Should there be a paid option to ‘fix’ a broken streak? #wip

Losing your hard earned streak can be very demotivating. I've seen quite a few makers that completely stop shipping when they lose their streak. 😯

One idea that has come up is to let makers pay to fix a broken streak. So if you accidentally skipped a day you could pay a fee to 'fill in' that day.

It would be paid so it still 'hurts' and it's not something you'd keep using (which would defeat the idea of streaks).

Pricing could be based on your streak. So if you skip the 11th day, maybe it's $11. If you skip on your 50th streak day it's $50 and so forth.

No, because that reminds me of the concept of "pay to win" (or loot-box, see:…) as applied in gaming which doesn't sound fair in my opinion and has been criticized in the gaming world as well.

If I could pay to "fill the gap" the streak would lose credibility imho because with every streak I see of someone else I would wonder if that person actually paid to be there - once, twice, etc.

Bold move. I'm curious of the reactions here. One of my products is also based on Streak and I noticed many people leaving after breaking it. It's a bit different target group though and I don't think anyone would pay $50 for fixing 50-day streak in my community.

Pieter suggested adding Personal Record - that might be a good idea. You could still brag about longest streak and have a goal of beating your own high score.

I'm not sure if I would pay for that.

How about if for every 30 days you ship you get a shield. So missing a day breaks your shield instead of your streak.

That way longer streaks are slightly harder to lose and it's no big deal if you forget to ship 1 day a month.

To be completely honest, I think this will only motivate me to game the system. I have occasionally "shipped" on a Sunday because I've answered a support request. It's not really shipping in my mind, but I just wanted to hold on to that number so much.

The number doesn't really represent a healthy work/life balance. I think shipping 365 days a year without taking a break isn't considered healthy. When I started out I checked of todo's daily to keep that number going, but now I just like the todo history page it creates. The streak has a really prominent place on the homepage but does it really represent what is all about ( is it about shipping or about having a community that helps each other ship )? How about the number resets at the start of each month? Or is lowered when you miss a day? These are some questions that popped into my mind while contemplating the streak.

I think I'll let go of my streak today. Not because I'm for or against paying to retain it, but because I just realized that it's not the reason why I'm using

I like the idea of shields.

One thing I find difficult with this work-related streak is its relation to health. I think we can all agree that it's sometimes good to shut off for a day and just go out and enjoy nature, have a full day with family or similar. The idea of shields could fix that. It could also be a heart, that you can use to revive a streak.

On a sidenote – last week I accidentally typed /todo instead of /done and lost my streak. It was an unfinished ship, but had cost me an hour. Being able to repair mistakes like these would be nice, yet would create a loophole for "cheaters".

Edit: Interesting thought to reset the number each day. Or keep track of a total amount of days shipped?

I felt getting close to burned out a couple of weeks back. So, I did little work for a few days (like an hour or so while traveling - sketching UI or strategizing something) to keep my streak going. Being able to skip a day and come back to streak or use a shield or hearts to revive a broken streak, is definitely the next step for you to figure out so that its still motivating and yet accounting for health concerns.

As far as cheating goes - people are already doing that by posting non-shipping todos.

Like Pawel suggested, personal records would be a great idea. Fixes the motivation issue without the pay-to-win feeling. If you wanted to charge for the feature, I'd pay.

I agree with everything said before - mainly a more sophisticated system for recognizing work being done on products (agree with @Ashfame here). Can completed tasks be of higher quality? Be peer reviewed? Be challenged?
One of the largest value prop of WIP for me at the moment is the streak. My situation is one of finding time to ship in the few spaces throughout the day. Before it could go weeks without progress on a project while with WIP I've made lots. However I mainly think of the streak being for me, to not let myself down. If I could pay for that hit of dopamine it would loose all value for me and I wouldn't trust myself to not do it.

Ha! I've been thinking about asking the same question when I lost my 35 day streak last weekend.
I'd be willing to pay a few bucks to keep my streak alive, but definitely not $35.
Not sure if the pay-to-cheat strategy aligns well with WIPs overall value proposition.

I do like the idea of "lives" or similar gaming techniques that have been mentioned by others.
I'd like a system where lives are rewarded to those who help others in the community ("karma", "reputation").
For example: When answer questions (like this one), the number of claps you receive from others determine your karma score; once you hit a certain number of karma you get a "live".

For what it's worth, this is how Duolingo got the most money out of me.

But honestly the biggest demotivator around here is that once you're in the top 15 or so, you ain't gonna get higher because people up there have been dragging their streaks forever and aren't going to fall off the wagon any time soon. It's essentially an irrelevant part of the scale in terms of motivation.

I can relate to what Rik and Ashish said above: sometimes I just tick something like "read emails" as /done to keep the streak going. Which is not shipping per se of course. The streak really motivates and I really like to keep the momentum going. (and how it helps me to keep it going)
But I think one can keep it going (maybe even better) by adding a day off every once in a while. So since most of us with a high streak probably tricked the system on one day or another: what about adding the official option for a day-off? (and travel day)

Let's say you can mark one day-off every 5-7 days as part of your streak. If you don't use it you can save it for later. This could also have it's own badge so only shipping days count as 🔥 but day offs count as 🌿. You can still loose your streaks if you don't log either or log too many day-offs

On my first day here, and what motivates me right now is to actually do some work, and to look back in 30-60 or how many ever days and see the progress. If I knew I could pay-to-break, it’ll probably make it easier to skip, so i'd prefer not having this option at all.

I like the idea of shields, but how about a way to earn back your streak? Eg skip a day, you need to clear x tasks on your day back to catch up. Miss two, you need to do 2x tasks. Potentially this could be based on your normal velocity so if you already do 5 tasks a day you might need ten to catch up.. could be a good monday motivator!

shield could be cool.

pay to save streak. i really don't like.

i think you have to keep stuff simple. otherwise new members won't bother to learn all these power ups and counter-attack moves

No, with a capital N. But, what about holidays?

I've said this before but now @swizec mentions it again, I want to recommend taking a look at how Memrise gamifies peoples activity/progress:…

There's a leaderboard for week, month and all time. You see the top 9, and on the bottom (if you're not in top 9) you see your own score with your current rank.

Especially as the community grows, those 15 people with high streaks will be less interesting as they've been there all the time. I'd like to see people who have a super productive (start of the) week or month.

Streaks are a very powerful tool in gamification in both ways, to keep people motivated or to completely loose them if the break it.

You have many different solutions to try fixing this problem:

1.- Have limited in time streaks. For example, you reach 30 days and you get into level 2 maker. The streak is reset to 0. If you reach other 30 days you get to level 3 maker.
At level 5 You get a beautiful badge only owned for those who reached it or you can get other reward like 1 month 25% discount.

This way, mainly you are compiting with your self and if you loose your streak is not that hard.

2.- Other way is having other streaks like weekly streaks. 5 in 7 days you ship, you keep your streak. If you lose the daily streak, you still have your weekly streak.

I don´t think giving the option to pay if you break the streak is the solution. In fact i think this would make the problem bigger substracting value from shipping. 'I can ship or just pay to keep the streak on'. This will demotivate other users who are just shipping. It will be saw as cheating.

I´m working in a gamification api and have been reading about this for a while. I´ll launch a beta in march 15. If you want to try it before the final launch let me know.

Another idea would be allow 1 day off in a week for everybody. But I guess it's not the best thing to do, but a rough idea

I think it defeats the purpose of a 'streak' but on the other hand, there are so many people just marking things as /done without shipping anything just to keep their streak going. I'd like to see todos be higher quality (Joel suggested some ideas to do this).

Another idea could be to give every account a 'shipping balance'. If you ship, you get +1 on your balance. If you don't ship, you get -1 or stay at that balance. If you miss one day of shipping it isn't such a big deal because you don't have to start your XX or XXX-day streak from zero again (which can literally take months).

Or, just reset the leaderboard every month/quarter. This decreases the motivation to 'cheat' the streak and people who have only recently joined WIP also get a chance to be in the top 15.

Is this too extreme? Set a date for a launch. If you do not launch, you lose your streak. Literally, Ship or Die.

I love the streak feature as a display of a person's tenacity to complete essential chunks of work to ship their product(s). It motivates me to see how dedicated and productive others are in that sense. But once I started to notice that there were people keeping a streak going with filler/partial tasks, or even task totally unrelated to shipping their product(s), I was more than a bit disheartened. My value for the feature, and the motivation it gave me both suffered.

I also like the Personal Record idea (@levelsio, @pawelkadysz, @nathanielchen1). Perhaps, it would ease the impulse to game the streak system. That way there remains a record of the accomplishment, without the anxiety about climbing back up the ladder.

Part of why I fell off the bandwagon is I burned out shipping every day.

I vote for shipping 5 out of 7 days means you don't lose your streak. You don't add to it either, but you don't lose it.

I also vote for it has to be a legit ship on a legit project.

fwiw, we already have a personal record. For ex if you go to my page, you can see my "highest" of 30.