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On the goodness of Beeminder (overcomingbias.com)
21 points by MikeCapone on Aug 19, 2012 | hide | past | favorite | 11 comments

First time I hear about this startup -- sorry if it's been mentioned a lot before here.

It seems like they designed their product well to counter known cognitive biases. I'll be giving it a try with some things I'd like to do more of and form habits around.

You may remember us from such recent Hacker News hits as... (Troy McClure voice)

http://weusethat.com -- http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4357348

http://gmailzero.com -- http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=4107004

Portland Seed Fund -- http://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=2447641

Seriously though, excited to have you try us out! We're still pretty new and eager for feedback. We know we have a long way to go in terms of friendliness of the site.

"If you go off track, you pledge money to stay on the road the next time. If you go off track again, we charge you."

I don't like this idea. Doesn't it encourage them to get you off-track? It becomes an incentive for the company to move against the very goal that it was created for.

Doesn't it encourage them to get you off-track?

Sure, but if they actually did so they would quickly lose customers. You have to trust that the system is helping before you would buy into it.

The service is based on the pain of losing being a more powerful motivator than the pleasure of gaining something new (when the reward and loss are of equal value).

When I first learned of the bias (it is listed with a few similar motivational tricks in The 4-Hour Body) a very basic version of this type of service immediately popped into my head, I'm glad to see someone ran with it. I hope they're very successful, it is a cool project and kind of turns traditional income techniques on their head.

Funny you should ask! We just blogged about that tonight: http://blog.beeminder.com/perverse

Does the money go all to Beeminder or primarily to a charity (with a cut to Beeminder)?

From https://www.beeminder.com/runkeeper

[?] What happens to the money when you derail? Beeminder gets it. We hope you'll view it as a fair fee for the service, that happens to be waived if you never go off track. If you'd rather the money go to charity we highly recommend RunOrElse.

From http://runorelse.com/index.php/public/faq?id=6&q=Where+d...

If you feel more motivated knowing that a greater percentage of your money would go to charity you might try Stickk.com, if you would be more motivated with none of your money going to charity at all you should check out Beeminder.com

Any connection with Hiveminder (hiveminder.com)? Both are ToDo lists with reminders etc, both have a bee icon, and the names are all but identical.

Danny of Beeminder here. Surprisingly this is the first time I've heard that question. No, no connection. Beeminder actually doesn't have a ToDo list aspect (despite having reminders).

Sounds great! Is there a mobile version by any chance?

We're working on Android and iOS apps! The Android version is actually far enough along that we don't feel too embarrassed pointing more hardcore folks to it. APK at http://dreev.es/ba

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