Gateway drug meta commitment device

Announcement! As of yesterday, signing up for Beeminder means agreeing to be charged $5 if you don’t create a goal within the first week.

It looks like this:

It may be a terrible idea – we’re ready to undo it if so – but we’re hopeful that it’ll be great. It’s a pretty common failure mode to create a Beeminder account and then procrastinate indefinitely on actually creating a goal.

If you were scared off by it but are somehow seeing this post, definitely let us know.

(And if it does work, we may bump that $5 up to something with more sting, like $20.)


I kind of like this at $5 but think it’s a bad idea at $20. Regardless of the effects after signing up, I think anyone who’s scared away by $5 is just never going to be a user of Beeminder in any meaningful way, but $20 is a large enough amount I think some people who’d otherwise use and probably like Beeminder will just leave and don’t come back. (Plus, $20 isn’t even a valid commitment amount for goals right now! Okay, that’s pure aesthetics, but it bugs me.)


Ok, how about $10 then? :grin:

But first we have to solve the problem that no one is actually reading all the words there and they’re just typing things like “I will get my 10k steps a day or pay $5”. :person_facepalming:

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Heh, maybe. The nice thing about $5 is it’s the same as the minimum pledge. (And I think it’s a reasonable minimum pledge, even if I personally would like to be able to use even smaller (non-zero) ones.)

Yeah. Reading is hard. Beeminder is unfortunately both complicated enough and different enough from common previous experiences that some reading is probably unavoidable. (For just about any other service I’d say deliberately putting speedbumps in the signup process is insane, but Beeminder does actually need the user to commit, to a certain extent, in order to work at all, so I’m not saying that here… still, fewer words to read while getting the same points across is probably often an improvement even for Beeminder.)