help us decide about a price hike for beeminder premium plans


#21

Hi everyone,

I’m not quite sure, but I think we are leaving the main topic a little bit.
The question was, how we, the beeminder users, are thinking about the new
prices of the premium plans, and not, which features to put into which
plan, and so on …

I also asked a question - indirectly - and wait still for the answer:
Do you - the beeminder team - think, that one year after introducing the
premium plans at all, an increase of 60% is okay?
(I ask this, because normally I expect increments to be smaller, perhaps
about 5-10 %)

And if you think so, why do you think so?

Or do you need this to survive?

What is the reason you come up with this whole idea at all?

Sorry that I ask all these questions, but when you ask us, how we think
about your idea, I also have to ask a little bit :slight_smile:

Am Donnerstag, 10. Juli 2014 09:05:28 UTC+2 schrieb Daniel Reeves:

Hi fellow Akratics,

Guess what! We want to increase the prices for the Beeminder premium
plans. Don’t worry, we’ll grandfather existing premium people
(hurry!). It’s been over a year since we first introduced them and a
whole bunch more yumminess has been added (to premium plans, and
Beeminder in general). [1] You all seem to like Beeminder so much that
we thought we’d ask for your help in deciding how to do this.

Currently the premium plans are like this (or look at
beeminder.com/premium if you’re signed in to Beeminder):

Bee Lite ($5/mo): custom goals, configurable retrorratchet, tips of the
day
Plan Bee ($10/mo): unlimited freebees, autoratchet
Beemium ($25/mo): free shortcircuiting, access to our devel chatroom
(realtime support)
Beekeeper ($200/mo): your own actual human

And here’s what we’re thinking of announcing:

Bee Lite: $8/mo
Plan Bee: $16/mo
Beemium: $32/mo
Beekeeper: $256/mo

What do you think?

Thanks everyone!
Danny and Bethany and the rest of the Bee Team

[1] Since we introduced premium plans Beeminder in general got: Zeno
polling, new integrations (Duolingo, Jawbone, Draft, Code School),
much of the Android awesomeness, new world order!
(precommit-to-recommit), pessimistic presumptive reports, scheduled
breaks, supporters, and literally hundreds of small improvements.

Bee Lite in particular got configurable retroratchet a while back,
which just got better this weekend with the ability to retroratchet to
any amount of safety buffer including making today an eep day.

Plan Bee just got the ability to change your URLs (which we have mixed
feelings about since we hate broken links, but for Plan Bee people,
ok).

And Beemium is now the only way to shortcircuit the pledge schedule
(we got rid of the ability to pay to shortcircuit a while ago). We’re
also about to add a default minimum pledge in account settings for
Beemium people, since a big draw of Beemium is making sure you always
have motivating amounts pledged.


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


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#22

Replies to Essy! (Thank you so much; brilliant feedback as always!)

I think I agree that there are too many levels and the distinctions between
them are too small.

I think I at least agree that if we add this Fuzzy Buzzy plan ($2/mo
and only perk is the warm fuzzy feeling of supporting Beeminder, maybe
plus tips of the day) then we need to combine Plan Bee and Bee Lite.
But which name would we jettison? They’re both so cute!

I think making private graphs a premium feature is really unappealing.

Roger that, consider it stricken from the list. (Told you this
feedback was hella helpful!)
But just for the sake of arguing, why doesn’t it feel unappealing when
GitHub does that? It actually seems quite analogous to me. We want to
encourage public beeminding for the benefit of all! (We think it’s
better for the individual too, plus you can always just name a goal
cryptically.) If you want to beemind something privately, yet use
Beeminder’s hosting/infrastructure to do it, isn’t it fair to pay for
that?

Not only should [auto-quit] not be premium, I still think it should be the default

We agonized endlessly about this and came up with a way to do it that
we felt good about, thanks in huge part to you, Essy. I think our
reasoning is captured in blog.beeminder.com/nwo

I agree about fine print and weasel-immunity, I think. Tentatively
striking those from the list.

Good point about the danger of limiting number of graphs. We already
limit the number of pledgeless graphs (freebees) to 7, which probably
suffices.

Finally, your point about new features vs fixing bugs. We’ve been
focused on the latter for months now and have been getting antsy to
dive back into bigger things like generalized road dial and arbitrary
deadlines (long story about why that one’s so hard!) and clientside
graphs. But both are important! Actually if we could ask a big favor:
keep telling us about bugs you encounter even if you think we already
know about them. Just a quick email to support like “argh! got bitten
by that bug with retroratching a do-less goal again!” (which, btw, we
think we fixed that last night). That helps us a ton in prioritizing.

Oh, and as for introducing new fees/features: the plan is to simply up
the prices and be done thinking about this for now. It’s not the
highest priority thing.


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


#23

Do you - the beeminder team - think, that one year after introducing the
premium plans at all, an increase of 60% is okay?

We do! Pricing is super hard and confusing. Here are some links,
thanks to Nick Winter, that are influencing our thinking on this:
https://training.kalzumeus.com/newsletters/archive/saas_pricing
http://www.kalzumeus.com/2014/04/03/fantasy-tarsnap/
http://www.kalzumeus.com/2012/08/13/doubling-saas-revenue/

What is the reason you come up with this whole idea at all?

I guess the big picture answer is that we’re a business so setting
prices to maximize profit is, to a first approximation, what we need
to do. Of course we also have motivations like “have as big an impact
as possible on the problem of akrasia”. That’s the reason for the “No
Carrots For You” section of blog.beeminder.com/premium

Right now premium revenue is 10% of pledge revenue which is why this
whole question is not exactly top priority. But we want to try this
price hike and see if premium revenue has potential to eventually
become our primary revenue source. We might prefer that.

The initial impetus was simply “can we induce more people to go
premium by announcing an imminent price hike?” :slight_smile:
We will keep you all posted on the answer!


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


#24

But just for the sake of arguing, why doesn’t it feel unappealing when
GitHub does that? It actually seems quite analogous to me. We want to
encourage public beeminding for the benefit of all! (We think it’s
better for the individual too, plus you can always just name a goal
cryptically.) If you want to beemind something privately, yet use
Beeminder’s hosting/infrastructure to do it, isn’t it fair to pay for
that?

It does feel unappealing when other websites do it. I don’t have a GitHub
account (though, simply because I don’t need one). I also don’t have a
Prezy account, a TheBrain/PersonalBrain account, or a Daytum account
(anymore). All sites that require us to pay for privacy. Usually my thought
process goes like this: “Hmm… I’d like to try this site/product and get
to know it, but the thing I want to use it for is kind of something I’d
like to keep private… but I don’t know if the site is even worth
subscribing to… and I’m not going to spend two weeks using test data to
get to know the site before I decide whether I like it so much and it turns
out to be such a big part of my workflow that I want to pay for it and then
use it for the thing I actually want to use it for. I wonder what
competition it has out there where I could just start doing what I want to
do right away without broadcasting it across the web… google search

And many people are going to be shy about the types of things they Beemind
or feel they have to Beemind. Examples: New Year’s joiners who find the
site because they want to lose weight and start by Beeminding that or by
tracking their calories eaten. Someone who would prefer their kids not know
that they smoke and want to track their smoking so that they can work
towards quitting. I mean, there are lots of reasons not to want to Beemind
publicly.

If you want to encourage public Beeminding, make it so that we can share
~some~ of our graphs with ~some~ people. Either that will lead to a “oh, it
wasn’t so bad when those people saw it; maybe I could just make it public”,
or it will lead to the people we’re allowing to see the graphs deciding to
have graphs of their own. Alternatively, have the occasional “What are you
Beeminding this month?” group going with everyone sharing in AkAn what
they’re doing and how it’s going and linking to a graph they’ve made
public. Or have monthly challenges like “Everyone pick a graph, make it
public, and see who stay in the orange the longest. No red days at all. Bee
the first to catch someone else’s derail on an eep day and get a free
upgrade to the next level of Beeminder for a month and the person is out.
Last person standing gets a free upgrade to the next level for 6 or 12
months.” (K, that was an elaborate example, but I’m just saying that there
are all kinds of way to encourage people to go public without defaulting to
forcing people to be public about something that might be very private,
depending on what’s being tracked.

(Cryptic entails friction. Friction when I have to remember what I’ve
cryptically names my 14th graph. Friction when I have to remember what
multiplier I used to hide what I’m really tracking cause a datapoint of
149.6 and a road rate of -1.5 is kind of a no-brainer. Friction is
unpleasant.)

We agonized endlessly about this and came up with a way to do it that
we felt good about, thanks in huge part to you, Essy. I think our
reasoning is captured in blog.beeminder.com/nwo

Yeah we’ve chatted about the opt-in vs. opt-out thing a lot, but I think
that having no opt-out is just way too far to the other end. Trying to
think from the perspective of a “newbee” that’s just very scary.

Good point about the danger of limiting number of graphs. We already

limit the number of pledgeless graphs (freebees) to 7, which probably
suffices.

Limiting it to 3-5 pledgeless graphs seems fine too. More with a plan. I
mean, limiting the paid graphs seems like a gamble, but limiting the $0
graphs seems fine. It’s a good way to keep newbies from being overwhelmed
by trying too much at once, before they get what’s up, too. Less rage quit
= good.

But both are important!

Yeah I know that you’re right here.

keep telling us about bugs you encounter even if you think we already

know about them.

If only there were an “off” button to stop me.

Oh, and as for introducing new fees/features: the plan is to simply up

the prices and be done thinking about this for now. It’s not the
highest priority thing.

If you’re just upping the prices, then I have some thoughts about the new
price list too. Will post a little later.


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#25

On 11 July 2014 17:20, Essentiae essentiae@gmail.com wrote:

(Cryptic entails friction. Friction when I have to remember what I’ve
cryptically names my 14th graph. Friction when I have to remember what
multiplier I used to hide what I’m really tracking cause a datapoint of
149.6 and a road rate of -1.5 is kind of a no-brainer. Friction is
unpleasant.)

Bingo! This is exactly how I feel! When I first discovered Beeminder,
I remember wanting to track quite a number of things, and then
deciding not to because private graphs were not available.

I have a social justice view on this as well. Requiring public
Beeminder graphs disproportionately affects those people who can’t
safely have their data visible online, and those people are almost
always marginalised to begin with.

~ Paul


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#26

On 12 July 2014 01:21, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com wrote:

Replies to Essy! (Thank you so much; brilliant feedback as always!)

I think making private graphs a premium feature is really unappealing.

feedback was hella helpful!)
But just for the sake of arguing, why doesn’t it feel unappealing when
GitHub does that? It actually seems quite analogous to me. We want to
encourage public beeminding for the benefit of all! (We think it’s
better for the individual too, plus you can always just name a goal
cryptically.) If you want to beemind something privately, yet use
Beeminder’s hosting/infrastructure to do it, isn’t it fair to pay for
that?

(Acknowledged that you’ve said that you won’t do it, this is just to help
flesh out some thoughts around the idea and to help explain where we’re
coming from)

I think the difference is in the different purposes of beeminder and
github. Github is about open source development, which is intrinsically
public. Beeminder is about my personal data and behaviour, which is
intrinsically private. So public and private defaults make much more sense
respectively.

I’m not super keen on your pushing public beeminding too hard. I think
things like the supporters feature are a better way of achieving the social
benefit of public beeminding without the downsides of exposing data you
want private or semi-private to untrusted sources.

I also don’t think “If you want to beemind something privately, yet use
Beeminder’s hosting/infrastructure to do it, isn’t it fair to pay for
that?” is a good argument. They are paying for that: With pledges! You’ve
already said that pledges make up 90% of your income. (The case of people
who want everything to be a private freebee is the only example where this
isn’t the case. Do you get enough of those people that this actually
matters to your income?)

David


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#27

On 12 July 2014 01:45, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com wrote:

Right now premium revenue is 10% of pledge revenue which is why this
whole question is not exactly top priority. But we want to try this
price hike and see if premium revenue has potential to eventually
become our primary revenue source. We might prefer that.

Out of curiousity, is that because people have high value pledges with high
failure rates, or is it because most of your users aren’t premium? If the
latter, would it be better to see if you could encourage people to upgrade
to premium rather than raise the prices?

In general it would be super interesting to see some aggregated
breakdowns of how people use beeminder. In particular I’d love to know
typical failure rates by pledge value. Totally understood if you don’t feel
comfortable sharing that though.

The initial impetus was simply “can we induce more people to go
premium by announcing an imminent price hike?” :slight_smile:
We will keep you all posted on the answer!

Well it worked to get me to upgrade to a higher rate premium anyway. :wink:
Though that was more because it made me think about the value I was getting
out of beeminder than because I wanted to avoid paying the higher price
later.


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


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#28

Hey David, we’re delighted to answer these kinds of questions and share data.
We’re an Open Company after all: http://www.opencompany.org/directory/ :slight_smile:

The pie charts at http://blog.beeminder.com/exponential/ may answer
your question about the breakdown by pledges. It’s harder to quote
statistics about success vs failure because most goals are open-ended.

As for why most revenue is from pledges, well, sadly only 138 people
are premium (thanks so much for being one of them!). Per-user revenue
is higher for premium than pledges so, yes, we’d be happy to induce
more people to sign up instead of raising the prices. But our best
idea so far is to induce people to sign up by raising prices. And
then there are all the other ideas in this thread for new premium
features or existing non-premium features to make premium. But that’s
not top priority yet. If the price hike gets lots of people to sign up
and then the higher prices reduce signups then we’ll work on more
inducements (we won’t lower the prices again – we’re just accepting
the small risk that the new prices will be too high).

PS: Good arguments against privacy-as-premium-feature, from all of
you. At first I struck it from the list but still thought y’all were
wrong. Now it’s stricken from the list and I think you’re right! :slight_smile:
(But to answer your parenthetical, there are lots of people who get
massive value out of Beeminder without ever paying, often because the
threat of paying is super motivating, so it would be great to convince
them that they should really be premium. But currently we don’t have a
way to do that and I’m ok with that for now.)

On Sat, Jul 12, 2014 at 1:18 AM, David MacIver david@drmaciver.com wrote:

On 12 July 2014 01:45, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com wrote:

Right now premium revenue is 10% of pledge revenue which is why this
whole question is not exactly top priority. But we want to try this
price hike and see if premium revenue has potential to eventually
become our primary revenue source. We might prefer that.

Out of curiousity, is that because people have high value pledges with high
failure rates, or is it because most of your users aren’t premium? If the
latter, would it be better to see if you could encourage people to upgrade
to premium rather than raise the prices?

In general it would be super interesting to see some aggregated breakdowns
of how people use beeminder. In particular I’d love to know typical failure
rates by pledge value. Totally understood if you don’t feel comfortable
sharing that though.

The initial impetus was simply “can we induce more people to go
premium by announcing an imminent price hike?” :slight_smile:
We will keep you all posted on the answer!

Well it worked to get me to upgrade to a higher rate premium anyway. :wink:
Though that was more because it made me think about the value I was getting
out of beeminder than because I wanted to avoid paying the higher price
later.


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


#29

In my view you could bundle retroratchet, configurable retroratchet, and
auto-trimming of safety buffer at the same premium level, or maybe just
move retroratchet to Bee Lite. These all feel like advanced tools that are
nice to have but aren’t essential to beeminding. (My guess is that
retroratchet is relatively rarely used to non-premium users, and that the
advanced retroratchet features wouldn’t be used much by the non-premium
user population even if they could use them.)

Re: private graphs, why not treat these like you do freebees? 2-4 free
secret goals would be reasonable IMO, and this takes care of the concern
that enforced public goals are a barrier to initial beeminding. If you do
this, consider not displaying mystery goals in people’s galleries.

Have you thought about offering free trials of premium plans?

On Thursday, July 10, 2014 4:52:02 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

This is super valuable feedback! Let me quote ourselves from
blog.beeminder.com/premium (under “No Carrots For You”):

Seriously, we are all about the stick. We do not intend to hold
important features as dangling carrots. Premium plans are still an
experiment but we’re committed to keeping the non-premium Beeminder a
highly functional tool for maximizing the awesomeness of humans prone
to procrastination and other forms of akrasia. In fact, the only
things that we’re going to charge for are:

  1. Features that directly thwart our revenue model, i.e., unlimited
    freebees and free short-circuiting (or in the future: choosing the
    beneficiary of your commitment contract [1])
  2. Things that may confuse newbees (we’re not sure yet whether
    customizable retroratcheting and auto-ratcheting fall in this
    category)
  3. Goodies that are incidental to the process of beeminding, like fitness
    tips
  4. Things that cost us money to provide (we may make the SMS bot a
    premium feature for this reason)

I hope I didn’t overcommit us with that. I no longer think that “the
free version of Beeminder must be a fully functional anti-akrasia
tool” is an important principle. I might like the idea that anyone
who’s at all serious about Beeminder should be premium, which is
obviously not the case now. In any case, here’s a list of possible
current features to make premium:

  1. SMS bot (HT dyang)
  2. Retroratchet
  3. Take A Break
  4. fancy data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving average
    line (HT Paul Fenwick)
  5. private graphs
  6. beeminder.com/widgets
  7. weaselproofing
  8. no-mercy recommit
  9. auto-quit
  10. fine print
  11. supporters
  12. panic threshold
  13. goal unit rescaling

And here are potential future premium features:

  1. choose a beneficiary or at least charity percentage
  2. zeno SMS (could also think about international SMS, which costs
    more and has to be set up for each country in twilio)
  3. super exclusive google group (maybe akratics anonymous could
    become that after moving to discourse?)
  4. expose more advanced settings
  5. weasel-immunity (opposite of weaselproofing, where you can
    self-service cancel charges and undo recommit)
  6. expose more advanced settings
  7. profile badges? (HT dyang)
  8. early access to new features? (HT dyang)

[1] http://blog.beeminder.com/premium/#BEN

On Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 12:48 PM, David MacIver <da...@drmaciver.com
<javascript:>> wrote:

On 10 July 2014 21:36, Daniel Reeves <dre...@beeminder.com <javascript:>>
wrote:

One more item for consideration: What if we added a Fuzzy Buzzy plan
at $2/mo (less than 7 cents a day!) with the only perk being the warm
fuzzy feeling of supporting Beeminder (maybe also tips of the day)?

So one problem I think is that honestly the premium plans all mostly
feel
like this anyway.

You’ve built a really good service that I like a lot… the problem is
that
basically all the things I like are present in the free plan, and
everything
added by the premium plans is pretty uninteresting on top of that.

(OTOH you’ve reminded me that I do like the service enough to support it
more than the measly $5/month I was paying, so I’ve upgraded my account
anyway)

Obviously this is massive backseat driving and you should feel free to
ignore everything I say, especially as I have literally no idea what
your
user patterns look like, but I rather feel like you might be better off
removing functionality from the free plan into the bee lite plan than
raising the prices on the premium ones.


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#30

Hi all,

I was going to link to Patio11’s beloved
https://training.kalzumeus.com/newsletters/archive/saas_pricing. Glad you
guys are already thinking along those lines.

Reviewing Patrick’s post again, and looking at the plans/pricing as they
are now, I can’t help but notice a major gap: It’s unclear to me what “Bee
Lite”, “Plan B”, “Beemium”, and “Beekeeper” translate to. Seriously, I’m
baffled.

Patrick’s over there trying to make the point: Segment your customers! Who
are they and how do they get value from you? What did they come to you for
and what do they want??

And all I see from these plans is Plan A, B, C, & D. So they’re ordered,
sure, but who are they for? I certainly don’t know which of these
categories I fit into. In the current scheme or the new one you propose.
And note, I’ve been a user for months, & read nearly all your blog posts,
discussions here, FAQs, etc, and still this leaves me confused.

Just throwing this out there, I would imagine segmentation more along the
lines of:

  • New Bee: “Dip your toes into world of Beeminder”. (No subscription
    cost)
    • The core Beeminder experience. The free plan that new users start
      off on. Basic commitment pledges, a few private goals, & less (than now,
      even) things to distract one with.
  • Worker Bee: “Be even more productive, with less work”. ($10/mo?
    $20? idk, test it!)
    • “Pro” things like unlimited private Beeminds, custom goals,
      auto-ratcheting, configurable ratcheting, SMS integration, weaselproofing,
      tips of the day.
  • Super Bee: “All the things.” ($35/mo? Dunno)
    • The fun toys for the true lover of quantified-self. Free
      short-circuiting, unlimited free-bees (for more experimentation), change
      goal URLs, "fancy data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving
      average line (HT Paul Fenwick) ", “expose more advanced settings”, early
      access to test out new features.

What you currently list as Beekeeper, separate out into a more distinct
product. Don’t confuse it with the plans. Because it’s not really the same,
right? A human beeing (ha). Fundamentally different from any of the plans.
Maybe joining the Beekeeper program could include a 30-day trial of Super
Bee as an additional perk, and then half price on all plans after that. But
I would try to separate it otherwise from the subscription plans. Because
you know, one is increased software options, and one is a person that gives
their time to you. And I’m not sure the two are so directly related. E.g. I
could see more Free Plan users buying coaching, even though they don’t need
more software features, but the current ascending list confuses them away.

Also, I would make it clearer that you’re getting a Beekeeper. The way
it’s currently written on the Premium Plans page suggests the user is the
Beekeeper. I think it would be more compelling to say “A beekeeper to take
care of you”. Maybe this is just semantics, yet right now I default to
reading the listing not as “want someone to look after you?” but “want to
make bees your occupation?”. Subconsciously, it feels like more work.

On a different note, I’m very curious how these premium plans intersect
with pledge revenue. My hunch is that signing up for premium would cause a
user to Beemind more things (thank you sunk cost fallacy). Thus more
pledge’d money at stake, and (thus?) more pledged revenue. Does raising the
price of these plans cause less people to take their relationship to the
next stage, and then also hurt pledge revenue? In other words, does
optimizing subscription revenue come at a cost of pledge revenue? Of
course, I’m making too many uninformed assumptions…

Thinking more on this theme, what about using money delivered from pledges
as credit to spend on the premium plans
? Thus avoiding the potential
zero-sum dilemma above. And the user feels a bit less bad financially when
they fall off the road, because they can still “use” those credits towards
premium. Maybe they’ll put more money on the line, because “hey, if I fail,
then at least I can still use it for a premium subscription!” And then more
New Bees convert to premium status, great! And all the while, Beeminder Inc
doesn’t lose revenue from this arrangement because the money still gets
charged, and for the most part those premium features have trivial marginal
cost. It’s just letting the pledged money go farther (get double “spent”).
Is this too radical? Maybe. Would love to hear others’ opinions on it.

One last thing. Without changing the subject too much, if we’re still
talking about finding more sources of revenue, I would strongly suggest
giving TagTime some love. It seems like there is a seriously great
product there. And such a perfect complement to what Beeminder already
offers. Why not bring it into the family more tightly? It clear from
reading your blogs etc that you guys make such heavy usage of it, but I
wonder how many users do too? I don’t know! I haven’t even ever been able
to get it working (Windows & iOS – ugh, I know). Yet it seems to hold such
promise. If it was more of a 1-click install (“Beeminder Desktop”), and
offered a no-bullshit GUI decoupled from cmd, it could be much more
accessible for the average Beeminder. And seriously improve the value of
the whole package for the user.

— My 02¢. Hope this helps.

On Saturday, July 12, 2014 2:43:26 PM UTC-4, Alex Schell wrote:

In my view you could bundle retroratchet, configurable retroratchet, and
auto-trimming of safety buffer at the same premium level, or maybe just
move retroratchet to Bee Lite. These all feel like advanced tools that are
nice to have but aren’t essential to beeminding. (My guess is that
retroratchet is relatively rarely used to non-premium users, and that the
advanced retroratchet features wouldn’t be used much by the non-premium
user population even if they could use them.)

Re: private graphs, why not treat these like you do freebees? 2-4 free
secret goals would be reasonable IMO, and this takes care of the concern
that enforced public goals are a barrier to initial beeminding. If you do
this, consider not displaying mystery goals in people’s galleries.

Have you thought about offering free trials of premium plans?

On Thursday, July 10, 2014 4:52:02 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

This is super valuable feedback! Let me quote ourselves from
blog.beeminder.com/premium (under “No Carrots For You”):

Seriously, we are all about the stick. We do not intend to hold
important features as dangling carrots. Premium plans are still an
experiment but we’re committed to keeping the non-premium Beeminder a
highly functional tool for maximizing the awesomeness of humans prone
to procrastination and other forms of akrasia. In fact, the only
things that we’re going to charge for are:

  1. Features that directly thwart our revenue model, i.e., unlimited
    freebees and free short-circuiting (or in the future: choosing the
    beneficiary of your commitment contract [1])
  2. Things that may confuse newbees (we’re not sure yet whether
    customizable retroratcheting and auto-ratcheting fall in this
    category)
  3. Goodies that are incidental to the process of beeminding, like fitness
    tips
  4. Things that cost us money to provide (we may make the SMS bot a
    premium feature for this reason)

I hope I didn’t overcommit us with that. I no longer think that “the
free version of Beeminder must be a fully functional anti-akrasia
tool” is an important principle. I might like the idea that anyone
who’s at all serious about Beeminder should be premium, which is
obviously not the case now. In any case, here’s a list of possible
current features to make premium:

  1. SMS bot (HT dyang)
  2. Retroratchet
  3. Take A Break
  4. fancy data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving average
    line (HT Paul Fenwick)
  5. private graphs
  6. beeminder.com/widgets
  7. weaselproofing
  8. no-mercy recommit
  9. auto-quit
  10. fine print
  11. supporters
  12. panic threshold
  13. goal unit rescaling

And here are potential future premium features:

  1. choose a beneficiary or at least charity percentage
  2. zeno SMS (could also think about international SMS, which costs
    more and has to be set up for each country in twilio)
  3. super exclusive google group (maybe akratics anonymous could
    become that after moving to discourse?)
  4. expose more advanced settings
  5. weasel-immunity (opposite of weaselproofing, where you can
    self-service cancel charges and undo recommit)
  6. expose more advanced settings
  7. profile badges? (HT dyang)
  8. early access to new features? (HT dyang)

[1] http://blog.beeminder.com/premium/#BEN

On Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 12:48 PM, David MacIver da...@drmaciver.com
wrote:

On 10 July 2014 21:36, Daniel Reeves dre...@beeminder.com wrote:

One more item for consideration: What if we added a Fuzzy Buzzy plan
at $2/mo (less than 7 cents a day!) with the only perk being the warm
fuzzy feeling of supporting Beeminder (maybe also tips of the day)?

So one problem I think is that honestly the premium plans all mostly
feel
like this anyway.

You’ve built a really good service that I like a lot… the problem is
that
basically all the things I like are present in the free plan, and
everything
added by the premium plans is pretty uninteresting on top of that.

(OTOH you’ve reminded me that I do like the service enough to support
it
more than the measly $5/month I was paying, so I’ve upgraded my account
anyway)

Obviously this is massive backseat driving and you should feel free to
ignore everything I say, especially as I have literally no idea what
your
user patterns look like, but I rather feel like you might be better off
removing functionality from the free plan into the bee lite plan than
raising the prices on the premium ones.


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
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"Akratics Anonymous" group.
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http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


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#31

Alex and David E, thank you so much for this! Brilliant ideas here.
This is going to hugely helpful as we put more love into premium
plans. I too am curious about others’ thoughts on the idea of counting
pledges as credits toward premium. I actually mentioned that
possibility to Bethany the other day (I’m not sure who first had the
idea but it’s been kicking around a long time – probably originated
on this list) and she recoiled in horror. It is dangerous because it
softens the stingy-ness of derailments.

I agree about TagTime. Note that it’s open-source –
github.com/dreeves/TagTime – so we’d love to entice you to help us
give it the love it desperately needs. :slight_smile:

On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 3:54 AM, David Ernst david@ernsts.us wrote:

Hi all,

I was going to link to Patio11’s beloved
https://training.kalzumeus.com/newsletters/archive/saas_pricing. Glad you
guys are already thinking along those lines.

Reviewing Patrick’s post again, and looking at the plans/pricing as they are
now, I can’t help but notice a major gap: It’s unclear to me what “Bee
Lite”, “Plan B”, “Beemium”, and “Beekeeper” translate to. Seriously, I’m
baffled.

Patrick’s over there trying to make the point: Segment your customers! Who
are they and how do they get value from you? What did they come to you for
and what do they want??

And all I see from these plans is Plan A, B, C, & D. So they’re ordered,
sure, but who are they for? I certainly don’t know which of these categories
I fit into. In the current scheme or the new one you propose. And note,
I’ve been a user for months, & read nearly all your blog posts, discussions
here, FAQs, etc, and still this leaves me confused.

Just throwing this out there, I would imagine segmentation more along the
lines of:

New Bee: “Dip your toes into world of Beeminder”. (No subscription cost)

The core Beeminder experience. The free plan that new users start off on.
Basic commitment pledges, a few private goals, & less (than now, even)
things to distract one with.

Worker Bee: “Be even more productive, with less work”. ($10/mo? $20? idk,
test it!)

“Pro” things like unlimited private Beeminds, custom goals, auto-ratcheting,
configurable ratcheting, SMS integration, weaselproofing, tips of the day.

Super Bee: “All the things.” ($35/mo? Dunno)

The fun toys for the true lover of quantified-self. Free short-circuiting,
unlimited free-bees (for more experimentation), change goal URLs, "fancy
data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving average line (HT Paul
Fenwick) ", “expose more advanced settings”, early access to test out new
features.

What you currently list as Beekeeper, separate out into a more distinct
product. Don’t confuse it with the plans. Because it’s not really the same,
right? A human beeing (ha). Fundamentally different from any of the plans.
Maybe joining the Beekeeper program could include a 30-day trial of Super
Bee as an additional perk, and then half price on all plans after that. But
I would try to separate it otherwise from the subscription plans. Because
you know, one is increased software options, and one is a person that gives
their time to you. And I’m not sure the two are so directly related. E.g. I
could see more Free Plan users buying coaching, even though they don’t need
more software features, but the current ascending list confuses them away.

Also, I would make it clearer that you’re getting a Beekeeper. The way it’s
currently written on the Premium Plans page suggests the user is the
Beekeeper. I think it would be more compelling to say “A beekeeper to take
care of you”. Maybe this is just semantics, yet right now I default to
reading the listing not as “want someone to look after you?” but “want to
make bees your occupation?”. Subconsciously, it feels like more work.

On a different note, I’m very curious how these premium plans intersect with
pledge revenue. My hunch is that signing up for premium would cause a user
to Beemind more things (thank you sunk cost fallacy). Thus more pledge’d
money at stake, and (thus?) more pledged revenue. Does raising the price of
these plans cause less people to take their relationship to the next stage,
and then also hurt pledge revenue? In other words, does optimizing
subscription revenue come at a cost of pledge revenue? Of course, I’m making
too many uninformed assumptions…

Thinking more on this theme, what about using money delivered from pledges
as credit to spend on the premium plans? Thus avoiding the potential
zero-sum dilemma above. And the user feels a bit less bad financially when
they fall off the road, because they can still “use” those credits towards
premium. Maybe they’ll put more money on the line, because “hey, if I fail,
then at least I can still use it for a premium subscription!” And then more
New Bees convert to premium status, great! And all the while, Beeminder Inc
doesn’t lose revenue from this arrangement because the money still gets
charged, and for the most part those premium features have trivial marginal
cost. It’s just letting the pledged money go farther (get double “spent”).
Is this too radical? Maybe. Would love to hear others’ opinions on it.

One last thing. Without changing the subject too much, if we’re still
talking about finding more sources of revenue, I would strongly suggest
giving TagTime some love. It seems like there is a seriously great product
there. And such a perfect complement to what Beeminder already offers. Why
not bring it into the family more tightly? It clear from reading your blogs
etc that you guys make such heavy usage of it, but I wonder how many users
do too? I don’t know! I haven’t even ever been able to get it working
(Windows & iOS – ugh, I know). Yet it seems to hold such promise. If it was
more of a 1-click install (“Beeminder Desktop”), and offered a no-bullshit
GUI decoupled from cmd, it could be much more accessible for the average
Beeminder. And seriously improve the value of the whole package for the
user.

— My 02¢. Hope this helps.

On Saturday, July 12, 2014 2:43:26 PM UTC-4, Alex Schell wrote:

In my view you could bundle retroratchet, configurable retroratchet, and
auto-trimming of safety buffer at the same premium level, or maybe just move
retroratchet to Bee Lite. These all feel like advanced tools that are nice
to have but aren’t essential to beeminding. (My guess is that retroratchet
is relatively rarely used to non-premium users, and that the advanced
retroratchet features wouldn’t be used much by the non-premium user
population even if they could use them.)

Re: private graphs, why not treat these like you do freebees? 2-4 free
secret goals would be reasonable IMO, and this takes care of the concern
that enforced public goals are a barrier to initial beeminding. If you do
this, consider not displaying mystery goals in people’s galleries.

Have you thought about offering free trials of premium plans?

On Thursday, July 10, 2014 4:52:02 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

This is super valuable feedback! Let me quote ourselves from
blog.beeminder.com/premium (under “No Carrots For You”):

Seriously, we are all about the stick. We do not intend to hold
important features as dangling carrots. Premium plans are still an
experiment but we’re committed to keeping the non-premium Beeminder a
highly functional tool for maximizing the awesomeness of humans prone
to procrastination and other forms of akrasia. In fact, the only
things that we’re going to charge for are:

  1. Features that directly thwart our revenue model, i.e., unlimited
    freebees and free short-circuiting (or in the future: choosing the
    beneficiary of your commitment contract [1])
  2. Things that may confuse newbees (we’re not sure yet whether
    customizable retroratcheting and auto-ratcheting fall in this
    category)
  3. Goodies that are incidental to the process of beeminding, like fitness
    tips
  4. Things that cost us money to provide (we may make the SMS bot a
    premium feature for this reason)

I hope I didn’t overcommit us with that. I no longer think that “the
free version of Beeminder must be a fully functional anti-akrasia
tool” is an important principle. I might like the idea that anyone
who’s at all serious about Beeminder should be premium, which is
obviously not the case now. In any case, here’s a list of possible
current features to make premium:

  1. SMS bot (HT dyang)
  2. Retroratchet
  3. Take A Break
  4. fancy data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving average
    line (HT Paul Fenwick)
  5. private graphs
  6. beeminder.com/widgets
  7. weaselproofing
  8. no-mercy recommit
  9. auto-quit
  10. fine print
  11. supporters
  12. panic threshold
  13. goal unit rescaling

And here are potential future premium features:

  1. choose a beneficiary or at least charity percentage
  2. zeno SMS (could also think about international SMS, which costs
    more and has to be set up for each country in twilio)
  3. super exclusive google group (maybe akratics anonymous could
    become that after moving to discourse?)
  4. expose more advanced settings
  5. weasel-immunity (opposite of weaselproofing, where you can
    self-service cancel charges and undo recommit)
  6. expose more advanced settings
  7. profile badges? (HT dyang)
  8. early access to new features? (HT dyang)

[1] http://blog.beeminder.com/premium/#BEN

On Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 12:48 PM, David MacIver da...@drmaciver.com
wrote:

On 10 July 2014 21:36, Daniel Reeves dre...@beeminder.com wrote:

One more item for consideration: What if we added a Fuzzy Buzzy plan
at $2/mo (less than 7 cents a day!) with the only perk being the warm
fuzzy feeling of supporting Beeminder (maybe also tips of the day)?

So one problem I think is that honestly the premium plans all mostly
feel
like this anyway.

You’ve built a really good service that I like a lot… the problem is
that
basically all the things I like are present in the free plan, and
everything
added by the premium plans is pretty uninteresting on top of that.

(OTOH you’ve reminded me that I do like the service enough to support
it
more than the measly $5/month I was paying, so I’ve upgraded my account
anyway)

Obviously this is massive backseat driving and you should feel free to
ignore everything I say, especially as I have literally no idea what
your
user patterns look like, but I rather feel like you might be better off
removing functionality from the free plan into the bee lite plan than
raising the prices on the premium ones.


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
Groups
"Akratics Anonymous" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send
an
email to akratics+u...@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
"Akratics Anonymous" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an
email to akratics+unsubscribe@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


#32

Hear you on the point that offering credit could soften the stingy-ness of
derailments. BUT what does that lead to? Maybe it takes a $10 pledge to
offer the same sting as $5 now. Thanks to
http://blog.beeminder.com/exponential/ & http://blog.beeminder.com/nwo/
that’s just one derailment away :slight_smile:

The automatically increasing nature of pledges would still adjust to Most
Effective Sting.

And in the process they get more opportunity to upgrade and y’all get more
return for all your hard work.

On Monday, July 14, 2014 4:24:31 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Alex and David E, thank you so much for this! Brilliant ideas here.
This is going to hugely helpful as we put more love into premium
plans. I too am curious about others’ thoughts on the idea of counting
pledges as credits toward premium. I actually mentioned that
possibility to Bethany the other day (I’m not sure who first had the
idea but it’s been kicking around a long time – probably originated
on this list) and she recoiled in horror. It is dangerous because it
softens the stingy-ness of derailments.

I agree about TagTime. Note that it’s open-source –
github.com/dreeves/TagTime – so we’d love to entice you to help us
give it the love it desperately needs. :slight_smile:

On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 3:54 AM, David Ernst <da...@ernsts.us
<javascript:>> wrote:

Hi all,

I was going to link to Patio11’s beloved
https://training.kalzumeus.com/newsletters/archive/saas_pricing. Glad
you
guys are already thinking along those lines.

Reviewing Patrick’s post again, and looking at the plans/pricing as they
are
now, I can’t help but notice a major gap: It’s unclear to me what “Bee
Lite”, “Plan B”, “Beemium”, and “Beekeeper” translate to. Seriously, I’m
baffled.

Patrick’s over there trying to make the point: Segment your customers!
Who
are they and how do they get value from you? What did they come to you
for
and what do they want??

And all I see from these plans is Plan A, B, C, & D. So they’re ordered,
sure, but who are they for? I certainly don’t know which of these
categories
I fit into. In the current scheme or the new one you propose. And
note,
I’ve been a user for months, & read nearly all your blog posts,
discussions
here, FAQs, etc, and still this leaves me confused.

Just throwing this out there, I would imagine segmentation more along
the
lines of:

New Bee: “Dip your toes into world of Beeminder”. (No subscription cost)

The core Beeminder experience. The free plan that new users start off
on.
Basic commitment pledges, a few private goals, & less (than now, even)
things to distract one with.

Worker Bee: “Be even more productive, with less work”. ($10/mo? $20?
idk,
test it!)

“Pro” things like unlimited private Beeminds, custom goals,
auto-ratcheting,
configurable ratcheting, SMS integration, weaselproofing, tips of the
day.

Super Bee: “All the things.” ($35/mo? Dunno)

The fun toys for the true lover of quantified-self. Free
short-circuiting,
unlimited free-bees (for more experimentation), change goal URLs, "fancy
data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving average line (HT Paul
Fenwick) ", “expose more advanced settings”, early access to test out
new
features.

What you currently list as Beekeeper, separate out into a more distinct
product. Don’t confuse it with the plans. Because it’s not really the
same,
right? A human beeing (ha). Fundamentally different from any of the
plans.
Maybe joining the Beekeeper program could include a 30-day trial of
Super
Bee as an additional perk, and then half price on all plans after that.
But
I would try to separate it otherwise from the subscription plans.
Because
you know, one is increased software options, and one is a person that
gives
their time to you. And I’m not sure the two are so directly related.
E.g. I
could see more Free Plan users buying coaching, even though they don’t
need
more software features, but the current ascending list confuses them
away.

Also, I would make it clearer that you’re getting a Beekeeper. The way
it’s
currently written on the Premium Plans page suggests the user is the
Beekeeper. I think it would be more compelling to say “A beekeeper to
take
care of you”. Maybe this is just semantics, yet right now I default to
reading the listing not as “want someone to look after you?” but “want
to
make bees your occupation?”. Subconsciously, it feels like more work.

On a different note, I’m very curious how these premium plans intersect
with
pledge revenue. My hunch is that signing up for premium would cause a
user
to Beemind more things (thank you sunk cost fallacy). Thus more pledge’d
money at stake, and (thus?) more pledged revenue. Does raising the price
of
these plans cause less people to take their relationship to the next
stage,
and then also hurt pledge revenue? In other words, does optimizing
subscription revenue come at a cost of pledge revenue? Of course, I’m
making
too many uninformed assumptions…

Thinking more on this theme, what about using money delivered from
pledges
as credit to spend on the premium plans? Thus avoiding the potential
zero-sum dilemma above. And the user feels a bit less bad financially
when
they fall off the road, because they can still “use” those credits
towards
premium. Maybe they’ll put more money on the line, because “hey, if I
fail,
then at least I can still use it for a premium subscription!” And then
more
New Bees convert to premium status, great! And all the while, Beeminder
Inc
doesn’t lose revenue from this arrangement because the money still gets
charged, and for the most part those premium features have trivial
marginal
cost. It’s just letting the pledged money go farther (get double
"spent").
Is this too radical? Maybe. Would love to hear others’ opinions on it.

One last thing. Without changing the subject too much, if we’re still
talking about finding more sources of revenue, I would strongly suggest
giving TagTime some love. It seems like there is a seriously great
product
there. And such a perfect complement to what Beeminder already offers.
Why
not bring it into the family more tightly? It clear from reading your
blogs
etc that you guys make such heavy usage of it, but I wonder how many
users
do too? I don’t know! I haven’t even ever been able to get it working
(Windows & iOS – ugh, I know). Yet it seems to hold such promise. If it
was
more of a 1-click install (“Beeminder Desktop”), and offered a
no-bullshit
GUI decoupled from cmd, it could be much more accessible for the average
Beeminder. And seriously improve the value of the whole package for the
user.

— My 02¢. Hope this helps.

On Saturday, July 12, 2014 2:43:26 PM UTC-4, Alex Schell wrote:

In my view you could bundle retroratchet, configurable retroratchet,
and

auto-trimming of safety buffer at the same premium level, or maybe just
move

retroratchet to Bee Lite. These all feel like advanced tools that are
nice

to have but aren’t essential to beeminding. (My guess is that
retroratchet

is relatively rarely used to non-premium users, and that the advanced
retroratchet features wouldn’t be used much by the non-premium user
population even if they could use them.)

Re: private graphs, why not treat these like you do freebees? 2-4 free
secret goals would be reasonable IMO, and this takes care of the
concern

that enforced public goals are a barrier to initial beeminding. If you
do

this, consider not displaying mystery goals in people’s galleries.

Have you thought about offering free trials of premium plans?

On Thursday, July 10, 2014 4:52:02 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

This is super valuable feedback! Let me quote ourselves from
blog.beeminder.com/premium (under “No Carrots For You”):

Seriously, we are all about the stick. We do not intend to hold
important features as dangling carrots. Premium plans are still an
experiment but we’re committed to keeping the non-premium Beeminder a
highly functional tool for maximizing the awesomeness of humans prone
to procrastination and other forms of akrasia. In fact, the only
things that we’re going to charge for are:

  1. Features that directly thwart our revenue model, i.e., unlimited
    freebees and free short-circuiting (or in the future: choosing the
    beneficiary of your commitment contract [1])
  2. Things that may confuse newbees (we’re not sure yet whether
    customizable retroratcheting and auto-ratcheting fall in this
    category)
  3. Goodies that are incidental to the process of beeminding, like
    fitness

tips
4. Things that cost us money to provide (we may make the SMS bot a
premium feature for this reason)

I hope I didn’t overcommit us with that. I no longer think that “the
free version of Beeminder must be a fully functional anti-akrasia
tool” is an important principle. I might like the idea that anyone
who’s at all serious about Beeminder should be premium, which is
obviously not the case now. In any case, here’s a list of possible
current features to make premium:

  1. SMS bot (HT dyang)
  2. Retroratchet
  3. Take A Break
  4. fancy data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving average
    line (HT Paul Fenwick)
  5. private graphs
  6. beeminder.com/widgets
  7. weaselproofing
  8. no-mercy recommit
  9. auto-quit
  10. fine print
  11. supporters
  12. panic threshold
  13. goal unit rescaling

And here are potential future premium features:

  1. choose a beneficiary or at least charity percentage
  2. zeno SMS (could also think about international SMS, which costs
    more and has to be set up for each country in twilio)
  3. super exclusive google group (maybe akratics anonymous could
    become that after moving to discourse?)
  4. expose more advanced settings
  5. weasel-immunity (opposite of weaselproofing, where you can
    self-service cancel charges and undo recommit)
  6. expose more advanced settings
  7. profile badges? (HT dyang)
  8. early access to new features? (HT dyang)

[1] http://blog.beeminder.com/premium/#BEN

On Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 12:48 PM, David MacIver da...@drmaciver.com
wrote:

On 10 July 2014 21:36, Daniel Reeves dre...@beeminder.com wrote:

One more item for consideration: What if we added a Fuzzy Buzzy
plan

at $2/mo (less than 7 cents a day!) with the only perk being the
warm

fuzzy feeling of supporting Beeminder (maybe also tips of the day)?

So one problem I think is that honestly the premium plans all mostly
feel
like this anyway.

You’ve built a really good service that I like a lot… the problem
is

that
basically all the things I like are present in the free plan, and
everything
added by the premium plans is pretty uninteresting on top of that.

(OTOH you’ve reminded me that I do like the service enough to
support

it
more than the measly $5/month I was paying, so I’ve upgraded my
account

anyway)

Obviously this is massive backseat driving and you should feel free
to

ignore everything I say, especially as I have literally no idea what
your
user patterns look like, but I rather feel like you might be better
off

removing functionality from the free plan into the bee lite plan
than

raising the prices on the premium ones.


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#33

Re: Social Status

I’m not good at BeeMinding. I don’t know what. I’m akratic. Am I apathetic?
Am I just not conditioned to respond appropriately?

However, I can think of a way that would be fun for me to participate.

  1. Give BeeMinding a social status and rank.

If I see I’m 10,203 out of 10,300 - well, I can see I’ve got 10,000+ people
I can “learn” from. That ability to connect and learn with people that are
just a few steps ahead of me would be invaluable.

It would give me motivation, social interaction, and data. Also, the nature
of competition speaks to our lizard brain. We want to win the ‘battle’ for
survival and so it helps heighten our ‘focus’ (which is probably my biggest
challenge with all this.)

So, speak to my lizard brain directly - and you can have all my money.

-Brian

On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 2:15 PM, David Ernst david@ernsts.us wrote:

Hear you on the point that offering credit could soften the stingy-ness of
derailments. BUT what does that lead to? Maybe it takes a $10 pledge to
offer the same sting as $5 now. Thanks to
http://blog.beeminder.com/exponential/ & http://blog.beeminder.com/nwo/
that’s just one derailment away :slight_smile:

The automatically increasing nature of pledges would still adjust to Most
Effective Sting.

And in the process they get more opportunity to upgrade and y’all get more
return for all your hard work.

On Monday, July 14, 2014 4:24:31 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Alex and David E, thank you so much for this! Brilliant ideas here.
This is going to hugely helpful as we put more love into premium
plans. I too am curious about others’ thoughts on the idea of counting
pledges as credits toward premium. I actually mentioned that
possibility to Bethany the other day (I’m not sure who first had the
idea but it’s been kicking around a long time – probably originated
on this list) and she recoiled in horror. It is dangerous because it
softens the stingy-ness of derailments.

I agree about TagTime. Note that it’s open-source –
github.com/dreeves/TagTime – so we’d love to entice you to help us
give it the love it desperately needs. :slight_smile:

On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 3:54 AM, David Ernst da...@ernsts.us wrote:

Hi all,

I was going to link to Patio11’s beloved
https://training.kalzumeus.com/newsletters/archive/saas_pricing. Glad
you
guys are already thinking along those lines.

Reviewing Patrick’s post again, and looking at the plans/pricing as
they are
now, I can’t help but notice a major gap: It’s unclear to me what “Bee
Lite”, “Plan B”, “Beemium”, and “Beekeeper” translate to. Seriously,
I’m
baffled.

Patrick’s over there trying to make the point: Segment your customers!
Who
are they and how do they get value from you? What did they come to you
for
and what do they want??

And all I see from these plans is Plan A, B, C, & D. So they’re
ordered,
sure, but who are they for? I certainly don’t know which of these
categories
I fit into. In the current scheme or the new one you propose. And
note,
I’ve been a user for months, & read nearly all your blog posts,
discussions
here, FAQs, etc, and still this leaves me confused.

Just throwing this out there, I would imagine segmentation more along
the
lines of:

New Bee: “Dip your toes into world of Beeminder”. (No subscription
cost)

The core Beeminder experience. The free plan that new users start off
on.
Basic commitment pledges, a few private goals, & less (than now, even)
things to distract one with.

Worker Bee: “Be even more productive, with less work”. ($10/mo? $20?
idk,
test it!)

“Pro” things like unlimited private Beeminds, custom goals,
auto-ratcheting,
configurable ratcheting, SMS integration, weaselproofing, tips of the
day.

Super Bee: “All the things.” ($35/mo? Dunno)

The fun toys for the true lover of quantified-self. Free
short-circuiting,
unlimited free-bees (for more experimentation), change goal URLs,
"fancy
data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving average line (HT
Paul
Fenwick) ", “expose more advanced settings”, early access to test out
new
features.

What you currently list as Beekeeper, separate out into a more distinct
product. Don’t confuse it with the plans. Because it’s not really the
same,
right? A human beeing (ha). Fundamentally different from any of the
plans.
Maybe joining the Beekeeper program could include a 30-day trial of
Super
Bee as an additional perk, and then half price on all plans after that.
But
I would try to separate it otherwise from the subscription plans.
Because
you know, one is increased software options, and one is a person that
gives
their time to you. And I’m not sure the two are so directly related.
E.g. I
could see more Free Plan users buying coaching, even though they don’t
need
more software features, but the current ascending list confuses them
away.

Also, I would make it clearer that you’re getting a Beekeeper. The way
it’s
currently written on the Premium Plans page suggests the user is the
Beekeeper. I think it would be more compelling to say “A beekeeper to
take
care of you”. Maybe this is just semantics, yet right now I default to
reading the listing not as “want someone to look after you?” but “want
to
make bees your occupation?”. Subconsciously, it feels like more work.

On a different note, I’m very curious how these premium plans intersect
with
pledge revenue. My hunch is that signing up for premium would cause a
user
to Beemind more things (thank you sunk cost fallacy). Thus more
pledge’d
money at stake, and (thus?) more pledged revenue. Does raising the
price of
these plans cause less people to take their relationship to the next
stage,
and then also hurt pledge revenue? In other words, does optimizing
subscription revenue come at a cost of pledge revenue? Of course, I’m
making
too many uninformed assumptions…

Thinking more on this theme, what about using money delivered from
pledges
as credit to spend on the premium plans? Thus avoiding the potential
zero-sum dilemma above. And the user feels a bit less bad financially
when
they fall off the road, because they can still “use” those credits
towards
premium. Maybe they’ll put more money on the line, because “hey, if I
fail,
then at least I can still use it for a premium subscription!” And then
more
New Bees convert to premium status, great! And all the while, Beeminder
Inc
doesn’t lose revenue from this arrangement because the money still gets
charged, and for the most part those premium features have trivial
marginal
cost. It’s just letting the pledged money go farther (get double
"spent").
Is this too radical? Maybe. Would love to hear others’ opinions on it.

One last thing. Without changing the subject too much, if we’re still
talking about finding more sources of revenue, I would strongly suggest
giving TagTime some love. It seems like there is a seriously great
product
there. And such a perfect complement to what Beeminder already offers.
Why
not bring it into the family more tightly? It clear from reading your
blogs
etc that you guys make such heavy usage of it, but I wonder how many
users
do too? I don’t know! I haven’t even ever been able to get it working
(Windows & iOS – ugh, I know). Yet it seems to hold such promise. If
it was
more of a 1-click install (“Beeminder Desktop”), and offered a
no-bullshit
GUI decoupled from cmd, it could be much more accessible for the
average
Beeminder. And seriously improve the value of the whole package for the
user.

— My 02¢. Hope this helps.

On Saturday, July 12, 2014 2:43:26 PM UTC-4, Alex Schell wrote:

In my view you could bundle retroratchet, configurable retroratchet,
and

auto-trimming of safety buffer at the same premium level, or maybe
just move

retroratchet to Bee Lite. These all feel like advanced tools that are
nice

to have but aren’t essential to beeminding. (My guess is that
retroratchet

is relatively rarely used to non-premium users, and that the advanced
retroratchet features wouldn’t be used much by the non-premium user
population even if they could use them.)

Re: private graphs, why not treat these like you do freebees? 2-4 free
secret goals would be reasonable IMO, and this takes care of the
concern

that enforced public goals are a barrier to initial beeminding. If you
do

this, consider not displaying mystery goals in people’s galleries.

Have you thought about offering free trials of premium plans?

On Thursday, July 10, 2014 4:52:02 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

This is super valuable feedback! Let me quote ourselves from
blog.beeminder.com/premium (under “No Carrots For You”):

Seriously, we are all about the stick. We do not intend to hold
important features as dangling carrots. Premium plans are still an
experiment but we’re committed to keeping the non-premium Beeminder a
highly functional tool for maximizing the awesomeness of humans prone
to procrastination and other forms of akrasia. In fact, the only
things that we’re going to charge for are:

  1. Features that directly thwart our revenue model, i.e., unlimited
    freebees and free short-circuiting (or in the future: choosing the
    beneficiary of your commitment contract [1])
  2. Things that may confuse newbees (we’re not sure yet whether
    customizable retroratcheting and auto-ratcheting fall in this
    category)
  3. Goodies that are incidental to the process of beeminding, like
    fitness

tips
4. Things that cost us money to provide (we may make the SMS bot a
premium feature for this reason)

I hope I didn’t overcommit us with that. I no longer think that “the
free version of Beeminder must be a fully functional anti-akrasia
tool” is an important principle. I might like the idea that anyone
who’s at all serious about Beeminder should be premium, which is
obviously not the case now. In any case, here’s a list of possible
current features to make premium:

  1. SMS bot (HT dyang)
  2. Retroratchet
  3. Take A Break
  4. fancy data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving average
    line (HT Paul Fenwick)
  5. private graphs
  6. beeminder.com/widgets
  7. weaselproofing
  8. no-mercy recommit
  9. auto-quit
  10. fine print
  11. supporters
  12. panic threshold
  13. goal unit rescaling

And here are potential future premium features:

  1. choose a beneficiary or at least charity percentage
  2. zeno SMS (could also think about international SMS, which costs
    more and has to be set up for each country in twilio)
  3. super exclusive google group (maybe akratics anonymous could
    become that after moving to discourse?)
  4. expose more advanced settings
  5. weasel-immunity (opposite of weaselproofing, where you can
    self-service cancel charges and undo recommit)
  6. expose more advanced settings
  7. profile badges? (HT dyang)
  8. early access to new features? (HT dyang)

[1] http://blog.beeminder.com/premium/#BEN

On Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 12:48 PM, David MacIver da...@drmaciver.com

wrote:

On 10 July 2014 21:36, Daniel Reeves dre...@beeminder.com wrote:

One more item for consideration: What if we added a Fuzzy Buzzy
plan

at $2/mo (less than 7 cents a day!) with the only perk being the
warm

fuzzy feeling of supporting Beeminder (maybe also tips of the
day)?

So one problem I think is that honestly the premium plans all
mostly

feel
like this anyway.

You’ve built a really good service that I like a lot… the problem
is

that
basically all the things I like are present in the free plan, and
everything
added by the premium plans is pretty uninteresting on top of that.

(OTOH you’ve reminded me that I do like the service enough to
support

it
more than the measly $5/month I was paying, so I’ve upgraded my
account

anyway)

Obviously this is massive backseat driving and you should feel free
to

ignore everything I say, especially as I have literally no idea
what

your
user patterns look like, but I rather feel like you might be better
off

removing functionality from the free plan into the bee lite plan
than

raising the prices on the premium ones.


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
Groups
"Akratics Anonymous" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it,
send

an
email to akratics+u...@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


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an
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Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


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#34

Interesting. What’s the measure for ranking?

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 3:18 PM, Brian Ball ideabrian@gmail.com wrote:

Re: Social Status

I’m not good at BeeMinding. I don’t know what. I’m akratic. Am I
apathetic? Am I just not conditioned to respond appropriately?

However, I can think of a way that would be fun for me to participate.

  1. Give BeeMinding a social status and rank.

If I see I’m 10,203 out of 10,300 - well, I can see I’ve got 10,000+
people I can “learn” from. That ability to connect and learn with people
that are just a few steps ahead of me would be invaluable.

It would give me motivation, social interaction, and data. Also, the
nature of competition speaks to our lizard brain. We want to win the
’battle’ for survival and so it helps heighten our ‘focus’ (which is
probably my biggest challenge with all this.)

So, speak to my lizard brain directly - and you can have all my money.

-Brian

On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 2:15 PM, David Ernst david@ernsts.us wrote:

Hear you on the point that offering credit could soften the stingy-ness
of derailments. BUT what does that lead to? Maybe it takes a $10 pledge to
offer the same sting as $5 now. Thanks to
http://blog.beeminder.com/exponential/ & http://blog.beeminder.com/nwo/
that’s just one derailment away :slight_smile:

The automatically increasing nature of pledges would still adjust to Most
Effective Sting.

And in the process they get more opportunity to upgrade and y’all get
more return for all your hard work.

On Monday, July 14, 2014 4:24:31 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Alex and David E, thank you so much for this! Brilliant ideas here.
This is going to hugely helpful as we put more love into premium
plans. I too am curious about others’ thoughts on the idea of counting
pledges as credits toward premium. I actually mentioned that
possibility to Bethany the other day (I’m not sure who first had the
idea but it’s been kicking around a long time – probably originated
on this list) and she recoiled in horror. It is dangerous because it
softens the stingy-ness of derailments.

I agree about TagTime. Note that it’s open-source –
github.com/dreeves/TagTime – so we’d love to entice you to help us
give it the love it desperately needs. :slight_smile:

On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 3:54 AM, David Ernst da...@ernsts.us wrote:

Hi all,

I was going to link to Patio11’s beloved
https://training.kalzumeus.com/newsletters/archive/saas_pricing. Glad
you
guys are already thinking along those lines.

Reviewing Patrick’s post again, and looking at the plans/pricing as
they are
now, I can’t help but notice a major gap: It’s unclear to me what “Bee
Lite”, “Plan B”, “Beemium”, and “Beekeeper” translate to. Seriously,
I’m
baffled.

Patrick’s over there trying to make the point: Segment your customers!
Who
are they and how do they get value from you? What did they come to you
for
and what do they want??

And all I see from these plans is Plan A, B, C, & D. So they’re
ordered,
sure, but who are they for? I certainly don’t know which of these
categories
I fit into. In the current scheme or the new one you propose. And
note,
I’ve been a user for months, & read nearly all your blog posts,
discussions
here, FAQs, etc, and still this leaves me confused.

Just throwing this out there, I would imagine segmentation more along
the
lines of:

New Bee: “Dip your toes into world of Beeminder”. (No subscription
cost)

The core Beeminder experience. The free plan that new users start off
on.
Basic commitment pledges, a few private goals, & less (than now, even)
things to distract one with.

Worker Bee: “Be even more productive, with less work”. ($10/mo? $20?
idk,
test it!)

“Pro” things like unlimited private Beeminds, custom goals,
auto-ratcheting,
configurable ratcheting, SMS integration, weaselproofing, tips of the
day.

Super Bee: “All the things.” ($35/mo? Dunno)

The fun toys for the true lover of quantified-self. Free
short-circuiting,
unlimited free-bees (for more experimentation), change goal URLs,
"fancy
data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving average line (HT
Paul
Fenwick) ", “expose more advanced settings”, early access to test out
new
features.

What you currently list as Beekeeper, separate out into a more
distinct
product. Don’t confuse it with the plans. Because it’s not really the
same,
right? A human beeing (ha). Fundamentally different from any of the
plans.
Maybe joining the Beekeeper program could include a 30-day trial of
Super
Bee as an additional perk, and then half price on all plans after
that. But
I would try to separate it otherwise from the subscription plans.
Because
you know, one is increased software options, and one is a person that
gives
their time to you. And I’m not sure the two are so directly related.
E.g. I
could see more Free Plan users buying coaching, even though they don’t
need
more software features, but the current ascending list confuses them
away.

Also, I would make it clearer that you’re getting a Beekeeper. The way
it’s
currently written on the Premium Plans page suggests the user is the
Beekeeper. I think it would be more compelling to say “A beekeeper to
take
care of you”. Maybe this is just semantics, yet right now I default to
reading the listing not as “want someone to look after you?” but “want
to
make bees your occupation?”. Subconsciously, it feels like more work.

On a different note, I’m very curious how these premium plans
intersect with
pledge revenue. My hunch is that signing up for premium would cause a
user
to Beemind more things (thank you sunk cost fallacy). Thus more
pledge’d
money at stake, and (thus?) more pledged revenue. Does raising the
price of
these plans cause less people to take their relationship to the next
stage,
and then also hurt pledge revenue? In other words, does optimizing
subscription revenue come at a cost of pledge revenue? Of course, I’m
making
too many uninformed assumptions…

Thinking more on this theme, what about using money delivered from
pledges
as credit to spend on the premium plans? Thus avoiding the potential
zero-sum dilemma above. And the user feels a bit less bad financially
when
they fall off the road, because they can still “use” those credits
towards
premium. Maybe they’ll put more money on the line, because “hey, if I
fail,
then at least I can still use it for a premium subscription!” And then
more
New Bees convert to premium status, great! And all the while,
Beeminder Inc
doesn’t lose revenue from this arrangement because the money still
gets
charged, and for the most part those premium features have trivial
marginal
cost. It’s just letting the pledged money go farther (get double
"spent").
Is this too radical? Maybe. Would love to hear others’ opinions on it.

One last thing. Without changing the subject too much, if we’re still
talking about finding more sources of revenue, I would strongly
suggest
giving TagTime some love. It seems like there is a seriously great
product
there. And such a perfect complement to what Beeminder already offers.
Why
not bring it into the family more tightly? It clear from reading your
blogs
etc that you guys make such heavy usage of it, but I wonder how many
users
do too? I don’t know! I haven’t even ever been able to get it working
(Windows & iOS – ugh, I know). Yet it seems to hold such promise. If
it was
more of a 1-click install (“Beeminder Desktop”), and offered a
no-bullshit
GUI decoupled from cmd, it could be much more accessible for the
average
Beeminder. And seriously improve the value of the whole package for
the
user.

— My 02¢. Hope this helps.

On Saturday, July 12, 2014 2:43:26 PM UTC-4, Alex Schell wrote:

In my view you could bundle retroratchet, configurable retroratchet,
and

auto-trimming of safety buffer at the same premium level, or maybe
just move

retroratchet to Bee Lite. These all feel like advanced tools that are
nice

to have but aren’t essential to beeminding. (My guess is that
retroratchet

is relatively rarely used to non-premium users, and that the advanced
retroratchet features wouldn’t be used much by the non-premium user
population even if they could use them.)

Re: private graphs, why not treat these like you do freebees? 2-4
free

secret goals would be reasonable IMO, and this takes care of the
concern

that enforced public goals are a barrier to initial beeminding. If
you do

this, consider not displaying mystery goals in people’s galleries.

Have you thought about offering free trials of premium plans?

On Thursday, July 10, 2014 4:52:02 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

This is super valuable feedback! Let me quote ourselves from
blog.beeminder.com/premium (under “No Carrots For You”):

Seriously, we are all about the stick. We do not intend to hold
important features as dangling carrots. Premium plans are still an
experiment but we’re committed to keeping the non-premium Beeminder
a

highly functional tool for maximizing the awesomeness of humans
prone

to procrastination and other forms of akrasia. In fact, the only
things that we’re going to charge for are:

  1. Features that directly thwart our revenue model, i.e., unlimited
    freebees and free short-circuiting (or in the future: choosing the
    beneficiary of your commitment contract [1])
  2. Things that may confuse newbees (we’re not sure yet whether
    customizable retroratcheting and auto-ratcheting fall in this
    category)
  3. Goodies that are incidental to the process of beeminding, like
    fitness

tips
4. Things that cost us money to provide (we may make the SMS bot a
premium feature for this reason)

I hope I didn’t overcommit us with that. I no longer think that “the
free version of Beeminder must be a fully functional anti-akrasia
tool” is an important principle. I might like the idea that anyone
who’s at all serious about Beeminder should be premium, which is
obviously not the case now. In any case, here’s a list of possible
current features to make premium:

  1. SMS bot (HT dyang)
  2. Retroratchet
  3. Take A Break
  4. fancy data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving average
    line (HT Paul Fenwick)
  5. private graphs
  6. beeminder.com/widgets
  7. weaselproofing
  8. no-mercy recommit
  9. auto-quit
  10. fine print
  11. supporters
  12. panic threshold
  13. goal unit rescaling

And here are potential future premium features:

  1. choose a beneficiary or at least charity percentage
  2. zeno SMS (could also think about international SMS, which costs
    more and has to be set up for each country in twilio)
  3. super exclusive google group (maybe akratics anonymous could
    become that after moving to discourse?)
  4. expose more advanced settings
  5. weasel-immunity (opposite of weaselproofing, where you can
    self-service cancel charges and undo recommit)
  6. expose more advanced settings
  7. profile badges? (HT dyang)
  8. early access to new features? (HT dyang)

[1] http://blog.beeminder.com/premium/#BEN

On Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 12:48 PM, David MacIver da...@drmaciver.com

wrote:

On 10 July 2014 21:36, Daniel Reeves dre...@beeminder.com
wrote:

One more item for consideration: What if we added a Fuzzy Buzzy
plan

at $2/mo (less than 7 cents a day!) with the only perk being the
warm

fuzzy feeling of supporting Beeminder (maybe also tips of the
day)?

So one problem I think is that honestly the premium plans all
mostly

feel
like this anyway.

You’ve built a really good service that I like a lot… the
problem is

that
basically all the things I like are present in the free plan, and
everything
added by the premium plans is pretty uninteresting on top of that.

(OTOH you’ve reminded me that I do like the service enough to
support

it
more than the measly $5/month I was paying, so I’ve upgraded my
account

anyway)

Obviously this is massive backseat driving and you should feel
free to

ignore everything I say, especially as I have literally no idea
what

your
user patterns look like, but I rather feel like you might be
better off

removing functionality from the free plan into the bee lite plan
than

raising the prices on the premium ones.


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google
Groups
"Akratics Anonymous" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it,
send

an
email to akratics+u...@googlegroups.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


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Groups
"Akratics Anonymous" group.
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an
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http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


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#35

Right. To rank people, you’d have to have rankings for an activity.

Steps taken with FitBit. Hours slept with Zeo? Number of YouTube followers?
BMI?

Rather than having the whole social rank concept be overwhelming - we could
certainly start with a single, trackable thing that most people can engage
with (walking, writing, tweeting).

We won’t all care about all the trackables - so there should be points that
could accumulate to an overall rank. Maybe somebody is #1 in steps per day

  • but they don’t BeeMind anything else - so they only get 1000 points for
    that category. If they want more points (to rank in the global
    distrubition) they would have to track more things (thus encouraging more
    use).

Ideas?

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 12:19 PM, David Ernst david@dsernst.com wrote:

Interesting. What’s the measure for ranking?

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 3:18 PM, Brian Ball ideabrian@gmail.com wrote:

Re: Social Status

I’m not good at BeeMinding. I don’t know what. I’m akratic. Am I
apathetic? Am I just not conditioned to respond appropriately?

However, I can think of a way that would be fun for me to participate.

  1. Give BeeMinding a social status and rank.

If I see I’m 10,203 out of 10,300 - well, I can see I’ve got 10,000+
people I can “learn” from. That ability to connect and learn with people
that are just a few steps ahead of me would be invaluable.

It would give me motivation, social interaction, and data. Also, the
nature of competition speaks to our lizard brain. We want to win the
’battle’ for survival and so it helps heighten our ‘focus’ (which is
probably my biggest challenge with all this.)

So, speak to my lizard brain directly - and you can have all my money.

-Brian

On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 2:15 PM, David Ernst david@ernsts.us wrote:

Hear you on the point that offering credit could soften the stingy-ness
of derailments. BUT what does that lead to? Maybe it takes a $10 pledge to
offer the same sting as $5 now. Thanks to
http://blog.beeminder.com/exponential/ & http://blog.beeminder.com/nwo/
that’s just one derailment away :slight_smile:

The automatically increasing nature of pledges would still adjust to
Most Effective Sting.

And in the process they get more opportunity to upgrade and y’all get
more return for all your hard work.

On Monday, July 14, 2014 4:24:31 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Alex and David E, thank you so much for this! Brilliant ideas here.
This is going to hugely helpful as we put more love into premium
plans. I too am curious about others’ thoughts on the idea of counting
pledges as credits toward premium. I actually mentioned that
possibility to Bethany the other day (I’m not sure who first had the
idea but it’s been kicking around a long time – probably originated
on this list) and she recoiled in horror. It is dangerous because it
softens the stingy-ness of derailments.

I agree about TagTime. Note that it’s open-source –
github.com/dreeves/TagTime – so we’d love to entice you to help us
give it the love it desperately needs. :slight_smile:

On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 3:54 AM, David Ernst da...@ernsts.us wrote:

Hi all,

I was going to link to Patio11’s beloved
https://training.kalzumeus.com/newsletters/archive/saas_pricing.
Glad you
guys are already thinking along those lines.

Reviewing Patrick’s post again, and looking at the plans/pricing as
they are
now, I can’t help but notice a major gap: It’s unclear to me what
"Bee
Lite", “Plan B”, “Beemium”, and “Beekeeper” translate to. Seriously,
I’m
baffled.

Patrick’s over there trying to make the point: Segment your
customers! Who
are they and how do they get value from you? What did they come to
you for
and what do they want??

And all I see from these plans is Plan A, B, C, & D. So they’re
ordered,
sure, but who are they for? I certainly don’t know which of these
categories
I fit into. In the current scheme or the new one you propose. And
note,
I’ve been a user for months, & read nearly all your blog posts,
discussions
here, FAQs, etc, and still this leaves me confused.

Just throwing this out there, I would imagine segmentation more along
the
lines of:

New Bee: “Dip your toes into world of Beeminder”. (No subscription
cost)

The core Beeminder experience. The free plan that new users start off
on.
Basic commitment pledges, a few private goals, & less (than now,
even)
things to distract one with.

Worker Bee: “Be even more productive, with less work”. ($10/mo? $20?
idk,
test it!)

“Pro” things like unlimited private Beeminds, custom goals,
auto-ratcheting,
configurable ratcheting, SMS integration, weaselproofing, tips of the
day.

Super Bee: “All the things.” ($35/mo? Dunno)

The fun toys for the true lover of quantified-self. Free
short-circuiting,
unlimited free-bees (for more experimentation), change goal URLs,
"fancy
data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving average line (HT
Paul
Fenwick) ", “expose more advanced settings”, early access to test out
new
features.

What you currently list as Beekeeper, separate out into a more
distinct
product. Don’t confuse it with the plans. Because it’s not really the
same,
right? A human beeing (ha). Fundamentally different from any of the
plans.
Maybe joining the Beekeeper program could include a 30-day trial of
Super
Bee as an additional perk, and then half price on all plans after
that. But
I would try to separate it otherwise from the subscription plans.
Because
you know, one is increased software options, and one is a person that
gives
their time to you. And I’m not sure the two are so directly related.
E.g. I
could see more Free Plan users buying coaching, even though they
don’t need
more software features, but the current ascending list confuses them
away.

Also, I would make it clearer that you’re getting a Beekeeper. The
way it’s
currently written on the Premium Plans page suggests the user is the
Beekeeper. I think it would be more compelling to say “A beekeeper to
take
care of you”. Maybe this is just semantics, yet right now I default
to
reading the listing not as “want someone to look after you?” but
"want to
make bees your occupation?". Subconsciously, it feels like more work.

On a different note, I’m very curious how these premium plans
intersect with
pledge revenue. My hunch is that signing up for premium would cause a
user
to Beemind more things (thank you sunk cost fallacy). Thus more
pledge’d
money at stake, and (thus?) more pledged revenue. Does raising the
price of
these plans cause less people to take their relationship to the next
stage,
and then also hurt pledge revenue? In other words, does optimizing
subscription revenue come at a cost of pledge revenue? Of course, I’m
making
too many uninformed assumptions…

Thinking more on this theme, what about using money delivered from
pledges
as credit to spend on the premium plans? Thus avoiding the potential
zero-sum dilemma above. And the user feels a bit less bad financially
when
they fall off the road, because they can still “use” those credits
towards
premium. Maybe they’ll put more money on the line, because “hey, if I
fail,
then at least I can still use it for a premium subscription!” And
then more
New Bees convert to premium status, great! And all the while,
Beeminder Inc
doesn’t lose revenue from this arrangement because the money still
gets
charged, and for the most part those premium features have trivial
marginal
cost. It’s just letting the pledged money go farther (get double
"spent").
Is this too radical? Maybe. Would love to hear others’ opinions on
it.

One last thing. Without changing the subject too much, if we’re still
talking about finding more sources of revenue, I would strongly
suggest
giving TagTime some love. It seems like there is a seriously great
product
there. And such a perfect complement to what Beeminder already
offers. Why
not bring it into the family more tightly? It clear from reading your
blogs
etc that you guys make such heavy usage of it, but I wonder how many
users
do too? I don’t know! I haven’t even ever been able to get it working
(Windows & iOS – ugh, I know). Yet it seems to hold such promise. If
it was
more of a 1-click install (“Beeminder Desktop”), and offered a
no-bullshit
GUI decoupled from cmd, it could be much more accessible for the
average
Beeminder. And seriously improve the value of the whole package for
the
user.

— My 02¢. Hope this helps.

On Saturday, July 12, 2014 2:43:26 PM UTC-4, Alex Schell wrote:

In my view you could bundle retroratchet, configurable retroratchet,
and

auto-trimming of safety buffer at the same premium level, or maybe
just move

retroratchet to Bee Lite. These all feel like advanced tools that
are nice

to have but aren’t essential to beeminding. (My guess is that
retroratchet

is relatively rarely used to non-premium users, and that the
advanced

retroratchet features wouldn’t be used much by the non-premium user
population even if they could use them.)

Re: private graphs, why not treat these like you do freebees? 2-4
free

secret goals would be reasonable IMO, and this takes care of the
concern

that enforced public goals are a barrier to initial beeminding. If
you do

this, consider not displaying mystery goals in people’s galleries.

Have you thought about offering free trials of premium plans?

On Thursday, July 10, 2014 4:52:02 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

This is super valuable feedback! Let me quote ourselves from
blog.beeminder.com/premium (under “No Carrots For You”):

Seriously, we are all about the stick. We do not intend to hold
important features as dangling carrots. Premium plans are still an
experiment but we’re committed to keeping the non-premium Beeminder
a

highly functional tool for maximizing the awesomeness of humans
prone

to procrastination and other forms of akrasia. In fact, the only
things that we’re going to charge for are:

  1. Features that directly thwart our revenue model, i.e., unlimited
    freebees and free short-circuiting (or in the future: choosing the
    beneficiary of your commitment contract [1])
  2. Things that may confuse newbees (we’re not sure yet whether
    customizable retroratcheting and auto-ratcheting fall in this
    category)
  3. Goodies that are incidental to the process of beeminding, like
    fitness

tips
4. Things that cost us money to provide (we may make the SMS bot a
premium feature for this reason)

I hope I didn’t overcommit us with that. I no longer think that
"the

free version of Beeminder must be a fully functional anti-akrasia
tool" is an important principle. I might like the idea that anyone
who’s at all serious about Beeminder should be premium, which is
obviously not the case now. In any case, here’s a list of possible
current features to make premium:

  1. SMS bot (HT dyang)
  2. Retroratchet
  3. Take A Break
  4. fancy data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving average
    line (HT Paul Fenwick)
  5. private graphs
  6. beeminder.com/widgets
  7. weaselproofing
  8. no-mercy recommit
  9. auto-quit
  10. fine print
  11. supporters
  12. panic threshold
  13. goal unit rescaling

And here are potential future premium features:

  1. choose a beneficiary or at least charity percentage
  2. zeno SMS (could also think about international SMS, which costs
    more and has to be set up for each country in twilio)
  3. super exclusive google group (maybe akratics anonymous could
    become that after moving to discourse?)
  4. expose more advanced settings
  5. weasel-immunity (opposite of weaselproofing, where you can
    self-service cancel charges and undo recommit)
  6. expose more advanced settings
  7. profile badges? (HT dyang)
  8. early access to new features? (HT dyang)

[1] http://blog.beeminder.com/premium/#BEN

On Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 12:48 PM, David MacIver <
da...@drmaciver.com>

wrote:

On 10 July 2014 21:36, Daniel Reeves dre...@beeminder.com
wrote:

One more item for consideration: What if we added a Fuzzy Buzzy
plan

at $2/mo (less than 7 cents a day!) with the only perk being the
warm

fuzzy feeling of supporting Beeminder (maybe also tips of the
day)?

So one problem I think is that honestly the premium plans all
mostly

feel
like this anyway.

You’ve built a really good service that I like a lot… the
problem is

that
basically all the things I like are present in the free plan, and
everything
added by the premium plans is pretty uninteresting on top of
that.

(OTOH you’ve reminded me that I do like the service enough to
support

it
more than the measly $5/month I was paying, so I’ve upgraded my
account

anyway)

Obviously this is massive backseat driving and you should feel
free to

ignore everything I say, especially as I have literally no idea
what

your
user patterns look like, but I rather feel like you might be
better off

removing functionality from the free plan into the bee lite plan
than

raising the prices on the premium ones.


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http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


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http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


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#36

days_since_derail, maybe scaled against total number of beeminded goals?

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 3:25 PM, Brian Ball ideabrian@gmail.com wrote:

Right. To rank people, you’d have to have rankings for an activity.

Steps taken with FitBit. Hours slept with Zeo? Number of YouTube
followers? BMI?

Rather than having the whole social rank concept be overwhelming - we
could certainly start with a single, trackable thing that most people can
engage with (walking, writing, tweeting).

We won’t all care about all the trackables - so there should be points
that could accumulate to an overall rank. Maybe somebody is #1 in steps per
day - but they don’t BeeMind anything else - so they only get 1000 points
for that category. If they want more points (to rank in the global
distrubition) they would have to track more things (thus encouraging more
use).

Ideas?

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 12:19 PM, David Ernst david@dsernst.com wrote:

Interesting. What’s the measure for ranking?

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 3:18 PM, Brian Ball ideabrian@gmail.com wrote:

Re: Social Status

I’m not good at BeeMinding. I don’t know what. I’m akratic. Am I
apathetic? Am I just not conditioned to respond appropriately?

However, I can think of a way that would be fun for me to participate.

  1. Give BeeMinding a social status and rank.

If I see I’m 10,203 out of 10,300 - well, I can see I’ve got 10,000+
people I can “learn” from. That ability to connect and learn with people
that are just a few steps ahead of me would be invaluable.

It would give me motivation, social interaction, and data. Also, the
nature of competition speaks to our lizard brain. We want to win the
’battle’ for survival and so it helps heighten our ‘focus’ (which is
probably my biggest challenge with all this.)

So, speak to my lizard brain directly - and you can have all my money.

-Brian

On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 2:15 PM, David Ernst david@ernsts.us wrote:

Hear you on the point that offering credit could soften the stingy-ness
of derailments. BUT what does that lead to? Maybe it takes a $10 pledge to
offer the same sting as $5 now. Thanks to
http://blog.beeminder.com/exponential/ & http://blog.beeminder.com/nwo/
that’s just one derailment away :slight_smile:

The automatically increasing nature of pledges would still adjust to
Most Effective Sting.

And in the process they get more opportunity to upgrade and y’all get
more return for all your hard work.

On Monday, July 14, 2014 4:24:31 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Alex and David E, thank you so much for this! Brilliant ideas here.
This is going to hugely helpful as we put more love into premium
plans. I too am curious about others’ thoughts on the idea of counting
pledges as credits toward premium. I actually mentioned that
possibility to Bethany the other day (I’m not sure who first had the
idea but it’s been kicking around a long time – probably originated
on this list) and she recoiled in horror. It is dangerous because it
softens the stingy-ness of derailments.

I agree about TagTime. Note that it’s open-source –
github.com/dreeves/TagTime – so we’d love to entice you to help us
give it the love it desperately needs. :slight_smile:

On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 3:54 AM, David Ernst da...@ernsts.us wrote:

Hi all,

I was going to link to Patio11’s beloved
https://training.kalzumeus.com/newsletters/archive/saas_pricing.
Glad you
guys are already thinking along those lines.

Reviewing Patrick’s post again, and looking at the plans/pricing as
they are
now, I can’t help but notice a major gap: It’s unclear to me what
"Bee
Lite", “Plan B”, “Beemium”, and “Beekeeper” translate to. Seriously,
I’m
baffled.

Patrick’s over there trying to make the point: Segment your
customers! Who
are they and how do they get value from you? What did they come to
you for
and what do they want??

And all I see from these plans is Plan A, B, C, & D. So they’re
ordered,
sure, but who are they for? I certainly don’t know which of these
categories
I fit into. In the current scheme or the new one you propose. And
note,
I’ve been a user for months, & read nearly all your blog posts,
discussions
here, FAQs, etc, and still this leaves me confused.

Just throwing this out there, I would imagine segmentation more
along the
lines of:

New Bee: “Dip your toes into world of Beeminder”. (No subscription
cost)

The core Beeminder experience. The free plan that new users start
off on.
Basic commitment pledges, a few private goals, & less (than now,
even)
things to distract one with.

Worker Bee: “Be even more productive, with less work”. ($10/mo?
$20? idk,
test it!)

“Pro” things like unlimited private Beeminds, custom goals,
auto-ratcheting,
configurable ratcheting, SMS integration, weaselproofing, tips of
the day.

Super Bee: “All the things.” ($35/mo? Dunno)

The fun toys for the true lover of quantified-self. Free
short-circuiting,
unlimited free-bees (for more experimentation), change goal URLs,
"fancy
data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving average line (HT
Paul
Fenwick) ", “expose more advanced settings”, early access to test
out new
features.

What you currently list as Beekeeper, separate out into a more
distinct
product. Don’t confuse it with the plans. Because it’s not really
the same,
right? A human beeing (ha). Fundamentally different from any of the
plans.
Maybe joining the Beekeeper program could include a 30-day trial of
Super
Bee as an additional perk, and then half price on all plans after
that. But
I would try to separate it otherwise from the subscription plans.
Because
you know, one is increased software options, and one is a person
that gives
their time to you. And I’m not sure the two are so directly related.
E.g. I
could see more Free Plan users buying coaching, even though they
don’t need
more software features, but the current ascending list confuses them
away.

Also, I would make it clearer that you’re getting a Beekeeper. The
way it’s
currently written on the Premium Plans page suggests the user is the
Beekeeper. I think it would be more compelling to say “A beekeeper
to take
care of you”. Maybe this is just semantics, yet right now I default
to
reading the listing not as “want someone to look after you?” but
"want to
make bees your occupation?". Subconsciously, it feels like more
work.

On a different note, I’m very curious how these premium plans
intersect with
pledge revenue. My hunch is that signing up for premium would cause
a user
to Beemind more things (thank you sunk cost fallacy). Thus more
pledge’d
money at stake, and (thus?) more pledged revenue. Does raising the
price of
these plans cause less people to take their relationship to the next
stage,
and then also hurt pledge revenue? In other words, does optimizing
subscription revenue come at a cost of pledge revenue? Of course,
I’m making
too many uninformed assumptions…

Thinking more on this theme, what about using money delivered from
pledges
as credit to spend on the premium plans? Thus avoiding the potential
zero-sum dilemma above. And the user feels a bit less bad
financially when
they fall off the road, because they can still “use” those credits
towards
premium. Maybe they’ll put more money on the line, because “hey, if
I fail,
then at least I can still use it for a premium subscription!” And
then more
New Bees convert to premium status, great! And all the while,
Beeminder Inc
doesn’t lose revenue from this arrangement because the money still
gets
charged, and for the most part those premium features have trivial
marginal
cost. It’s just letting the pledged money go farther (get double
"spent").
Is this too radical? Maybe. Would love to hear others’ opinions on
it.

One last thing. Without changing the subject too much, if we’re
still
talking about finding more sources of revenue, I would strongly
suggest
giving TagTime some love. It seems like there is a seriously great
product
there. And such a perfect complement to what Beeminder already
offers. Why
not bring it into the family more tightly? It clear from reading
your blogs
etc that you guys make such heavy usage of it, but I wonder how many
users
do too? I don’t know! I haven’t even ever been able to get it
working
(Windows & iOS – ugh, I know). Yet it seems to hold such promise.
If it was
more of a 1-click install (“Beeminder Desktop”), and offered a
no-bullshit
GUI decoupled from cmd, it could be much more accessible for the
average
Beeminder. And seriously improve the value of the whole package for
the
user.

— My 02¢. Hope this helps.

On Saturday, July 12, 2014 2:43:26 PM UTC-4, Alex Schell wrote:

In my view you could bundle retroratchet, configurable
retroratchet, and

auto-trimming of safety buffer at the same premium level, or maybe
just move

retroratchet to Bee Lite. These all feel like advanced tools that
are nice

to have but aren’t essential to beeminding. (My guess is that
retroratchet

is relatively rarely used to non-premium users, and that the
advanced

retroratchet features wouldn’t be used much by the non-premium user
population even if they could use them.)

Re: private graphs, why not treat these like you do freebees? 2-4
free

secret goals would be reasonable IMO, and this takes care of the
concern

that enforced public goals are a barrier to initial beeminding. If
you do

this, consider not displaying mystery goals in people’s galleries.

Have you thought about offering free trials of premium plans?

On Thursday, July 10, 2014 4:52:02 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

This is super valuable feedback! Let me quote ourselves from
blog.beeminder.com/premium (under “No Carrots For You”):

Seriously, we are all about the stick. We do not intend to hold
important features as dangling carrots. Premium plans are still an
experiment but we’re committed to keeping the non-premium
Beeminder a

highly functional tool for maximizing the awesomeness of humans
prone

to procrastination and other forms of akrasia. In fact, the only
things that we’re going to charge for are:

  1. Features that directly thwart our revenue model, i.e.,
    unlimited

freebees and free short-circuiting (or in the future: choosing the
beneficiary of your commitment contract [1])
2. Things that may confuse newbees (we’re not sure yet whether
customizable retroratcheting and auto-ratcheting fall in this
category)
3. Goodies that are incidental to the process of beeminding, like
fitness

tips
4. Things that cost us money to provide (we may make the SMS bot a
premium feature for this reason)

I hope I didn’t overcommit us with that. I no longer think that
"the

free version of Beeminder must be a fully functional anti-akrasia
tool" is an important principle. I might like the idea that anyone
who’s at all serious about Beeminder should be premium, which is
obviously not the case now. In any case, here’s a list of possible
current features to make premium:

  1. SMS bot (HT dyang)
  2. Retroratchet
  3. Take A Break
  4. fancy data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving
    average

line (HT Paul Fenwick)
5. private graphs
6. beeminder.com/widgets
7. weaselproofing
8. no-mercy recommit
9. auto-quit
10. fine print
11. supporters
12. panic threshold
13. goal unit rescaling

And here are potential future premium features:

  1. choose a beneficiary or at least charity percentage
  2. zeno SMS (could also think about international SMS, which
    costs

more and has to be set up for each country in twilio)
16. super exclusive google group (maybe akratics anonymous could
become that after moving to discourse?)
17. expose more advanced settings
18. weasel-immunity (opposite of weaselproofing, where you can
self-service cancel charges and undo recommit)
19. expose more advanced settings
20. profile badges? (HT dyang)
21. early access to new features? (HT dyang)

[1] http://blog.beeminder.com/premium/#BEN

On Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 12:48 PM, David MacIver <
da...@drmaciver.com>

wrote:

On 10 July 2014 21:36, Daniel Reeves dre...@beeminder.com
wrote:

One more item for consideration: What if we added a Fuzzy Buzzy
plan

at $2/mo (less than 7 cents a day!) with the only perk being
the warm

fuzzy feeling of supporting Beeminder (maybe also tips of the
day)?

So one problem I think is that honestly the premium plans all
mostly

feel
like this anyway.

You’ve built a really good service that I like a lot… the
problem is

that
basically all the things I like are present in the free plan,
and

everything
added by the premium plans is pretty uninteresting on top of
that.

(OTOH you’ve reminded me that I do like the service enough to
support

it
more than the measly $5/month I was paying, so I’ve upgraded my
account

anyway)

Obviously this is massive backseat driving and you should feel
free to

ignore everything I say, especially as I have literally no idea
what

your
user patterns look like, but I rather feel like you might be
better off

removing functionality from the free plan into the bee lite plan
than

raising the prices on the premium ones.


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Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


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the machine as more than when you were first led up to it, that you can
make it more. (Alan J. Perlis)


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#37

I’m not super keen on the idea of rankings. The problem is that beeminder
is only really useful relative to how hard it is for you to stick to the
goals on your own. If you make a game of it then it just provides
incentives to “cheat”. e.g. if you were to use days since derail as a
metric of “success” you’d just be providing people who cared about their
social ranking with an incentive against harder goals.

(I mean, obviously to a certain degree, the pledges themselves already
count as that, but it feels like there’s something fundamentally different
here)

On 15 July 2014 21:53, Jeff Alexander analyticphilosophy@gmail.com wrote:

days_since_derail, maybe scaled against total number of beeminded goals?

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 3:25 PM, Brian Ball ideabrian@gmail.com wrote:

Right. To rank people, you’d have to have rankings for an activity.

Steps taken with FitBit. Hours slept with Zeo? Number of YouTube
followers? BMI?

Rather than having the whole social rank concept be overwhelming - we
could certainly start with a single, trackable thing that most people can
engage with (walking, writing, tweeting).

We won’t all care about all the trackables - so there should be points
that could accumulate to an overall rank. Maybe somebody is #1 in steps per
day - but they don’t BeeMind anything else - so they only get 1000 points
for that category. If they want more points (to rank in the global
distrubition) they would have to track more things (thus encouraging more
use).

Ideas?

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 12:19 PM, David Ernst david@dsernst.com wrote:

Interesting. What’s the measure for ranking?

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 3:18 PM, Brian Ball ideabrian@gmail.com wrote:

Re: Social Status

I’m not good at BeeMinding. I don’t know what. I’m akratic. Am I
apathetic? Am I just not conditioned to respond appropriately?

However, I can think of a way that would be fun for me to participate.

  1. Give BeeMinding a social status and rank.

If I see I’m 10,203 out of 10,300 - well, I can see I’ve got 10,000+
people I can “learn” from. That ability to connect and learn with people
that are just a few steps ahead of me would be invaluable.

It would give me motivation, social interaction, and data. Also, the
nature of competition speaks to our lizard brain. We want to win the
’battle’ for survival and so it helps heighten our ‘focus’ (which is
probably my biggest challenge with all this.)

So, speak to my lizard brain directly - and you can have all my money.

-Brian

On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 2:15 PM, David Ernst david@ernsts.us wrote:

Hear you on the point that offering credit could soften the
stingy-ness of derailments. BUT what does that lead to? Maybe it takes a
$10 pledge to offer the same sting as $5 now. Thanks to
http://blog.beeminder.com/exponential/ &
http://blog.beeminder.com/nwo/ that’s just one derailment away :slight_smile:

The automatically increasing nature of pledges would still adjust to
Most Effective Sting.

And in the process they get more opportunity to upgrade and y’all get
more return for all your hard work.

On Monday, July 14, 2014 4:24:31 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Alex and David E, thank you so much for this! Brilliant ideas here.
This is going to hugely helpful as we put more love into premium
plans. I too am curious about others’ thoughts on the idea of
counting
pledges as credits toward premium. I actually mentioned that
possibility to Bethany the other day (I’m not sure who first had the
idea but it’s been kicking around a long time – probably originated
on this list) and she recoiled in horror. It is dangerous because it
softens the stingy-ness of derailments.

I agree about TagTime. Note that it’s open-source –
github.com/dreeves/TagTime – so we’d love to entice you to help us
give it the love it desperately needs. :slight_smile:

On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 3:54 AM, David Ernst da...@ernsts.us
wrote:

Hi all,

I was going to link to Patio11’s beloved
https://training.kalzumeus.com/newsletters/archive/saas_pricing.
Glad you
guys are already thinking along those lines.

Reviewing Patrick’s post again, and looking at the plans/pricing as
they are
now, I can’t help but notice a major gap: It’s unclear to me what
"Bee
Lite", “Plan B”, “Beemium”, and “Beekeeper” translate to.
Seriously, I’m
baffled.

Patrick’s over there trying to make the point: Segment your
customers! Who
are they and how do they get value from you? What did they come to
you for
and what do they want??

And all I see from these plans is Plan A, B, C, & D. So they’re
ordered,
sure, but who are they for? I certainly don’t know which of these
categories
I fit into. In the current scheme or the new one you propose. And
note,
I’ve been a user for months, & read nearly all your blog posts,
discussions
here, FAQs, etc, and still this leaves me confused.

Just throwing this out there, I would imagine segmentation more
along the
lines of:

New Bee: “Dip your toes into world of Beeminder”. (No subscription
cost)

The core Beeminder experience. The free plan that new users start
off on.
Basic commitment pledges, a few private goals, & less (than now,
even)
things to distract one with.

Worker Bee: “Be even more productive, with less work”. ($10/mo?
$20? idk,
test it!)

“Pro” things like unlimited private Beeminds, custom goals,
auto-ratcheting,
configurable ratcheting, SMS integration, weaselproofing, tips of
the day.

Super Bee: “All the things.” ($35/mo? Dunno)

The fun toys for the true lover of quantified-self. Free
short-circuiting,
unlimited free-bees (for more experimentation), change goal URLs,
"fancy
data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving average line (HT
Paul
Fenwick) ", “expose more advanced settings”, early access to test
out new
features.

What you currently list as Beekeeper, separate out into a more
distinct
product. Don’t confuse it with the plans. Because it’s not really
the same,
right? A human beeing (ha). Fundamentally different from any of the
plans.
Maybe joining the Beekeeper program could include a 30-day trial of
Super
Bee as an additional perk, and then half price on all plans after
that. But
I would try to separate it otherwise from the subscription plans.
Because
you know, one is increased software options, and one is a person
that gives
their time to you. And I’m not sure the two are so directly
related. E.g. I
could see more Free Plan users buying coaching, even though they
don’t need
more software features, but the current ascending list confuses
them away.

Also, I would make it clearer that you’re getting a Beekeeper. The
way it’s
currently written on the Premium Plans page suggests the user is
the
Beekeeper. I think it would be more compelling to say “A beekeeper
to take
care of you”. Maybe this is just semantics, yet right now I default
to
reading the listing not as “want someone to look after you?” but
"want to
make bees your occupation?". Subconsciously, it feels like more
work.

On a different note, I’m very curious how these premium plans
intersect with
pledge revenue. My hunch is that signing up for premium would cause
a user
to Beemind more things (thank you sunk cost fallacy). Thus more
pledge’d
money at stake, and (thus?) more pledged revenue. Does raising the
price of
these plans cause less people to take their relationship to the
next stage,
and then also hurt pledge revenue? In other words, does optimizing
subscription revenue come at a cost of pledge revenue? Of course,
I’m making
too many uninformed assumptions…

Thinking more on this theme, what about using money delivered from
pledges
as credit to spend on the premium plans? Thus avoiding the
potential
zero-sum dilemma above. And the user feels a bit less bad
financially when
they fall off the road, because they can still “use” those credits
towards
premium. Maybe they’ll put more money on the line, because “hey, if
I fail,
then at least I can still use it for a premium subscription!” And
then more
New Bees convert to premium status, great! And all the while,
Beeminder Inc
doesn’t lose revenue from this arrangement because the money still
gets
charged, and for the most part those premium features have trivial
marginal
cost. It’s just letting the pledged money go farther (get double
"spent").
Is this too radical? Maybe. Would love to hear others’ opinions on
it.

One last thing. Without changing the subject too much, if we’re
still
talking about finding more sources of revenue, I would strongly
suggest
giving TagTime some love. It seems like there is a seriously
great product
there. And such a perfect complement to what Beeminder already
offers. Why
not bring it into the family more tightly? It clear from reading
your blogs
etc that you guys make such heavy usage of it, but I wonder how
many users
do too? I don’t know! I haven’t even ever been able to get it
working
(Windows & iOS – ugh, I know). Yet it seems to hold such promise.
If it was
more of a 1-click install (“Beeminder Desktop”), and offered a
no-bullshit
GUI decoupled from cmd, it could be much more accessible for the
average
Beeminder. And seriously improve the value of the whole package for
the
user.

— My 02¢. Hope this helps.

On Saturday, July 12, 2014 2:43:26 PM UTC-4, Alex Schell wrote:

In my view you could bundle retroratchet, configurable
retroratchet, and

auto-trimming of safety buffer at the same premium level, or maybe
just move

retroratchet to Bee Lite. These all feel like advanced tools that
are nice

to have but aren’t essential to beeminding. (My guess is that
retroratchet

is relatively rarely used to non-premium users, and that the
advanced

retroratchet features wouldn’t be used much by the non-premium
user

population even if they could use them.)

Re: private graphs, why not treat these like you do freebees? 2-4
free

secret goals would be reasonable IMO, and this takes care of the
concern

that enforced public goals are a barrier to initial beeminding. If
you do

this, consider not displaying mystery goals in people’s galleries.

Have you thought about offering free trials of premium plans?

On Thursday, July 10, 2014 4:52:02 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

This is super valuable feedback! Let me quote ourselves from
blog.beeminder.com/premium (under “No Carrots For You”):

Seriously, we are all about the stick. We do not intend to hold
important features as dangling carrots. Premium plans are still
an

experiment but we’re committed to keeping the non-premium
Beeminder a

highly functional tool for maximizing the awesomeness of humans
prone

to procrastination and other forms of akrasia. In fact, the only
things that we’re going to charge for are:

  1. Features that directly thwart our revenue model, i.e.,
    unlimited

freebees and free short-circuiting (or in the future: choosing
the

beneficiary of your commitment contract [1])
2. Things that may confuse newbees (we’re not sure yet whether
customizable retroratcheting and auto-ratcheting fall in this
category)
3. Goodies that are incidental to the process of beeminding, like
fitness

tips
4. Things that cost us money to provide (we may make the SMS bot
a

premium feature for this reason)

I hope I didn’t overcommit us with that. I no longer think that
"the

free version of Beeminder must be a fully functional anti-akrasia
tool" is an important principle. I might like the idea that
anyone

who’s at all serious about Beeminder should be premium, which is
obviously not the case now. In any case, here’s a list of
possible

current features to make premium:

  1. SMS bot (HT dyang)
  2. Retroratchet
  3. Take A Break
  4. fancy data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving
    average

line (HT Paul Fenwick)
5. private graphs
6. beeminder.com/widgets
7. weaselproofing
8. no-mercy recommit
9. auto-quit
10. fine print
11. supporters
12. panic threshold
13. goal unit rescaling

And here are potential future premium features:

  1. choose a beneficiary or at least charity percentage
  2. zeno SMS (could also think about international SMS, which
    costs

more and has to be set up for each country in twilio)
16. super exclusive google group (maybe akratics anonymous could
become that after moving to discourse?)
17. expose more advanced settings
18. weasel-immunity (opposite of weaselproofing, where you can
self-service cancel charges and undo recommit)
19. expose more advanced settings
20. profile badges? (HT dyang)
21. early access to new features? (HT dyang)

[1] http://blog.beeminder.com/premium/#BEN

On Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 12:48 PM, David MacIver <
da...@drmaciver.com>

wrote:

On 10 July 2014 21:36, Daniel Reeves dre...@beeminder.com
wrote:

One more item for consideration: What if we added a Fuzzy
Buzzy plan

at $2/mo (less than 7 cents a day!) with the only perk being
the warm

fuzzy feeling of supporting Beeminder (maybe also tips of the
day)?

So one problem I think is that honestly the premium plans all
mostly

feel
like this anyway.

You’ve built a really good service that I like a lot… the
problem is

that
basically all the things I like are present in the free plan,
and

everything
added by the premium plans is pretty uninteresting on top of
that.

(OTOH you’ve reminded me that I do like the service enough to
support

it
more than the measly $5/month I was paying, so I’ve upgraded my
account

anyway)

Obviously this is massive backseat driving and you should feel
free to

ignore everything I say, especially as I have literally no idea
what

your
user patterns look like, but I rather feel like you might be
better off

removing functionality from the free plan into the bee lite
plan than

raising the prices on the premium ones.


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Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


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see the machine as more than when you were first led up to it, that you can
make it more. (Alan J. Perlis)


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#38

I agree with David MacIver. My suggestion of a metric should not be taken
as an endorsement of the existence of such metrics.

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 4:11 PM, David MacIver david@drmaciver.com wrote:

I’m not super keen on the idea of rankings. The problem is that beeminder
is only really useful relative to how hard it is for you to stick to the
goals on your own. If you make a game of it then it just provides
incentives to “cheat”. e.g. if you were to use days since derail as a
metric of “success” you’d just be providing people who cared about their
social ranking with an incentive against harder goals.

(I mean, obviously to a certain degree, the pledges themselves already
count as that, but it feels like there’s something fundamentally different
here)

On 15 July 2014 21:53, Jeff Alexander analyticphilosophy@gmail.com
wrote:

days_since_derail, maybe scaled against total number of beeminded goals?

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 3:25 PM, Brian Ball ideabrian@gmail.com wrote:

Right. To rank people, you’d have to have rankings for an activity.

Steps taken with FitBit. Hours slept with Zeo? Number of YouTube
followers? BMI?

Rather than having the whole social rank concept be overwhelming - we
could certainly start with a single, trackable thing that most people can
engage with (walking, writing, tweeting).

We won’t all care about all the trackables - so there should be points
that could accumulate to an overall rank. Maybe somebody is #1 in steps per
day - but they don’t BeeMind anything else - so they only get 1000 points
for that category. If they want more points (to rank in the global
distrubition) they would have to track more things (thus encouraging more
use).

Ideas?

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 12:19 PM, David Ernst david@dsernst.com wrote:

Interesting. What’s the measure for ranking?

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 3:18 PM, Brian Ball ideabrian@gmail.com
wrote:

Re: Social Status

I’m not good at BeeMinding. I don’t know what. I’m akratic. Am I
apathetic? Am I just not conditioned to respond appropriately?

However, I can think of a way that would be fun for me to participate.

  1. Give BeeMinding a social status and rank.

If I see I’m 10,203 out of 10,300 - well, I can see I’ve got 10,000+
people I can “learn” from. That ability to connect and learn with people
that are just a few steps ahead of me would be invaluable.

It would give me motivation, social interaction, and data. Also, the
nature of competition speaks to our lizard brain. We want to win the
’battle’ for survival and so it helps heighten our ‘focus’ (which is
probably my biggest challenge with all this.)

So, speak to my lizard brain directly - and you can have all my money.

-Brian

On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 2:15 PM, David Ernst david@ernsts.us wrote:

Hear you on the point that offering credit could soften the
stingy-ness of derailments. BUT what does that lead to? Maybe it takes a
$10 pledge to offer the same sting as $5 now. Thanks to
http://blog.beeminder.com/exponential/ &
http://blog.beeminder.com/nwo/ that’s just one derailment away :slight_smile:

The automatically increasing nature of pledges would still adjust to
Most Effective Sting.

And in the process they get more opportunity to upgrade and y’all get
more return for all your hard work.

On Monday, July 14, 2014 4:24:31 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Alex and David E, thank you so much for this! Brilliant ideas here.
This is going to hugely helpful as we put more love into premium
plans. I too am curious about others’ thoughts on the idea of
counting
pledges as credits toward premium. I actually mentioned that
possibility to Bethany the other day (I’m not sure who first had the
idea but it’s been kicking around a long time – probably originated
on this list) and she recoiled in horror. It is dangerous because it
softens the stingy-ness of derailments.

I agree about TagTime. Note that it’s open-source –
github.com/dreeves/TagTime – so we’d love to entice you to help us
give it the love it desperately needs. :slight_smile:

On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 3:54 AM, David Ernst da...@ernsts.us
wrote:

Hi all,

I was going to link to Patio11’s beloved
https://training.kalzumeus.com/newsletters/archive/saas_pricing.
Glad you
guys are already thinking along those lines.

Reviewing Patrick’s post again, and looking at the plans/pricing
as they are
now, I can’t help but notice a major gap: It’s unclear to me what
"Bee
Lite", “Plan B”, “Beemium”, and “Beekeeper” translate to.
Seriously, I’m
baffled.

Patrick’s over there trying to make the point: Segment your
customers! Who
are they and how do they get value from you? What did they come to
you for
and what do they want??

And all I see from these plans is Plan A, B, C, & D. So they’re
ordered,
sure, but who are they for? I certainly don’t know which of these
categories
I fit into. In the current scheme or the new one you propose.
And note,
I’ve been a user for months, & read nearly all your blog posts,
discussions
here, FAQs, etc, and still this leaves me confused.

Just throwing this out there, I would imagine segmentation more
along the
lines of:

New Bee: “Dip your toes into world of Beeminder”. (No subscription
cost)

The core Beeminder experience. The free plan that new users start
off on.
Basic commitment pledges, a few private goals, & less (than now,
even)
things to distract one with.

Worker Bee: “Be even more productive, with less work”. ($10/mo?
$20? idk,
test it!)

“Pro” things like unlimited private Beeminds, custom goals,
auto-ratcheting,
configurable ratcheting, SMS integration, weaselproofing, tips of
the day.

Super Bee: “All the things.” ($35/mo? Dunno)

The fun toys for the true lover of quantified-self. Free
short-circuiting,
unlimited free-bees (for more experimentation), change goal URLs,
"fancy
data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving average line
(HT Paul
Fenwick) ", “expose more advanced settings”, early access to test
out new
features.

What you currently list as Beekeeper, separate out into a more
distinct
product. Don’t confuse it with the plans. Because it’s not really
the same,
right? A human beeing (ha). Fundamentally different from any of
the plans.
Maybe joining the Beekeeper program could include a 30-day trial
of Super
Bee as an additional perk, and then half price on all plans after
that. But
I would try to separate it otherwise from the subscription plans.
Because
you know, one is increased software options, and one is a person
that gives
their time to you. And I’m not sure the two are so directly
related. E.g. I
could see more Free Plan users buying coaching, even though they
don’t need
more software features, but the current ascending list confuses
them away.

Also, I would make it clearer that you’re getting a Beekeeper. The
way it’s
currently written on the Premium Plans page suggests the user is
the
Beekeeper. I think it would be more compelling to say “A beekeeper
to take
care of you”. Maybe this is just semantics, yet right now I
default to
reading the listing not as “want someone to look after you?” but
"want to
make bees your occupation?". Subconsciously, it feels like more
work.

On a different note, I’m very curious how these premium plans
intersect with
pledge revenue. My hunch is that signing up for premium would
cause a user
to Beemind more things (thank you sunk cost fallacy). Thus more
pledge’d
money at stake, and (thus?) more pledged revenue. Does raising the
price of
these plans cause less people to take their relationship to the
next stage,
and then also hurt pledge revenue? In other words, does optimizing
subscription revenue come at a cost of pledge revenue? Of course,
I’m making
too many uninformed assumptions…

Thinking more on this theme, what about using money delivered from
pledges
as credit to spend on the premium plans? Thus avoiding the
potential
zero-sum dilemma above. And the user feels a bit less bad
financially when
they fall off the road, because they can still “use” those credits
towards
premium. Maybe they’ll put more money on the line, because “hey,
if I fail,
then at least I can still use it for a premium subscription!” And
then more
New Bees convert to premium status, great! And all the while,
Beeminder Inc
doesn’t lose revenue from this arrangement because the money still
gets
charged, and for the most part those premium features have trivial
marginal
cost. It’s just letting the pledged money go farther (get double
"spent").
Is this too radical? Maybe. Would love to hear others’ opinions on
it.

One last thing. Without changing the subject too much, if we’re
still
talking about finding more sources of revenue, I would strongly
suggest
giving TagTime some love. It seems like there is a seriously
great product
there. And such a perfect complement to what Beeminder already
offers. Why
not bring it into the family more tightly? It clear from reading
your blogs
etc that you guys make such heavy usage of it, but I wonder how
many users
do too? I don’t know! I haven’t even ever been able to get it
working
(Windows & iOS – ugh, I know). Yet it seems to hold such promise.
If it was
more of a 1-click install (“Beeminder Desktop”), and offered a
no-bullshit
GUI decoupled from cmd, it could be much more accessible for the
average
Beeminder. And seriously improve the value of the whole package
for the
user.

— My 02¢. Hope this helps.

On Saturday, July 12, 2014 2:43:26 PM UTC-4, Alex Schell wrote:

In my view you could bundle retroratchet, configurable
retroratchet, and

auto-trimming of safety buffer at the same premium level, or
maybe just move

retroratchet to Bee Lite. These all feel like advanced tools that
are nice

to have but aren’t essential to beeminding. (My guess is that
retroratchet

is relatively rarely used to non-premium users, and that the
advanced

retroratchet features wouldn’t be used much by the non-premium
user

population even if they could use them.)

Re: private graphs, why not treat these like you do freebees? 2-4
free

secret goals would be reasonable IMO, and this takes care of the
concern

that enforced public goals are a barrier to initial beeminding.
If you do

this, consider not displaying mystery goals in people’s
galleries.

Have you thought about offering free trials of premium plans?

On Thursday, July 10, 2014 4:52:02 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

This is super valuable feedback! Let me quote ourselves from
blog.beeminder.com/premium (under “No Carrots For You”):

Seriously, we are all about the stick. We do not intend to hold
important features as dangling carrots. Premium plans are still
an

experiment but we’re committed to keeping the non-premium
Beeminder a

highly functional tool for maximizing the awesomeness of humans
prone

to procrastination and other forms of akrasia. In fact, the only
things that we’re going to charge for are:

  1. Features that directly thwart our revenue model, i.e.,
    unlimited

freebees and free short-circuiting (or in the future: choosing
the

beneficiary of your commitment contract [1])
2. Things that may confuse newbees (we’re not sure yet whether
customizable retroratcheting and auto-ratcheting fall in this
category)
3. Goodies that are incidental to the process of beeminding,
like fitness

tips
4. Things that cost us money to provide (we may make the SMS bot
a

premium feature for this reason)

I hope I didn’t overcommit us with that. I no longer think that
"the

free version of Beeminder must be a fully functional
anti-akrasia

tool" is an important principle. I might like the idea that
anyone

who’s at all serious about Beeminder should be premium, which is
obviously not the case now. In any case, here’s a list of
possible

current features to make premium:

  1. SMS bot (HT dyang)
  2. Retroratchet
  3. Take A Break
  4. fancy data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving
    average

line (HT Paul Fenwick)
5. private graphs
6. beeminder.com/widgets
7. weaselproofing
8. no-mercy recommit
9. auto-quit
10. fine print
11. supporters
12. panic threshold
13. goal unit rescaling

And here are potential future premium features:

  1. choose a beneficiary or at least charity percentage
  2. zeno SMS (could also think about international SMS, which
    costs

more and has to be set up for each country in twilio)
16. super exclusive google group (maybe akratics anonymous could
become that after moving to discourse?)
17. expose more advanced settings
18. weasel-immunity (opposite of weaselproofing, where you can
self-service cancel charges and undo recommit)
19. expose more advanced settings
20. profile badges? (HT dyang)
21. early access to new features? (HT dyang)

[1] http://blog.beeminder.com/premium/#BEN

On Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 12:48 PM, David MacIver <
da...@drmaciver.com>

wrote:

On 10 July 2014 21:36, Daniel Reeves dre...@beeminder.com
wrote:

One more item for consideration: What if we added a Fuzzy
Buzzy plan

at $2/mo (less than 7 cents a day!) with the only perk being
the warm

fuzzy feeling of supporting Beeminder (maybe also tips of the
day)?

So one problem I think is that honestly the premium plans all
mostly

feel
like this anyway.

You’ve built a really good service that I like a lot… the
problem is

that
basically all the things I like are present in the free plan,
and

everything
added by the premium plans is pretty uninteresting on top of
that.

(OTOH you’ve reminded me that I do like the service enough to
support

it
more than the measly $5/month I was paying, so I’ve upgraded
my account

anyway)

Obviously this is massive backseat driving and you should feel
free to

ignore everything I say, especially as I have literally no
idea what

your
user patterns look like, but I rather feel like you might be
better off

removing functionality from the free plan into the bee lite
plan than

raising the prices on the premium ones.


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see the machine as more than when you were first led up to it, that you can
make it more. (Alan J. Perlis)


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What’s in your hands, I think and hope, is intelligence: the ability to see
the machine as more than when you were first led up to it, that you can
make it more. (Alan J. Perlis)


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#39

Brian, thanks for this idea, even though I’m tentatively siding with
David and Jeff. We’re being super slow on social features because
Bethany and I mostly hate that stuff. :slight_smile: We finally added the
Supporters feature a while back though –
blog.beeminder.com/supporters – and next we’ll probably at least add
an easy way to share progress on facebook or something. After we have
basic stuff like that in place we’ll revisit ideas like leaderboards.
Oh, group goals is another thing that we’re tempted to add sooner
rather than later. (Just a dirt simple version where multiple people
can add datapoints to a single graph and they all get charged if it
derails.) We’d love to get a sense of how many people are clamoring
for that. Upvoting and adding thoughts uservoice would be a good way
to do that: http://beeminder.uservoice.com/forums/3011-general/suggestions/2528624-group-goals-on-user-page-by-user-defined-categorie

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 1:12 PM, Jeff Alexander
analyticphilosophy@gmail.com wrote:

I agree with David MacIver. My suggestion of a metric should not be taken as
an endorsement of the existence of such metrics.

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 4:11 PM, David MacIver david@drmaciver.com wrote:

I’m not super keen on the idea of rankings. The problem is that beeminder
is only really useful relative to how hard it is for you to stick to the
goals on your own. If you make a game of it then it just provides incentives
to “cheat”. e.g. if you were to use days since derail as a metric of
"success" you’d just be providing people who cared about their social
ranking with an incentive against harder goals.

(I mean, obviously to a certain degree, the pledges themselves already
count as that, but it feels like there’s something fundamentally different
here)

On 15 July 2014 21:53, Jeff Alexander analyticphilosophy@gmail.com
wrote:

days_since_derail, maybe scaled against total number of beeminded goals?

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 3:25 PM, Brian Ball ideabrian@gmail.com wrote:

Right. To rank people, you’d have to have rankings for an activity.

Steps taken with FitBit. Hours slept with Zeo? Number of YouTube
followers? BMI?

Rather than having the whole social rank concept be overwhelming - we
could certainly start with a single, trackable thing that most people can
engage with (walking, writing, tweeting).

We won’t all care about all the trackables - so there should be points
that could accumulate to an overall rank. Maybe somebody is #1 in steps per
day - but they don’t BeeMind anything else - so they only get 1000 points
for that category. If they want more points (to rank in the global
distrubition) they would have to track more things (thus encouraging more
use).

Ideas?

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 12:19 PM, David Ernst david@dsernst.com wrote:

Interesting. What’s the measure for ranking?

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 3:18 PM, Brian Ball ideabrian@gmail.com
wrote:

Re: Social Status

I’m not good at BeeMinding. I don’t know what. I’m akratic. Am I
apathetic? Am I just not conditioned to respond appropriately?

However, I can think of a way that would be fun for me to participate.

  1. Give BeeMinding a social status and rank.

If I see I’m 10,203 out of 10,300 - well, I can see I’ve got 10,000+
people I can “learn” from. That ability to connect and learn with people
that are just a few steps ahead of me would be invaluable.

It would give me motivation, social interaction, and data. Also, the
nature of competition speaks to our lizard brain. We want to win the
’battle’ for survival and so it helps heighten our ‘focus’ (which is
probably my biggest challenge with all this.)

So, speak to my lizard brain directly - and you can have all my money.

-Brian

On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 2:15 PM, David Ernst david@ernsts.us wrote:

Hear you on the point that offering credit could soften the
stingy-ness of derailments. BUT what does that lead to? Maybe it takes a $10
pledge to offer the same sting as $5 now. Thanks to
http://blog.beeminder.com/exponential/ & http://blog.beeminder.com/nwo/
that’s just one derailment away :slight_smile:

The automatically increasing nature of pledges would still adjust to
Most Effective Sting.

And in the process they get more opportunity to upgrade and y’all get
more return for all your hard work.

On Monday, July 14, 2014 4:24:31 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Alex and David E, thank you so much for this! Brilliant ideas here.
This is going to hugely helpful as we put more love into premium
plans. I too am curious about others’ thoughts on the idea of
counting
pledges as credits toward premium. I actually mentioned that
possibility to Bethany the other day (I’m not sure who first had the
idea but it’s been kicking around a long time – probably originated
on this list) and she recoiled in horror. It is dangerous because it
softens the stingy-ness of derailments.

I agree about TagTime. Note that it’s open-source –
github.com/dreeves/TagTime – so we’d love to entice you to help us
give it the love it desperately needs. :slight_smile:

On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 3:54 AM, David Ernst da...@ernsts.us
wrote:

Hi all,

I was going to link to Patio11’s beloved
https://training.kalzumeus.com/newsletters/archive/saas_pricing.
Glad you
guys are already thinking along those lines.

Reviewing Patrick’s post again, and looking at the plans/pricing
as they are
now, I can’t help but notice a major gap: It’s unclear to me what
"Bee
Lite", “Plan B”, “Beemium”, and “Beekeeper” translate to.
Seriously, I’m
baffled.

Patrick’s over there trying to make the point: Segment your
customers! Who
are they and how do they get value from you? What did they come to
you for
and what do they want??

And all I see from these plans is Plan A, B, C, & D. So they’re
ordered,
sure, but who are they for? I certainly don’t know which of these
categories
I fit into. In the current scheme or the new one you propose.
And note,
I’ve been a user for months, & read nearly all your blog posts,
discussions
here, FAQs, etc, and still this leaves me confused.

Just throwing this out there, I would imagine segmentation more
along the
lines of:

New Bee: “Dip your toes into world of Beeminder”. (No subscription
cost)

The core Beeminder experience. The free plan that new users start
off on.
Basic commitment pledges, a few private goals, & less (than now,
even)
things to distract one with.

Worker Bee: “Be even more productive, with less work”. ($10/mo?
$20? idk,
test it!)

“Pro” things like unlimited private Beeminds, custom goals,
auto-ratcheting,
configurable ratcheting, SMS integration, weaselproofing, tips of
the day.

Super Bee: “All the things.” ($35/mo? Dunno)

The fun toys for the true lover of quantified-self. Free
short-circuiting,
unlimited free-bees (for more experimentation), change goal URLs,
"fancy
data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving average line
(HT Paul
Fenwick) ", “expose more advanced settings”, early access to test
out new
features.

What you currently list as Beekeeper, separate out into a more
distinct
product. Don’t confuse it with the plans. Because it’s not really
the same,
right? A human beeing (ha). Fundamentally different from any of
the plans.
Maybe joining the Beekeeper program could include a 30-day trial
of Super
Bee as an additional perk, and then half price on all plans after
that. But
I would try to separate it otherwise from the subscription plans.
Because
you know, one is increased software options, and one is a person
that gives
their time to you. And I’m not sure the two are so directly
related. E.g. I
could see more Free Plan users buying coaching, even though they
don’t need
more software features, but the current ascending list confuses
them away.

Also, I would make it clearer that you’re getting a Beekeeper. The
way it’s
currently written on the Premium Plans page suggests the user is
the
Beekeeper. I think it would be more compelling to say “A beekeeper
to take
care of you”. Maybe this is just semantics, yet right now I
default to
reading the listing not as “want someone to look after you?” but
"want to
make bees your occupation?". Subconsciously, it feels like more
work.

On a different note, I’m very curious how these premium plans
intersect with
pledge revenue. My hunch is that signing up for premium would
cause a user
to Beemind more things (thank you sunk cost fallacy). Thus more
pledge’d
money at stake, and (thus?) more pledged revenue. Does raising the
price of
these plans cause less people to take their relationship to the
next stage,
and then also hurt pledge revenue? In other words, does optimizing
subscription revenue come at a cost of pledge revenue? Of course,
I’m making
too many uninformed assumptions…

Thinking more on this theme, what about using money delivered from
pledges
as credit to spend on the premium plans? Thus avoiding the
potential
zero-sum dilemma above. And the user feels a bit less bad
financially when
they fall off the road, because they can still “use” those credits
towards
premium. Maybe they’ll put more money on the line, because “hey,
if I fail,
then at least I can still use it for a premium subscription!” And
then more
New Bees convert to premium status, great! And all the while,
Beeminder Inc
doesn’t lose revenue from this arrangement because the money still
gets
charged, and for the most part those premium features have trivial
marginal
cost. It’s just letting the pledged money go farther (get double
"spent").
Is this too radical? Maybe. Would love to hear others’ opinions on
it.

One last thing. Without changing the subject too much, if we’re
still
talking about finding more sources of revenue, I would strongly
suggest
giving TagTime some love. It seems like there is a seriously
great product
there. And such a perfect complement to what Beeminder already
offers. Why
not bring it into the family more tightly? It clear from reading
your blogs
etc that you guys make such heavy usage of it, but I wonder how
many users
do too? I don’t know! I haven’t even ever been able to get it
working
(Windows & iOS – ugh, I know). Yet it seems to hold such promise.
If it was
more of a 1-click install (“Beeminder Desktop”), and offered a
no-bullshit
GUI decoupled from cmd, it could be much more accessible for the
average
Beeminder. And seriously improve the value of the whole package
for the
user.

— My 02¢. Hope this helps.

On Saturday, July 12, 2014 2:43:26 PM UTC-4, Alex Schell wrote:

In my view you could bundle retroratchet, configurable
retroratchet, and
auto-trimming of safety buffer at the same premium level, or
maybe just move
retroratchet to Bee Lite. These all feel like advanced tools that
are nice
to have but aren’t essential to beeminding. (My guess is that
retroratchet
is relatively rarely used to non-premium users, and that the
advanced
retroratchet features wouldn’t be used much by the non-premium
user
population even if they could use them.)

Re: private graphs, why not treat these like you do freebees? 2-4
free
secret goals would be reasonable IMO, and this takes care of the
concern
that enforced public goals are a barrier to initial beeminding.
If you do
this, consider not displaying mystery goals in people’s
galleries.

Have you thought about offering free trials of premium plans?

On Thursday, July 10, 2014 4:52:02 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

This is super valuable feedback! Let me quote ourselves from
blog.beeminder.com/premium (under “No Carrots For You”):

Seriously, we are all about the stick. We do not intend to hold
important features as dangling carrots. Premium plans are still
an
experiment but we’re committed to keeping the non-premium
Beeminder a
highly functional tool for maximizing the awesomeness of humans
prone
to procrastination and other forms of akrasia. In fact, the only
things that we’re going to charge for are:

  1. Features that directly thwart our revenue model, i.e.,
    unlimited
    freebees and free short-circuiting (or in the future: choosing
    the
    beneficiary of your commitment contract [1])
  2. Things that may confuse newbees (we’re not sure yet whether
    customizable retroratcheting and auto-ratcheting fall in this
    category)
  3. Goodies that are incidental to the process of beeminding,
    like fitness
    tips
  4. Things that cost us money to provide (we may make the SMS bot
    a
    premium feature for this reason)

I hope I didn’t overcommit us with that. I no longer think that
"the
free version of Beeminder must be a fully functional
anti-akrasia
tool" is an important principle. I might like the idea that
anyone
who’s at all serious about Beeminder should be premium, which is
obviously not the case now. In any case, here’s a list of
possible
current features to make premium:

  1. SMS bot (HT dyang)
  2. Retroratchet
  3. Take A Break
  4. fancy data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving
    average
    line (HT Paul Fenwick)
  5. private graphs
  6. beeminder.com/widgets
  7. weaselproofing
  8. no-mercy recommit
  9. auto-quit
  10. fine print
  11. supporters
  12. panic threshold
  13. goal unit rescaling

And here are potential future premium features:

  1. choose a beneficiary or at least charity percentage
  2. zeno SMS (could also think about international SMS, which
    costs
    more and has to be set up for each country in twilio)
  3. super exclusive google group (maybe akratics anonymous could
    become that after moving to discourse?)
  4. expose more advanced settings
  5. weasel-immunity (opposite of weaselproofing, where you can
    self-service cancel charges and undo recommit)
  6. expose more advanced settings
  7. profile badges? (HT dyang)
  8. early access to new features? (HT dyang)

[1] http://blog.beeminder.com/premium/#BEN

On Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 12:48 PM, David MacIver
da...@drmaciver.com
wrote:

On 10 July 2014 21:36, Daniel Reeves dre...@beeminder.com
wrote:

One more item for consideration: What if we added a Fuzzy
Buzzy plan
at $2/mo (less than 7 cents a day!) with the only perk being
the warm
fuzzy feeling of supporting Beeminder (maybe also tips of the
day)?

So one problem I think is that honestly the premium plans all
mostly
feel
like this anyway.

You’ve built a really good service that I like a lot… the
problem is
that
basically all the things I like are present in the free plan,
and
everything
added by the premium plans is pretty uninteresting on top of
that.

(OTOH you’ve reminded me that I do like the service enough to
support
it
more than the measly $5/month I was paying, so I’ve upgraded
my account
anyway)

Obviously this is massive backseat driving and you should feel
free to
ignore everything I say, especially as I have literally no
idea what
your
user patterns look like, but I rather feel like you might be
better off
removing functionality from the free plan into the bee lite
plan than
raising the prices on the premium ones.


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make it more. (Alan J. Perlis)


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the machine as more than when you were first led up to it, that you can make
it more. (Alan J. Perlis)


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Goal tracking + Commitment contracts == http://beeminder.com


#40

Heh. Actually… there is one metric that it’s just occurred to me would
be an interesting thing to add as a ranking, but you probably shouldn’t do
it because it will hurt your bottom line!

You could add a “hall of shame” ranking for total amount of pledges paid.

On 16 July 2014 06:30, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com wrote:

Brian, thanks for this idea, even though I’m tentatively siding with
David and Jeff. We’re being super slow on social features because
Bethany and I mostly hate that stuff. :slight_smile: We finally added the
Supporters feature a while back though –
blog.beeminder.com/supporters – and next we’ll probably at least add
an easy way to share progress on facebook or something. After we have
basic stuff like that in place we’ll revisit ideas like leaderboards.
Oh, group goals is another thing that we’re tempted to add sooner
rather than later. (Just a dirt simple version where multiple people
can add datapoints to a single graph and they all get charged if it
derails.) We’d love to get a sense of how many people are clamoring
for that. Upvoting and adding thoughts uservoice would be a good way
to do that:
http://beeminder.uservoice.com/forums/3011-general/suggestions/2528624-group-goals-on-user-page-by-user-defined-categorie

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 1:12 PM, Jeff Alexander
analyticphilosophy@gmail.com wrote:

I agree with David MacIver. My suggestion of a metric should not be
taken as
an endorsement of the existence of such metrics.

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 4:11 PM, David MacIver david@drmaciver.com
wrote:

I’m not super keen on the idea of rankings. The problem is that
beeminder

is only really useful relative to how hard it is for you to stick to the
goals on your own. If you make a game of it then it just provides
incentives

to “cheat”. e.g. if you were to use days since derail as a metric of
"success" you’d just be providing people who cared about their social
ranking with an incentive against harder goals.

(I mean, obviously to a certain degree, the pledges themselves already
count as that, but it feels like there’s something fundamentally
different

here)

On 15 July 2014 21:53, Jeff Alexander analyticphilosophy@gmail.com
wrote:

days_since_derail, maybe scaled against total number of beeminded
goals?

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 3:25 PM, Brian Ball ideabrian@gmail.com
wrote:

Right. To rank people, you’d have to have rankings for an activity.

Steps taken with FitBit. Hours slept with Zeo? Number of YouTube
followers? BMI?

Rather than having the whole social rank concept be overwhelming - we
could certainly start with a single, trackable thing that most people
can

engage with (walking, writing, tweeting).

We won’t all care about all the trackables - so there should be points
that could accumulate to an overall rank. Maybe somebody is #1 in
steps per

day - but they don’t BeeMind anything else - so they only get 1000
points

for that category. If they want more points (to rank in the global
distrubition) they would have to track more things (thus encouraging
more

use).

Ideas?

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 12:19 PM, David Ernst david@dsernst.com
wrote:

Interesting. What’s the measure for ranking?

On Tue, Jul 15, 2014 at 3:18 PM, Brian Ball ideabrian@gmail.com
wrote:

Re: Social Status

I’m not good at BeeMinding. I don’t know what. I’m akratic. Am I
apathetic? Am I just not conditioned to respond appropriately?

However, I can think of a way that would be fun for me to
participate.

  1. Give BeeMinding a social status and rank.

If I see I’m 10,203 out of 10,300 - well, I can see I’ve got 10,000+
people I can “learn” from. That ability to connect and learn with
people

that are just a few steps ahead of me would be invaluable.

It would give me motivation, social interaction, and data. Also, the
nature of competition speaks to our lizard brain. We want to win the
’battle’ for survival and so it helps heighten our ‘focus’ (which is
probably my biggest challenge with all this.)

So, speak to my lizard brain directly - and you can have all my
money.

-Brian

On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 2:15 PM, David Ernst david@ernsts.us
wrote:

Hear you on the point that offering credit could soften the
stingy-ness of derailments. BUT what does that lead to? Maybe it
takes a $10

pledge to offer the same sting as $5 now. Thanks to
http://blog.beeminder.com/exponential/ &
http://blog.beeminder.com/nwo/

that’s just one derailment away :slight_smile:

The automatically increasing nature of pledges would still adjust
to

Most Effective Sting.

And in the process they get more opportunity to upgrade and y’all
get

more return for all your hard work.

On Monday, July 14, 2014 4:24:31 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Alex and David E, thank you so much for this! Brilliant ideas
here.

This is going to hugely helpful as we put more love into premium
plans. I too am curious about others’ thoughts on the idea of
counting
pledges as credits toward premium. I actually mentioned that
possibility to Bethany the other day (I’m not sure who first had
the

idea but it’s been kicking around a long time – probably
originated

on this list) and she recoiled in horror. It is dangerous because
it

softens the stingy-ness of derailments.

I agree about TagTime. Note that it’s open-source –
github.com/dreeves/TagTime – so we’d love to entice you to help
us

give it the love it desperately needs. :slight_smile:

On Mon, Jul 14, 2014 at 3:54 AM, David Ernst da...@ernsts.us
wrote:

Hi all,

I was going to link to Patio11’s beloved
https://training.kalzumeus.com/newsletters/archive/saas_pricing
.

Glad you
guys are already thinking along those lines.

Reviewing Patrick’s post again, and looking at the plans/pricing
as they are
now, I can’t help but notice a major gap: It’s unclear to me
what

“Bee
Lite”, “Plan B”, “Beemium”, and “Beekeeper” translate to.
Seriously, I’m
baffled.

Patrick’s over there trying to make the point: Segment your
customers! Who
are they and how do they get value from you? What did they come
to

you for
and what do they want??

And all I see from these plans is Plan A, B, C, & D. So they’re
ordered,
sure, but who are they for? I certainly don’t know which of
these

categories
I fit into. In the current scheme or the new one you propose.
And note,
I’ve been a user for months, & read nearly all your blog posts,
discussions
here, FAQs, etc, and still this leaves me confused.

Just throwing this out there, I would imagine segmentation more
along the
lines of:

New Bee: “Dip your toes into world of Beeminder”. (No
subscription

cost)

The core Beeminder experience. The free plan that new users
start

off on.
Basic commitment pledges, a few private goals, & less (than now,
even)
things to distract one with.

Worker Bee: “Be even more productive, with less work”. ($10/mo?
$20? idk,
test it!)

“Pro” things like unlimited private Beeminds, custom goals,
auto-ratcheting,
configurable ratcheting, SMS integration, weaselproofing, tips
of

the day.

Super Bee: “All the things.” ($35/mo? Dunno)

The fun toys for the true lover of quantified-self. Free
short-circuiting,
unlimited free-bees (for more experimentation), change goal
URLs,

"fancy
data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving average line
(HT Paul
Fenwick) ", “expose more advanced settings”, early access to
test

out new
features.

What you currently list as Beekeeper, separate out into a more
distinct
product. Don’t confuse it with the plans. Because it’s not
really

the same,
right? A human beeing (ha). Fundamentally different from any of
the plans.
Maybe joining the Beekeeper program could include a 30-day trial
of Super
Bee as an additional perk, and then half price on all plans
after

that. But
I would try to separate it otherwise from the subscription
plans.

Because
you know, one is increased software options, and one is a person
that gives
their time to you. And I’m not sure the two are so directly
related. E.g. I
could see more Free Plan users buying coaching, even though they
don’t need
more software features, but the current ascending list confuses
them away.

Also, I would make it clearer that you’re getting a Beekeeper.
The

way it’s
currently written on the Premium Plans page suggests the user is
the
Beekeeper. I think it would be more compelling to say "A
beekeeper

to take
care of you". Maybe this is just semantics, yet right now I
default to
reading the listing not as “want someone to look after you?” but
"want to
make bees your occupation?". Subconsciously, it feels like more
work.

On a different note, I’m very curious how these premium plans
intersect with
pledge revenue. My hunch is that signing up for premium would
cause a user
to Beemind more things (thank you sunk cost fallacy). Thus more
pledge’d
money at stake, and (thus?) more pledged revenue. Does raising
the

price of
these plans cause less people to take their relationship to the
next stage,
and then also hurt pledge revenue? In other words, does
optimizing

subscription revenue come at a cost of pledge revenue? Of
course,

I’m making
too many uninformed assumptions…

Thinking more on this theme, what about using money delivered
from

pledges
as credit to spend on the premium plans? Thus avoiding the
potential
zero-sum dilemma above. And the user feels a bit less bad
financially when
they fall off the road, because they can still “use” those
credits

towards
premium. Maybe they’ll put more money on the line, because "hey,
if I fail,
then at least I can still use it for a premium subscription!"
And

then more
New Bees convert to premium status, great! And all the while,
Beeminder Inc
doesn’t lose revenue from this arrangement because the money
still

gets
charged, and for the most part those premium features have
trivial

marginal
cost. It’s just letting the pledged money go farther (get double
"spent").
Is this too radical? Maybe. Would love to hear others’ opinions
on

it.

One last thing. Without changing the subject too much, if we’re
still
talking about finding more sources of revenue, I would strongly
suggest
giving TagTime some love. It seems like there is a seriously
great product
there. And such a perfect complement to what Beeminder already
offers. Why
not bring it into the family more tightly? It clear from reading
your blogs
etc that you guys make such heavy usage of it, but I wonder how
many users
do too? I don’t know! I haven’t even ever been able to get it
working
(Windows & iOS – ugh, I know). Yet it seems to hold such
promise.

If it was
more of a 1-click install (“Beeminder Desktop”), and offered a
no-bullshit
GUI decoupled from cmd, it could be much more accessible for the
average
Beeminder. And seriously improve the value of the whole package
for the
user.

— My 02¢. Hope this helps.

On Saturday, July 12, 2014 2:43:26 PM UTC-4, Alex Schell wrote:

In my view you could bundle retroratchet, configurable
retroratchet, and
auto-trimming of safety buffer at the same premium level, or
maybe just move
retroratchet to Bee Lite. These all feel like advanced tools
that

are nice
to have but aren’t essential to beeminding. (My guess is that
retroratchet
is relatively rarely used to non-premium users, and that the
advanced
retroratchet features wouldn’t be used much by the non-premium
user
population even if they could use them.)

Re: private graphs, why not treat these like you do freebees?
2-4

free
secret goals would be reasonable IMO, and this takes care of
the

concern
that enforced public goals are a barrier to initial beeminding.
If you do
this, consider not displaying mystery goals in people’s
galleries.

Have you thought about offering free trials of premium plans?

On Thursday, July 10, 2014 4:52:02 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves
wrote:

This is super valuable feedback! Let me quote ourselves from
blog.beeminder.com/premium (under “No Carrots For You”):

Seriously, we are all about the stick. We do not intend to
hold

important features as dangling carrots. Premium plans are
still

an
experiment but we’re committed to keeping the non-premium
Beeminder a
highly functional tool for maximizing the awesomeness of
humans

prone
to procrastination and other forms of akrasia. In fact, the
only

things that we’re going to charge for are:

  1. Features that directly thwart our revenue model, i.e.,
    unlimited
    freebees and free short-circuiting (or in the future: choosing
    the
    beneficiary of your commitment contract [1])
  2. Things that may confuse newbees (we’re not sure yet whether
    customizable retroratcheting and auto-ratcheting fall in this
    category)
  3. Goodies that are incidental to the process of beeminding,
    like fitness
    tips
  4. Things that cost us money to provide (we may make the SMS
    bot

a
premium feature for this reason)

I hope I didn’t overcommit us with that. I no longer think
that

“the
free version of Beeminder must be a fully functional
anti-akrasia
tool” is an important principle. I might like the idea that
anyone
who’s at all serious about Beeminder should be premium, which
is

obviously not the case now. In any case, here’s a list of
possible
current features to make premium:

  1. SMS bot (HT dyang)
  2. Retroratchet
  3. Take A Break
  4. fancy data nerd features like turquoise swath and moving
    average
    line (HT Paul Fenwick)
  5. private graphs
  6. beeminder.com/widgets
  7. weaselproofing
  8. no-mercy recommit
  9. auto-quit
  10. fine print
  11. supporters
  12. panic threshold
  13. goal unit rescaling

And here are potential future premium features:

  1. choose a beneficiary or at least charity percentage
  2. zeno SMS (could also think about international SMS, which
    costs
    more and has to be set up for each country in twilio)
  3. super exclusive google group (maybe akratics anonymous
    could

become that after moving to discourse?)
17. expose more advanced settings
18. weasel-immunity (opposite of weaselproofing, where you can
self-service cancel charges and undo recommit)
19. expose more advanced settings
20. profile badges? (HT dyang)
21. early access to new features? (HT dyang)

[1] http://blog.beeminder.com/premium/#BEN

On Thu, Jul 10, 2014 at 12:48 PM, David MacIver
da...@drmaciver.com
wrote:

On 10 July 2014 21:36, Daniel Reeves dre...@beeminder.com
wrote:

One more item for consideration: What if we added a Fuzzy
Buzzy plan
at $2/mo (less than 7 cents a day!) with the only perk
being

the warm
fuzzy feeling of supporting Beeminder (maybe also tips of
the

day)?

So one problem I think is that honestly the premium plans
all

mostly
feel
like this anyway.

You’ve built a really good service that I like a lot… the
problem is
that
basically all the things I like are present in the free
plan,

and
everything
added by the premium plans is pretty uninteresting on top of
that.

(OTOH you’ve reminded me that I do like the service enough
to

support
it
more than the measly $5/month I was paying, so I’ve upgraded
my account
anyway)

Obviously this is massive backseat driving and you should
feel

free to
ignore everything I say, especially as I have literally no
idea what
your
user patterns look like, but I rather feel like you might be
better off
removing functionality from the free plan into the bee lite
plan than
raising the prices on the premium ones.


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What’s in your hands, I think and hope, is intelligence: the ability to
see
the machine as more than when you were first led up to it, that you can
make
it more. (Alan J. Perlis)


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