean, what’s not to be grateful for? Everything is amazing! Even the poorest of us live in historically unfathomable luxury. Hot showers, personal carriages to transport you anywhere in the world, practically swimming in food. Mattresses and fluffy pillows and heat and air conditioning. Seriously mind-boggling luxury; I’m not being at all sarcastic.... »