Anyone running their company (contracts/promises) with the use of beeminder?

Would like to know:

  1. how you introduced it
  2. how you are currently using it, with the following types:
    a. recurring tasks (Beeminder)
    b. non-recurring, tasks (e.g. like GTBee)

I’ve managed to convince a handful of founder friends over the years to beemind UVIs, which is still my top recommendation for beeminding something like a startup or side business.

But probably you mean using it more socially, like part of managing employees. At Beeminder of course we do all our time tracking that way…


How does that work? Sounds interesting. I’ve noticed that some staff members have public goals for working at beeminder (not sure if it’s ok to link to an example).

Here’s my example!

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I meant for employees - like do you have them clock in and clock out with beeminder, do you review their beeminder goals in performance reviews, do you use it to issue paychecks, and so on…

Yes to all of that. And I’m an employee too so it all applies to me as well!

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Some Beeminder folks also have “most important task” goals, which make sure that progress is made towards a particular project.


Do Beeminder employees stake their own money on their work goals? If so, that sounds like it might be a hard sell at most companies. Do employees get to choose what they call their stakes at?

I do love how crystal clear using Beeminder that way would seem to make work expectations.

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Yes, but usually with ultra-conservative yellow brick roads. I’d actually love it if more of us edge-skated more because that makes it nice and predictable how much people will be working. High pledges make it even better because then you know that any deviation from the YBR would only be for a genuine emergency, not just self-niceness.

But that’s pretty unreasonable to expect of employees!

Actually, what about this compromise, that’s somehow just now occurring to me: The convention for your work goal is to always keep as close as possible to exactly 7 days of safety buffer. That way you can always schedule flat spots for personal emergencies or whatever with no notice, so roughly no chance of derailing and coughing up your own personal money but also the YBR is meaningful and predictive about the time everyone will be spending.

I think there’s a much simpler version of all that that probably applies universally: However much safety buffer you’re comfortable with, stick to that amount. If you’re gradually accumulating more and more safety buffer, dial up the ambitiousness of your road. Arguably you’re not even really beeminding otherwise, since you’ve rendered the YBR irrelevant.

To go off on a supertangent, I’d love for that to eventually be built in to how Beeminder works by default, something like @mary’s auto-dialer where the road adjusts itself to your actual performance and doesn’t let you make a toothless/pointless yellow brick road (except maybe as an advanced or premium feature for those who know what they’re doing – currently roughly 0% of existing toothless/pointless roads!).


I saw on your job openings (?) page that employees are expected to use Beeminder to track their time with a rate of 40 hours per week. That does not sound like a toothless road to me. Or maybe I misunderstood?

As far as disallowing toothless roads, I’m not sure I agree. I have a few goals where the point is less about forcing me to do something and more about self awareness, and I feel like those goals provide a lot of value. I’d hate to lose that option.


Ah, well, we don’t yet have any full-time employees other than @bee and me so that question is moot for now!

How would you feel if that option were a premium perk?

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I realize that it fits with your business strategy of charging for features that make it less likely people will derail, so it makes since from that perspective.

Personally, if it was something where I could buy a month of a plan, configure the goal, and then go back to whatever lower plan I was on, I’d be totally down with that.

If I had to stay at the higher tier to keep the feature, that would make sad. I’m currently not a subscriber, though I was for a while and expect I will be again in the future, and I’d like to keep tracking even during those lapses.

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What’s your view on the threshold for “not really beeminding”? I think you said 30 days somewhere?

I’d love to see a feature that automatically made your road harder if you had more buffer - maybe increasing your slope in small increments until you were under 14 days or something.

@mary’s autodialer set your weekly rate to the average of the last two weeks, independent of your amount of buffer, right? Is the code for that available anywhere?

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Flat roads are basically the same as freebee goals so they should be treated like freebee goals and made a premium.


Yeah, I feel totally comfortable with that. I think it’s actually so much friendlier than the norm for businesses that it doesn’t even occur to people that that would work. Not sure how to feel about that. But, yeah, anyone this deep in a forum thread like this – have at it! :slight_smile: I mean, hypothetically in this case. But non-hypothetically for other cases, like creating extra/custom goals, etc. I think $0 pledge caps do require you to stay at Beemium, but probably not much else.

Yeah, exactly. I kind of feel like standard free newbee-friendly Beeminder should not allow more than 30 days of safety buffer. What it means exactly to not allow it I don’t know yet. Maybe there’s some compromise where it allows it but makes itself very annoying about it?

Hear hear!

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I actually edge-skate without appearing to. :laughing: I just kind of never wanted to “spoil” how nice it looks, but if I ever fall below… currently 43 days of buffer, I’m not working enough, so I real-life derail.

It would, um, make sense if I would actually ratchet that thing and have a much more obvious way of seeing it. Sigh.

I want iiiit.

(I have some pretty toothless roads that should really be toothier, but I don’t get on my own case about it.)


Would have to be careful with maintenance goals where maintaining 0 is a thing. My gmailzero goal is nearly always flat because there’s nothing there; in theory, my reviewbacklog goal should be flat as well.

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Just autoretroratchet everything to 30 days and make disabling it a premium feature.

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Where can I learn more about that?

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I can picture a company paying for the subscription but have the employees pledge their own money. In contrast having employees pledge company money instead may work too but I would expect this to be less incentivising than if your own money is at stake.

Now if an employee is willing to go for Beeminder and pledge their own money that is definitely something that shows that they care about their own performance and about self improvement a lot. Actually care in general. Which in my experience is a major personality aspect which sets apart the good ones from the… others.
And if that’s not a reason for a raise I don’t know what is. After all the employer gets a more productive worker who is actively combating their own bad habits.
Might that help selling it?