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A bee, a stream, and a pair of sandals

A new feature of Beeminder is that when you create a goal you can choose to start in Feet-Wetting Mode, meaning the goal initially has no money at risk but after a week it bumps itself to the standard initial stakes of $5 (and exponentially up from there).

And we said last time that we weren’t tampering with your existing $0 goals yet — that we were just trying this new feet-wetting mode idea as an experiment. Well, two weeks later there have been zero eyelashes batted over this. We think it’s a resounding success and are ready to make it universal, for old and new goals alike. This is part of the promised warning before doing so.

We’ve been talking to users extensively about this and almost everyone thinks this is totally fine and the idea of having a Beeminder goal with no money at risk is silly anyway. I know I personally have a lot of $0 goals simply because that’s how I created them. The graph itself has been motivating enough and so there they sit at $0 even though in theory I could bump up the pledges myself any time. This is exactly the kind of nudge I expect Beeminder to provide, dragging me out of my cranial silicosis. I, as a user, agree the stakes should be more than $0 but I don’t ever have the impetus to go change them proactively.

“Your pre-existing $0 goals will become $5 goals”

So if you have any $0 goals [1] expect an email this week with the official notice that your carefree days are limited. Specifically, 30 days after that email, your pre-existing $0 goals will become $5 goals.

What if this an outrageously unfair outrage and not what I agreed to?

Honey Money to the rescue! Again, very few of you seem to see this as any kind of fairness question. Beeminder is a commitment device. Starting stakeslessly can be nice for getting one’s feet wet but almost no one seems to feel entitled to have the stakes stay at $0 indefinitely. But, sure, keyword “almost” and if you do feel that having the first derailment be free was what was agreed to for previously-created goals, that is technically true, we understand, and have an elegant solution. Namely, $5 of honey money. Follow the instructions in the forthcoming email and — concurrent with your goals bumping themselves from $0 to $5 at risk — you’ll also get $5 of derail credit per goal, making your first derailment on each of them effectively free after all.

Wait so I only get the honey money if I honestly feel it’s unfair otherwise?

No no, it’s a genuine gift to all of you who value it. We’re making it opt-in because some of you anti-value it. Meaning you’re worried that derail credit would dilute Beeminder’s sting and prefer us to always hit your credit card directly when you derail. If that’s not you, don’t be shy!



[1] Yes yes, unless you have Beemium and set the pledge cap to $0 — that’s still allowed.