I’ve been using Forfeit a bit/it’s been working well and made me consider reengaging with Beeminder. However after logging in/looking around for the first time in a while, I don’t think I’m going to, here’s why —
I can’t set my pledge amount to what I want/something that’ll immediately motivate me*.
I have a lot of things I want to do, I appreciate Beeminder’s integrations, and I’d like to put money on the line to motivate me, however it is really unappealing to me to go through the “derail a few times” song and dance to get it up to something that’s going to be painful (or the alternative song and dance of signing up for premium for a month, making goals, then cancelling it - more on the vibe this give me here).
So I’m not going to be making any new goals in Beeminder. Just a data point for you guys.
My understanding is BM doesn’t allow short circuiting so they can collect all the initial, non-motivating amounts of money people don’t mind losing. Makes sense. But to quote Bastiat, there’s that which is seen and that which is unseen**. The random $1, $5, and $10 amounts are seen. What’s unseen is this is a huge turnoff (both rationally/practically – re: it’s either expensive, time consuming or both to get around, and irrationally/morally – it bugs me that paying for a service where the whole point is you pay them money if you don’t meet your goals isn’t enough to actually get incentives aligned, instead I need the – pretty obviously priced to be prohibitive – platinum plan for that.) And (it’s def true in my case) I think BM is missing out on some people signing up/pledges because of it.
If it helps/makes it less scary, here’s how it worked for me in Forfeit without short circuiting:
- I wanted to spend less time on my phone, so I made a goal that said I’d send in a screenshot of the apps I opened on my phone and prove gmail/chrome/whatsapp were combined opened <= 1 per day
- I wanted it to have teeth, so I set it at $30 a day
- One day I went over it on accident, and paid $30
- Another day I forgot to send in a screenshot, and paid another $30
So that’s $60 (in the span of about 10 days), which I was happy to pay (I’d say I met the “spirit” of my goals the whole time, but recognize paying here prob makes using it more effective overall). FWIW I’m pretty confident it’d be the same in Beeminder. Just looked, and in the 1-2 years I was using it heavily I paid $1132 in pledges (in addition to the $271 for the lifetime plan). This was worth it to me. Again, not saying it’d be same for everyone, but it’s a data point.
Note: I get BM is free to charge what they want/for features they want. This isn’t nec something I feel entitled to per se, but it’s the reality of my BM situation at the moment and I know you guys appreciate feedback.
* Without paying an additional – (e.g. in addition to the lifetime plan I have) $42 a month.
** Another thing that’s unseen: all the people who aren’t signing up because there’s no lifetime plan (aside: would be curious how many people here are grandfathered into the lifetime plan, that’s what the only other Beeminder user I know IRL did, now it’s not even an option).