Thinking about commitment contracts

Commitment contracts are a way of limiting and shaping your own behavior.

If you know that your “future self” (a useful Behavioral Economics concept) is going to be weak willed, you can make a commitment that limits your future behavior to do the “right” thing.

The classic example that everyone always uses of this is of Odysseus and the Sirens. Odysseus has himself tied to the mast of the ship by his men, so that he will not be able succumb to the siren’s song.

I think commitment contracts are probably the single most important tool we have in hacking our own motivations. Currently you can make commitment contracts through stickk.com, but I have been thinking carefully about how to make commitment contracts into something that you can access in code.

I think this is going to be a central theme moving forward with the Programmable Self concept, so you can look forward to many more posts about it.

-FT

One thought on “Thinking about commitment contracts”

  1. It would be fun to build a version of textWeight.com to incorporated a commitment element. Do you think loseitorloseit.com falls under this umbrella or do you imagine this playing out somehow more forcibly?

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