Summer Upgrades, part 3: Stat Nudges « UseMyStats


First off, let me just assure you that no, we are not planning to just email you so much that you get annoyed enough to enter your stats. Despite the name, that’s not what we are talking about!

I’ve long been a believer that great software is born out of extreme laziness. And I work really hard to be one of the laziest people alive (I can dream, right?)! We’ve passed the point of not being able to make enough clothes so needing a loom to help make cloth faster. That was survival. Now with computers, we want easier, faster and better (and probably in that order) and it’s never “good enough”! As a programmer, I find it an invigorating and great challenge to make things that are easy, fast and with as many features as possible.

Now for a little background. Almost a year ago, I was talking with someone who ran a worldwide collection of non-profit, volunteer groups about, and she asked me a question “can you make them keep stats?” I jokingly answered “Sorry, but no one can do that.” And while that’s true, I’m a computer programmer. Anything should be possible! So that bugged me. If someone has to be made to do something, then it’s being done incorrectly.

And around here, there were plenty of reminders to “put in the stats”. We are a stat software company, we ought to keep stats, right? So what did we do? We created “Stat Nudges”. But like my son when it’s time to get up in the morning, we hate being nudged. So we decided that just another email reminder would just get trashed the second it showed up. We didn’t want them and we didn’t want to inflict them on someone else.

monkeySo first off, like any self-respecting software company, we hired a designer and got ourselves a monkey! Entering stats can be called “monkey work” so we needed a monkey to help. Meet Alastair. We decided he needed a proper name with that bow tie!

And then we built “Stat Nudges” to be an email from Alastair. It’s not a reminder to log in and enter your stats. You decide which stats you’re nudged on. It’s an individualized email to you asking for the numbers. Like a waiter asking for your order. All you have to do is hit reply, put in the numbers and click send. No need to log in. Alastair takes care of the rest. Then whenever you or whoever else gets a chance to log into UseMyStats to check out the graphs, the numbers are all where they are supposed to be. No mess. No fuss.

So while we’re never done, it’s one more step towards making UseMyStats easy enough that we don’t have to make anyone keep stats any more while still making it possible to successfully manage by statistics (and maybe even have some time to be lazy)!