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There’s a Lift for that (lift.do)
66 points by rkudeshi on Aug 30, 2012 | hide | past | web | favorite | 46 comments

This is a beautiful app. I don't want to be a Debbie Downer, but I don't see how on earth it could support 7 full time employees and 3 co-founders [1]. Are they just hoping for an acqui-hire?

[1] http://blog.lift.do/post/24988178079/join-the-lift-team

We're four people now and would like to grow to seven total. I think the underlying numbers justify it, otherwise we'd be staying put.

Obviously, the app reflects a lot of our own tastes about how we think social software should be done (start simple) and what we think is fun (positive, simple). But we also run a lot of Lean Startup techniques, which means we are testing, measuring, surveying, interviewing, etc like crazy just to validate our ideas and create a constant feedback loop for what our intuition is telling us (constantly informed intuition).

The first time I read The Lean Startup book I thought the metrics could really drive a lot of your decisions. They don't usually. They mostly reflect a lot of noise. But every now and then they highlight some signal that you're missing.

The big surprise signal for us is that we hadn't realized how prominent and effective casual self-tracking is across all levels of society. This isn't just something new invented by quantified self. Consider the cultural impact of fifty years of Weight Watchers. So we ended up seeing crazy high retention and qualitative feedback way before we expected (like at the point where you could track but not see your history).

And we spent a couple of months validating that with different cohorts. For example we were suspicious that our friends & family were skewing the results high so we went looking for more mainstream people. Turns out our friends are total slackers and were the worst performing cohort we looked at.

We had been thinking that we would have to pull off some real magic (like making willpower obsolete) in order for this to work. But now we're finding a lot of people who are psyched for a simple utility that also happens to have a bit of built in support and works for practically any goal you could ever think of. It's been amazing to walk into work every day and get new success stories. Really fun.

There's still a ton of challenges ahead and things we need to prove are possible. But everyone on the current hiring roadmap is about either proving something new or moving faster toward things we're already trying to prove.

FWIW, I don't think anyone in the company is acqui-hire inclined. We've been mostly backed by Obvious, which is three ex-Twitter founders/execs. It would be hard to get them excited about that sort of payday. My last company was a great lifestyle business (profitable, supported a bicoastal life, only required 1/day of work/week), so I know what leisure is and I know it was boring. My co-founder is the same way. We just want to work on something meaningful--which is exactly what we feel like we're doing right now.

I've been using the Lift beta for a couple of months and it is an excellent example of positive behaviour design. There are no gimmicks or gamification in the app, just positive reinforcement when you're using it.

It has helped me exercise more, do pushups, tidy the house and many other things because I intrinsically wanted to achieve those goals.

On a side note, I just did BJ Fogg's one week free habit forming course http://tinyhabits.com. It goes hand in hand with what Lift is trying to accomplish.

Cool. I love BJ and did his bootcamp last summer. We use his B=MAT model all the time to describe Lift and the world of behavior change.

One big suggestion is to have an easy link from the blog to the main site. I know it gets said many times on here, but it is a very big turnoff.

As far as the app goes, I really enjoy the design. I also really like the concept and hope it works successfully for me

Edit: You really need to be more detailed about how the friends process works. I assume it only works with Twitter at this point because the app wanted to access my account. However, there is nothing on the website (that I could find) about how this worked. I would highly recommend creating a less awkward friending mechanism. As of now, the community aspect is useless to me because I don't want to spam my email list with invites.

I've been using the app for a few months. I found that most of my 'props' came from complete strangers.

Though it's also cool to see what your friends are doing and working on - the community (right now) is very supportive.

Basically - friends not required.

It's kinda neat to be able to encourage random strangers. I find it nice to get an email saying "So and so gave you props for doing pushups".

I tried Lift out, and though it does seem that there it has a place for a some audiences, unfortunately I am not one of them. A few gripes (I understand that Lift.do just released, so some of these concerns may be premature)

1. It's binary - in that you workout or you don't, you sleep 8 hours or you don't. My needs are a bit different - I want to be able to log how much I do of something. For e.g. drinking water - I want to track that I drink enough water. The only solution I had was to use a habit titled "Drink 8 glasses of water" - For me, that doesn't work (I have to keep count of how many glasses of water I drank in the day). I want to "check in" every time I do something - if it's a workout, then a check-in a day suffices - if I want to sleep 8 hours but only manage 7, well, there's no way to manage that.

2. Export functionality - I want to export my data out of Lift.

The only app I have come across that let's me do this right is Dayta (free for iOS) - Unfortunately it has not seen any movement lately but it's very close to what I need. What Dayta does not get right is

1. No defaults. If I don't make an entry for a day, it does not assume 0

2. Only numeric data - For e.g Workout (in my case) is either a 1 or a 0 - It would be nice to have a Boolean switch

3. Dayta exports nicely - to CSV via email. I export on a month to month basis which means I usually go back in and have to delete the entries for the past month. Dayta gives you no way to "bulk delete" - You have to swipe each entry and delete.

4. Lift.do gets this right - Notes on a check-in. After a workout I want to know how I felt. Perhaps I did not hit the 6 mile marker - Was I sick? Or injured? Or just being lazy?

Along with all this it would be nice to

1. Plot a habit that has a scheduled interval. For e.g workout every other day (Perhaps a reminder or a gentle nudge)

2. Identify habits you aren't doing so well at.

I am currently using a mix of apps to track my progress - Momento (Journal app), Dayta, and Fitocracy (to log workouts in detail).

FWIW, Lift.do is a gorgeous app. I really like the way it looks, feels and works. The social element is a nice touch too.

Good luck guys. I am keeping an eye on you - Perhaps soon I will change my mind.

[Updated to add a 4th point and for some clarification]

Give it a go anyway. I had the same thoughts as you when I first started using it but after using the beta for a few months, the binary classification is freeing rather than restricting.

Hmm ... Well I still haven't given up on Lift :) I plan on using it for a short while - as I said, I see good things for Lift.

+1 for export. It's coming.

Good to know. I will keep an eye out out for it.

On a completely unrelated note I am really liking your blog :) Keep up the good work.

Ooh, have you tried http://beeminder.com ? It tracks arbitrary data and has had export from day one. We even now have streaming export where you can enter a callback URL and mirror all the data Beeminder gets to your own server in real time.

Danny of Beeminder

PS: We blogged about Lift recently: http://blog.beeminder.com/lift

Thanks dreeves. I have not heard of beeminder - I will have to try it out. Appreciate the pointer.

http://didthis.com available on Android with "how much" input. You can export all your data (csv). https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.bliss.andr...

I liked Daytum (http://daytum.com). It's too bad Feltron got acquihired by Facebook.

The design of Lift is gorgeous. Congrats on creating such a beautiful app.

There seems to be a minor bug of some sort in the habit list.

I've been using http://dontbreakthechain.com/ so I added 6 of the habits I've got on there. Now lift is only displaying 2 of my habits on the home screen. If I click on my name at the bottom it shows the stat graphs for all 6.

Ah, ok, I quit the app and killed it, restarted it and now they're back.

Sorry about that. Each mew version has had a lot of networking improvements. We just submitted an upgraded version to the App Store review process today, so you should have a closer-to-rock-solid version in about a week.

I've been using this since yesterday. I can't seem to be able to make an entry for today in the 'Weigh yourself' category (though this worked yesterday). I touch the big tick-mark button, it goes to the selected state, does a network action and goes back to the unselected state. I've tried several times, re-installed the app, removed and re-added the 'Weigh yourself' habit: no luck.

Could this be timestamp-related? It's 7.58 AM local time and I'm in GMT +5.30.

Send an email to feedback@lift.do. We'll get you sorted out.

Hm, when I re-added the category in question after having 'removed habit' on it once, I noticed it updated my data for the past correctly.

Do you delete checkin data for users who specifically remove certain habits?

Edit: I understand that all checkins are public.

Update after 00:00 Pacific Daylight Time (12.25 PM local time): it works now. It could be an issue if you didn't allow updates to future entries but didn't take timezones into account.

I'll send you a mail with both of these posts.

I am using http://www.habitualist.com and it is quite good. Doesn't have a mobile app yet.

Really nice app ... I've been using Daily Deeds (http://www.spoonjuice.com/iphone/dailydeeds/) for the same purpose for some time now and it really helped me out keeping on top of my habits I want to change.

The social aspect might be the big differentiator for Lift, checking it out!

I've become fascinated with tracking my own lifestyle data to see where bad habits lie and where I can make room for good ones. This looks like it will pair well with http://evr.st, whenever it launches. Lift for forming habits, and Everest for guiding you to accomplish that One Big Thing.

The itunes link seems to throw me out of the app store for some reason and searching the app store manually yields me no results.

Shame. Conceptually your app is exactly what i'm looking for. It's the community support that is the missing ingredient in all other attempts in solving this problem.

Sorry about the iTunes link trouble – The joys of 1.0.

Does the link to the App Store on http://lift.do work for you?

I really love how only 'approved' activities are allowed. As a joke we tried adding 'toke' but the app doesn't allow you to add that habit. It did allow someone to add 'fuck bitches'. Classy, and just a little fascist.

Top review on iTunes is a 5 star praise from Evan Williams. It has a clear disclaimer at the top, but I can't decide if I think it's cool or cheesy for a well known investor to do that.

Wait until my mom posts her review. She's really adamant that she doesn't just love Lift because I'm working on it. I'm really excited to see the disclaimer on her review.

Funny that Ev ended up as a top review. He's not really just a well-known investor for us, he's basically a co-founder. We work in his office and he's been a huge supporter. I think he's being honest in that review and I've heard him say the same thing for a long time. Two apps changed his life: Lift and Uber. I guess he left Uber out of his review. But still, he does genuinely like Lift or he would have lost interest in working with us.

FWIW, I'm glad Ev reviewed it and I'm glad he left the disclaimer.

I liked this app until I found out there were no privacy settings. I don't need or want to have a social network around the most mundane parts of my life.

No love for Android?

It is similar to Votodo (http://votodo.com) - where you can share todos instead of habits.

Is there anyway to check in multiple times per day? For example I'd like to checking once per 30 minutes of uninterupted, focused work.

Yes flow is what I'm aiming for, specifically I'd like to track my progress using number of pomodoros completed in a day

Wasn't this made by one of the founders of Twitter? I heard the idea a year or 2 ago and was wondering what was taking so long.

Is it possible to mark a habit as private?

How do I add a habit that doesn't already exist?

Tap the plus button and search for the habit you want to form. If it doesn't exist it will popup with a row saying "Habit name, 0 participants". Tap that and you will join that habit.

Ahh. Makes sense, but the habit I want is a substring of an existing habit.

When I tried using the app, for some a reason a car came by and picked me up.

I do not want nor need a phone in my face guiding every aspect of my behavior.

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