Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Slackers Pay Workout Trackers in New Motivation App Tie-Up

Having trouble getting motivated to work out? Maybe a cash incentive and some social pressure would help. Today, GymPact and RunKeeper partnered so that users can pool their money to reward people who meet their goals, and tax the slackers.

The way it works is: Users say they will run, walk or bike for at least 30 minutes on a certain number of days, and commit to pay a small fee, such as $5, each time they don’t.

Then the rest of the gang divides those cash penalties — averaging out to between 50 cents and 70 cents per workout.

Previously, GymPact users simply checked in at their gym location, but now their gym and outdoor workouts can count, if they track them with RunKeeper’s mobile apps.

GymPact now has 45,000 users, but only 7,000 of them have credit cards on file, according to CEO Yifan Zhang.

But she said that GymPact users tend to stick around; 55 percent of the users who signed up the week the company launched in January are still active today.

This is hardly a get-rich-quick scheme, but it does add up over time: The top GymPact earner has picked up $123 over 199 workouts, Zhang said.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work