commitment contract escape clauses; death of the SOS clause

Here are the ideas we’ve thought of for dealing with emergencies or
other reasons you may want to flatten your yellow brick road
immediately, ie, pause your commitment contract:

  1. The SOS clause – http://blog.beeminder.com/sos
  2. Tweet or post to facebook your reason for pausing (if you’re
    willing to say it publicly it’s probably legit)
  3. Pre-specify a couple friends who have to corroborate your excuse in
    order to pause your road
  4. Explain your reason to the Beeminder founders (status quo)
  5. Just type your excuse in a box on your graph page

The point of Beeminder of course is to bind your impetuous future
self, yet to retain as much flexibility as possible –
blog.beeminder.com/flexbind – so anything that you don’t think your
future self would be inclined to abuse should suffice. At least for
the kind of users Beeminder has attracted so far – over 5000 of them
– we have learned that the SOS clause is beyond overkill. We’ve
assumed all along that #4 was a highly nonscalable stopgap, but we’re
ramen-profitable now and unfreezing people’s graphs when they derail
illegitimately takes (or could take, with slightly more streamlined
admin tools) mere minutes a day. And no one is abusing it!

So we’re inclined to stick with #4 indefinitely. What do you think?


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com

I like #2, for all the obvious reasons.

On Sat, Jul 21, 2012 at 12:45 AM, Daniel Reeves dreeves@beeminder.com wrote:

Here are the ideas we’ve thought of for dealing with emergencies or
other reasons you may want to flatten your yellow brick road
immediately, ie, pause your commitment contract:

  1. The SOS clause – http://blog.beeminder.com/sos
  2. Tweet or post to facebook your reason for pausing (if you’re
    willing to say it publicly it’s probably legit)
  3. Pre-specify a couple friends who have to corroborate your excuse in
    order to pause your road
  4. Explain your reason to the Beeminder founders (status quo)
  5. Just type your excuse in a box on your graph page

The point of Beeminder of course is to bind your impetuous future
self, yet to retain as much flexibility as possible –
blog.beeminder.com/flexbind – so anything that you don’t think your
future self would be inclined to abuse should suffice. At least for
the kind of users Beeminder has attracted so far – over 5000 of them
– we have learned that the SOS clause is beyond overkill. We’ve
assumed all along that #4 was a highly nonscalable stopgap, but we’re
ramen-profitable now and unfreezing people’s graphs when they derail
illegitimately takes (or could take, with slightly more streamlined
admin tools) mere minutes a day. And no one is abusing it!

So we’re inclined to stick with #4 indefinitely. What do you think?


http://dreev.es – search://"Daniel Reeves"
Follow the Yellow Brick Road – http://beeminder.com