He envisioned that people would come to the Commitment Store to sign contracts obliging them to achieve their personal goals such as losing weight or quitting smoking. Dean experimented with this concept by making contracts himself (click here to read his personal weight loss story). Meanwhile, he also conducted and published research* on Commitment Contracts as a tool for helping people save money.
Now let's get a little technical....
The Commitment Contract concept is based on two well known principles of behavioral economics:
2.Incentives get people to do things
Dean believed that today's health-conscious and socially conscious market was ready for a service that would allow people a way to achieve their goals.
He bounced his ideas off his fellow academics Barry Nalebuff, (professor at the Yale School of Management and co-founder of Honest Tea) and Ian Ayres (professor at Yale Law School and Author of Super Crunchers: Why Thinking-By-Numbers is the New Way to be Smart and Carrots and Sticks: Unlock the Power of Incentives to Get Things Done). Barry and Ian loved the proposal and very soon the idea of 'stickK' became a realistic possibility.
Barry introduced Dean and Ian to one of his students at Yale, Jordan Goldberg, who hopped on board and accepted the offer to help launch this new venture. From there onwards, Jordan began work to form what we now call stickK.
And the rest, as they say, is history.
*Ashraf, Karlan and Yin, Quarterly Journal of Economics May 2006, "Tying Odysseus to the Mast: Evidence from a Commitment Savings Product in the Philippines"
stickK in the News
Financial Times - Why your new year resolutions are not working
U.S. News Health - Why Your Activity Tracker Isn't Helping You Reach Your Fitness Goals
Seattle Times - Here’s how you can keep your New Year’s resolutions
Travel + Leisure - How to Save Money For Your Dream Trip
Time Money - Money Checklist: 4 Ways to Get Your Financial Life
Harvard Business School - Most Popular Episodes of the Cold Call Podcast
Huffington Post - How I Read 65 Books in a Year Without Speed Reading
PRWeb - Study from Palo Alto Medical Foundation Research Institute finds that Punishment May Work for Dieters
Entrepreneur - How a $200 Bet Scared Me Off My Overweight Butt and Into Exercising Again
Entrepreneur - 'No Porn at Work,' and 16 Other Bizarre Goals People Committed to
Harvard Business School - The Key to Keeping Resolutions? Betting Against Yourself
Psychology Today - A New Way to Lose Weight and Keep it Off
STAT - Hate to Lose Money? Channel that Emotion to Help You be Healthier
News 8 - Website Charges You to Keep You Accountable for Your Goals
The Washington Post - What Your New Gym Doesn’t Want You to Know
Dataquest - 5 Apps That Can Help You to Keep Your New Year Resolutions on Track
Daily Bruin - Bruins can stickK to New Year's resolutions When Stakes are Raised
Courier Journal, USA Today - Want to Lose Weight? Make a Fat Bet
Time: Money - How I Blew Christmas This Year — And How I’m Resolving to Do It Better Next Year
The Sydney Morning Herald - The Rational Approach to Keeping New Year's Resolutions
CBS News - The Secret to Keeping New Year's Resolutions
International Business Times - New Year’s Resolutions: 5 Goals To Boost Your Financial Health In 2016
Independent - How to Break Bad Habits and Make Good Ones, According to Science
Time: Money - The Best Way to Pay Off Debts
TH Online - Ease the Shopping Burden a Bit with These Ideas
ETF Trends - How Tech Can Help With 3 Behavioral Finance Biases
Fast Company - The High-Stakes Way to Keep New Habits
Fitness Magazine - 7 Habits of High Effective Exercisers
Women’s Running - The Latest Exercise Research You Need To Know
Apartment Therapy - How to Motivate Yourself to Clean Regularly, For People Who Hate Cleaning
Full News - The 4 Types of Productivity Styles You Should Know About
The Washington Post - Positive thinking isn’t all-powerful. Penalty for failure may help more in reaching goals.
GuidingTech - 3 Impressive Tools to Help You Create New Habits
Forbes.com - A Massive Social Experience On You Is Under Way, And You Will Love It
The Baltimore Sun - Betting on weight loss can help people meet goals
Forbes - Necessity's Child
Yahoo! Finance - 5 ways to cure a holiday debt hangover
Dailymail.co.uk - Never have a back-up plan, put your money at stake and don’t say ‘don’t’: The tricks psychologists say will make your resolutions stick in 2015
Bufferapp.com - 24 Great Free Apps and Tools to Help You Build Strong Habits
Fitness Magazine - 3 Surprising Ways to Stick to Your New Year’s Resolutions
Time - New Years Resolutions: 7 Psychology Tricks to Make Your Resolutions Stick
New York Magazine - In Partial Defense of ‘Fitness Concierges’
Lifehack - 29 Incredibly Useful Website You Wish You Knew Earlier
The New Yorker - The Ulysses Strategy
Time - 7 Steps to Never Procrastinating Again
Lifehack - 27 Simple Ways to Improve Your Life
Forbes - 4 Money Move to Outsmart Your Brain
Huffington Post - 4 Science-Backed Ways to Motivate Yourself to Work Out
Harvard Business School - The Business of Behavioral Economics
Forbes - 10 Tips To Supercharge Your Savings
Today Money - Want to kick a habit? The 6 best goal-tracking apps to kick your butt
The London Evening Standard - Do you suffer from ‘busyness’? How to thrive in an age of overload
Forbes - Wearable Tech Is Plugging Into Health Insurance
WealthManagement.com - Apps To Change Financial Behavior
U.S. News Money - 5 Ways to Put Financial Advice Into Practice
Harvard Business School - Making stickK Stick: The Business of Behavioral Economics
The Washington Post - Apps that might help nudge you into financial health
Runner's World - Need More Motivation? Try Behavioral Economics
The Wall Street Journal - New Year’s Resolution or Money Trap?
The New York Times Sunday Review - How to Keep Your Resolutions
Entrepreneur - 6 Tricks to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick
Forbes - Use the New Year to Improve Your Behavioral Fitness at Work
The New Yorker - Why we make resolutions (and why they fail)
CCA Innovators Forum - Applying Behavioral Economics to improve Health and Wellness, by Jordan Goldberg, CEO stickK
Men's Health - 21 Ways to Melt Your Gut
Lifehacker - Quickly Master Any Skill the Tim Ferriss Way
Noobie.com - How you can use the Internet to motivate you to lose weight
Inc. Magazine - Reward vs. Punishment: What Motivates People More?
NPR - Money Replaces Willpower In Programs Promoting Weight Loss
Shape.com - Are Weight-Loss Wagers Your Best Bet?
The Today Show - Weight Loss Wagers
The Dr. Oz Show - Health Apps That Work
Business Week - How to Keep New Year's Resolutions: Make Them in August
The New Yorker - Cliffhangers
MedCity News - Pharma companies interested in web site that uses financial stickK to change behaviors
Geek Sugar - Website Of The Day: stickK To Your Goals
Social Marketing Exchange - StickK.com: Turning Desires into Actions
PC World - StickK Puts Your Money Where Your Mouth Is
The Globe and the Mail - Nine ideas to help you save money
Forbes - How Obama and Romney Will Make Me Healthier
CNN Health - Would you lose weight if money were at stake?
The Wall Street Journal - Websites for Finance Novices
Albuquerque Journal - Fit Magazine - stickK It To Me
Boston Globe - Is your social network sabotaging your health?
ABC News - Got Goals But Lack Discipline? Now You Can Buy It Online
Yale Daily News - StickK helps the irresolute
NBC - Denver - Websites use money to motivate you to achieve your goals
Guiding Tech - 3 Impressive Tools to Help You Create New Habits
The Philadelphia Inquirer - Dieting for Dollars
Self Magazine - How to Keep Your Resolutions All Year!
Pravda - Want to keep your New Year Resolution? StickK to your promises...
The Oakland Tribune - Diet betting websites help losers win
BBC News - Websites pay users who meet New Year's resolutions
The New York Times - Be It Resolved
Mashable Tech - Keep it Real: 8 Services to Make Your New Year’s Resolutions Stick
Self Magazine - How to Keep Your Resolutions All Year!
US News & World Report HEALTH - 7 Stick-to-Your-Diet Tricks You've Never Heard of for 2012
Shape Magazine - Digital Determination: Top 4 Goal-Setting Websites
Huffington Post - Dean Karlan On How To Achieve New Year's Resolutions (VIDEO)
Newsday.com - Akst: Real motivation for self-improvement
BlissTree.com - Bet You Can: Three Options For Wagering On Weight-Loss
Washingtonian - Three Ways to Make Sure You Stick with Your Fitness Resolutions
LA Times - Making a resolution? Diet betting may offer incentive to lose weight
The Canadian - Dieting: 50 ways to lose 10 Pounds
Smithsonian.com - Henry Morton Stanley's Unbreakable Will
Huffington Post - Overwhelmed by Fitness Gadgets? There's an App for That
Business Insider - 8 Startups That Are Shaking Up The Health Care Industry
Timesunion.com - StickKing to Your Guns
CNN Money - Problems with procrastination? Try bribery.
FOX Business - Talking About Money, You Can Save It
The San Francisco Chronicle - Economist in the bedroom
China Daily - Posting Your Promises to Elevate the Stakes
The Telegraph - Giving up is so very hard to do
Business Insider - The Latest Brilliant Business Scheme
Freakonomics.com - Commitment Contracts For Business
Health 2.0 Conference - stickK – Commitment Contracts and Health Incentives
The New York Times - I Resolve. World, Don’t Fail Me Now.
CNN Money - Stick to your money goals...or pay up
Slate.com - The Odysseus Option
The Taipei Times - Trouble keeping New Year’s resolutions? The art of sticking to it
ABA Journal - Want to Lose Weight? Try Visiting This Law Professors Website
British Airways Business Life - How to Stick to Your Resolutions
Forbes - How to Take Control of Your Finances in 2011
The Korea Herald - Helping People Attain Their Resolutions
Forbes - New Years Dieters Should Dump Diet Books For Stickk.com
TechnologyReview (MIT) - How to Stick to New Year's Resolutions
Moneycrashers.com - Would You Put Money on the Line to Achieve Your Goals?
Technologyreview.com - How to Stick to New Year's Resolutions
Forbes - A Different Kind of Diet
Huffington Post - Four New Year's Resolutions to Fast Track Your Career
The New York Times - Weak-Kneed Willpower Faces Temptation’s Lure
Money Crashers - Would You Put Money on the Line to Achieve Your Goals?
U.S. News and World Report - How to Make Sure Your 2011 Resolutions Stick
Business Week - Why People Want Less Choice
London Evening Standard - Bets are on if you want to show commitment
The Globe and Mail - StickK.com aims to help you stick to your financial goals
The New York Times Freakonomics Blog - Carrots and Sticks has landed
Forbes - Make a Commitment
Good Housekeeping - Betting on Weight Loss
CBS News - The Whys and Why-Nows of Procrastination
The New York Times Freakonomics Blog - Commitment Contracts for Business
Small Business Trends - Staples Makes Goal Setting Easy for Small Businesses in 2010
Freakanomics - If at First You Don't Succeed
MediaPost - Staples Launches Small-Biz Incentive Plan
TIME Magazine - A New Weight Loss Plan: Getting Paid to Shed Pounds
Institute for Leadership - Making New Year's Resolutions stickK!
CNN - Putting A Price on Procrastination
FOX Business - Site Takes Money When You Break Resolutions
CBS News Online - Five Ways to Face Your Finances
TechCrunch - StickK Raises More Funding For Self-Commitment Service, Eyes B2B Play
The New York Times - Freshman Year's Seven Deadly Sins
ABC 6 Action News, Philadelphia, PA - Weight Loss Challenge
KABC 7 Los Angeles, CA - Web sites help keep your diet on track
BBC News - Bet dieting takes hold in the UK
The Takeaway - Saving Trillions in Health Care, One Patient at a Time: Give yourself a financial incentive to follow a healtheir lifestyle
The New Yorker - What Makes Orszag Run?
ABC 6 - Philadelphia - Wagering on weight loss
NBC KING5 - Seattle - Online betting could help you lose weight
The Independent - Nudge, nudge: Why we behave the way we do
The New York Times - Dieting? Put Your Money Where Your Fat Is
US News and World Report - How to Make New Year's Resolutions Stick
The Boston Globe - Marshmallow temptations, brain scans could yield vital lessons in self-control
The Wall Street Journal - Buy This: Save More, Spend Less
Berliner Zeitung - Geld oder Schokolade
New York Daily News - Why we spend money when we're trying to save
Yale Press - Nudge by Richard H. Thaler and Cass R. Sunstein
Handelsblatt - Abnehmen – oder zahlen!
CNBC - StickK.com: Take a Contract Out On Yourself
NPR - Put Your Money Where Your Girth Is
CBS - Lose Weight Or Lose Money
The New York Times Freakonomics Blog - Could You Lose a Pound a Week to Save $500?
Money Magazine - Fool yourself into saving smarter
TechCrunch - stickK Allows You To Put A Contract On Yourself
The Economist - Carrot and stickK
Pittsburgh Post Gazette - Could cash be the key to losing weight?
Los Angeles Times - Lose weight? Bet on it
The New York Times Freakonomics Blog - StickK To Your Commitments
LifeHacker - Wager Cash on Your Goals at StickK
The New York Sun - How Yale Professors Lose Weight
The Wall Street Journal Economics Blog - Can Economics Help Americans Lose Weight?
The Washington Post - An Economy of Scales
Hartford Business - Nutmeg Startups Aim At High-Tech Cures For Misbehavior
Founders: Ian Ayres, Jordan Goldberg and Dean Karlan
January 2008: www.stickK.com officially launched
Ian Ayres is a lawyer and an economist. He is the William K. Townsend Professor at Yale Law School and a Professor at Yale's School of Management. He has published nine books including, 'Super Crunchers: Why Thinking-By-Numbers is the New Way to be Smart' in 2007.
In 2006, Ian was elected to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from M.I.T. and a J.D. from Yale University.
Read Ian's personal weight loss story here.
Jordan Goldberg is the CEO of stickK. He graduated from Yale University in 2006 where he earned his BA in American Studies. Jordan is a recipient of Yale School of Management's Silver Anniversary Scholarship, a scholarship to the MBA program awarded to six undergraduate students each year.
After completing the first year of his MBA program, Jordan decided to take a leave of absence from school to work full-time on stickK.
Dean Karlan is a Professor of Economics at Yale University. Dean has done extensive academic research on Commitment Contracts for savings and for quitting smoking. He is also president of Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), a non-profit he founded in 2002, that applies rigorous research techniques to develop solutions to real-world problems faced by the poor in developing countries.
Dean is a research fellow of the M.I.T. Jameel Poverty Action Lab, and co-director of the Financial Access Initiative, a consortium created with funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. He has a Ph.D. in Economics from M.I.T., an MBA and MPP from the University of Chicago, and a BA from the University of Virginia.
Read Dean's personal weight loss story here.
CFO & Head of Product, Co-Founder
Victoria joined stickK in 2009 and was later promoted to co-founder. Previously, she worked in finance as a private equity analyst for Tiger Infrastructure Partners and Lehman Brothers. As CFO & Head of Product, Victoria is involved with all things stickK, but spends most of her time on our finances, operations, and product development. She graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College in 2008 with a degree in Economics.
When Victoria’s not dreaming up new ideas for stickK, she enjoys playing volleyball, skiing, cooking, and traveling.
Product Manager & UX Lead
Let's just say that it didn't take long for Jane to get stuck at stickK - and by that we mean, stuck on the idea behind stickK. After conducting extensive research on behavioral economics (which Jane assures us involved several Google searches containing the words 'behavior' and 'economics'!), Jane came across stickK.com and immediately fell in love with the concept behind stickK. The rest is history.
Jane joined the stickK team in May 2014 and has a background in cognitive science, visual perception, and philosophy.
Manager, User Experience & Customer Support
What do you get when you add an enthusiastic will to learn and a tactful demeanor? One excited addition to the stickK team!
Steven joined the stickK team full-time in May 2014, after almost three years as a customer experience specialist, and has a background in comparative and international politics, as well as Romance Languages. When he isn't answering the messages of our awesome users, he can be found being a typical NYC foodie, binging on political TV shows, or running with his dog, Emma.
Social Media Coordinator
Kristen is a senior neuroscience major at the University of Southern California. She joined the stickK team as an intern in 2015 and is now responsible for managing stickK's social media. In her free time, she loves baking and acting.
Manager, Client Success
Nora joined stickK in September 2016 having previously come from a Brooklyn-based food & tech start up. She also has spent part of her career working as a writer/editor for a magazine here in New York. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2014 with a BA in Women Studies and English.
Nora’s day-to-day at stickK revolves around managing our corporate stickK accounts and ensuring that our users are successful and happy!
While not in the office Nora enjoys cooking, writing, and is an active member of her community’s food coop.