two extremes of motivatability


#1

I think that the idea of people having a single motivation point is a
mistake. My energy and motivation levels are in general incredibly
variable, and my responsiveness to beeminder style commitment devices
varies accordingly.

I’m definitely in general not the sort of person who can get shit done with
Willpower on average, but I go through months at a time where I’m within
spitting distance of that, and just not letting a goal derail is motivation
enough.

Right now… well my goals are currently coming tumbling down around my
ears. I’ve derailed on a few things because I valued the pledge less than
not doing the work to derail. I think those were mostly $5, but one might
have been a $10. I put my pledge on coffee up to $90 because that’s silly
money for a coffee which I would never pay and right now I’m considering
whether it’s worth it (I’m hanging on to “not worth it” by the skin of my
teeth).

Also, FWIW, I was one of the people who claimed to not be motivated well by
money. I still maintain that, it just it turns out that what I really meant
is that I’m not motivated well by monetary rewards and I can still hate
spending money on trivial things (I had not previously realised this about
myself).
On 11 Sep 2014 01:40, “Daniel Reeves” dreeves@beeminder.com wrote:

My recent “Type Bee Personality” post [1] described sort of the
platonic ideal of a user of a commitment device tool like Beeminder or
StickK or whatnot [2]. In the case of Beeminder it’s someone who
climbs the pledge schedule till they find their Motivation Point [3]
and then Beeminder simply works motivational magic from then on. When
it’s too expensive to derail you make sure not to and all is roses and
ponies.

The other extreme – to take it to an extreme extreme for
gedankenexperiment purposes – might be someone who’s clinically
depressed and thinks “to hell with everything, I’d literally rather
kill myself than deal with this seemingly simple task right now.”

People who just get shit done with Willpower or something are an alien
species as far as we’re concerned. They’re not part of this
motivational spectrum.

The question: How are people distributed on this spectrum of
motivatability? Sometimes people claim to not be motivated well by
money and I always suspect that what they mean is that they haven’t
found their Motivation Point. But they could also be kind of
incorrigibly irrational and/or have a somewhat self-destructive
utility function where a commitment device will do nothing but inflict
more damage on top of the akrasia.

I want to get a better handle on that question. Could y’all chime in
with personal anecdotes? (Publicly or just to me and I’ll compile
responses.)

[1] blog.beeminder.com/typebee
[2] blog.beeminder.com/competitors
[3] blog.beeminder.com/glossary#m


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


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#2

Well so I think I am also one of the people who’s poorly motivated by money
and much more motivated by the idea of avoiding “failure”. I think that’s
why, in general, my goals have stayed pretty low over this past year. I
agree also with the other response in that my motivation is rather
variable. I know that I definitely have had days where nothing can motivate
me because I’m in a state of nihilistic self-destruction rather similar to
the extreme example you describe.

I know, though, that I’m probably an outlier in that regard. I’d say my
average day, though, is that I have a lot of trouble believing that
anything I do is actually worth it and that I’m taking advantage of my own
rather irrational fear of failure to curb my irrational feelings of
depression. I don’t, however, hit emergency days very often since I trimmed
my total set of goals down to a manageable level. My usage pattern tends to
be that I trot along motivated for awhile and stay ahead of goals until a
bad phase hits me again and then I stop trying anything for a few days, I
start to see more blue and orange on my goals list, and then I finally make
myself start working again because I feel the pressure and after a few days
of riding the minimum of what I need to get done I get momentum back and
get ahead of everything again. I have a feeling it’s probably obvious in my
data when this happens.

Hope that’s a useful response.

On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 4:40 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com
wrote:

My recent “Type Bee Personality” post [1] described sort of the
platonic ideal of a user of a commitment device tool like Beeminder or
StickK or whatnot [2]. In the case of Beeminder it’s someone who
climbs the pledge schedule till they find their Motivation Point [3]
and then Beeminder simply works motivational magic from then on. When
it’s too expensive to derail you make sure not to and all is roses and
ponies.

The other extreme – to take it to an extreme extreme for
gedankenexperiment purposes – might be someone who’s clinically
depressed and thinks “to hell with everything, I’d literally rather
kill myself than deal with this seemingly simple task right now.”

People who just get shit done with Willpower or something are an alien
species as far as we’re concerned. They’re not part of this
motivational spectrum.

The question: How are people distributed on this spectrum of
motivatability? Sometimes people claim to not be motivated well by
money and I always suspect that what they mean is that they haven’t
found their Motivation Point. But they could also be kind of
incorrigibly irrational and/or have a somewhat self-destructive
utility function where a commitment device will do nothing but inflict
more damage on top of the akrasia.

I want to get a better handle on that question. Could y’all chime in
with personal anecdotes? (Publicly or just to me and I’ll compile
responses.)

[1] blog.beeminder.com/typebee
[2] blog.beeminder.com/competitors
[3] blog.beeminder.com/glossary#m


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


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"Akratics Anonymous" group.
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#3

I agree that a lot of what motivates me is psychic pressure that derailing
is bad. I find the dollar amounts most motivating on orange / blue days
when I think “Jeez, I don’t want to leave myself in a $30 eep day tomorrow
and it wouldn’t kill me to [do thing].”.

If I ever get up to $90 or $210 on a goal I would have more data about
whether the big amounts scare me off. So far, the two goals I’ve hit $30 on
are actually goals for things that already cost me money, so it is easier
to rationalize. As in, “Would I still want this beer if it cost $16 instead
of $6?” is a way to sweep the $10 level under the rug.

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 10:34 AM, Clarissa Littler <
clarissa.littler@gmail.com> wrote:

Well so I think I am also one of the people who’s poorly motivated by
money and much more motivated by the idea of avoiding “failure”. I think
that’s why, in general, my goals have stayed pretty low over this past
year. I agree also with the other response in that my motivation is rather
variable. I know that I definitely have had days where nothing can motivate
me because I’m in a state of nihilistic self-destruction rather similar to
the extreme example you describe.

I know, though, that I’m probably an outlier in that regard. I’d say my
average day, though, is that I have a lot of trouble believing that
anything I do is actually worth it and that I’m taking advantage of my own
rather irrational fear of failure to curb my irrational feelings of
depression. I don’t, however, hit emergency days very often since I trimmed
my total set of goals down to a manageable level. My usage pattern tends to
be that I trot along motivated for awhile and stay ahead of goals until a
bad phase hits me again and then I stop trying anything for a few days, I
start to see more blue and orange on my goals list, and then I finally make
myself start working again because I feel the pressure and after a few days
of riding the minimum of what I need to get done I get momentum back and
get ahead of everything again. I have a feeling it’s probably obvious in my
data when this happens.

Hope that’s a useful response.

On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 4:40 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com
wrote:

My recent “Type Bee Personality” post [1] described sort of the
platonic ideal of a user of a commitment device tool like Beeminder or
StickK or whatnot [2]. In the case of Beeminder it’s someone who
climbs the pledge schedule till they find their Motivation Point [3]
and then Beeminder simply works motivational magic from then on. When
it’s too expensive to derail you make sure not to and all is roses and
ponies.

The other extreme – to take it to an extreme extreme for
gedankenexperiment purposes – might be someone who’s clinically
depressed and thinks “to hell with everything, I’d literally rather
kill myself than deal with this seemingly simple task right now.”

People who just get shit done with Willpower or something are an alien
species as far as we’re concerned. They’re not part of this
motivational spectrum.

The question: How are people distributed on this spectrum of
motivatability? Sometimes people claim to not be motivated well by
money and I always suspect that what they mean is that they haven’t
found their Motivation Point. But they could also be kind of
incorrigibly irrational and/or have a somewhat self-destructive
utility function where a commitment device will do nothing but inflict
more damage on top of the akrasia.

I want to get a better handle on that question. Could y’all chime in
with personal anecdotes? (Publicly or just to me and I’ll compile
responses.)

[1] blog.beeminder.com/typebee
[2] blog.beeminder.com/competitors
[3] blog.beeminder.com/glossary#m


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.
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#4

Thanks for the great responses!

Some of you saw that in the daily beemail I turned this into a
numerical question, quantifying the spectrum like so:

0 = clinically depressed and fundamentally unmotivatable because you
don’t even necessarily want to live so you sure as hell can’t possibly
care about getting charged $810 or whatever.
10 = the perfect platonic ideal type bee personality.
5 might be someone who Beeminder works fine for for some things but
for other things you dig in your heels and weasel or irrationally pay
stupid amounts of money.

I’m a 9 I guess. I’m a lazy ass but if get up to enough money at risk
I toe the line and do what I have to do, which is how I’ve
accomplished pretty much everything I’ve accomplished, starting with
getting my PhD thesis written when Bethany invented the “Voluntary
Harassment Program” that eventually evolved into Beeminder.

Here’s the histogram of responses so far:

0:
1:
2: *
3: *
4:
5: ***
6: *
7: *******
8: ****
9: **
10: *

(Clarissa, David M, and Mirabai – You three seem like 9s or 10s to me!)

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 10:34 AM, Clarissa Littler
clarissa.littler@gmail.com wrote:

Well so I think I am also one of the people who’s poorly motivated by money
and much more motivated by the idea of avoiding “failure”. I think that’s
why, in general, my goals have stayed pretty low over this past year. I
agree also with the other response in that my motivation is rather variable.
I know that I definitely have had days where nothing can motivate me because
I’m in a state of nihilistic self-destruction rather similar to the extreme
example you describe.

I know, though, that I’m probably an outlier in that regard. I’d say my
average day, though, is that I have a lot of trouble believing that anything
I do is actually worth it and that I’m taking advantage of my own rather
irrational fear of failure to curb my irrational feelings of depression. I
don’t, however, hit emergency days very often since I trimmed my total set
of goals down to a manageable level. My usage pattern tends to be that I
trot along motivated for awhile and stay ahead of goals until a bad phase
hits me again and then I stop trying anything for a few days, I start to see
more blue and orange on my goals list, and then I finally make myself start
working again because I feel the pressure and after a few days of riding the
minimum of what I need to get done I get momentum back and get ahead of
everything again. I have a feeling it’s probably obvious in my data when
this happens.

Hope that’s a useful response.

On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 4:40 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com
wrote:

My recent “Type Bee Personality” post [1] described sort of the
platonic ideal of a user of a commitment device tool like Beeminder or
StickK or whatnot [2]. In the case of Beeminder it’s someone who
climbs the pledge schedule till they find their Motivation Point [3]
and then Beeminder simply works motivational magic from then on. When
it’s too expensive to derail you make sure not to and all is roses and
ponies.

The other extreme – to take it to an extreme extreme for
gedankenexperiment purposes – might be someone who’s clinically
depressed and thinks “to hell with everything, I’d literally rather
kill myself than deal with this seemingly simple task right now.”

People who just get shit done with Willpower or something are an alien
species as far as we’re concerned. They’re not part of this
motivational spectrum.

The question: How are people distributed on this spectrum of
motivatability? Sometimes people claim to not be motivated well by
money and I always suspect that what they mean is that they haven’t
found their Motivation Point. But they could also be kind of
incorrigibly irrational and/or have a somewhat self-destructive
utility function where a commitment device will do nothing but inflict
more damage on top of the akrasia.

I want to get a better handle on that question. Could y’all chime in
with personal anecdotes? (Publicly or just to me and I’ll compile
responses.)

[1] blog.beeminder.com/typebee
[2] blog.beeminder.com/competitors
[3] blog.beeminder.com/glossary#m


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.


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


#5

I think I might be close to the “platonic beemindee” almost all of the
time. I stay mostly in the steady akratic state, finishing only those goals
that are eep days. Once costs get high enough, I stop derailing ($270 is
the upper bound, but recently even $30 has been enough.) at all; before
that, I derail every few weeks or so.

What keeps me at an 8 and not a 9 is the fact that I have days on which I
am very tired (usually a lack of sleep from procrastinating on
beemergencies for a week or so), so I start to weasel a little… I’m not
proud of this, but recently, I changed the time zone so I would have a few
extra hours to finish something (I wanted to sleep first). My hatred of
messing up the QS aspects and the sanctity of my data prevent me from any
sort of outright falsification.

(Speaking of which, I need to request that my time zone controls become
locked.)

On Thursday, September 11, 2014 1:40:21 AM UTC+2, Daniel Reeves wrote:

My recent “Type Bee Personality” post [1] described sort of the
platonic ideal of a user of a commitment device tool like Beeminder or
StickK or whatnot [2]. In the case of Beeminder it’s someone who
climbs the pledge schedule till they find their Motivation Point [3]
and then Beeminder simply works motivational magic from then on. When
it’s too expensive to derail you make sure not to and all is roses and
ponies.

The other extreme – to take it to an extreme extreme for
gedankenexperiment purposes – might be someone who’s clinically
depressed and thinks “to hell with everything, I’d literally rather
kill myself than deal with this seemingly simple task right now.”

People who just get shit done with Willpower or something are an alien
species as far as we’re concerned. They’re not part of this
motivational spectrum.

The question: How are people distributed on this spectrum of
motivatability? Sometimes people claim to not be motivated well by
money and I always suspect that what they mean is that they haven’t
found their Motivation Point. But they could also be kind of
incorrigibly irrational and/or have a somewhat self-destructive
utility function where a commitment device will do nothing but inflict
more damage on top of the akrasia.

I want to get a better handle on that question. Could y’all chime in
with personal anecdotes? (Publicly or just to me and I’ll compile
responses.)

[1] blog.beeminder.com/typebee
[2] blog.beeminder.com/competitors
[3] blog.beeminder.com/glossary#m


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.


#6

This depends a lot, for me, on how well I can manage the things that need
doing. If I miss that something was due and only see it late in the day, I
often end up closer to the “3” end of the spectrum come late evening. If,
on the other hand, I see everything early enough in the day and can keep it
in sight at the relevant times, I’m closer to an 8 or 9.

On Thursday, September 11, 2014 5:41:51 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Thanks for the great responses!

Some of you saw that in the daily beemail I turned this into a
numerical question, quantifying the spectrum like so:

0 = clinically depressed and fundamentally unmotivatable because you
don’t even necessarily want to live so you sure as hell can’t possibly
care about getting charged $810 or whatever.
10 = the perfect platonic ideal type bee personality.
5 might be someone who Beeminder works fine for for some things but
for other things you dig in your heels and weasel or irrationally pay
stupid amounts of money.

I’m a 9 I guess. I’m a lazy ass but if get up to enough money at risk
I toe the line and do what I have to do, which is how I’ve
accomplished pretty much everything I’ve accomplished, starting with
getting my PhD thesis written when Bethany invented the “Voluntary
Harassment Program” that eventually evolved into Beeminder.

Here’s the histogram of responses so far:

0:
1:
2: *
3: *
4:
5: ***
6: *
7: *******
8: ****
9: **
10: *

(Clarissa, David M, and Mirabai – You three seem like 9s or 10s to me!)

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 10:34 AM, Clarissa Littler
<clarissa...@gmail.com <javascript:>> wrote:

Well so I think I am also one of the people who’s poorly motivated by
money
and much more motivated by the idea of avoiding “failure”. I think
that’s
why, in general, my goals have stayed pretty low over this past year. I
agree also with the other response in that my motivation is rather
variable.
I know that I definitely have had days where nothing can motivate me
because
I’m in a state of nihilistic self-destruction rather similar to the
extreme
example you describe.

I know, though, that I’m probably an outlier in that regard. I’d say my
average day, though, is that I have a lot of trouble believing that
anything
I do is actually worth it and that I’m taking advantage of my own rather
irrational fear of failure to curb my irrational feelings of depression.
I
don’t, however, hit emergency days very often since I trimmed my total
set
of goals down to a manageable level. My usage pattern tends to be that I
trot along motivated for awhile and stay ahead of goals until a bad
phase
hits me again and then I stop trying anything for a few days, I start to
see
more blue and orange on my goals list, and then I finally make myself
start
working again because I feel the pressure and after a few days of riding
the
minimum of what I need to get done I get momentum back and get ahead of
everything again. I have a feeling it’s probably obvious in my data when
this happens.

Hope that’s a useful response.

On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 4:40 PM, Daniel Reeves <dre...@beeminder.com
<javascript:>>
wrote:

My recent “Type Bee Personality” post [1] described sort of the
platonic ideal of a user of a commitment device tool like Beeminder or
StickK or whatnot [2]. In the case of Beeminder it’s someone who
climbs the pledge schedule till they find their Motivation Point [3]
and then Beeminder simply works motivational magic from then on. When
it’s too expensive to derail you make sure not to and all is roses and
ponies.

The other extreme – to take it to an extreme extreme for
gedankenexperiment purposes – might be someone who’s clinically
depressed and thinks “to hell with everything, I’d literally rather
kill myself than deal with this seemingly simple task right now.”

People who just get shit done with Willpower or something are an alien
species as far as we’re concerned. They’re not part of this
motivational spectrum.

The question: How are people distributed on this spectrum of
motivatability? Sometimes people claim to not be motivated well by
money and I always suspect that what they mean is that they haven’t
found their Motivation Point. But they could also be kind of
incorrigibly irrational and/or have a somewhat self-destructive
utility function where a commitment device will do nothing but inflict
more damage on top of the akrasia.

I want to get a better handle on that question. Could y’all chime in
with personal anecdotes? (Publicly or just to me and I’ll compile
responses.)

[1] blog.beeminder.com/typebee
[2] blog.beeminder.com/competitors
[3] blog.beeminder.com/glossary#m


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


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Groups

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an

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For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.


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Groups
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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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#7

Hi everyone,

I am one of the clinically depressed people that you mentioned. Its very
hard to find motivation to do much of anything some days, and I’ve derailed
a lot and just given up/archived goals when I felt like “it wasn’t worth
it” anymore. I know thats not the best way to go about it, but there
definitely IS something about putting in a little data point each day, even
if I feel really crappy, that gives me a sense of accomplishment for the
day. I try to set my goals low, and then by using the “just get started"
idea, it helps to where I’ve done SOMETHING. Some days I don’t do too well.
Some days I barely want to get out of bed. But I am motivated by data and
quantification, so that helps sometimes. I’m currently on a beeminder
"break” (I know…I’m hardly the “perfect” beeminder candidate but I guess
what I’m trying to say is that I have found more use with it than I would
have without it, and if that means I use beeminder in an on-again-off-again
sort of fashion, then thats what works for me.

To place myself on the scale of 0-10, I suppose you could say I’m a 1 or 2.
Probably closer to a 1. It’s useful to give me something to strive for
that day, but if I get too discouraged by a goal I usually derail once or
twice then archive it :confused:

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 6:24 PM, Essentiae essentiae@gmail.com wrote:

This depends a lot, for me, on how well I can manage the things that need
doing. If I miss that something was due and only see it late in the day, I
often end up closer to the “3” end of the spectrum come late evening. If,
on the other hand, I see everything early enough in the day and can keep it
in sight at the relevant times, I’m closer to an 8 or 9.

On Thursday, September 11, 2014 5:41:51 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Thanks for the great responses!

Some of you saw that in the daily beemail I turned this into a
numerical question, quantifying the spectrum like so:

0 = clinically depressed and fundamentally unmotivatable because you
don’t even necessarily want to live so you sure as hell can’t possibly
care about getting charged $810 or whatever.
10 = the perfect platonic ideal type bee personality.
5 might be someone who Beeminder works fine for for some things but
for other things you dig in your heels and weasel or irrationally pay
stupid amounts of money.

I’m a 9 I guess. I’m a lazy ass but if get up to enough money at risk
I toe the line and do what I have to do, which is how I’ve
accomplished pretty much everything I’ve accomplished, starting with
getting my PhD thesis written when Bethany invented the “Voluntary
Harassment Program” that eventually evolved into Beeminder.

Here’s the histogram of responses so far:

0:
1:
2: *
3: *
4:
5: ***
6: *
7: *******
8: ****
9: **
10: *

(Clarissa, David M, and Mirabai – You three seem like 9s or 10s to me!)

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 10:34 AM, Clarissa Littler
clarissa...@gmail.com wrote:

Well so I think I am also one of the people who’s poorly motivated by
money
and much more motivated by the idea of avoiding “failure”. I think
that’s
why, in general, my goals have stayed pretty low over this past year. I
agree also with the other response in that my motivation is rather
variable.
I know that I definitely have had days where nothing can motivate me
because
I’m in a state of nihilistic self-destruction rather similar to the
extreme
example you describe.

I know, though, that I’m probably an outlier in that regard. I’d say my
average day, though, is that I have a lot of trouble believing that
anything
I do is actually worth it and that I’m taking advantage of my own
rather
irrational fear of failure to curb my irrational feelings of
depression. I
don’t, however, hit emergency days very often since I trimmed my total
set
of goals down to a manageable level. My usage pattern tends to be that
I
trot along motivated for awhile and stay ahead of goals until a bad
phase
hits me again and then I stop trying anything for a few days, I start
to see
more blue and orange on my goals list, and then I finally make myself
start
working again because I feel the pressure and after a few days of
riding the
minimum of what I need to get done I get momentum back and get ahead of
everything again. I have a feeling it’s probably obvious in my data
when
this happens.

Hope that’s a useful response.

On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 4:40 PM, Daniel Reeves dre...@beeminder.com
wrote:

My recent “Type Bee Personality” post [1] described sort of the
platonic ideal of a user of a commitment device tool like Beeminder or
StickK or whatnot [2]. In the case of Beeminder it’s someone who
climbs the pledge schedule till they find their Motivation Point [3]
and then Beeminder simply works motivational magic from then on. When
it’s too expensive to derail you make sure not to and all is roses and
ponies.

The other extreme – to take it to an extreme extreme for
gedankenexperiment purposes – might be someone who’s clinically
depressed and thinks “to hell with everything, I’d literally rather
kill myself than deal with this seemingly simple task right now.”

People who just get shit done with Willpower or something are an alien
species as far as we’re concerned. They’re not part of this
motivational spectrum.

The question: How are people distributed on this spectrum of
motivatability? Sometimes people claim to not be motivated well by
money and I always suspect that what they mean is that they haven’t
found their Motivation Point. But they could also be kind of
incorrigibly irrational and/or have a somewhat self-destructive
utility function where a commitment device will do nothing but inflict
more damage on top of the akrasia.

I want to get a better handle on that question. Could y’all chime in
with personal anecdotes? (Publicly or just to me and I’ll compile
responses.)

[1] blog.beeminder.com/typebee
[2] blog.beeminder.com/competitors
[3] blog.beeminder.com/glossary#m


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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#8

As someone who has suffered depression on and off, I will say that
Beeminder is not very useful, and maybe sometimes harmful, for a person in
that state. If I’m being honest it’s probably one of the main reasons I
stopped using Beeminder.

I’ve never been at “I would rather kill myself than do this thing” – in my
experience this is not how the cognition goes[1] – but there have been
times where my brain will go to great lengths to avoid even thinking about
a thing because of the hamster wheel of self-loathing that it will put me
on. In that state Beeminder tasks can be a part of that cycle of
destructive self-talk, something along the lines of “if I can’t even do
simple task x, how will I ever get my shit together?” It also doesn’t stop
me from doing the task poorly (or what I irrationally believe to be
poorly), or fudging the data.

Beeminder can be good in the short-term to get from “agonize about the
thing” to “just do the thing already” but after a while it loses its effect
for some reason. Staying on the road seems less important after it becomes
routine.

And money has never been a very effective motivator for me either

Isaac

[1] I will stop short of saying that this is a fundamental misunderstanding
of how depression works because maybe there’s someone in the universe who
has had that thought and meant it? But the numerical scale doesn’t make
sense to me either. It’s like asking “on a scale of triangle to bumpy, what
color would you say you are?”

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 5:06 PM, Allison Nelson allison.nelson13@gmail.com
wrote:

Hi everyone,

I am one of the clinically depressed people that you mentioned. Its very
hard to find motivation to do much of anything some days, and I’ve derailed
a lot and just given up/archived goals when I felt like “it wasn’t worth
it” anymore. I know thats not the best way to go about it, but there
definitely IS something about putting in a little data point each day, even
if I feel really crappy, that gives me a sense of accomplishment for the
day. I try to set my goals low, and then by using the “just get started"
idea, it helps to where I’ve done SOMETHING. Some days I don’t do too well.
Some days I barely want to get out of bed. But I am motivated by data and
quantification, so that helps sometimes. I’m currently on a beeminder
"break” (I know…I’m hardly the “perfect” beeminder candidate but I guess
what I’m trying to say is that I have found more use with it than I would
have without it, and if that means I use beeminder in an on-again-off-again
sort of fashion, then thats what works for me.

To place myself on the scale of 0-10, I suppose you could say I’m a 1 or
2. Probably closer to a 1. It’s useful to give me something to strive for
that day, but if I get too discouraged by a goal I usually derail once or
twice then archive it :confused:

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 6:24 PM, Essentiae essentiae@gmail.com wrote:

This depends a lot, for me, on how well I can manage the things that need
doing. If I miss that something was due and only see it late in the day, I
often end up closer to the “3” end of the spectrum come late evening. If,
on the other hand, I see everything early enough in the day and can keep it
in sight at the relevant times, I’m closer to an 8 or 9.

On Thursday, September 11, 2014 5:41:51 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Thanks for the great responses!

Some of you saw that in the daily beemail I turned this into a
numerical question, quantifying the spectrum like so:

0 = clinically depressed and fundamentally unmotivatable because you
don’t even necessarily want to live so you sure as hell can’t possibly
care about getting charged $810 or whatever.
10 = the perfect platonic ideal type bee personality.
5 might be someone who Beeminder works fine for for some things but
for other things you dig in your heels and weasel or irrationally pay
stupid amounts of money.

I’m a 9 I guess. I’m a lazy ass but if get up to enough money at risk
I toe the line and do what I have to do, which is how I’ve
accomplished pretty much everything I’ve accomplished, starting with
getting my PhD thesis written when Bethany invented the “Voluntary
Harassment Program” that eventually evolved into Beeminder.

Here’s the histogram of responses so far:

0:
1:
2: *
3: *
4:
5: ***
6: *
7: *******
8: ****
9: **
10: *

(Clarissa, David M, and Mirabai – You three seem like 9s or 10s to me!)

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 10:34 AM, Clarissa Littler
clarissa...@gmail.com wrote:

Well so I think I am also one of the people who’s poorly motivated by
money
and much more motivated by the idea of avoiding “failure”. I think
that’s
why, in general, my goals have stayed pretty low over this past year.
I
agree also with the other response in that my motivation is rather
variable.
I know that I definitely have had days where nothing can motivate me
because
I’m in a state of nihilistic self-destruction rather similar to the
extreme
example you describe.

I know, though, that I’m probably an outlier in that regard. I’d say
my
average day, though, is that I have a lot of trouble believing that
anything
I do is actually worth it and that I’m taking advantage of my own
rather
irrational fear of failure to curb my irrational feelings of
depression. I
don’t, however, hit emergency days very often since I trimmed my total
set
of goals down to a manageable level. My usage pattern tends to be that
I
trot along motivated for awhile and stay ahead of goals until a bad
phase
hits me again and then I stop trying anything for a few days, I start
to see
more blue and orange on my goals list, and then I finally make myself
start
working again because I feel the pressure and after a few days of
riding the
minimum of what I need to get done I get momentum back and get ahead
of
everything again. I have a feeling it’s probably obvious in my data
when
this happens.

Hope that’s a useful response.

On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 4:40 PM, Daniel Reeves dre...@beeminder.com
wrote:

My recent “Type Bee Personality” post [1] described sort of the
platonic ideal of a user of a commitment device tool like Beeminder
or

StickK or whatnot [2]. In the case of Beeminder it’s someone who
climbs the pledge schedule till they find their Motivation Point [3]
and then Beeminder simply works motivational magic from then on. When
it’s too expensive to derail you make sure not to and all is roses
and

ponies.

The other extreme – to take it to an extreme extreme for
gedankenexperiment purposes – might be someone who’s clinically
depressed and thinks “to hell with everything, I’d literally rather
kill myself than deal with this seemingly simple task right now.”

People who just get shit done with Willpower or something are an
alien

species as far as we’re concerned. They’re not part of this
motivational spectrum.

The question: How are people distributed on this spectrum of
motivatability? Sometimes people claim to not be motivated well by
money and I always suspect that what they mean is that they haven’t
found their Motivation Point. But they could also be kind of
incorrigibly irrational and/or have a somewhat self-destructive
utility function where a commitment device will do nothing but
inflict

more damage on top of the akrasia.

I want to get a better handle on that question. Could y’all chime in
with personal anecdotes? (Publicly or just to me and I’ll compile
responses.)

[1] blog.beeminder.com/typebee
[2] blog.beeminder.com/competitors
[3] blog.beeminder.com/glossary#m


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


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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.
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Isaac Schankler, composer | www.isaacschankler.com


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#9

I agree with Isaac, on the one hand it’s motivating but on the other it
just seems like "another thing you can’t seem to get right."
On Sep 11, 2014 8:39 PM, “Isaac Schankler” eyesack@gmail.com wrote:

As someone who has suffered depression on and off, I will say that
Beeminder is not very useful, and maybe sometimes harmful, for a person in
that state. If I’m being honest it’s probably one of the main reasons I
stopped using Beeminder.

I’ve never been at “I would rather kill myself than do this thing” – in
my experience this is not how the cognition goes[1] – but there have been
times where my brain will go to great lengths to avoid even thinking about
a thing because of the hamster wheel of self-loathing that it will put me
on. In that state Beeminder tasks can be a part of that cycle of
destructive self-talk, something along the lines of “if I can’t even do
simple task x, how will I ever get my shit together?” It also doesn’t stop
me from doing the task poorly (or what I irrationally believe to be
poorly), or fudging the data.

Beeminder can be good in the short-term to get from “agonize about the
thing” to “just do the thing already” but after a while it loses its effect
for some reason. Staying on the road seems less important after it becomes
routine.

And money has never been a very effective motivator for me either

Isaac

[1] I will stop short of saying that this is a fundamental
misunderstanding of how depression works because maybe there’s someone in
the universe who has had that thought and meant it? But the numerical scale
doesn’t make sense to me either. It’s like asking “on a scale of triangle
to bumpy, what color would you say you are?”

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 5:06 PM, Allison Nelson <
allison.nelson13@gmail.com> wrote:

Hi everyone,

I am one of the clinically depressed people that you mentioned. Its very
hard to find motivation to do much of anything some days, and I’ve derailed
a lot and just given up/archived goals when I felt like “it wasn’t worth
it” anymore. I know thats not the best way to go about it, but there
definitely IS something about putting in a little data point each day, even
if I feel really crappy, that gives me a sense of accomplishment for the
day. I try to set my goals low, and then by using the “just get started"
idea, it helps to where I’ve done SOMETHING. Some days I don’t do too well.
Some days I barely want to get out of bed. But I am motivated by data and
quantification, so that helps sometimes. I’m currently on a beeminder
"break” (I know…I’m hardly the “perfect” beeminder candidate but I guess
what I’m trying to say is that I have found more use with it than I would
have without it, and if that means I use beeminder in an on-again-off-again
sort of fashion, then thats what works for me.

To place myself on the scale of 0-10, I suppose you could say I’m a 1 or
2. Probably closer to a 1. It’s useful to give me something to strive for
that day, but if I get too discouraged by a goal I usually derail once or
twice then archive it :confused:

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 6:24 PM, Essentiae essentiae@gmail.com wrote:

This depends a lot, for me, on how well I can manage the things that
need doing. If I miss that something was due and only see it late in the
day, I often end up closer to the “3” end of the spectrum come late
evening. If, on the other hand, I see everything early enough in the day
and can keep it in sight at the relevant times, I’m closer to an 8 or 9.

On Thursday, September 11, 2014 5:41:51 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Thanks for the great responses!

Some of you saw that in the daily beemail I turned this into a
numerical question, quantifying the spectrum like so:

0 = clinically depressed and fundamentally unmotivatable because you
don’t even necessarily want to live so you sure as hell can’t possibly
care about getting charged $810 or whatever.
10 = the perfect platonic ideal type bee personality.
5 might be someone who Beeminder works fine for for some things but
for other things you dig in your heels and weasel or irrationally pay
stupid amounts of money.

I’m a 9 I guess. I’m a lazy ass but if get up to enough money at risk
I toe the line and do what I have to do, which is how I’ve
accomplished pretty much everything I’ve accomplished, starting with
getting my PhD thesis written when Bethany invented the “Voluntary
Harassment Program” that eventually evolved into Beeminder.

Here’s the histogram of responses so far:

0:
1:
2: *
3: *
4:
5: ***
6: *
7: *******
8: ****
9: **
10: *

(Clarissa, David M, and Mirabai – You three seem like 9s or 10s to
me!)

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 10:34 AM, Clarissa Littler
clarissa...@gmail.com wrote:

Well so I think I am also one of the people who’s poorly motivated by
money
and much more motivated by the idea of avoiding “failure”. I think
that’s
why, in general, my goals have stayed pretty low over this past year.
I
agree also with the other response in that my motivation is rather
variable.
I know that I definitely have had days where nothing can motivate me
because
I’m in a state of nihilistic self-destruction rather similar to the
extreme
example you describe.

I know, though, that I’m probably an outlier in that regard. I’d say
my
average day, though, is that I have a lot of trouble believing that
anything
I do is actually worth it and that I’m taking advantage of my own
rather
irrational fear of failure to curb my irrational feelings of
depression. I
don’t, however, hit emergency days very often since I trimmed my
total set
of goals down to a manageable level. My usage pattern tends to be
that I
trot along motivated for awhile and stay ahead of goals until a bad
phase
hits me again and then I stop trying anything for a few days, I start
to see
more blue and orange on my goals list, and then I finally make myself
start
working again because I feel the pressure and after a few days of
riding the
minimum of what I need to get done I get momentum back and get ahead
of
everything again. I have a feeling it’s probably obvious in my data
when
this happens.

Hope that’s a useful response.

On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 4:40 PM, Daniel Reeves dre...@beeminder.com

wrote:

My recent “Type Bee Personality” post [1] described sort of the
platonic ideal of a user of a commitment device tool like Beeminder
or

StickK or whatnot [2]. In the case of Beeminder it’s someone who
climbs the pledge schedule till they find their Motivation Point [3]
and then Beeminder simply works motivational magic from then on.
When

it’s too expensive to derail you make sure not to and all is roses
and

ponies.

The other extreme – to take it to an extreme extreme for
gedankenexperiment purposes – might be someone who’s clinically
depressed and thinks “to hell with everything, I’d literally rather
kill myself than deal with this seemingly simple task right now.”

People who just get shit done with Willpower or something are an
alien

species as far as we’re concerned. They’re not part of this
motivational spectrum.

The question: How are people distributed on this spectrum of
motivatability? Sometimes people claim to not be motivated well by
money and I always suspect that what they mean is that they haven’t
found their Motivation Point. But they could also be kind of
incorrigibly irrational and/or have a somewhat self-destructive
utility function where a commitment device will do nothing but
inflict

more damage on top of the akrasia.

I want to get a better handle on that question. Could y’all chime in
with personal anecdotes? (Publicly or just to me and I’ll compile
responses.)

[1] blog.beeminder.com/typebee
[2] blog.beeminder.com/competitors
[3] blog.beeminder.com/glossary#m


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


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
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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
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Isaac Schankler, composer | www.isaacschankler.com


You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups
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#10

Here’s a fascinating and heartening account of beeminding while
depressed from an anonymous Beeminder user:

I think that it was a good thing I had Beeminder when I was depressed.

I don’t mean to say that Beeminder fixed my depression, but it put a
lower bound on the worst case scenario. You know that thing where,
when depressed, you continue to go through the motions, but you
have this otherworldly sense that you are in fact going through the
motions. You can observe yourself, detached, as if from some
vantage point outside your own self, doing things, and you can’t relate
to yourself or feel anything or get back into your body. You don’t feel
exactly in control, but things are still sliding along hitting all the right
marks and mostly taking all the right cues.

Beeminder gave me motions to keep going through. It was like a stick
I could reach out and use to prod that version of me that I felt so
completely detached from. It didn’t feel like I was winning. And I
certainly wouldn’t predict that it would be like this for everyone, and
perhaps it wouldn’t always be like this for me, but in this case, it
happens that beeminding things kept me getting out of bed. It kept
me engaging in work that I sometimes hated, but usually also
managed to give me some sense of worth and accomplishment. It
kept me doing things that I normally love but the kind of things that
you quit doing when you’re in that state. “I hate everything. So why
bother with this thing I love.” I think that in reality it’s really valuable
to keep keeping up appearances like that. To not retreat completely
out of things you love doing and people you love interacting with.

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 7:09 PM, Allison Nelson
allison.nelson13@gmail.com wrote:

I agree with Isaac, on the one hand it’s motivating but on the other it just
seems like “another thing you can’t seem to get right.”

On Sep 11, 2014 8:39 PM, “Isaac Schankler” eyesack@gmail.com wrote:

As someone who has suffered depression on and off, I will say that
Beeminder is not very useful, and maybe sometimes harmful, for a person in
that state. If I’m being honest it’s probably one of the main reasons I
stopped using Beeminder.

I’ve never been at “I would rather kill myself than do this thing” – in
my experience this is not how the cognition goes[1] – but there have been
times where my brain will go to great lengths to avoid even thinking about a
thing because of the hamster wheel of self-loathing that it will put me on.
In that state Beeminder tasks can be a part of that cycle of destructive
self-talk, something along the lines of “if I can’t even do simple task x,
how will I ever get my shit together?” It also doesn’t stop me from doing
the task poorly (or what I irrationally believe to be poorly), or fudging
the data.

Beeminder can be good in the short-term to get from “agonize about the
thing” to “just do the thing already” but after a while it loses its effect
for some reason. Staying on the road seems less important after it becomes
routine.

And money has never been a very effective motivator for me either

Isaac

[1] I will stop short of saying that this is a fundamental
misunderstanding of how depression works because maybe there’s someone in
the universe who has had that thought and meant it? But the numerical scale
doesn’t make sense to me either. It’s like asking “on a scale of triangle to
bumpy, what color would you say you are?”

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 5:06 PM, Allison Nelson
allison.nelson13@gmail.com wrote:

Hi everyone,

I am one of the clinically depressed people that you mentioned. Its very
hard to find motivation to do much of anything some days, and I’ve derailed
a lot and just given up/archived goals when I felt like "it wasn’t worth it"
anymore. I know thats not the best way to go about it, but there definitely
IS something about putting in a little data point each day, even if I feel
really crappy, that gives me a sense of accomplishment for the day. I try to
set my goals low, and then by using the “just get started” idea, it helps to
where I’ve done SOMETHING. Some days I don’t do too well. Some days I barely
want to get out of bed. But I am motivated by data and quantification, so
that helps sometimes. I’m currently on a beeminder “break” (I know…I’m
hardly the “perfect” beeminder candidate but I guess what I’m trying to say
is that I have found more use with it than I would have without it, and if
that means I use beeminder in an on-again-off-again sort of fashion, then
thats what works for me.

To place myself on the scale of 0-10, I suppose you could say I’m a 1 or
2. Probably closer to a 1. It’s useful to give me something to strive for
that day, but if I get too discouraged by a goal I usually derail once or
twice then archive it :confused:

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 6:24 PM, Essentiae essentiae@gmail.com wrote:

This depends a lot, for me, on how well I can manage the things that
need doing. If I miss that something was due and only see it late in the
day, I often end up closer to the “3” end of the spectrum come late evening.
If, on the other hand, I see everything early enough in the day and can keep
it in sight at the relevant times, I’m closer to an 8 or 9.

On Thursday, September 11, 2014 5:41:51 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Thanks for the great responses!

Some of you saw that in the daily beemail I turned this into a
numerical question, quantifying the spectrum like so:

0 = clinically depressed and fundamentally unmotivatable because you
don’t even necessarily want to live so you sure as hell can’t possibly
care about getting charged $810 or whatever.
10 = the perfect platonic ideal type bee personality.
5 might be someone who Beeminder works fine for for some things but
for other things you dig in your heels and weasel or irrationally pay
stupid amounts of money.

I’m a 9 I guess. I’m a lazy ass but if get up to enough money at risk
I toe the line and do what I have to do, which is how I’ve
accomplished pretty much everything I’ve accomplished, starting with
getting my PhD thesis written when Bethany invented the “Voluntary
Harassment Program” that eventually evolved into Beeminder.

Here’s the histogram of responses so far:

0:
1:
2: *
3: *
4:
5: ***
6: *
7: *******
8: ****
9: **
10: *

(Clarissa, David M, and Mirabai – You three seem like 9s or 10s to
me!)

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 10:34 AM, Clarissa Littler
clarissa...@gmail.com wrote:

Well so I think I am also one of the people who’s poorly motivated by
money
and much more motivated by the idea of avoiding “failure”. I think
that’s
why, in general, my goals have stayed pretty low over this past year.
I
agree also with the other response in that my motivation is rather
variable.
I know that I definitely have had days where nothing can motivate me
because
I’m in a state of nihilistic self-destruction rather similar to the
extreme
example you describe.

I know, though, that I’m probably an outlier in that regard. I’d say
my
average day, though, is that I have a lot of trouble believing that
anything
I do is actually worth it and that I’m taking advantage of my own
rather
irrational fear of failure to curb my irrational feelings of
depression. I
don’t, however, hit emergency days very often since I trimmed my
total set
of goals down to a manageable level. My usage pattern tends to be
that I
trot along motivated for awhile and stay ahead of goals until a bad
phase
hits me again and then I stop trying anything for a few days, I start
to see
more blue and orange on my goals list, and then I finally make myself
start
working again because I feel the pressure and after a few days of
riding the
minimum of what I need to get done I get momentum back and get ahead
of
everything again. I have a feeling it’s probably obvious in my data
when
this happens.

Hope that’s a useful response.

On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 4:40 PM, Daniel Reeves dre...@beeminder.com
wrote:

My recent “Type Bee Personality” post [1] described sort of the
platonic ideal of a user of a commitment device tool like Beeminder
or
StickK or whatnot [2]. In the case of Beeminder it’s someone who
climbs the pledge schedule till they find their Motivation Point [3]
and then Beeminder simply works motivational magic from then on.
When
it’s too expensive to derail you make sure not to and all is roses
and
ponies.

The other extreme – to take it to an extreme extreme for
gedankenexperiment purposes – might be someone who’s clinically
depressed and thinks “to hell with everything, I’d literally rather
kill myself than deal with this seemingly simple task right now.”

People who just get shit done with Willpower or something are an
alien
species as far as we’re concerned. They’re not part of this
motivational spectrum.

The question: How are people distributed on this spectrum of
motivatability? Sometimes people claim to not be motivated well by
money and I always suspect that what they mean is that they haven’t
found their Motivation Point. But they could also be kind of
incorrigibly irrational and/or have a somewhat self-destructive
utility function where a commitment device will do nothing but
inflict
more damage on top of the akrasia.

I want to get a better handle on that question. Could y’all chime in
with personal anecdotes? (Publicly or just to me and I’ll compile
responses.)

[1] blog.beeminder.com/typebee
[2] blog.beeminder.com/competitors
[3] blog.beeminder.com/glossary#m


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


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


#11

Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts on this thread. I really do
appreciate hearing others’ views on these topics.

I, however, don’t really understand the scale. It seems to measure
someone’s likelihood to respond to their current pledge in the final point
in time they have to meet their goal before it derails. However, it seems
like this is actually a binary classification. You meet your goals because
you care for the pledge you are about to lose. You don’t meet your goals
because you don’t care for the pledge you are about to lose (e.g. the
pledge isn’t high enough, you have competing commitments, or your inability
to do anything via depression). Perhaps the scale is measuring how beyond
caring someone is mixed in with with how close the combination of all of
these goals are to each of their motivation points??

E.G.
Not depressed
Goal 1: Pledge $5 / Motivation Point $30
Goal 2: Pledge $90 / Motivation Point $90
Goal 3: Pledge $5 / Motivation Point $30
= Ranking on scale: 8

E.G.
Overwhelming inability to start
Goal 1: Pledge $5 / Motivation Point $30
Goal 2: Pledge $90 / Motivation Point $90
Goal 3: Pledge $5 / Motivation Point $30
= Ranking on scale: 3

My own anecdote is that I’ve just failed on two goals. (When my bank gets
its $*#@ together and finally send me my replacement credit card, I’ll
start them up again.) I failed because I sat on beemergencies days for at
least one of them for about a week and then didn’t manage to get the work
done one night as I didn’t finish normal work until 11pm. When one failed,
I let the other fail because I’d had enough and needed a rest. I was
leaving things far too late (completing the minimum required with minutes
to spare) rather than spending time earlier in the day (i.e. planning!).
One Beeminder blog post talks about setting up a goal to motivate getting
beeminder goals ticked off earlier in the day. Perhaps I should be looking
into that. Perhaps it’s just that I need to fail a few times until the
credit card debt (Huh, I only just realised that was the actual motivation
of each pledge) starts to kick my ass.

I don’t know where I currently am on your scale Daniel.

On Tuesday, 16 September 2014 18:24:27 UTC+12, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Here’s a fascinating and heartening account of beeminding while
depressed from an anonymous Beeminder user:

I think that it was a good thing I had Beeminder when I was depressed.

I don’t mean to say that Beeminder fixed my depression, but it put a
lower bound on the worst case scenario. You know that thing where,
when depressed, you continue to go through the motions, but you
have this otherworldly sense that you are in fact going through the
motions. You can observe yourself, detached, as if from some
vantage point outside your own self, doing things, and you can’t relate
to yourself or feel anything or get back into your body. You don’t feel
exactly in control, but things are still sliding along hitting all the
right
marks and mostly taking all the right cues.

Beeminder gave me motions to keep going through. It was like a stick
I could reach out and use to prod that version of me that I felt so
completely detached from. It didn’t feel like I was winning. And I
certainly wouldn’t predict that it would be like this for everyone, and
perhaps it wouldn’t always be like this for me, but in this case, it
happens that beeminding things kept me getting out of bed. It kept
me engaging in work that I sometimes hated, but usually also
managed to give me some sense of worth and accomplishment. It
kept me doing things that I normally love but the kind of things that
you quit doing when you’re in that state. “I hate everything. So why
bother with this thing I love.” I think that in reality it’s really
valuable
to keep keeping up appearances like that. To not retreat completely
out of things you love doing and people you love interacting with.

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 7:09 PM, Allison Nelson
<allison....@gmail.com <javascript:>> wrote:

I agree with Isaac, on the one hand it’s motivating but on the other it
just
seems like “another thing you can’t seem to get right.”

On Sep 11, 2014 8:39 PM, “Isaac Schankler” <eye...@gmail.com
<javascript:>> wrote:

As someone who has suffered depression on and off, I will say that
Beeminder is not very useful, and maybe sometimes harmful, for a person
in

that state. If I’m being honest it’s probably one of the main reasons I
stopped using Beeminder.

I’ve never been at “I would rather kill myself than do this thing” –
in

my experience this is not how the cognition goes[1] – but there have
been

times where my brain will go to great lengths to avoid even thinking
about a

thing because of the hamster wheel of self-loathing that it will put me
on.

In that state Beeminder tasks can be a part of that cycle of
destructive

self-talk, something along the lines of "if I can’t even do simple task
x,

how will I ever get my shit together?" It also doesn’t stop me from
doing

the task poorly (or what I irrationally believe to be poorly), or
fudging

the data.

Beeminder can be good in the short-term to get from “agonize about the
thing” to “just do the thing already” but after a while it loses its
effect

for some reason. Staying on the road seems less important after it
becomes

routine.

And money has never been a very effective motivator for me either

Isaac

[1] I will stop short of saying that this is a fundamental
misunderstanding of how depression works because maybe there’s someone
in

the universe who has had that thought and meant it? But the numerical
scale

doesn’t make sense to me either. It’s like asking "on a scale of
triangle to

bumpy, what color would you say you are?"

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 5:06 PM, Allison Nelson
<allison....@gmail.com <javascript:>> wrote:

Hi everyone,

I am one of the clinically depressed people that you mentioned. Its
very

hard to find motivation to do much of anything some days, and I’ve
derailed

a lot and just given up/archived goals when I felt like “it wasn’t
worth it”

anymore. I know thats not the best way to go about it, but there
definitely

IS something about putting in a little data point each day, even if I
feel

really crappy, that gives me a sense of accomplishment for the day. I
try to

set my goals low, and then by using the “just get started” idea, it
helps to

where I’ve done SOMETHING. Some days I don’t do too well. Some days I
barely

want to get out of bed. But I am motivated by data and quantification,
so

that helps sometimes. I’m currently on a beeminder “break” (I
know…I’m

hardly the “perfect” beeminder candidate but I guess what I’m trying
to say

is that I have found more use with it than I would have without it,
and if

that means I use beeminder in an on-again-off-again sort of fashion,
then

thats what works for me.

To place myself on the scale of 0-10, I suppose you could say I’m a 1
or

  1. Probably closer to a 1. It’s useful to give me something to
    strive for

that day, but if I get too discouraged by a goal I usually derail once
or

twice then archive it :confused:

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 6:24 PM, Essentiae <esse...@gmail.com
<javascript:>> wrote:

This depends a lot, for me, on how well I can manage the things that
need doing. If I miss that something was due and only see it late in
the

day, I often end up closer to the “3” end of the spectrum come late
evening.

If, on the other hand, I see everything early enough in the day and
can keep

it in sight at the relevant times, I’m closer to an 8 or 9.

On Thursday, September 11, 2014 5:41:51 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves
wrote:

Thanks for the great responses!

Some of you saw that in the daily beemail I turned this into a
numerical question, quantifying the spectrum like so:

0 = clinically depressed and fundamentally unmotivatable because you
don’t even necessarily want to live so you sure as hell can’t
possibly

care about getting charged $810 or whatever.
10 = the perfect platonic ideal type bee personality.
5 might be someone who Beeminder works fine for for some things but
for other things you dig in your heels and weasel or irrationally
pay

stupid amounts of money.

I’m a 9 I guess. I’m a lazy ass but if get up to enough money at
risk

I toe the line and do what I have to do, which is how I’ve
accomplished pretty much everything I’ve accomplished, starting with
getting my PhD thesis written when Bethany invented the “Voluntary
Harassment Program” that eventually evolved into Beeminder.

Here’s the histogram of responses so far:

0:
1:
2: *
3: *
4:
5: ***
6: *
7: *******
8: ****
9: **
10: *

(Clarissa, David M, and Mirabai – You three seem like 9s or 10s to
me!)

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 10:34 AM, Clarissa Littler
clarissa...@gmail.com wrote:

Well so I think I am also one of the people who’s poorly motivated
by

money
and much more motivated by the idea of avoiding “failure”. I think
that’s
why, in general, my goals have stayed pretty low over this past
year.

I
agree also with the other response in that my motivation is rather
variable.
I know that I definitely have had days where nothing can motivate
me

because
I’m in a state of nihilistic self-destruction rather similar to
the

extreme
example you describe.

I know, though, that I’m probably an outlier in that regard. I’d
say

my
average day, though, is that I have a lot of trouble believing
that

anything
I do is actually worth it and that I’m taking advantage of my own
rather
irrational fear of failure to curb my irrational feelings of
depression. I
don’t, however, hit emergency days very often since I trimmed my
total set
of goals down to a manageable level. My usage pattern tends to be
that I
trot along motivated for awhile and stay ahead of goals until a
bad

phase
hits me again and then I stop trying anything for a few days, I
start

to see
more blue and orange on my goals list, and then I finally make
myself

start
working again because I feel the pressure and after a few days of
riding the
minimum of what I need to get done I get momentum back and get
ahead

of
everything again. I have a feeling it’s probably obvious in my
data

when
this happens.

Hope that’s a useful response.

On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 4:40 PM, Daniel Reeves <
dre...@beeminder.com>

wrote:

My recent “Type Bee Personality” post [1] described sort of the
platonic ideal of a user of a commitment device tool like
Beeminder

or
StickK or whatnot [2]. In the case of Beeminder it’s someone who
climbs the pledge schedule till they find their Motivation Point
[3]

and then Beeminder simply works motivational magic from then on.
When
it’s too expensive to derail you make sure not to and all is
roses

and
ponies.

The other extreme – to take it to an extreme extreme for
gedankenexperiment purposes – might be someone who’s clinically
depressed and thinks "to hell with everything, I’d literally
rather

kill myself than deal with this seemingly simple task right now."

People who just get shit done with Willpower or something are an
alien
species as far as we’re concerned. They’re not part of this
motivational spectrum.

The question: How are people distributed on this spectrum of
motivatability? Sometimes people claim to not be motivated well
by

money and I always suspect that what they mean is that they
haven’t

found their Motivation Point. But they could also be kind of
incorrigibly irrational and/or have a somewhat self-destructive
utility function where a commitment device will do nothing but
inflict
more damage on top of the akrasia.

I want to get a better handle on that question. Could y’all chime
in

with personal anecdotes? (Publicly or just to me and I’ll compile
responses.)

[1] blog.beeminder.com/typebee
[2] blog.beeminder.com/competitors
[3] blog.beeminder.com/glossary#m


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


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#12

Money is indeed a poor motivator, because no matter what it’s a future
reward (or more specifically, a set of future reward options). Juice is a
reward. Facebook is a reward. A skydive is a reward. Money is simply the
possibility to get a reward, again and most importantly,
sometime-that-is-not-now. The closer the motivator in temporal proximity to
the desire action, the better.

On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 7:40 PM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com
wrote:

My recent “Type Bee Personality” post [1] described sort of the
platonic ideal of a user of a commitment device tool like Beeminder or
StickK or whatnot [2]. In the case of Beeminder it’s someone who
climbs the pledge schedule till they find their Motivation Point [3]
and then Beeminder simply works motivational magic from then on. When
it’s too expensive to derail you make sure not to and all is roses and
ponies.

The other extreme – to take it to an extreme extreme for
gedankenexperiment purposes – might be someone who’s clinically
depressed and thinks “to hell with everything, I’d literally rather
kill myself than deal with this seemingly simple task right now.”

People who just get shit done with Willpower or something are an alien
species as far as we’re concerned. They’re not part of this
motivational spectrum.

The question: How are people distributed on this spectrum of
motivatability? Sometimes people claim to not be motivated well by
money and I always suspect that what they mean is that they haven’t
found their Motivation Point. But they could also be kind of
incorrigibly irrational and/or have a somewhat self-destructive
utility function where a commitment device will do nothing but inflict
more damage on top of the akrasia.

I want to get a better handle on that question. Could y’all chime in
with personal anecdotes? (Publicly or just to me and I’ll compile
responses.)

[1] blog.beeminder.com/typebee
[2] blog.beeminder.com/competitors
[3] blog.beeminder.com/glossary#m


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


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#13

I’m actually not at all sure the scale makes sense. The idea for that
straw poll was related to our “10 freebees for $1” idea and how that’s
different from unlimited freebees with Plan Bee.

The difference, repeating myself from a recent daily beemail, is that
a freebee is a goal that starts at $0 but still climbs the pledge
schedule each time you derail. You can turn off auto-increase and have
it stay as low as $5 but you can’t have it stay at $0. Plan Bee lets
you have truly pledgeless goals (as many as you like) that can start
at and stay at $0 (and drop back down to $0 if previously at $5).

The fact that it takes a paragraph to clarify that means we’re doing
something wrong… :slight_smile:

My inclination is to solve this by yanking the "infinite freebees"
perk from the premium plans. There are only ~50 people taking
advantage of it and it’s pretty un-Beeminder-like. (But of course
anyone who’s signed up on Plan Bee before we make changes will be
grandfathered or better.)

In the meantime we’ve tried to disambiguate by referring to the Plan
Bee perk on beeminder.com/premium as “fully pledgeless goals” and are
inclined to try this “10 freebees for $1” idea since it’s easy and the
feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. (Thanks again!)

But back to the motivatability scale, my idea was that if there are
many of you lower on that scale then we should perhaps keep pursuing
seemingly un-Beeminder-like ideas like unlimited pledgeless goals.

Here’s the final histogram of responses (also repeated from a recent
daily beemail):

0:
1:
2: *
3: *
4: *
5: ***
6: *
7: *******
8: ****
9: **
10: *

(Note the huge selection bias though.)

PS to Portland people: Want to join us tonight at the beehive for a
pomodoro poker hack night?

On Tue, Sep 16, 2014 at 2:00 AM, Patrick Duncan patrick@duncan.net.nz wrote:

Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts on this thread. I really do
appreciate hearing others’ views on these topics.

I, however, don’t really understand the scale. It seems to measure someone’s
likelihood to respond to their current pledge in the final point in time
they have to meet their goal before it derails. However, it seems like this
is actually a binary classification. You meet your goals because you care
for the pledge you are about to lose. You don’t meet your goals because you
don’t care for the pledge you are about to lose (e.g. the pledge isn’t high
enough, you have competing commitments, or your inability to do anything via
depression). Perhaps the scale is measuring how beyond caring someone is
mixed in with with how close the combination of all of these goals are to
each of their motivation points??

E.G.
Not depressed
Goal 1: Pledge $5 / Motivation Point $30
Goal 2: Pledge $90 / Motivation Point $90
Goal 3: Pledge $5 / Motivation Point $30
= Ranking on scale: 8

E.G.
Overwhelming inability to start
Goal 1: Pledge $5 / Motivation Point $30
Goal 2: Pledge $90 / Motivation Point $90
Goal 3: Pledge $5 / Motivation Point $30
= Ranking on scale: 3

My own anecdote is that I’ve just failed on two goals. (When my bank gets
its $*#@ together and finally send me my replacement credit card, I’ll start
them up again.) I failed because I sat on beemergencies days for at least
one of them for about a week and then didn’t manage to get the work done one
night as I didn’t finish normal work until 11pm. When one failed, I let the
other fail because I’d had enough and needed a rest. I was leaving things
far too late (completing the minimum required with minutes to spare) rather
than spending time earlier in the day (i.e. planning!). One Beeminder blog
post talks about setting up a goal to motivate getting beeminder goals
ticked off earlier in the day. Perhaps I should be looking into that.
Perhaps it’s just that I need to fail a few times until the credit card debt
(Huh, I only just realised that was the actual motivation of each pledge)
starts to kick my ass.

I don’t know where I currently am on your scale Daniel.

On Tuesday, 16 September 2014 18:24:27 UTC+12, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Here’s a fascinating and heartening account of beeminding while
depressed from an anonymous Beeminder user:

I think that it was a good thing I had Beeminder when I was depressed.

I don’t mean to say that Beeminder fixed my depression, but it put a
lower bound on the worst case scenario. You know that thing where,
when depressed, you continue to go through the motions, but you
have this otherworldly sense that you are in fact going through the
motions. You can observe yourself, detached, as if from some
vantage point outside your own self, doing things, and you can’t relate
to yourself or feel anything or get back into your body. You don’t feel
exactly in control, but things are still sliding along hitting all the
right
marks and mostly taking all the right cues.

Beeminder gave me motions to keep going through. It was like a stick
I could reach out and use to prod that version of me that I felt so
completely detached from. It didn’t feel like I was winning. And I
certainly wouldn’t predict that it would be like this for everyone, and
perhaps it wouldn’t always be like this for me, but in this case, it
happens that beeminding things kept me getting out of bed. It kept
me engaging in work that I sometimes hated, but usually also
managed to give me some sense of worth and accomplishment. It
kept me doing things that I normally love but the kind of things that
you quit doing when you’re in that state. “I hate everything. So why
bother with this thing I love.” I think that in reality it’s really
valuable
to keep keeping up appearances like that. To not retreat completely
out of things you love doing and people you love interacting with.

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 7:09 PM, Allison Nelson
allison....@gmail.com wrote:

I agree with Isaac, on the one hand it’s motivating but on the other it
just
seems like “another thing you can’t seem to get right.”

On Sep 11, 2014 8:39 PM, “Isaac Schankler” eye...@gmail.com wrote:

As someone who has suffered depression on and off, I will say that
Beeminder is not very useful, and maybe sometimes harmful, for a person
in
that state. If I’m being honest it’s probably one of the main reasons I
stopped using Beeminder.

I’ve never been at “I would rather kill myself than do this thing” –
in
my experience this is not how the cognition goes[1] – but there have
been
times where my brain will go to great lengths to avoid even thinking
about a
thing because of the hamster wheel of self-loathing that it will put me
on.
In that state Beeminder tasks can be a part of that cycle of
destructive
self-talk, something along the lines of “if I can’t even do simple task
x,
how will I ever get my shit together?” It also doesn’t stop me from
doing
the task poorly (or what I irrationally believe to be poorly), or
fudging
the data.

Beeminder can be good in the short-term to get from “agonize about the
thing” to “just do the thing already” but after a while it loses its
effect
for some reason. Staying on the road seems less important after it
becomes
routine.

And money has never been a very effective motivator for me either

Isaac

[1] I will stop short of saying that this is a fundamental
misunderstanding of how depression works because maybe there’s someone
in
the universe who has had that thought and meant it? But the numerical
scale
doesn’t make sense to me either. It’s like asking “on a scale of
triangle to
bumpy, what color would you say you are?”

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 5:06 PM, Allison Nelson
allison....@gmail.com wrote:

Hi everyone,

I am one of the clinically depressed people that you mentioned. Its
very
hard to find motivation to do much of anything some days, and I’ve
derailed
a lot and just given up/archived goals when I felt like "it wasn’t
worth it"
anymore. I know thats not the best way to go about it, but there
definitely
IS something about putting in a little data point each day, even if I
feel
really crappy, that gives me a sense of accomplishment for the day. I
try to
set my goals low, and then by using the “just get started” idea, it
helps to
where I’ve done SOMETHING. Some days I don’t do too well. Some days I
barely
want to get out of bed. But I am motivated by data and quantification,
so
that helps sometimes. I’m currently on a beeminder “break” (I
know…I’m
hardly the “perfect” beeminder candidate but I guess what I’m trying
to say
is that I have found more use with it than I would have without it,
and if
that means I use beeminder in an on-again-off-again sort of fashion,
then
thats what works for me.

To place myself on the scale of 0-10, I suppose you could say I’m a 1
or
2. Probably closer to a 1. It’s useful to give me something to
strive for
that day, but if I get too discouraged by a goal I usually derail once
or
twice then archive it :confused:

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 6:24 PM, Essentiae esse...@gmail.com wrote:

This depends a lot, for me, on how well I can manage the things that
need doing. If I miss that something was due and only see it late in
the
day, I often end up closer to the “3” end of the spectrum come late
evening.
If, on the other hand, I see everything early enough in the day and
can keep
it in sight at the relevant times, I’m closer to an 8 or 9.

On Thursday, September 11, 2014 5:41:51 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves
wrote:

Thanks for the great responses!

Some of you saw that in the daily beemail I turned this into a
numerical question, quantifying the spectrum like so:

0 = clinically depressed and fundamentally unmotivatable because you
don’t even necessarily want to live so you sure as hell can’t
possibly
care about getting charged $810 or whatever.
10 = the perfect platonic ideal type bee personality.
5 might be someone who Beeminder works fine for for some things but
for other things you dig in your heels and weasel or irrationally
pay
stupid amounts of money.

I’m a 9 I guess. I’m a lazy ass but if get up to enough money at
risk
I toe the line and do what I have to do, which is how I’ve
accomplished pretty much everything I’ve accomplished, starting with
getting my PhD thesis written when Bethany invented the “Voluntary
Harassment Program” that eventually evolved into Beeminder.

Here’s the histogram of responses so far:

0:
1:
2: *
3: *
4:
5: ***
6: *
7: *******
8: ****
9: **
10: *

(Clarissa, David M, and Mirabai – You three seem like 9s or 10s to
me!)

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 10:34 AM, Clarissa Littler
clarissa...@gmail.com wrote:

Well so I think I am also one of the people who’s poorly motivated
by
money
and much more motivated by the idea of avoiding “failure”. I think
that’s
why, in general, my goals have stayed pretty low over this past
year.
I
agree also with the other response in that my motivation is rather
variable.
I know that I definitely have had days where nothing can motivate
me
because
I’m in a state of nihilistic self-destruction rather similar to
the
extreme
example you describe.

I know, though, that I’m probably an outlier in that regard. I’d
say
my
average day, though, is that I have a lot of trouble believing
that
anything
I do is actually worth it and that I’m taking advantage of my own
rather
irrational fear of failure to curb my irrational feelings of
depression. I
don’t, however, hit emergency days very often since I trimmed my
total set
of goals down to a manageable level. My usage pattern tends to be
that I
trot along motivated for awhile and stay ahead of goals until a
bad
phase
hits me again and then I stop trying anything for a few days, I
start
to see
more blue and orange on my goals list, and then I finally make
myself
start
working again because I feel the pressure and after a few days of
riding the
minimum of what I need to get done I get momentum back and get
ahead
of
everything again. I have a feeling it’s probably obvious in my
data
when
this happens.

Hope that’s a useful response.

On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 4:40 PM, Daniel Reeves
dre...@beeminder.com
wrote:

My recent “Type Bee Personality” post [1] described sort of the
platonic ideal of a user of a commitment device tool like
Beeminder
or
StickK or whatnot [2]. In the case of Beeminder it’s someone who
climbs the pledge schedule till they find their Motivation Point
[3]
and then Beeminder simply works motivational magic from then on.
When
it’s too expensive to derail you make sure not to and all is
roses
and
ponies.

The other extreme – to take it to an extreme extreme for
gedankenexperiment purposes – might be someone who’s clinically
depressed and thinks “to hell with everything, I’d literally
rather
kill myself than deal with this seemingly simple task right now.”

People who just get shit done with Willpower or something are an
alien
species as far as we’re concerned. They’re not part of this
motivational spectrum.

The question: How are people distributed on this spectrum of
motivatability? Sometimes people claim to not be motivated well
by
money and I always suspect that what they mean is that they
haven’t
found their Motivation Point. But they could also be kind of
incorrigibly irrational and/or have a somewhat self-destructive
utility function where a commitment device will do nothing but
inflict
more damage on top of the akrasia.

I want to get a better handle on that question. Could y’all chime
in
with personal anecdotes? (Publicly or just to me and I’ll compile
responses.)

[1] blog.beeminder.com/typebee
[2] blog.beeminder.com/competitors
[3] blog.beeminder.com/glossary#m


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
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#14

Hi Daniel,

I propose for your consideration two reasons why you should take the
"lets change the rules objectionably, but grandfather people in" move
only under extreme circumstances.

  1. It reflects badly on beeminder.
  2. It imposes a permanent software engineering and relationship
    constraint on beeminder.

I can elaborate on each if necessary. But I for one would much prefer
that you never grandfather anyone in. When you change the rules, change
them (and yes, that means having that hated "we get to change the rules"
clause). And as a corollary: change them (objectionably) only rarely and
carefully.

Beeminder has, at different times, expressed two views that seem to
conflict:

  1. “infinite freebees” … it’s pretty un-Beeminder-like.
  2. … the QS First principle, and in fact I view Beeminder as foremost
    a Quantified Self tool

I think the infinite (subscription paid!) freebees are a very QS
feature, and hence very Beeminder-like also. People are telling you on
many threads that the QS aspects of BM are at least as important as the
sting. And for paying subscribers there is no conflict with revenue.

I personally love BM. It works for me for some important things, though
not yet for ugh-fields nor for work. But for me personally the “hurry
now, get grandfathered” calls are a turn off.

Daniel Vainsencher

On 09/16/2014 08:37 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

I’m actually not at all sure the scale makes sense. The idea for that
straw poll was related to our “10 freebees for $1” idea and how that’s
different from unlimited freebees with Plan Bee.

The difference, repeating myself from a recent daily beemail, is that
a freebee is a goal that starts at $0 but still climbs the pledge
schedule each time you derail. You can turn off auto-increase and have
it stay as low as $5 but you can’t have it stay at $0. Plan Bee lets
you have truly pledgeless goals (as many as you like) that can start
at and stay at $0 (and drop back down to $0 if previously at $5).

The fact that it takes a paragraph to clarify that means we’re doing
something wrong… :slight_smile:

My inclination is to solve this by yanking the "infinite freebees"
perk from the premium plans. There are only ~50 people taking
advantage of it and it’s pretty un-Beeminder-like. (But of course
anyone who’s signed up on Plan Bee before we make changes will be
grandfathered or better.)

In the meantime we’ve tried to disambiguate by referring to the Plan
Bee perk on beeminder.com/premium as “fully pledgeless goals” and are
inclined to try this “10 freebees for $1” idea since it’s easy and the
feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. (Thanks again!)

But back to the motivatability scale, my idea was that if there are
many of you lower on that scale then we should perhaps keep pursuing
seemingly un-Beeminder-like ideas like unlimited pledgeless goals.

Here’s the final histogram of responses (also repeated from a recent
daily beemail):

0:
1:
2: *
3: *
4: *
5: ***
6: *
7: *******
8: ****
9: **
10: *

(Note the huge selection bias though.)

PS to Portland people: Want to join us tonight at the beehive for a
pomodoro poker hack night?

On Tue, Sep 16, 2014 at 2:00 AM, Patrick Duncan patrick@duncan.net.nz wrote:

Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts on this thread. I really do
appreciate hearing others’ views on these topics.

I, however, don’t really understand the scale. It seems to measure someone’s
likelihood to respond to their current pledge in the final point in time
they have to meet their goal before it derails. However, it seems like this
is actually a binary classification. You meet your goals because you care
for the pledge you are about to lose. You don’t meet your goals because you
don’t care for the pledge you are about to lose (e.g. the pledge isn’t high
enough, you have competing commitments, or your inability to do anything via
depression). Perhaps the scale is measuring how beyond caring someone is
mixed in with with how close the combination of all of these goals are to
each of their motivation points??

E.G.
Not depressed
Goal 1: Pledge $5 / Motivation Point $30
Goal 2: Pledge $90 / Motivation Point $90
Goal 3: Pledge $5 / Motivation Point $30
= Ranking on scale: 8

E.G.
Overwhelming inability to start
Goal 1: Pledge $5 / Motivation Point $30
Goal 2: Pledge $90 / Motivation Point $90
Goal 3: Pledge $5 / Motivation Point $30
= Ranking on scale: 3

My own anecdote is that I’ve just failed on two goals. (When my bank gets
its $*#@ together and finally send me my replacement credit card, I’ll start
them up again.) I failed because I sat on beemergencies days for at least
one of them for about a week and then didn’t manage to get the work done one
night as I didn’t finish normal work until 11pm. When one failed, I let the
other fail because I’d had enough and needed a rest. I was leaving things
far too late (completing the minimum required with minutes to spare) rather
than spending time earlier in the day (i.e. planning!). One Beeminder blog
post talks about setting up a goal to motivate getting beeminder goals
ticked off earlier in the day. Perhaps I should be looking into that.
Perhaps it’s just that I need to fail a few times until the credit card debt
(Huh, I only just realised that was the actual motivation of each pledge)
starts to kick my ass.

I don’t know where I currently am on your scale Daniel.

On Tuesday, 16 September 2014 18:24:27 UTC+12, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Here’s a fascinating and heartening account of beeminding while
depressed from an anonymous Beeminder user:

I think that it was a good thing I had Beeminder when I was depressed.

I don’t mean to say that Beeminder fixed my depression, but it put a
lower bound on the worst case scenario. You know that thing where,
when depressed, you continue to go through the motions, but you
have this otherworldly sense that you are in fact going through the
motions. You can observe yourself, detached, as if from some
vantage point outside your own self, doing things, and you can’t relate
to yourself or feel anything or get back into your body. You don’t feel
exactly in control, but things are still sliding along hitting all the
right
marks and mostly taking all the right cues.

Beeminder gave me motions to keep going through. It was like a stick
I could reach out and use to prod that version of me that I felt so
completely detached from. It didn’t feel like I was winning. And I
certainly wouldn’t predict that it would be like this for everyone, and
perhaps it wouldn’t always be like this for me, but in this case, it
happens that beeminding things kept me getting out of bed. It kept
me engaging in work that I sometimes hated, but usually also
managed to give me some sense of worth and accomplishment. It
kept me doing things that I normally love but the kind of things that
you quit doing when you’re in that state. “I hate everything. So why
bother with this thing I love.” I think that in reality it’s really
valuable
to keep keeping up appearances like that. To not retreat completely
out of things you love doing and people you love interacting with.

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 7:09 PM, Allison Nelson
allison....@gmail.com wrote:

I agree with Isaac, on the one hand it’s motivating but on the other it
just
seems like “another thing you can’t seem to get right.”

On Sep 11, 2014 8:39 PM, “Isaac Schankler” eye...@gmail.com wrote:

As someone who has suffered depression on and off, I will say that
Beeminder is not very useful, and maybe sometimes harmful, for a person
in
that state. If I’m being honest it’s probably one of the main reasons I
stopped using Beeminder.

I’ve never been at “I would rather kill myself than do this thing” –
in
my experience this is not how the cognition goes[1] – but there have
been
times where my brain will go to great lengths to avoid even thinking
about a
thing because of the hamster wheel of self-loathing that it will put me
on.
In that state Beeminder tasks can be a part of that cycle of
destructive
self-talk, something along the lines of “if I can’t even do simple task
x,
how will I ever get my shit together?” It also doesn’t stop me from
doing
the task poorly (or what I irrationally believe to be poorly), or
fudging
the data.

Beeminder can be good in the short-term to get from “agonize about the
thing” to “just do the thing already” but after a while it loses its
effect
for some reason. Staying on the road seems less important after it
becomes
routine.

And money has never been a very effective motivator for me either

Isaac

[1] I will stop short of saying that this is a fundamental
misunderstanding of how depression works because maybe there’s someone
in
the universe who has had that thought and meant it? But the numerical
scale
doesn’t make sense to me either. It’s like asking “on a scale of
triangle to
bumpy, what color would you say you are?”

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 5:06 PM, Allison Nelson
allison....@gmail.com wrote:

Hi everyone,

I am one of the clinically depressed people that you mentioned. Its
very
hard to find motivation to do much of anything some days, and I’ve
derailed
a lot and just given up/archived goals when I felt like "it wasn’t
worth it"
anymore. I know thats not the best way to go about it, but there
definitely
IS something about putting in a little data point each day, even if I
feel
really crappy, that gives me a sense of accomplishment for the day. I
try to
set my goals low, and then by using the “just get started” idea, it
helps to
where I’ve done SOMETHING. Some days I don’t do too well. Some days I
barely
want to get out of bed. But I am motivated by data and quantification,
so
that helps sometimes. I’m currently on a beeminder “break” (I
know…I’m
hardly the “perfect” beeminder candidate but I guess what I’m trying
to say
is that I have found more use with it than I would have without it,
and if
that means I use beeminder in an on-again-off-again sort of fashion,
then
thats what works for me.

To place myself on the scale of 0-10, I suppose you could say I’m a 1
or
2. Probably closer to a 1. It’s useful to give me something to
strive for
that day, but if I get too discouraged by a goal I usually derail once
or
twice then archive it :confused:

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 6:24 PM, Essentiae esse...@gmail.com wrote:

This depends a lot, for me, on how well I can manage the things that
need doing. If I miss that something was due and only see it late in
the
day, I often end up closer to the “3” end of the spectrum come late
evening.
If, on the other hand, I see everything early enough in the day and
can keep
it in sight at the relevant times, I’m closer to an 8 or 9.

On Thursday, September 11, 2014 5:41:51 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves
wrote:

Thanks for the great responses!

Some of you saw that in the daily beemail I turned this into a
numerical question, quantifying the spectrum like so:

0 = clinically depressed and fundamentally unmotivatable because you
don’t even necessarily want to live so you sure as hell can’t
possibly
care about getting charged $810 or whatever.
10 = the perfect platonic ideal type bee personality.
5 might be someone who Beeminder works fine for for some things but
for other things you dig in your heels and weasel or irrationally
pay
stupid amounts of money.

I’m a 9 I guess. I’m a lazy ass but if get up to enough money at
risk
I toe the line and do what I have to do, which is how I’ve
accomplished pretty much everything I’ve accomplished, starting with
getting my PhD thesis written when Bethany invented the “Voluntary
Harassment Program” that eventually evolved into Beeminder.

Here’s the histogram of responses so far:

0:
1:
2: *
3: *
4:
5: ***
6: *
7: *******
8: ****
9: **
10: *

(Clarissa, David M, and Mirabai – You three seem like 9s or 10s to
me!)

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 10:34 AM, Clarissa Littler
clarissa...@gmail.com wrote:

Well so I think I am also one of the people who’s poorly motivated
by
money
and much more motivated by the idea of avoiding “failure”. I think
that’s
why, in general, my goals have stayed pretty low over this past
year.
I
agree also with the other response in that my motivation is rather
variable.
I know that I definitely have had days where nothing can motivate
me
because
I’m in a state of nihilistic self-destruction rather similar to
the
extreme
example you describe.

I know, though, that I’m probably an outlier in that regard. I’d
say
my
average day, though, is that I have a lot of trouble believing
that
anything
I do is actually worth it and that I’m taking advantage of my own
rather
irrational fear of failure to curb my irrational feelings of
depression. I
don’t, however, hit emergency days very often since I trimmed my
total set
of goals down to a manageable level. My usage pattern tends to be
that I
trot along motivated for awhile and stay ahead of goals until a
bad
phase
hits me again and then I stop trying anything for a few days, I
start
to see
more blue and orange on my goals list, and then I finally make
myself
start
working again because I feel the pressure and after a few days of
riding the
minimum of what I need to get done I get momentum back and get
ahead
of
everything again. I have a feeling it’s probably obvious in my
data
when
this happens.

Hope that’s a useful response.

On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 4:40 PM, Daniel Reeves
dre...@beeminder.com
wrote:

My recent “Type Bee Personality” post [1] described sort of the
platonic ideal of a user of a commitment device tool like
Beeminder
or
StickK or whatnot [2]. In the case of Beeminder it’s someone who
climbs the pledge schedule till they find their Motivation Point
[3]
and then Beeminder simply works motivational magic from then on.
When
it’s too expensive to derail you make sure not to and all is
roses
and
ponies.

The other extreme – to take it to an extreme extreme for
gedankenexperiment purposes – might be someone who’s clinically
depressed and thinks “to hell with everything, I’d literally
rather
kill myself than deal with this seemingly simple task right now.”

People who just get shit done with Willpower or something are an
alien
species as far as we’re concerned. They’re not part of this
motivational spectrum.

The question: How are people distributed on this spectrum of
motivatability? Sometimes people claim to not be motivated well
by
money and I always suspect that what they mean is that they
haven’t
found their Motivation Point. But they could also be kind of
incorrigibly irrational and/or have a somewhat self-destructive
utility function where a commitment device will do nothing but
inflict
more damage on top of the akrasia.

I want to get a better handle on that question. Could y’all chime
in
with personal anecdotes? (Publicly or just to me and I’ll compile
responses.)

[1] blog.beeminder.com/typebee
[2] blog.beeminder.com/competitors
[3] blog.beeminder.com/glossary#m


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#15

Excellent points, and I did have that in the back of my mind a bit
when I added the “or better” after “will be grandfathered”. Like if it
looks costly for the reasons you suggest (I’m not sure if it will be)
then we could instead do a greater-than-100% refund on the most recent
premium payment. We’d have to think it through and, mostly, ask the
people affected. (Which, again, is not many.) Noted on the turn-off of
anything with an “act now!” feel to it. Great point.

As for the seeming conflict between the QS First principle and fully
pledgeless goals, my own feeling is that, yes, Beeminder is
first/foremost a QS tool, but it’s still not exactly beeminding if you
remove the pledge part. It’s just, y’know, minding. QS First is
actually my own bias. Many of us view Beeminder’s graphs and data as
purely a means for implementing flexible commitment contracts.
[blog.beeminder.com/philip] Ie, QS Last.

But even QS First doesn’t mean QS Only, is my point. We gladly point
people to alternatives like blog.beeminder.com/trackhack if they want
QS Only. As you point out, it makes sense to give people that if
they’re willing to pay for it, except, as you also point out, there
might be a software engineering cost and relationship constraint,
dealing with two very different kinds of users with different sets of
rules and algorithms. (But it might be fine!)

I should also mention that we’ve avoided any grandfathering so far
(other than prices for premium plans) and do want to continue to avoid
it. So, yes, really glad you pointed this out.

Feedback still solicited on how bad it would be to drop unlimited
pledgeless goals from Plan Bee, given that you could instead buy 10
initially pledgeless goals for $1. But I also think we may yet find
a way to have the best of all worlds and make QS Only and QS First and
QS Last people all happy in an elegant way. [note to
self/inner-hexagon: pledge caps proposal may be part of this (might be
worth a separate thread if people are curious)]

Thanks again for the highly constructive feedback on this stuff, Daniel!

On Tue, Sep 16, 2014 at 11:54 PM, Daniel Vainsencher
daniel.vainsencher@gmail.com wrote:

Hi Daniel,

I propose for your consideration two reasons why you should take the “lets
change the rules objectionably, but grandfather people in” move only under
extreme circumstances.

  1. It reflects badly on beeminder.
  2. It imposes a permanent software engineering and relationship constraint
    on beeminder.

I can elaborate on each if necessary. But I for one would much prefer that
you never grandfather anyone in. When you change the rules, change them (and
yes, that means having that hated “we get to change the rules” clause). And
as a corollary: change them (objectionably) only rarely and carefully.

Beeminder has, at different times, expressed two views that seem to
conflict:

  1. “infinite freebees” … it’s pretty un-Beeminder-like.
  2. … the QS First principle, and in fact I view Beeminder as foremost a
    Quantified Self tool

I think the infinite (subscription paid!) freebees are a very QS feature,
and hence very Beeminder-like also. People are telling you on many threads
that the QS aspects of BM are at least as important as the sting. And for
paying subscribers there is no conflict with revenue.

I personally love BM. It works for me for some important things, though not
yet for ugh-fields nor for work. But for me personally the “hurry now, get
grandfathered” calls are a turn off.

Daniel Vainsencher

On 09/16/2014 08:37 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

I’m actually not at all sure the scale makes sense. The idea for that
straw poll was related to our “10 freebees for $1” idea and how that’s
different from unlimited freebees with Plan Bee.

The difference, repeating myself from a recent daily beemail, is that
a freebee is a goal that starts at $0 but still climbs the pledge
schedule each time you derail. You can turn off auto-increase and have
it stay as low as $5 but you can’t have it stay at $0. Plan Bee lets
you have truly pledgeless goals (as many as you like) that can start
at and stay at $0 (and drop back down to $0 if previously at $5).

The fact that it takes a paragraph to clarify that means we’re doing
something wrong… :slight_smile:

My inclination is to solve this by yanking the "infinite freebees"
perk from the premium plans. There are only ~50 people taking
advantage of it and it’s pretty un-Beeminder-like. (But of course
anyone who’s signed up on Plan Bee before we make changes will be
grandfathered or better.)

In the meantime we’ve tried to disambiguate by referring to the Plan
Bee perk on beeminder.com/premium as “fully pledgeless goals” and are
inclined to try this “10 freebees for $1” idea since it’s easy and the
feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. (Thanks again!)

But back to the motivatability scale, my idea was that if there are
many of you lower on that scale then we should perhaps keep pursuing
seemingly un-Beeminder-like ideas like unlimited pledgeless goals.

Here’s the final histogram of responses (also repeated from a recent
daily beemail):

0:
1:
2: *
3: *
4: *
5: ***
6: *
7: *******
8: ****
9: **
10: *

(Note the huge selection bias though.)

PS to Portland people: Want to join us tonight at the beehive for a
pomodoro poker hack night?

On Tue, Sep 16, 2014 at 2:00 AM, Patrick Duncan patrick@duncan.net.nz
wrote:

Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts on this thread. I really do
appreciate hearing others’ views on these topics.

I, however, don’t really understand the scale. It seems to measure
someone’s
likelihood to respond to their current pledge in the final point in time
they have to meet their goal before it derails. However, it seems like
this
is actually a binary classification. You meet your goals because you care
for the pledge you are about to lose. You don’t meet your goals because
you
don’t care for the pledge you are about to lose (e.g. the pledge isn’t
high
enough, you have competing commitments, or your inability to do anything
via
depression). Perhaps the scale is measuring how beyond caring someone is
mixed in with with how close the combination of all of these goals are to
each of their motivation points??

E.G.
Not depressed
Goal 1: Pledge $5 / Motivation Point $30
Goal 2: Pledge $90 / Motivation Point $90
Goal 3: Pledge $5 / Motivation Point $30
= Ranking on scale: 8

E.G.
Overwhelming inability to start
Goal 1: Pledge $5 / Motivation Point $30
Goal 2: Pledge $90 / Motivation Point $90
Goal 3: Pledge $5 / Motivation Point $30
= Ranking on scale: 3

My own anecdote is that I’ve just failed on two goals. (When my bank gets
its $*#@ together and finally send me my replacement credit card, I’ll
start
them up again.) I failed because I sat on beemergencies days for at least
one of them for about a week and then didn’t manage to get the work done
one
night as I didn’t finish normal work until 11pm. When one failed, I let
the
other fail because I’d had enough and needed a rest. I was leaving things
far too late (completing the minimum required with minutes to spare)
rather
than spending time earlier in the day (i.e. planning!). One Beeminder
blog
post talks about setting up a goal to motivate getting beeminder goals
ticked off earlier in the day. Perhaps I should be looking into that.
Perhaps it’s just that I need to fail a few times until the credit card
debt
(Huh, I only just realised that was the actual motivation of each pledge)
starts to kick my ass.

I don’t know where I currently am on your scale Daniel.

On Tuesday, 16 September 2014 18:24:27 UTC+12, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Here’s a fascinating and heartening account of beeminding while
depressed from an anonymous Beeminder user:

I think that it was a good thing I had Beeminder when I was depressed.

I don’t mean to say that Beeminder fixed my depression, but it put a
lower bound on the worst case scenario. You know that thing where,
when depressed, you continue to go through the motions, but you
have this otherworldly sense that you are in fact going through the
motions. You can observe yourself, detached, as if from some
vantage point outside your own self, doing things, and you can’t relate
to yourself or feel anything or get back into your body. You don’t
feel
exactly in control, but things are still sliding along hitting all the
right
marks and mostly taking all the right cues.

Beeminder gave me motions to keep going through. It was like a stick
I could reach out and use to prod that version of me that I felt so
completely detached from. It didn’t feel like I was winning. And I
certainly wouldn’t predict that it would be like this for everyone, and
perhaps it wouldn’t always be like this for me, but in this case, it
happens that beeminding things kept me getting out of bed. It kept
me engaging in work that I sometimes hated, but usually also
managed to give me some sense of worth and accomplishment. It
kept me doing things that I normally love but the kind of things that
you quit doing when you’re in that state. “I hate everything. So why
bother with this thing I love.” I think that in reality it’s really
valuable
to keep keeping up appearances like that. To not retreat completely
out of things you love doing and people you love interacting with.

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 7:09 PM, Allison Nelson
allison....@gmail.com wrote:

I agree with Isaac, on the one hand it’s motivating but on the other it
just
seems like “another thing you can’t seem to get right.”

On Sep 11, 2014 8:39 PM, “Isaac Schankler” eye...@gmail.com wrote:

As someone who has suffered depression on and off, I will say that
Beeminder is not very useful, and maybe sometimes harmful, for a
person
in
that state. If I’m being honest it’s probably one of the main reasons
I
stopped using Beeminder.

I’ve never been at “I would rather kill myself than do this thing” –
in
my experience this is not how the cognition goes[1] – but there have
been
times where my brain will go to great lengths to avoid even thinking
about a
thing because of the hamster wheel of self-loathing that it will put
me
on.
In that state Beeminder tasks can be a part of that cycle of
destructive
self-talk, something along the lines of “if I can’t even do simple
task
x,
how will I ever get my shit together?” It also doesn’t stop me from
doing
the task poorly (or what I irrationally believe to be poorly), or
fudging
the data.

Beeminder can be good in the short-term to get from “agonize about the
thing” to “just do the thing already” but after a while it loses its
effect
for some reason. Staying on the road seems less important after it
becomes
routine.

And money has never been a very effective motivator for me either

Isaac

[1] I will stop short of saying that this is a fundamental
misunderstanding of how depression works because maybe there’s someone
in
the universe who has had that thought and meant it? But the numerical
scale
doesn’t make sense to me either. It’s like asking “on a scale of
triangle to
bumpy, what color would you say you are?”

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 5:06 PM, Allison Nelson
allison....@gmail.com wrote:

Hi everyone,

I am one of the clinically depressed people that you mentioned. Its
very
hard to find motivation to do much of anything some days, and I’ve
derailed
a lot and just given up/archived goals when I felt like "it wasn’t
worth it"
anymore. I know thats not the best way to go about it, but there
definitely
IS something about putting in a little data point each day, even if I
feel
really crappy, that gives me a sense of accomplishment for the day. I
try to
set my goals low, and then by using the “just get started” idea, it
helps to
where I’ve done SOMETHING. Some days I don’t do too well. Some days I
barely
want to get out of bed. But I am motivated by data and
quantification,
so
that helps sometimes. I’m currently on a beeminder “break” (I
know…I’m
hardly the “perfect” beeminder candidate but I guess what I’m trying
to say
is that I have found more use with it than I would have without it,
and if
that means I use beeminder in an on-again-off-again sort of fashion,
then
thats what works for me.

To place myself on the scale of 0-10, I suppose you could say I’m a 1
or
2. Probably closer to a 1. It’s useful to give me something to
strive for
that day, but if I get too discouraged by a goal I usually derail
once
or
twice then archive it :confused:

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 6:24 PM, Essentiae esse...@gmail.com wrote:

This depends a lot, for me, on how well I can manage the things that
need doing. If I miss that something was due and only see it late in
the
day, I often end up closer to the “3” end of the spectrum come late
evening.
If, on the other hand, I see everything early enough in the day and
can keep
it in sight at the relevant times, I’m closer to an 8 or 9.

On Thursday, September 11, 2014 5:41:51 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves
wrote:

Thanks for the great responses!

Some of you saw that in the daily beemail I turned this into a
numerical question, quantifying the spectrum like so:

0 = clinically depressed and fundamentally unmotivatable because
you
don’t even necessarily want to live so you sure as hell can’t
possibly
care about getting charged $810 or whatever.
10 = the perfect platonic ideal type bee personality.
5 might be someone who Beeminder works fine for for some things but
for other things you dig in your heels and weasel or irrationally
pay
stupid amounts of money.

I’m a 9 I guess. I’m a lazy ass but if get up to enough money at
risk
I toe the line and do what I have to do, which is how I’ve
accomplished pretty much everything I’ve accomplished, starting
with
getting my PhD thesis written when Bethany invented the “Voluntary
Harassment Program” that eventually evolved into Beeminder.

Here’s the histogram of responses so far:

0:
1:
2: *
3: *
4:
5: ***
6: *
7: *******
8: ****
9: **
10: *

(Clarissa, David M, and Mirabai – You three seem like 9s or 10s to
me!)

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 10:34 AM, Clarissa Littler
clarissa...@gmail.com wrote:

Well so I think I am also one of the people who’s poorly motivated
by
money
and much more motivated by the idea of avoiding “failure”. I think
that’s
why, in general, my goals have stayed pretty low over this past
year.
I
agree also with the other response in that my motivation is rather
variable.
I know that I definitely have had days where nothing can motivate
me
because
I’m in a state of nihilistic self-destruction rather similar to
the
extreme
example you describe.

I know, though, that I’m probably an outlier in that regard. I’d
say
my
average day, though, is that I have a lot of trouble believing
that
anything
I do is actually worth it and that I’m taking advantage of my own
rather
irrational fear of failure to curb my irrational feelings of
depression. I
don’t, however, hit emergency days very often since I trimmed my
total set
of goals down to a manageable level. My usage pattern tends to be
that I
trot along motivated for awhile and stay ahead of goals until a
bad
phase
hits me again and then I stop trying anything for a few days, I
start
to see
more blue and orange on my goals list, and then I finally make
myself
start
working again because I feel the pressure and after a few days of
riding the
minimum of what I need to get done I get momentum back and get
ahead
of
everything again. I have a feeling it’s probably obvious in my
data
when
this happens.

Hope that’s a useful response.

On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 4:40 PM, Daniel Reeves
dre...@beeminder.com
wrote:

My recent “Type Bee Personality” post [1] described sort of the
platonic ideal of a user of a commitment device tool like
Beeminder
or
StickK or whatnot [2]. In the case of Beeminder it’s someone who
climbs the pledge schedule till they find their Motivation Point
[3]
and then Beeminder simply works motivational magic from then on.
When
it’s too expensive to derail you make sure not to and all is
roses
and
ponies.

The other extreme – to take it to an extreme extreme for
gedankenexperiment purposes – might be someone who’s clinically
depressed and thinks “to hell with everything, I’d literally
rather
kill myself than deal with this seemingly simple task right now.”

People who just get shit done with Willpower or something are an
alien
species as far as we’re concerned. They’re not part of this
motivational spectrum.

The question: How are people distributed on this spectrum of
motivatability? Sometimes people claim to not be motivated well
by
money and I always suspect that what they mean is that they
haven’t
found their Motivation Point. But they could also be kind of
incorrigibly irrational and/or have a somewhat self-destructive
utility function where a commitment device will do nothing but
inflict
more damage on top of the akrasia.

I want to get a better handle on that question. Could y’all chime
in
with personal anecdotes? (Publicly or just to me and I’ll compile
responses.)

[1] blog.beeminder.com/typebee
[2] blog.beeminder.com/competitors
[3] blog.beeminder.com/glossary#m


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


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#16

I think that one blindspot that QSers might suffer from is that for most
people, just one system is plenty complicated enough. There isn’t room
in my life for beeminder and for iDoneThis etc.

Having the sting available in BM makes it the first QS tool attractive
enough for me to try. The possibility of also using sting-free QS for
some goals on the same interface doesn’t detract, so why remove it?

I find myself rambling in my argument. Actually, I just don’t know why
you are considering this change. “not BMish” is not a reason, it is
shorthand for something I still don’t understand.

Maybe conceptual integrity: “we only do stuff with a zing”? but zing=0
is just a valid special case (for paying subscribers). Have I missed
some other explanation?

More generally, I would say: change is not all good. More speed is good.
Less bugs is good. More (quality) integrations is good. New features…
sometimes, but keep in mind the system basically works, and complexity
is a bug. Removing existing features!? have a really good reason for that?

Daniel

On 09/17/2014 11:24 AM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Excellent points, and I did have that in the back of my mind a bit
when I added the “or better” after “will be grandfathered”. Like if it
looks costly for the reasons you suggest (I’m not sure if it will be)
then we could instead do a greater-than-100% refund on the most recent
premium payment. We’d have to think it through and, mostly, ask the
people affected. (Which, again, is not many.) Noted on the turn-off of
anything with an “act now!” feel to it. Great point.

As for the seeming conflict between the QS First principle and fully
pledgeless goals, my own feeling is that, yes, Beeminder is
first/foremost a QS tool, but it’s still not exactly beeminding if you
remove the pledge part. It’s just, y’know, minding. QS First is
actually my own bias. Many of us view Beeminder’s graphs and data as
purely a means for implementing flexible commitment contracts.
[blog.beeminder.com/philip] Ie, QS Last.

But even QS First doesn’t mean QS Only, is my point. We gladly point
people to alternatives like blog.beeminder.com/trackhack if they want
QS Only. As you point out, it makes sense to give people that if
they’re willing to pay for it, except, as you also point out, there
might be a software engineering cost and relationship constraint,
dealing with two very different kinds of users with different sets of
rules and algorithms. (But it might be fine!)

I should also mention that we’ve avoided any grandfathering so far
(other than prices for premium plans) and do want to continue to avoid
it. So, yes, really glad you pointed this out.

Feedback still solicited on how bad it would be to drop unlimited
pledgeless goals from Plan Bee, given that you could instead buy 10
initially pledgeless goals for $1. But I also think we may yet find
a way to have the best of all worlds and make QS Only and QS First and
QS Last people all happy in an elegant way. [note to
self/inner-hexagon: pledge caps proposal may be part of this (might be
worth a separate thread if people are curious)]

Thanks again for the highly constructive feedback on this stuff, Daniel!

On Tue, Sep 16, 2014 at 11:54 PM, Daniel Vainsencher
daniel.vainsencher@gmail.com wrote:

Hi Daniel,

I propose for your consideration two reasons why you should take the “lets
change the rules objectionably, but grandfather people in” move only under
extreme circumstances.

  1. It reflects badly on beeminder.
  2. It imposes a permanent software engineering and relationship constraint
    on beeminder.

I can elaborate on each if necessary. But I for one would much prefer that
you never grandfather anyone in. When you change the rules, change them (and
yes, that means having that hated “we get to change the rules” clause). And
as a corollary: change them (objectionably) only rarely and carefully.

Beeminder has, at different times, expressed two views that seem to
conflict:

  1. “infinite freebees” … it’s pretty un-Beeminder-like.
  2. … the QS First principle, and in fact I view Beeminder as foremost a
    Quantified Self tool

I think the infinite (subscription paid!) freebees are a very QS feature,
and hence very Beeminder-like also. People are telling you on many threads
that the QS aspects of BM are at least as important as the sting. And for
paying subscribers there is no conflict with revenue.

I personally love BM. It works for me for some important things, though not
yet for ugh-fields nor for work. But for me personally the “hurry now, get
grandfathered” calls are a turn off.

Daniel Vainsencher

On 09/16/2014 08:37 PM, Daniel Reeves wrote:

I’m actually not at all sure the scale makes sense. The idea for that
straw poll was related to our “10 freebees for $1” idea and how that’s
different from unlimited freebees with Plan Bee.

The difference, repeating myself from a recent daily beemail, is that
a freebee is a goal that starts at $0 but still climbs the pledge
schedule each time you derail. You can turn off auto-increase and have
it stay as low as $5 but you can’t have it stay at $0. Plan Bee lets
you have truly pledgeless goals (as many as you like) that can start
at and stay at $0 (and drop back down to $0 if previously at $5).

The fact that it takes a paragraph to clarify that means we’re doing
something wrong… :slight_smile:

My inclination is to solve this by yanking the "infinite freebees"
perk from the premium plans. There are only ~50 people taking
advantage of it and it’s pretty un-Beeminder-like. (But of course
anyone who’s signed up on Plan Bee before we make changes will be
grandfathered or better.)

In the meantime we’ve tried to disambiguate by referring to the Plan
Bee perk on beeminder.com/premium as “fully pledgeless goals” and are
inclined to try this “10 freebees for $1” idea since it’s easy and the
feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. (Thanks again!)

But back to the motivatability scale, my idea was that if there are
many of you lower on that scale then we should perhaps keep pursuing
seemingly un-Beeminder-like ideas like unlimited pledgeless goals.

Here’s the final histogram of responses (also repeated from a recent
daily beemail):

0:
1:
2: *
3: *
4: *
5: ***
6: *
7: *******
8: ****
9: **
10: *

(Note the huge selection bias though.)

PS to Portland people: Want to join us tonight at the beehive for a
pomodoro poker hack night?

On Tue, Sep 16, 2014 at 2:00 AM, Patrick Duncan patrick@duncan.net.nz
wrote:

Thanks to everyone for sharing your thoughts on this thread. I really do
appreciate hearing others’ views on these topics.

I, however, don’t really understand the scale. It seems to measure
someone’s
likelihood to respond to their current pledge in the final point in time
they have to meet their goal before it derails. However, it seems like
this
is actually a binary classification. You meet your goals because you care
for the pledge you are about to lose. You don’t meet your goals because
you
don’t care for the pledge you are about to lose (e.g. the pledge isn’t
high
enough, you have competing commitments, or your inability to do anything
via
depression). Perhaps the scale is measuring how beyond caring someone is
mixed in with with how close the combination of all of these goals are to
each of their motivation points??

E.G.
Not depressed
Goal 1: Pledge $5 / Motivation Point $30
Goal 2: Pledge $90 / Motivation Point $90
Goal 3: Pledge $5 / Motivation Point $30
= Ranking on scale: 8

E.G.
Overwhelming inability to start
Goal 1: Pledge $5 / Motivation Point $30
Goal 2: Pledge $90 / Motivation Point $90
Goal 3: Pledge $5 / Motivation Point $30
= Ranking on scale: 3

My own anecdote is that I’ve just failed on two goals. (When my bank gets
its $*#@ together and finally send me my replacement credit card, I’ll
start
them up again.) I failed because I sat on beemergencies days for at least
one of them for about a week and then didn’t manage to get the work done
one
night as I didn’t finish normal work until 11pm. When one failed, I let
the
other fail because I’d had enough and needed a rest. I was leaving things
far too late (completing the minimum required with minutes to spare)
rather
than spending time earlier in the day (i.e. planning!). One Beeminder
blog
post talks about setting up a goal to motivate getting beeminder goals
ticked off earlier in the day. Perhaps I should be looking into that.
Perhaps it’s just that I need to fail a few times until the credit card
debt
(Huh, I only just realised that was the actual motivation of each pledge)
starts to kick my ass.

I don’t know where I currently am on your scale Daniel.

On Tuesday, 16 September 2014 18:24:27 UTC+12, Daniel Reeves wrote:

Here’s a fascinating and heartening account of beeminding while
depressed from an anonymous Beeminder user:

I think that it was a good thing I had Beeminder when I was depressed.

I don’t mean to say that Beeminder fixed my depression, but it put a
lower bound on the worst case scenario. You know that thing where,
when depressed, you continue to go through the motions, but you
have this otherworldly sense that you are in fact going through the
motions. You can observe yourself, detached, as if from some
vantage point outside your own self, doing things, and you can’t relate
to yourself or feel anything or get back into your body. You don’t
feel
exactly in control, but things are still sliding along hitting all the
right
marks and mostly taking all the right cues.

Beeminder gave me motions to keep going through. It was like a stick
I could reach out and use to prod that version of me that I felt so
completely detached from. It didn’t feel like I was winning. And I
certainly wouldn’t predict that it would be like this for everyone, and
perhaps it wouldn’t always be like this for me, but in this case, it
happens that beeminding things kept me getting out of bed. It kept
me engaging in work that I sometimes hated, but usually also
managed to give me some sense of worth and accomplishment. It
kept me doing things that I normally love but the kind of things that
you quit doing when you’re in that state. “I hate everything. So why
bother with this thing I love.” I think that in reality it’s really
valuable
to keep keeping up appearances like that. To not retreat completely
out of things you love doing and people you love interacting with.

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 7:09 PM, Allison Nelson
allison....@gmail.com wrote:

I agree with Isaac, on the one hand it’s motivating but on the other it
just
seems like “another thing you can’t seem to get right.”

On Sep 11, 2014 8:39 PM, “Isaac Schankler” eye...@gmail.com wrote:

As someone who has suffered depression on and off, I will say that
Beeminder is not very useful, and maybe sometimes harmful, for a
person
in
that state. If I’m being honest it’s probably one of the main reasons
I
stopped using Beeminder.

I’ve never been at “I would rather kill myself than do this thing” –
in
my experience this is not how the cognition goes[1] – but there have
been
times where my brain will go to great lengths to avoid even thinking
about a
thing because of the hamster wheel of self-loathing that it will put
me
on.
In that state Beeminder tasks can be a part of that cycle of
destructive
self-talk, something along the lines of “if I can’t even do simple
task
x,
how will I ever get my shit together?” It also doesn’t stop me from
doing
the task poorly (or what I irrationally believe to be poorly), or
fudging
the data.

Beeminder can be good in the short-term to get from “agonize about the
thing” to “just do the thing already” but after a while it loses its
effect
for some reason. Staying on the road seems less important after it
becomes
routine.

And money has never been a very effective motivator for me either

Isaac

[1] I will stop short of saying that this is a fundamental
misunderstanding of how depression works because maybe there’s someone
in
the universe who has had that thought and meant it? But the numerical
scale
doesn’t make sense to me either. It’s like asking “on a scale of
triangle to
bumpy, what color would you say you are?”

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 5:06 PM, Allison Nelson
allison....@gmail.com wrote:

Hi everyone,

I am one of the clinically depressed people that you mentioned. Its
very
hard to find motivation to do much of anything some days, and I’ve
derailed
a lot and just given up/archived goals when I felt like "it wasn’t
worth it"
anymore. I know thats not the best way to go about it, but there
definitely
IS something about putting in a little data point each day, even if I
feel
really crappy, that gives me a sense of accomplishment for the day. I
try to
set my goals low, and then by using the “just get started” idea, it
helps to
where I’ve done SOMETHING. Some days I don’t do too well. Some days I
barely
want to get out of bed. But I am motivated by data and
quantification,
so
that helps sometimes. I’m currently on a beeminder “break” (I
know…I’m
hardly the “perfect” beeminder candidate but I guess what I’m trying
to say
is that I have found more use with it than I would have without it,
and if
that means I use beeminder in an on-again-off-again sort of fashion,
then
thats what works for me.

To place myself on the scale of 0-10, I suppose you could say I’m a 1
or
2. Probably closer to a 1. It’s useful to give me something to
strive for
that day, but if I get too discouraged by a goal I usually derail
once
or
twice then archive it :confused:

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 6:24 PM, Essentiae esse...@gmail.com wrote:

This depends a lot, for me, on how well I can manage the things that
need doing. If I miss that something was due and only see it late in
the
day, I often end up closer to the “3” end of the spectrum come late
evening.
If, on the other hand, I see everything early enough in the day and
can keep
it in sight at the relevant times, I’m closer to an 8 or 9.

On Thursday, September 11, 2014 5:41:51 PM UTC-4, Daniel Reeves
wrote:

Thanks for the great responses!

Some of you saw that in the daily beemail I turned this into a
numerical question, quantifying the spectrum like so:

0 = clinically depressed and fundamentally unmotivatable because
you
don’t even necessarily want to live so you sure as hell can’t
possibly
care about getting charged $810 or whatever.
10 = the perfect platonic ideal type bee personality.
5 might be someone who Beeminder works fine for for some things but
for other things you dig in your heels and weasel or irrationally
pay
stupid amounts of money.

I’m a 9 I guess. I’m a lazy ass but if get up to enough money at
risk
I toe the line and do what I have to do, which is how I’ve
accomplished pretty much everything I’ve accomplished, starting
with
getting my PhD thesis written when Bethany invented the “Voluntary
Harassment Program” that eventually evolved into Beeminder.

Here’s the histogram of responses so far:

0:
1:
2: *
3: *
4:
5: ***
6: *
7: *******
8: ****
9: **
10: *

(Clarissa, David M, and Mirabai – You three seem like 9s or 10s to
me!)

On Thu, Sep 11, 2014 at 10:34 AM, Clarissa Littler
clarissa...@gmail.com wrote:

Well so I think I am also one of the people who’s poorly motivated
by
money
and much more motivated by the idea of avoiding “failure”. I think
that’s
why, in general, my goals have stayed pretty low over this past
year.
I
agree also with the other response in that my motivation is rather
variable.
I know that I definitely have had days where nothing can motivate
me
because
I’m in a state of nihilistic self-destruction rather similar to
the
extreme
example you describe.

I know, though, that I’m probably an outlier in that regard. I’d
say
my
average day, though, is that I have a lot of trouble believing
that
anything
I do is actually worth it and that I’m taking advantage of my own
rather
irrational fear of failure to curb my irrational feelings of
depression. I
don’t, however, hit emergency days very often since I trimmed my
total set
of goals down to a manageable level. My usage pattern tends to be
that I
trot along motivated for awhile and stay ahead of goals until a
bad
phase
hits me again and then I stop trying anything for a few days, I
start
to see
more blue and orange on my goals list, and then I finally make
myself
start
working again because I feel the pressure and after a few days of
riding the
minimum of what I need to get done I get momentum back and get
ahead
of
everything again. I have a feeling it’s probably obvious in my
data
when
this happens.

Hope that’s a useful response.

On Wed, Sep 10, 2014 at 4:40 PM, Daniel Reeves
dre...@beeminder.com
wrote:

My recent “Type Bee Personality” post [1] described sort of the
platonic ideal of a user of a commitment device tool like
Beeminder
or
StickK or whatnot [2]. In the case of Beeminder it’s someone who
climbs the pledge schedule till they find their Motivation Point
[3]
and then Beeminder simply works motivational magic from then on.
When
it’s too expensive to derail you make sure not to and all is
roses
and
ponies.

The other extreme – to take it to an extreme extreme for
gedankenexperiment purposes – might be someone who’s clinically
depressed and thinks “to hell with everything, I’d literally
rather
kill myself than deal with this seemingly simple task right now.”

People who just get shit done with Willpower or something are an
alien
species as far as we’re concerned. They’re not part of this
motivational spectrum.

The question: How are people distributed on this spectrum of
motivatability? Sometimes people claim to not be motivated well
by
money and I always suspect that what they mean is that they
haven’t
found their Motivation Point. But they could also be kind of
incorrigibly irrational and/or have a somewhat self-destructive
utility function where a commitment device will do nothing but
inflict
more damage on top of the akrasia.

I want to get a better handle on that question. Could y’all chime
in
with personal anecdotes? (Publicly or just to me and I’ll compile
responses.)

[1] blog.beeminder.com/typebee
[2] blog.beeminder.com/competitors
[3] blog.beeminder.com/glossary#m


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
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#17

On Wednesday, September 17, 2014 10:05:36 AM UTC+1, Daniel Vainsencher
wrote:

I think that one blindspot that QSers might suffer from is that for most
people, just one system is plenty complicated enough. There isn’t room
in my life for beeminder and for iDoneThis etc.

This.

I don’t think the conceptual confusion that exists is a good reason to get
shot of a valuable feature. Simply rename the premium version, as
suggested, to something like “totally pledge-free goals”. It’s (quite
reasonably) premium only, so it’s not like the population who might get
confused by this is very large.

On this topic, I’ve been thinking fairly hard about the post made a few
weeks ago which linked to
https://training.kalzumeus.com/newsletters/archive/saas_pricing and what
exactly the best way of seeing the premium plans is.

The QS/free goals thing is essentially the only reason I have a premium
sub. This seems to be quite a fundamental point: your business model is not
dependent on subscription income, and (except for this case, where an
obvious benefit undercuts your business model) it’s not clear that they
offer many benefits beyond warm fuzzies of financially supporting a good
idea.

The second point is that your business is not like those discussed on the
Kalzumeus posts: you don’t sell premium subscriptions to corporates for
whom whatever subscription level is trivial and the glossy presentation is
all. You sell to individuals, for whom the “feel” of the service is
actually central to the basic offer and absolutely key to whatever added
value is offered by the premium sub. By making small chisels away at that
feel, whether it be by establishing a separate class of grandfathered
service or by making things “premium” which are actually helpful for the
delivery of the basic Beeminder service (which, let’s not forget, comes
with its own revenue stream) then my feeling is that you’re slightly
cannibalising your brand reputation.

In short, it seems to me that your approach should be closer to the Tarsnap
example that is derided (extraordinarily honest and straightforward, and
very much a person-to-person service) simply because your competitive
advantage rests on either your model not being copied (seems unlikely) or
on relatively geeky individuals (not large bureaucracies) deciding that
you’re absolutely the swell kind of people that they want to send cash to
on a regular basis to keep themselves honest. The premium subs (however
happy I am with them) are a bit of a sideshow.

I don’t for a moment think this is the only perspective on value, and
you’ll have spend orders-of-magnitude more time thinking about this than I
have, but it seemed important. Feel free to treat it as the unsolicited
advice it is!

Tom


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#18

Daniel and Tom, this continues to be brilliant feedback. I can allay
most of your fears about grandfathering and yanking features. When
hashing out this “10 freebees for $1” idea it started to seem too
convoluted how Plan Bee is all about unlimited freebees but then you
can get freebees dirt cheap but the Plan Bee freebees are freer than
freebees because they can stay at $0 and OMGtoocomplicated!

But we hear you, throwing the QS Only people under the bus isn’t the
right solution. So we won’t do that.

Here’s the current pledge caps spec that I alluded to before:
expost.padm.us/pledgecaps

One thing I wanted to ask you more about, Tom: why would it feel to
you like cannibalizing our brand if we made basic things premium? The
extreme of that would be to make everything premium, like a limited
free trial but then you have to pay to keep using Beeminder. A normal
subscription service, in other words. The biggest argument against
that is that we’ve made a big deal out of the “if you never go off
track you’ll never pay anything” feature. If it’s just the seeming
unfairness of having to pay a monthly fee when you’re already paying
pledges we could fix that by applying all pledges as credits towards
premium plans. (But we’re not thinking seriously about this at this
point; mainly just wanted to hear more about possible brand
cannibalization concerns.)

Thanks again for the help thinking this stuff through!

On Wed, Sep 17, 2014 at 10:55 AM, Tom Nicholls pmyteh@gmail.com wrote:

On Wednesday, September 17, 2014 10:05:36 AM UTC+1, Daniel Vainsencher
wrote:

I think that one blindspot that QSers might suffer from is that for most
people, just one system is plenty complicated enough. There isn’t room
in my life for beeminder and for iDoneThis etc.

This.

I don’t think the conceptual confusion that exists is a good reason to get
shot of a valuable feature. Simply rename the premium version, as suggested,
to something like “totally pledge-free goals”. It’s (quite reasonably)
premium only, so it’s not like the population who might get confused by this
is very large.

On this topic, I’ve been thinking fairly hard about the post made a few
weeks ago which linked to
https://training.kalzumeus.com/newsletters/archive/saas_pricing and what
exactly the best way of seeing the premium plans is.

The QS/free goals thing is essentially the only reason I have a premium sub.
This seems to be quite a fundamental point: your business model is not
dependent on subscription income, and (except for this case, where an
obvious benefit undercuts your business model) it’s not clear that they
offer many benefits beyond warm fuzzies of financially supporting a good
idea.

The second point is that your business is not like those discussed on the
Kalzumeus posts: you don’t sell premium subscriptions to corporates for whom
whatever subscription level is trivial and the glossy presentation is all.
You sell to individuals, for whom the “feel” of the service is actually
central to the basic offer and absolutely key to whatever added value is
offered by the premium sub. By making small chisels away at that feel,
whether it be by establishing a separate class of grandfathered service or
by making things “premium” which are actually helpful for the delivery of
the basic Beeminder service (which, let’s not forget, comes with its own
revenue stream) then my feeling is that you’re slightly cannibalising your
brand reputation.

In short, it seems to me that your approach should be closer to the Tarsnap
example that is derided (extraordinarily honest and straightforward, and
very much a person-to-person service) simply because your competitive
advantage rests on either your model not being copied (seems unlikely) or on
relatively geeky individuals (not large bureaucracies) deciding that you’re
absolutely the swell kind of people that they want to send cash to on a
regular basis to keep themselves honest. The premium subs (however happy I
am with them) are a bit of a sideshow.

I don’t for a moment think this is the only perspective on value, and you’ll
have spend orders-of-magnitude more time thinking about this than I have,
but it seemed important. Feel free to treat it as the unsolicited advice it
is!

Tom


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


#19

On Sep 19, 2014 3:41 AM, “Daniel Reeves” dreeves@beeminder.com wrote:

But we hear you, throwing the QS Only people under the bus isn’t the
right solution. So we won’t do that.
There are no QS only people, there are QS only features. Every person can
benefit from stingy goals and also from QS only goals. Only difference is
stingy goals statistically pay for themselves, but you have to charge for
QS ones.

Here’s the current pledge caps spec that I alluded to before:
expost.padm.us http://expost.padm.us/pledgecaps/
http://expost.padm.us/pledgecapspledgecaps
http://expost.padm.us/pledgecaps
Looks reasonable. Does add some complexity, but not much.

One thing I wanted to ask you more about, Tom: why would it feel to
you like cannibalizing our brand if we made basic things premium?

Here is a natural line of thought:

  • your paying customers are everyone that has given you a credit card, not
    just “premiums”.
  • hence moving features to premium = degrading service for paying customers.
  • if you are often degrading or even talking about degrading, then you will
    probably degrade in the future, forever.
  • maybe I should put my data, time, loyalty and money somewhere safer.

Hence cannibalizing your brand. Not worth it for omgtoocomplicated, IMO.

Going back to the basics, I think bm is the bees knees just as is. I am
sorry if it isn’t generating as much income as you’d like, but hiking
prices shrinks your potential market.

Daniel

The
extreme of that would be to make everything premium, like a limited
free trial but then you have to pay to keep using Beeminder. A normal
subscription service, in other words. The biggest argument against
that is that we’ve made a big deal out of the “if you never go off
track you’ll never pay anything” feature. If it’s just the seeming
unfairness of having to pay a monthly fee when you’re already paying
pledges we could fix that by applying all pledges as credits towards
premium plans. (But we’re not thinking seriously about this at this
point; mainly just wanted to hear more about possible brand
cannibalization concerns.


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#20

Am I reading your draft spec correctly in that the possibility of
exponential goal growth is being removed from non-premium users?

I think this would take away quite a bit of the sting of Beeminder for me.
I have two goals at $30 and I am terrified of derailing on them, not
because I can’t pay $30 but because I can’t pay $270. If derailing the goal
would leave the pledge at $30, I would probably derail more[1]. That, and
the idea of paying money for the privilege of paying more money seems
backwards.

That said, short-circuiting my goals to $270 doesn’t feel right either.
Even though I am pretty sure $30 isn’t going to keep me on track forever,
the longer I don’t screw it up the longer I get to stay at $30 and that
feels a tiny bit good every day. This is all just ways of saying that I
find the exponential schedule motivating.

=====

As I’ve said before
https://groups.google.com/d/msg/akratics/QnzWuaM441M/d1qsiv6kFt4J[2], I’m
not very impressed with the way things are partitioned into premium today.
If essential features are moved into premium, I will quit Beeminder.

Cheers,
Sean

[1] Yes, this may be more revenue for Beeminder short-term, but I’m not
going to use the service if it isn’t able to get me to do things.
[2] Today I’m minding 19 goals and I’ve paid Beeminder a total of $60.

On Fri, Sep 19, 2014 at 3:30 AM, Daniel Vainsencher <
daniel.vainsencher@gmail.com> wrote:

On Sep 19, 2014 3:41 AM, “Daniel Reeves” dreeves@beeminder.com wrote:

But we hear you, throwing the QS Only people under the bus isn’t the
right solution. So we won’t do that.
There are no QS only people, there are QS only features. Every person
can benefit from stingy goals and also from QS only goals. Only difference
is stingy goals statistically pay for themselves, but you have to charge
for QS ones.

Here’s the current pledge caps spec that I alluded to before:
expost.padm.us http://expost.padm.us/pledgecaps/
http://expost.padm.us/pledgecapspledgecaps
http://expost.padm.us/pledgecaps
Looks reasonable. Does add some complexity, but not much.

One thing I wanted to ask you more about, Tom: why would it feel to
you like cannibalizing our brand if we made basic things premium?

Here is a natural line of thought:

  • your paying customers are everyone that has given you a credit card, not
    just “premiums”.
  • hence moving features to premium = degrading service for paying
    customers.
  • if you are often degrading or even talking about degrading, then you
    will probably degrade in the future, forever.
  • maybe I should put my data, time, loyalty and money somewhere safer.

Hence cannibalizing your brand. Not worth it for omgtoocomplicated, IMO.

Going back to the basics, I think bm is the bees knees just as is. I am
sorry if it isn’t generating as much income as you’d like, but hiking
prices shrinks your potential market.

Daniel

The
extreme of that would be to make everything premium, like a limited
free trial but then you have to pay to keep using Beeminder. A normal
subscription service, in other words. The biggest argument against
that is that we’ve made a big deal out of the “if you never go off
track you’ll never pay anything” feature. If it’s just the seeming
unfairness of having to pay a monthly fee when you’re already paying
pledges we could fix that by applying all pledges as credits towards
premium plans. (But we’re not thinking seriously about this at this
point; mainly just wanted to hear more about possible brand
cannibalization concerns.


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