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The way we run Exist (exist.io)
54 points by troydavis 11 months ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 22 comments

I've used Exist for a few years and love both the service and the way its run. The design of the app is great, its reliable and continues to evolve, but the biggest thing for me has been how open and transparent the dev team are.

The app looks nice, but really, do you think I'll readily hand so much data over to a company which I barely know?

I do think this could be an amazing local-storage service though, not free, still paid as a subscription model.

Yeah, everything will be hunky-dory until Belle and Josh are struggling to make their mortgage payments, and Facebook comes calling.

Why does this need to be centralized? This is like asking for the user's soul. For the good of everyone, services need to start thinking offline-first, smh. I would not use this service for the exact same reason I never used Facebook.

Asking for credit card details on a free trial is going to be a stopper for new users.

I know the founders of this company (we live in the same city).

I've seen how much hard work and emotional energy they've put into their product over at least 4 years. And I've observed them go through a whole lot of different experiments on how to optimise their on-boarding process for new customers.

I can tell you that their current signup process has been tested and optimised to within an inch of its life, in order to get the outcome they want, which is to attract users who are serious about using the product and will be happy to pay for it as soon as they're convinced it does what they need.

As the article says and as another commenter pointed out, they now make enough money to pay both founders a modest monthly wage.

They don't sell advertising in the app, they don't sell your data, and they haven't taken funding. Every cent they make is from people who love their product.

Please believe me when I tell you they really don't mind when people are turned off by the requirement to enter payment details.

Clearly it wasn’t a show stopper for all their existing users, who are now paying two engineers their salaries.

Well, it was for me. I read the blog post and decided I wanted to try it until I had to add my cc details on the sign up form. If you are providing a one month free trial why on earth do you need them?

To protect against users creating a new account each month.

To be fair, though, I’m largely in agreement with you in this case. For products like cloud infrastructure, where the company is fronting real costs, the requirement makes sense to prevent abuse. But this product has low marginal cost per user, and also loses all of its value if a user recreates his account.

Why would I do so? the nice thing about this is to have the historical of data. If I created a new account I would have to start over.

Unless, of course, you could import historial data somehow. But then maybe just make that feature not available on trial.

Exactly; that’s why I’m agreeing with you for this particular service. This was what I was referring to when I said the product “loses all of its value if a user recreates his account.”

It's pretty normal to ask for credit card details for a free trial. For example major services like Netflix do it.

You are comparing this service I've never heard about before with a service everyone knows. I think there's a little difference there.

Does anyone here actually use this odd app? Why? Did it bring any improvements in your life?

I use it. Its great for bringing together data from various self-tracking sources and try to get some learning from them.

Why - several reasons. It means I go to one place to look at this data, and its presented in a consistent way. It also helps try to drive meaning from all this data by looking for correlations and commonalities.

Did it bring improvements. For me its helped me get in shape, its helped me find things that have a knock-on effect to my mood and/or productivity.

Interesting..if you mean physical shape, then I always thought that the most effective way to "get in shape" is a simple discipline combined with the primitive reward-system..Literally - just don't eat junk food, work out for 30 minutes per day and if you are happy about results, go ahead and reward yourself by a piece of apple cake or whatever(reduce your normal intake to keep everything balanced - for advanced users). This is so simple and so effective that you don't need anything else - no trackers, no complex data analysis or shrink visits. Amazingly a lot of people ignore this simple path and try various tools like this "exist" thingie.

Obviously having discipline, exercising and not eating junk food is a big part of it, and for many people that would be enough. What Exist helped me with on this was keeping me motivated over a period of time and helping me identify other things that were / are impacting my progress (e.g. sleep, work etc). Clearly its not for everyone - but it is certainly something that I value, and something that has helped me.

Oh, I forgot about sleeping. Indeed it's the paramount and it's the most difficult part. Sleep at least 7hrs per day, use the ear plugs and the sleeping mask, don't take sleeping pills and stay away from taking melatonin in capsules. Stop drinking liquids at least 2 hrs before going to bed. Use the anatomic mattress and pillow.

> Stop drinking liquids at least 2 hrs before going to bed

Even water? What if you're thirsty? Any sources?

To me it's just stop eating AND drinking at least 2 hrs before going to bed. My most reliable source is "burn the fat feed the muscle" book that helped me to endorse the healthy way of living this life...Here is the quote:

"I strongly recommend moving the last intake for the day as far away from bedtime as you can. 3-4 hours is ideal, but at least 2-3. This increases the length of the "fast" which in reality nighttime is - broken by breakfast. Using this method consistently is one of the most effective ways to lower body fat - and it doesn’t take a lot of effort"

Information systems have transformed the industrial world. We track metrics for everything, and make decisions from charts of these metrics. People seem to think that because data is so important to S&P 500, it must be equally important to their own person. It's currently just a toy though, that people get tired of after a while. Why would you need to know how many steps you did in a day? It's a gimmick. This will however change once it is agregated by big data, shipped off to ML algorithms that churn the data and tell you what to do via voice interfaces. "You should exercise for 5 more minutes" via Alexa/Siri/Home in your earbuds while exercising.

>"You should exercise for 5 more minutes" via Alexa/Siri/Home in your earbuds while exercising.

To me it sounds terrible. It's no secret that work-out length and level of intensity hugely, hugely depends on your mental state at the moment. For instance I recall good old days when I tried impress good looking ladies in my gym and easily pulled/pushed heavy weights that I wouldn't do normally(how silly it was!). Another example is if I face some minor issue that I am worry about(annoying neighbours, upcoming promotion, et) I can't work-our efficiently enough, even being in the perfect physical shape. No fucking Alexa/Siri/Home can detect that. And if one day it is able to do that then it means that the AI just took over the world. Thanks, but I will continue my silly-no AI-most effective approach to the healthy life!

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