IFTTT as Trivial Inconvenience

I was pretty excited to see this thread about how powerful and flexible IFTTT applets can be now:

And of course IFTTT is just amazing in how easy they make it to set up simple (“if this then that”) applets.

Unfortunately I have a strong sense that, from Beeminder’s point of view, it doesn’t matter how easy and powerful IFTTT is because 95%+ of people when they hear “create an IFTTT applet” will just immediately dismiss it as not worth it and there’s nothing we can ever do to change that short of integrating so tightly with IFTTT that it’s part of Beeminder goal creation and you don’t even have to have a separate IFTTT account. From the perspective of Beeminder users, IFTTT is a proverbial Trivial Inconvenience.

One implication of this: when considering autodata integrations, the fact that a candidate integration is totally redundant with the status quo of Beeminder+IFTTT should hardly at all be a point against it.


It’s true; despite knowing how useful IFTTT would be, it took me years to actually start using it. Of course, the nice thing about Trivial Inconveniences is that once you cross that activation barrier to actually using it, making new applets is actually trivial, so now I have about a dozen, most of which interact with beeminder in some way.


Of course, there are IFTTT applets and there are IFTTT applets. For someone who’s not already an IFTTT user of any stripe, then it becomes just one more thing to learn, before I know whether I care enough to learn it. So easy to put that on a list and never find the tuits.

Now there seem to be 3 levels of IFTTTness:

  • simple recipes that link from one thing to another, trigger to action
  • applets that use our set of IFTTT macros
  • platform applets like @mufflon’s excellent example