I want lower pledge levels. A lot lower.

I don’t think the pledge schedule reflects my psychology at all. For me a $30 pledge is only marginally less intimidating than a $90 pledge but WAY more ok for me to cough up. Whereas a $90 pledge really pushes me into a corner where everything in me tries to find reasons for why it would be a non legit derailment. This results in a lot of hard arguing with myself which is really not at all pleasant and it makes me want to abandon Beeminder. Because really a way lower pledge level is no difference to me in motivation.

In that spirit I find a $1 is already plenty motivating to do 90% of the stuff I would normally procrastinate on. The motivation increases roughly logarithmically¹ until $10 or $15 after which it just feels unnecessarily harsh and unjustified.

This current (and past) fast increasing pledge schedule might work for people who are good with building up safety buffer (I am not). And for people who lower their pledge amount as soon as possible again whenever it went up. I keep forgetting to do that.

The bottom line is: Eventually I discover that today some goal is due with its pledge level set to something way too high and I’m like ugh I never wanted it to be this high, this feels stupid.

I know you praise and cherish your absurdly high pledge levels and talk about how insanely motivating they are. But apparently I don’t work this way. I find high pledge levels stupid. You likely get more money from me by having lower pledge levels.

Give me something like this: $1, $2, $3, $4, $5, $6, …, $10, $15, $20, maybe bigger steps higher up.

I know you want to say “oh but then you will have payed so much until you reach the pledge level that will motivate you”.
Yeah. Great. Then it shall be that way. My brain does not throw equations at my behaviour when I’m acratic. It doesn’t sum up all the past expenses and then logically concludes something and follows through with it. If it did that I wouldn’t be here in the first place. When acratic it deals with things in this very moment.
Also do you want my money or not? Hint: You won’t be getting it by putting a customisable pledge schedule in Beemium because I’m not gonna pay close to $400 a year (!) for even more distractions.
I know you Americans are totally fine with paying a truckload of money monthly but in my experience this mindset is not that prevalent in Europe. Definitely not in me. Yes, I am suggesting to adapt the costs to the different markets.

Also add automatic pledge lowering.

¹ read: Diminishing returns. Very quickly diminishing returns.


That sounds very frustrating. Have you thought about setting a low pledge cap on all your goals?

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Pledge Caps!
Right you are. Totally forgot about them.
The brain works in mysterious ways (or, more like, doesn’t work).


:wink: Been there, friend.

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One data point: all my goals are at $5 and capped at $5
That is a sufficient amount to keep me in place.

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Since the new pledge schedule came out, I’ve set my default cap to $20. That’s significantly down from where it was at $90…

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I’ve had a goal that derailed at 30 before. It was a goal that gave me so much anxiety that neither 30 nor 300 would’ve made a difference. Edit: In fact I ended up paying more than 300 as a consequence of not being able to perform on this goal.

I was so happy that there is now nuance in the lower pledges, 1$ stings, motivates and does not break my bank. I don’t know who these people are that pledge 800$, but dang if a goal is important enough for me to bet my rent on it, I’m not sure I want to know what the actual consequences are.

This feels a bit like in the gym. Where there’s 50 x 45lbs plates but only one set of 2.5lbs plates, which is great for the folks that don’t need to do baby steps anymore.

Yes, pledge caps exist, but I read the argument of exponential pledge caps and motivation. Is there any scale, if the pledge caps makes goals essentially binary?


Rings true.

I’ve used higher pledge caps, with mixed results. Sometimes I need a big threat to get moving on a gnarly issue. Making the pledge so high that it removes the possibility that I’ll choose to derail on it can actually be a big anxiety relief.

But if it’s too high, the weight of potential punishment threatens to overpower my personal integrity, especially if there’s room to fudge on what technically counts as a derail. So I’ve come to view it as a balancing act.

Maybe the equation would be something like this:

threat_bearing_capacity = integrity / ambiguity

Something that also reduces the capacity are goals that don’t require me to actively enter data, like do-less goals with pessimistic presumptive data turned off. I don’t know if that’s adding ambiguity or reducing my integrity… :thinking: