There’s a plethora of Web sites and mobile applications on the market today that allow users to track whether they are accomplishing their fitness, career or educational goals. But Seattle entrepreneur Buster Benson just didn’t think any of them were simple enough to use.
So, he made it a goal to change that. Benson, the former Amazon.com developer who now serves as co-founder and CTO of Habit Labs, spent a day last week at a company hackathon creating a new site called Gonna Try.
“It came from our primary purpose of trying to build something that works,” said Benson, who previously co-founded The Robot Co-op.
“So much of the hype around health, fitness, productivity and self-improvement tries to ignore the fact that, more often than not, we don’t succeed at making the changes we set out to make. Gonna Try is okay with that,” he writes in a blog post. “We just want to know what the truth is, we want to see if there are any patterns that emerge from the small percent of people who actually do succeed at the things they set out to do.”
Gonna Try has a simple look, with a basic pledge form that greets users saying: “I am gonna try to.”
Users fill in the blank and select a date by which time they’d like to fulfill the goal. I just gave it a shot, saying that I am gonna try to play soccer by today. (Looking unlikely given the snow).
Benson said that Gonna Try is different than other goal-tracking sites, in part, because it is far easier to use. It doesn’t require an account, though users must give an email.
Furthermore, Benson said that rather than focusing on goals, it focuses on attempts.
“They might seem similar, but how many goals and resolutions have you had that never involved a single ounce of actual trying? You can’t get away with that here,” he says.