Our 2016 plan for Beeminder (with poll!)

I floated this in a daily beemail and got a lot of thoughtful replies and ideas and feedback. [1] Daniel Tedesco made the sage suggestion that we were juggling too many priorities so we’ve been trying to ruthlessly move things from “we need to do this right now” to “we’ll consider this after the actual top priorities”.

I’ve marked top 10 priorities with little :honey_pot:'s and :moneybag:'s (for things we as users really care about and things we have to care about to keep Beeminder viable, respectively) and put :hourglass:'s on things that are not yet priorities or that are waiting on other things to be done.

For the priorities I identified a plausible first step in parentheses. I’m hoping that by starting with all of those first steps that we’ll be able to keep up momentum along multiple important dimensions (growing, bug fixing, newbee-friendliness, features we power users are desperate for and that keep Beeminder exciting for us, infrastructure & long-term planning).

What do you think? I’m making this a poll, approval voting style, so vote for your favorites, or vote for everything except the ones you don’t think we should care about:

    1. Upgrade all the things :moneybag: (Ruby 2.x and MongoMapper->Mongoid underway)
    1. Keep acquiring users :moneybag: (email capture on front page)
    1. Lifecycle emails :moneybag: (better unsubscribe controls)
    1. Fuzzy Buzzy and other premium plan experiments :moneybag: (Chelsea’s 2-tier plan)
    1. Support Paypal :moneybag: (support Alipay, since Stripe makes that super easy)
    1. More autodata integrations :moneybag: :honey_pot: (MFP if possible or Khan Academy which looks easy)
    1. Road Editor and concomitant swarm of end-date bugs :honey_pot: (auxiliary road editor via API)
    1. Death to Freebees aka Freebees für Alles :moneybag: :honey_pot: (JFDI)
    1. Open-sourcing autodata integrations :honey_pot: :moneybag: (zeno callback for beemind.me et al)
    1. UI simplification/streamline/redesign, especially mobile-friendliness of goal creation & settings :honey_pot: (settings revamp)
  • :hourglass: Goal creation wizard :moneybag: :honey_pot: (goal cloning? after death to freebees)
  • :hourglass: Sponsor behavioral econ conference :moneybag:
  • :hourglass: Uncle Button (maybe important given how hard we make it to turn off zeno polling) :honey_pot: :moneybag:
  • :hourglass: Tags and sorting options :honey_pot:
  • :hourglass: Client-side graphs :honey_pot: (after tini/vini, sadreset, auto-wide which we’ll do as part of Road Editor)
  • :hourglass: True breaks :honey_pot: (after Road Editor) [2]
  • :hourglass: Yellow Brick Halfplane :honey_pot: (after Road Editor)
  • :hourglass: The ridiculous do-less loophole :honey_pot: (after Yellow Brick Halfplane?)
  • :hourglass: Find/invite friends on Facebook :moneybag:
  • :hourglass: Follow friends, group goals :honey_pot:
  • :hourglass: Integery and timey-wimey goals :honey_pot: (post)

0 voters

[UPDATE: Eep, we seem to have broken the tallies by editing the items in the poll. Sad face! Discourse’s @zogstrip is kindly investigating for us. UPDATE 2: Looks like using 2 different list styles (bullets and numbers) confused it and there’s no way to recover the true votes. Double sad face!]

And of course reply with other ideas we missed above!

Other things it may be bad to neglect till after 2016

  1. More useful stats in sidebar like actual average rate based on data, and streak tally
  2. Pledges in local currency
  3. More sophisticated deadmanning
  4. Account deletion
  5. IFTTT/Zapier channel improvements (zeno trigger, backdate data with polling freq window of deadline)
  6. Make the rest of the autodata integrations support arbitrary deadlines
  7. API version 2


[1] Thanks @bostonenginerd, @peppertoni, @dtedesco1, @apolyton, @nickwolf, @malcolm, @drtall, @insti, @anomalily, @mary, @yebyenw, @nepomuk, and @adamwolf!

[2] True Breaks is about having an actual gap in the road, for things like weight loss or inbox count where it’s not enough to just have a flat spot. You want to be wholly unaccountable during a vacation and have the road resume at wherever your datapoint ends up at the end of the break.


I know that since I’ve started beeminding I’ve restarted a number of goals either because I wanted to make changes to my road and I didnt want to wait a week or because I just wanted a fresh start. Imagining myself as a newcomer, I would be moderately annoyed if the road was as difficult to change as it is AND I had to pay to start over. I think 3-5 freebees is just fine.


@dreev Would it be worth changing the wording of ‘Death to Freebees’ to something like ‘All goals have option to start with $0 pledge’ to minimise confusion?

@caribbeandelight, just to clarify, are you saying that 3-5 freebees is plenty for your needs and you would rather not have more available? I suspect from the rest of your comment that you would like to have more available so that when you make a new goal (or do an effective immediately restart) you can start it at a $0 pledge. Counterintuitively, this is actually what ‘Death to Freebees’ does. It removes the limitations on $0 starting pledges and makes it available for every goal – not just your first 7 (or whatever the number is). Since that will be standard for all goals (and no longer a special case), the term ‘Freebee’ is not required and ‘Death to Freebees’ will have occurred.


Good call. For now I just edited it above to say “Death to Freebees aka Freebees für Alles”. Anyway, we know what we mean! (:

Thanks for clarifying that. As you say, the “death to” part refers to the concept and the jargon, not the ability to start goals at $0 which in fact becomes universal, though not the default.

1 Like

To quote from an explanation on Kiling Freebees I read earlier

“At some point you can’t create new goals without putting in a credit card.
Beeminder’s not Beeminder without that credible threat. You may still never
pay us a dime but you have to be willing to risk something”

From what was explained in the above quote, I think 3-5 goals is just
enough before users are required to either put 5+ dollars on the line or
buy the 10 cent goals.

To avoid the corruption mentioned of people just starting and archiving $0
goals over and over again without putting their card info, we could keep
the unlimitedness of the $0 goals that killing freebees would create locked
until the user gets their first 10 pack.

Missing idea:

Open sourcing code and make it easier for people to contribute improvements.

1 Like

I think the Zeno callback feature for 3rd party autodata and the open-sourcing autodata integrations should be separate poll options.

Open-sourcing autodata integrations and making them easy to contribute to is step 1! It may end up happening in parallel but the first focus is autodata.

Good call. I just rephrased that poll item. The idea is that open-sourcing autodata is the thing you’re voting on and the zeno callback thing is just the first prereq we need to tackle. 3rd-party autodata needs that in order to be on par with official integrations. And doing it will immediately make integrations like @galtsubery’s beemind.me better.

This is the most gentlest of asides, and if anyone wants to respond, let’s pull it into a new thread, but…

I am working on a Python equivalent of beemind.me, so the next Python person who wants to write some autodata and share it with people who don’t have webservers handy can send me a pull request, or launch their own instance.

I don’t expect to have anything to post for ~60 days or so, but if you’re interested, let me know.

Maybe by the time it’s ready, zeno polling 3rd party autodata will be done :smile: