I think that the idea of people having a single motivation point is a mistake. My energy and motivation levels are in general incredibly variable, and my responsiveness to beeminder style commitment devices varies accordingly.
I'm definitely in general not the sort of person who can get shit done with Willpower on average, but I go through months at a time where I'm within spitting distance of that, and just not letting a goal derail is motivation enough.
Right now... well my goals are currently coming tumbling down around my ears. I've derailed on a few things because I valued the pledge less than not doing the work to derail. I think those were mostly $5, but one might have been a $10. I put my pledge on coffee up to $90 because that's silly money for a coffee which I would never pay and right now I'm considering whether it's worth it (I'm hanging on to "not worth it" by the skin of my teeth).
Also, FWIW, I was one of the people who claimed to not be motivated well by money. I still maintain that, it just it turns out that what I really meant is that I'm not motivated well by monetary rewards and I can still hate spending money on trivial things (I had not previously realised this about myself).
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I agree with Isaac, on the one hand it's motivating but on the other it just seems like "another thing you can't seem to get right."
I think that one blindspot that QSers might suffer from is that for most
people, just one system is plenty complicated enough. There isn't room
in my life for beeminder and for iDoneThis etc.
On Sep 19, 2014 3:41 AM, "Daniel Reeves" <dre...@beeminder.com> wrote:
> But we hear you, throwing the QS Only people under the bus isn't the
> right solution. So we won't do that.
There are no QS only *people*, there are QS only features. Every person can benefit from stingy goals and also from QS only goals. Only difference is stingy goals statistically pay for themselves, but you have to charge for QS ones.
> Here's the current pledge caps spec that I alluded to before:
Looks reasonable. Does add some complexity, but not much.
> One thing I wanted to ask you more about, Tom: why would it feel to
> you like cannibalizing our brand if we made basic things premium?
Here is a natural line of thought:
- your paying customers are everyone that has given you a credit card, not just "premiums".
- hence moving features to premium = degrading service for paying customers.
- if you are often degrading or even talking about degrading, then you will probably degrade in the future, forever.
- maybe I should put my data, time, loyalty and money somewhere safer.
Hence cannibalizing your brand. Not worth it for omgtoocomplicated, IMO.
Going back to the basics, I think bm is the bees knees just as is. I am sorry if it isn't generating as much income as you'd like, but hiking prices shrinks your potential market.
On 19/09/14 01:41, Daniel Reeves wrote: [snip]
One thing I wanted to ask you more about, Tom: why would it feel to you like cannibalizing our brand if we made basic things premium?
For me at least, the sales pitch for Beeminder is hugely refreshing: it's very clear up front about what the concept is, and this is really nicely reinforced by things like the force majeure clause and the "exquisitely fair" premium sub slider. The values expressed by this are something like "fair", "rational", and "honest" (though not, note, "cheap" or "free"). It feels, in short, like the kind of company who I'm enthusiastic about giving money to. In particular, I'm thrilled that Beeminder doesn't feel like another slightly scuzzy SaaS provider attempting to extract my money because I'm too lazy to cancel, or constantly trying to upsell me into an unnecessarily high subscription band. It makes a straightforward offer (QS with commitment contracts) with a fair price (the cost of derailing) and a straight-up commitment to honesty. This made me not only happy to commit to its use, but also (eventually) to a lifetime premium sub. I'm cool with premium for pledgeless, for starting the road at $910, and for Beekeeper, because those are things that are likely to actually cost you money! It seems exquisitely fair to have those as premium. On the other hand, charging for (hypothetically) turning on the "view rosy line on the graph" bit would feel cheap. Instead of providing an awesome tool at a fair price, it would be artificially crippling the basic version to chisel some money out of your public. If the tool is free, that's maybe fair enough, but it isn't: you're in the enviable position of having actual revenue from (many of) your basic users. So it would just feel like a slightly tawdry cash grab, which isn't really in line with my perceptions of what your brand values are. Incidentally, I've actually never been quite as comfortable with the other limb of your expressed premium policy ("too complicated") as it seems a bit of a cop-out, though the fact that people will accidentally rename their graphs and break things will probably cause enough of a support demand to justify it. I think my perception of your values is probably fairly widely held. My reaction to it probably isn't: plenty of people seem to have no problem with business models selling configuration bits or supernumerary foozles. Hell, if Microsoft had a proposition as good as Beeminder, then I'm sure it'd get plenty of business. On the other hand, I doubt I'm the only one -- and you haven't set your stall out as a nickel-and-diming company. If you start looking more like one (intentionally or not) then I fear you'd be eating a reputation that has a lot of long term commercial value. Customer delight and perceived brand value congruence is pretty hard to obtain.
The extreme of that would be to make everything premium, like a limited free trial but then you have to pay to keep using Beeminder. A normal subscription service, in other words.
That's a little difficult to square with the "pay up if you derail" sting which is at the core of why Beeminder is great, but you could probably do something with the pledges-towards-subs which would make that work (though you'd have to be careful not to devalue the sting by simply giving you your cash back as a subscription credit, of course...) In many ways it'd actually feel more honest than a weird hybrid where it looks like the price is x ($derail) but once you've used it for a bit you realise you actually need (say) the retroratchet feature to be able to beemind effectively and you're stuck with the option of either abandoning your time investment in the system or forking out an extra $y/mo.
The biggest argument against that is that we've made a big deal out of the "if you never go off track you'll never pay anything" feature.
That is quite a large part of it, I think. It's not so much that it couldn't have been set up as a subscription-only service but that it wasn't. (Plus the more boring business case argument about whether raising the barriers to entry would increase revenue, of course, but that's got very little to do with brand values). It's very much about the honesty and straightforwardness rather than the cash. tl;dr: Need to be careful to avoid making Beeminder a tawdry bait-and-switch. But it might just be me. T