Take the Beeminder founders' money

Forum regulars are probably already quite familiar with our beeminding of User-Visible Improvements (UVIs) to Beeminder. We will average one per day forever, or we’ll pay one of you $1000. For real. We’ve done it before! (That’s $1000 paid for 4 years and counting of inexorable forward progress. So cheap!)

What’s been less well-known is that there are multiple other goals where you can cash in on the Beeminder founders’ near-legendary akrasia! (We take the idea of bootstrapping to new extremes – Beeminder was built thanks to beeminding progress via gradually more sophisticated versions of Beeminder.) Anyway, but much of the motivational power of Beeminder is the sword-of-damocles feeling, which can be noticeably absent when the money is going to one’s own bootstrapped startup. So, for the meta goals listed below, we’re paying you when we go off track. (I wouldn’t mind this applying to all our personal goals as well, if it doesn’t get to be TMI.)

Previously we’d been maintaining the list of goals on an old blog post, but that got unwieldy and hard to find. (Y’all missed a $270 derailment recently! Eventually @chelsea claimed it, which is maybe not kosher but, well, you had your chance!) Anyway, that’s what made me realize we need more eyes on the prize here.

Goals you should bee minding

  1. UVIs ($1000 at stake; $1000 paid)
  2. Blog posts ($810 at stake; $405 paid)
  3. Infrahancements ($270 at stake; $270 paid)
  4. Bee’s hours on Beeminder ($270 at stake; $405 paid)
  5. Danny’s hours on Beeminder ($270 at stake; $405 paid)
  6. Bee’s support queue ($30 at stake)
  7. Progress on open-sourcing Beeminder ($270 at stake)
  8. Danny’s Beemail goal ($270 at stake)
  9. Danny’s Hard Soon: Email and Meta-Email ($90 at stake)
  10. Bee’s MIT: Road editor sign in($0 at stake)

We’ll add to this list (and perhaps subtract from it, subject to the akrasia horizon of course) so stay tuned!

Completed or archived

Fine print

  1. Only the timestamp of the original comment counts. Don’t make the claim by editing a previous comment.
  2. As soon as the countdown runs out it’s fair game to claim our money. (Refresh the page first to confirm.)
  3. Claiming it before the official deadline locks you out for an hour. Like the Jeopardy buzzer rule.
  4. If you do claim it right after the timer runs out it’s still possible for us to eke by where Beeminder processes the datapoint before processing the derailment. It’s kind of a confusing loophole that we’d like to close or minimize but in the meantime we’re so used to it that we’ll let it stand. We of course won’t tamper with anything behind the scenes, just using Beeminder the same way you all do.
  5. Workerbees and anyone else with inside knowledge of a derailment can’t win our money until 6 hours after the derailment so there’s at least a window for normal users.
  6. You can’t get 2 dogfood bounties in a row.
  7. New high water marks (highest dollar amount a goal has derailed at) must be claimed by someone who hasn’t claimed a bounty in at least a year.

So I’m trying to hook up IFTTT to your Beeminder but it keeps wanting to connect to my own account instead of these goals… :stuck_out_tongue:


How are we supposed to claim the bounty now? Previously you said to comment on the blog post. Would a tweet work?

1 Like

I suppose you now should reply to this thread?

1 Like

Yeah, reply here. No tweets! You can tweet at yourself to comment here… (I presume you’re asking because it’s easier to automate a tweet than a comment here.)

I am totally okay with @chelsea claiming the recent prize… she has been very helpful recently with my data entry mishaps. σ(^_^;)


bookmarking this thread. maybe i should add a “check beeminder bounty” goal :stuck_out_tongue:


i see sptzero has derailed…

1 Like

It seemed vaguely incestuous to me for us to claim these. Is that really kosher?

1 Like

well since it derailed 16 hours before i posted, i figure everyone else had a fair shot…

i don’t have super-strong feelings either way, but i’m not going to turn down a claim at a free $30 if it’s available :wink:

1 Like

@Tarn and @chelsea, I bequeath my blessing! I guess we could inject sportspersonliness to the extent that if you learn of the derailment through any insider means then wait 6 hours.

Note that the support zero one is @bee’s goal for zeroing the support items that only she can do. (Actually any labeled messages in support count, including ones labeled “VIP”, for support requests from premium subscribers.)

(Sorry to do this to you guys, but if it’s going to go to someone anyway, well… I’d like to be first…)

Derailment; I can haz? https://www.beeminder.com/meta/goals/infra

(Oops, maybe I jumped the gun?)

$270 to @mary! (who deleted her post here thinking she jumped the gun but it was legit! the moment the timer runs out it’s fair game, even if we eke in before Beeminder processes the derailment, which is an embarrassing loophole that it’s really better to not know about, especially as we expect it to go away without warning as we improve back-end infrastructure and/or switch to client-side graphs)

Thank you for keeping us honest!

It’s difficult to see when goals have derailed. Particularly since the javascript countdown will give erroneous information about goals derailing when they have not if you’ve not refreshed the page since the datapoint was added.
Check out the infra one for example: https://www.beeminder.com/meta/goals/infra How can you tell that it derailed?

1 Like

We need to fix the countdown so it’s always reliable without refreshing the page. In the meantime if you refresh the page and it still says “queued for derailment” then it derailed (even if we eked in – see previous convoluted parenthetical). Normally you’ll see the “RECOMMITTED” datapoint which reveals the derailment and you can claim the bounty after the fact based on that. As the competition heats up though you’ll want to catch it right when the countdown runs out.

1 Like

I cannot see ‘recent data’ on many of the graphs.

1 Like

Oops, we needed to check “public data” in the goal settings on all of those. Done now. (I wish that were the default but I realize we can’t just change that on people now.)

1 Like

Well, that depends. If it just looked like a derailment cause it was done but the data wasn’t entered, then I don’t think that would be a fair claim on my part. (And if we’re allowed to exploit a loophole, you should be too, whether or not we choose to. That’s the whole thing about dogfood. You’re playing by your own actual rules; you shouldn’t have to layer more rules on top of them, I don’t think. I just made the claim right away, b/c with the forum so active that day, I was sure someone was going to.)

1 Like

If the point of this whole setup is to have a fair competition then I agree with you. But if the point is to ruthlessly improve Beeminder then an asymmetry in the rules might be preferred, especially if the founders can remove that asymmetry by fixing bugs / improving performance. :smile: