Mega Feature List (and Premium Revamp Discussion)

While working on the premium revamp we needed a list of all the Beeminder features, free and premium. Here they are! Vote for your favorites to help us decide which to tout on the new premium page…

    1. Track up to 3 goals
    1. Unlimited data
    1. Yellow Brick Road to your goal
    1. Fancy statistics and graph features
    1. Supporters for social accountability
    1. Web, iOS, and Android apps
    1. Email bot and Slack bot
    1. IFTTT, Zapier, and custom API integration
    1. Make goals easier/harder on the fly
    1. Scheduled breaks
    1. Capped pledges
    1. Zeno polling
    1. Public and private graphs
    1. Data import/export
    1. Weaselproofing
    1. Widgets
    1. Goal unit rescaling
    1. Dead man’s switch
    1. Dozens of other autodata integrations
    1. Monetary commitment device
    1. :moneybag: Auto-cancelling subscriptions
    1. :moneybag: Unlimited goals
    1. :moneybag: Do-less, odometer, and whittle goals
    1. :moneybag: Custom goals
    1. :moneybag: SMS bot
    1. :moneybag: Change goalname/URL
    1. :moneybag: Autoratchet
    1. :moneybag: Weekends-off
    1. :moneybag: Road editor
    1. :moneybag: Pledgeless goals
    1. :moneybag: Shortcircuiting
    1. :moneybag: Dev chatroom
    1. :moneybag: 50% charity option

0 voters

This is also a fine place to argue for what should or shouldn’t be a premium feature (note the little money bags).

UPDATE: Thanks for voting! Feel free to keep doing so. Currently the following features didn’t make the cut:

    1. Supporters for social accountability
    1. Make goals easier/harder on the fly (abbreviated as “adjust goal difficulty”)
    1. Zeno polling (thanks to @peppertoni for the newbee-friendly term “Escalating reminders”)
    1. Public and private graphs
    1. Data import/export
    1. Weaselproofing
    1. Widgets
    1. Goal unit rescaling
    1. Dead man’s switch
    1. Monetary commitment device (goes without saying?)
    1. :moneybag: Do-less, odometer, and whittle goals (abbreviated as “Unlimited goal types”)
    1. :moneybag: Change goalname/URL
    1. :moneybag: Dev chatroom access (currently described as real-time support)
    1. :moneybag: Tips of the day in email bot replies (forgot to include this in the poll)
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Does anyone else wish that one could have two payment accounts, one for premium subscription and one for derails? I have been reluctant to sign up for premium because to help think of beeminder payments as punitive I specifically withdraw them from an account that is otherwise reserved, separate from regular bills and other useful things.

I strongly relate to the whole “pay only when you make a mistake” concept of Beeminder, which is how it has been so effective for me compared to anything else. So, to minimize the demotivating effect of adding payments for premium, I would love to just hide the subscription among other monthly payments. Is it just me?

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Definitely not just you. This a big hangup for me with premium.

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“Zeno polling” - you might want to rethink that name before the mass-market, main street USA launch.

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@gleeb: Really good point. I’m not sure how much to prioritize that yet. Others clicking the little heart on your post will help!

@davidhm21: True. Maybe something generic like “Elaborate reminding system”? Or we could leave off the features that are too hard to capture in a few words.

Quick question-- is a vote for a feature just indicating that it’s one I like, or is it an endorsement for making it premium and highlighting it as such?

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This is a little off topic, but I suppose a good place to talk about my thoughts on the premium plans.

First off, I should say that I wanna give you guys some money. I love this system, the product, and increasingly the community! But I haven’t bitten the bullet on premium for a couple of reasons:

  1. I fully expect to give you some money…I just haven’t derailed at >$0 yet. It’s an emergency day for one of my goals, though, so today could be the day!
  2. I’m a little worried that if I pay you monthly it will make me more likely to weasel-around-the-edges on the rationalization that, well, I’m already paying you money.
  3. I personally don’t like the tiers (which I know you’re revamping). $16/mo is a little more than I’m comfortable paying, but I also don’t like the idea of buying a premium plan at $8/month for custom goals, and not getting auto-ratcheting or weekends off or pledgeless goals.

I guess I haven’t seen the plan, but guessing from the poll it looks like the 3 free goals limit is gonna be the biggest driver for premium sign-ups. This makes more sense to me than a pure, somewhat arbitrary tiers-of-features model, since it captures a lot of the “power users”, but I hope the price is low enough to avoid some of the fallout from issues 1. and 2. above, which I’m sure I’m not alone in.

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Not a vote for making it premium. Just a vote for it being worth highlighting for newbees. You can either vote for the ones you think are a big deal, like (based on voting so far) the smartphone apps. Or vote for everything except those that you think should be relegated to our Obscure Features List like goal unit rescaling.

Thanks also for the feedback on tiers and pricing! I fear you’re not going to be thrilled with what we’re about to deploy here. We’re now fretting about discounts and grandfathering and stuff to keep from alienating loyal users. So keep this kind of feedback coming! In fact, if you’re game, we’d love to hear your thoughts on the secret draft of the blog announcement: http://blog.beeminder.com/infinibee/?secretpreview

Here are some thoughts!

I totally buy the reasoning behind the changes, but I don’t love it, especially for my own use case.

While I wouldn’t at all mind paying $4 or $8/month, what I’m really after is power-user features for a small number of goals, which takes me up to $16/month.

Now, it’s not that I actually couldn’t afford $16/month, but that’s a higher price point than any other monthly subscription that I have. Not that this is in any way sane, but $8 to netflix buys so much video entertainment that it’s harder to swallow $16/mo for extra-cool graphs. And I’ll reiterate my uneasiness that paying monthly (especially $16) might encourage weaseling on my part, along the lines of " It’s a beemergency day on mostlyplants. Should I estimate this dollop of squash casserole as 1 serving of veggies or 2? Well…I did already fork over $16 this month just for the premium plan"

All that said, I’ve been SUPER curious since signing up how “stings” work in practice across the user base-- what’s the average “pledge cap”, How many pledges start above $0, and of course, how well do “stings” work for income generation for beeminder… and I’m inferring that the answer to the last question is not well enough, hence pushing loyal users towards a paid plan. Which is a sticky wicket, no doubt! Is there a good thread running already for commitment contract business model stuff?

So for myself anyway, I’d gladly pay ~$8/mo for finite goals plus some power features like custom goals, auto-ratchet, and weekends off (and maybe pledgeless, but it’s easy enough to just log data via IFTTT or the like). But $16 will probably price me out, and I’m most likely to just stay free with my 3 goals for the foreseeable future. And honestly, from a pure “best practices” standpoint, I suspect that capping my beeminding to about 3 at one time is probably a good rule of thumb anyway… how many things do I really want to track with money on the line every single day?

And I suppose I should say that I think I’m being honest here… but it might be notable that I hadn’t yet signed up for premium, even when $8/month included most of what I just said I wanted. But again, I’m an enthusiastic beeminder who’s less than 2 months in, and I was seriously considering it. And of course I’ll still consider it! In fact, there’s a fair likelihood that I’ll do $4/month just to support beeminder, even though I don’t expect to benefit from any of the features at that price point. It’s just that I’d be a lot more enthusiastic about it if the lower tier included more premium features instead of unlimited goals.

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@mwalla, hugely helpful; thank you! What this means for the bigger picture we’re still thinking about but you personally are in luck because, at least while we’re rolling all this out and still uncertain about it all, we’re very happy to give 50% off discounts to people who contribute meaningfully to the community, as you’re doing now. Email support@beeminder.com and we’ll hook you up!

In general our gamble is that $4/mo is a no-brainer for people even a little serious and then $16/mo for real power user stuff could feel cheap if compared to the kinds of things Beeminder can and does replace, like gym memberships, life coaches, academic coaches, working in coffeeshops, etc etc. People spend a lot in time, hassle, and money to set up their environment to be conducive to maximal productivity and Beeminder often elegantly obviates such things. So, our thinking goes, by the time you’re at the power user stage, the value is pretty huge.

Answers to other things I know off the top of my head for now:

  1. Recommended reading if you’re ever feeling weaselly: Combatting Cheating and Weasel Heart-To-Heart
  2. Data on pledges starting at $0 vs $5 was confusing until recently though that should be answerable with a simple query for recent goals. Only 28 people currently have the fancy plan that lets you jump to arbitrary pledge levels.
  3. Commitment contract business model stuff: see our list of competitors (feel free to start a forum thread about this too!)
  4. Pledge revenue is something like 85% of total revenue now and hit a plateau in the last couple of years. Some pie charts in this old post and see also the infamous “Mildly Panicked” forum thread from the beginning of 2016 for background on us deciding we needed to increase subscription revenue.

Thanks again for the great questions and feedback!

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Oh no - odometer goals are going premium! You guys have just become my nanowrimo-all-year-round system for word count/editing goals =(.

I understand wanting to take some types of goals premium to entice subscribers, but it would be nice to leave two or three kinds for us freebees. I’m fine with only three goals or so on a free plan, given your level of customer support your costs probably increase by goal more than by user.

One thing I would love is for the akrasia horizon to be three days instead of seven. I find I only need about 24 hours for my long-term self to kick in, and three days is a lot more flexible in case of sickness, emergencies. I know you guys email us and check, and are supportive, but if I’m having a tornado week it’s a lot easier to adjust my settings than compose an email (especially an email to nice people).

What is deadman’s switch? and zeno polling?

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Zeno Polling Alternatives:

Escalating Reminders (or Intensifying Nagging) as deadline nears?

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I like Escalating Reminders quite a lot!

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But just the cheap $4/mo plan, and existing goals are grandfathered. And all autodata integrations will stay free.

Dead man’s switch means we eventually turn off your goals if you go totally inactive.

And thanks to @peppertoni for describing zeno polling just now. That’s a much more newbee-friendly term.

PS: Great point about customizable akrasia horizon. That’s going to take more work though before we can generalize that.

If I understand correctly from this thread—I wasn’t able to find any more about this by searching, but that may be me—then the new setup means I’ll have to pay a monthly fee to track more than three goals.

I have Thoughts about this.

I’ve been using BM since late 2014, and all that time, unlimited goals has been the norm. I understood the revenue model to be that BM earned on derails, and on people who paid for monthly subscriptions that added additional features. But “unlimited graphs” was a basic, free-version feature.

As an existing user for whom that will now change, it means that what felt like a basic component of the Beeminder program is now being whisked away. Now I’m going to have to start paying for something I thought was part of the basic setup. That feels crappy. It feels a little like “welp, we aren’t earning what we need to on people derailing, so let’s add in a way to bump up the earnings.” It makes me feel less wildly happy about paying BM when I derail, too.

What I don’t know is how much of this reaction is because I’m an existing user. That is, if I found Beeminder six months from now and the model was “try it for free on three goals forever, subscribe to track more than three,” I honestly doubt that would be a problem for me. It only feels icky now because it isn’t what I’ve had, and I thought what I had was the baseline. So I don’t think it will scare off new users. But I’m not a new user, and my initial response—bear in mind that the only info I have is what’s in this thread here—is to panic and try to figure out a way to survive without Beeminder. Three goals aren’t nearly enough for me, making BM pointless unless I’m now willing to pay for the privilege of using it. (Again, I believe this is only an issue because I haven’t had to pay to use it before.)

I don’t know what the new pricing will be; what I’ve gleaned from comments in this thread is that I’ll need to pay $4/month to track more than three goals? So $50 a year, roughly, to keep doing what I’ve been doing. As a new user, I think that’s great value for money—as an existing one, though, right now it feels like a ransom. “Cough up $50 a year or you’ll never see your goals again.”

So those are my Thoughts. They are in no way data that support nixing this change; I think it’s a good change, and no new user will be bothered by it. They aren’t even data that support “existing users get to keep tracking as many goals as they like for free.” (I think the rules should be the same for everyone; you’re a company, not my best friend.) These Thoughts are simply data on the interesting phenomenon of differing perception based on perceived baseline. Or something. :slight_smile:

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Ah, glad you said this! It means we probably need to move the following assurance to the top of the announcement:

All existing goals are grandfathered!


Does that change your reaction to all this? That’s super nice of you to say that existing users should have the same rules but we’re super grateful to existing users so we want to be as generous to them as possible. (But also making more money is fact an existential imperative.)

Sort of. But there’s still years worth of advice on these forums telling people to make many focused goals instead of large aggregate goals. E.g.

Or tracking certain things via meta goals:

Now these historical posts are actively bad advice for anyone who’s new. Unless we’re just going to assume everyone’s a highroller and will be premium (or that 3 is too few goals to do anything with anyway?).

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I’ve been thinking of it differently (like $4/mo should just be a no-brainer for anyone in deep enough to be reading old forum posts) but I’m thinking hard about your negative reaction. Like @grayson was doing, if you can help us separate your personal reaction with what you think is best for newbees, that will help. You’ve been a hugely contributing member of the community for years so we’ll obviously make sure you personally are happy (we’ve never totally comped premium plans, maybe not even exceeded a 50% discount, because, well, precedent/psychology/devaluing but we can also manually keep upping your free goals or figure other things out).

let’s say a non-premium, existing user has 10 goals. his goals are grandfathered. he then archives one or finishes it and tries to start a new one. can he make one for free or is he forced to premium?

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I’m a relatively new user – only since May. But I think that limiting the number of goals to 3 before putting it behind a monthly subscription would have turned me away before I figured out whether it was something that worked for me. Right now, I’ve only been using it for personal stuff – weight, flossing, fitness – not for work projects or anything like that.

It took a bit of experimenting to fine tune the goals that I have, and I think I’m only just beginning to understand how I’d like to use the minding most productively and how I might start to use it for work projects or more complicated goals. With just three goals, I think I might have lost interest before finding the right combination of things to mind. I found myself immediately reading old forum posts to try to understand the concept and the math better, so I definitely don’t think that it’s only deep-in users that read old forum posts.

My first reaction is definitely that even $4/month seems expensive. Not that it’s not affordable; just that it seems expensive for what it is when, for me so far, it’s really a habit-focuser, not a replacement for work stuff. But I can imagine that as I get more familiar with how it works and more comfortable with linking technologies, I might be more interested in using it for other projects that would make a subscription feel more worthwhile.

I feel like I may not be expressing this clearly, but those are my initial reactions.

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