Let us delete goals
[UPDATE: This is all now totally different from what's described here; you should probably ignore this whole suggestion. In particular there's nothing that happens if you delete all your datapoints, and archived goals are viewable, just not in your main gallery.]
Currently you only get the option to delete a goal if you first delete [no, not true! we told you to ignore all this!] every data point, which is obviously too tedious.
We need to address that better but here's what's holding us back, in case people have thoughts on it:
It's sort of against the spirit of a commitment contract if you can delete a goal (or need to add rules about it, like you have to give a week's notice).
We're nervous about it since it's so un-undoable (one option is to make it undoable, but privacy concerns there).
Our whole business model now is you have to pledge money to reset. So it's not good if you can just delete and recreate instead of reseting.
This could use work but I think it’s best to mark this completed so people can have their votes back. If you still want, say, true deletion, or improvements to archiving (like being able to actually see your archived goals!) we’ll let you add those as separate suggestions.
Alice Harris commented
How about paying something like $5 to delete a goal? I'm not sure how popular this would be but it would probably prevent people "cheating" by deleting and recreating a goal (although perhaps the cost to delete a goal would have to increase if the goal had a large pledge on it).
@pjf, nothing currently! We're thinking about how to perhaps limit the number of goals in some way. Abuse of this loophole seems pretty limited so far though so we're not sure whether it's worth addressing.
@army1987, good idea for making that message green if you actually succeeded (done). Allowing deletion of successful goals seems reasonable, though it's usually nice to keep those around as like a trophy case.
Just a sanity check on 3... except for having a cluttered page of goals (which some people won't care about), what's preventing a user from simply creating a new goal with a different name if they decide they don't want to pledge?
What about only being able to delete goals after the target date? (BTW, I'd rather the box suggesting to reset a goal after the target date were green than red.)
New related feature: When you create a goal you have the option to create it as a temporary test goal that will automatically delete itself in a couple days (good for getting acclimated without cluttering your goal gallery).
@Dan Goldstein, thanks so much! We think we mostly agree at this point, but still debating how we can get the best of both worlds with this other, kind of opposite perspective:
Dan Goldstein commented
So, a bunch of us, all PhDs, were talking about the employee stock purchase program in which you can buy company stock and sell it for an immediate 15% discount. Five people at the table said they first did it with a small purchase, then a larger one, then finally did it with the max. Of course, this "gradually scaling up" cost them hundreds of dollars, but the point is, everyone, even PhDs working in economics, need to see it to believe it. You can't just appreciate this system from its byzantine rules, choose your goals carefully, then hop on the road to success. You need to root around in there. Try a bunch of things, tweak them, erase them, and then settle in on your big goals. Sites that offer this encourage people to engage (c.f., Amazon's "add this to your cart ... you can take it out later").
I see how this messes with point 3. But it is not hard to fix. PM me for details.
Maybe certain circumstances for deleting are needed? But I agree, it's tricky. The other, more voted for options, would negate my need to delete goals HAD they been in place when I started.