Why Betchyu?

Here’s a rough’n’ready intro to Betchyu!

At Betchyu we are trying a completely new approach to solving an age old problem… motivational weakness. This is a question that is dates waaaaay back. Even Plato spent a chunk of time trying to figure out what gets people off their butts and compels them to action.  (http://tab.faculty.asu.edu/chapter53.html)

The Betchyu team has confidence that we have figured out a new model to help people set goals and follow through with them. We have created an app where individuals set weight loss and exercise goals and invite their social-network to bet against them. This is propulsive motivation delivered from positive peer-pressure, What Betchyu ultimately conveys for its challengers is victory.

The idea for Betchyu was born out of my family dynamic. This is the Baratz clan.

baratz boys

You can probably infer that there are a lot of dudes in my family. I’m actually the oldest of 4 boys. All the brothers in my family are incredibly competitive.  One of the most important lessons I’ve learned, is that when you are trying to get a brother to do something, there is no greater incentive than the double-dog-dare. Whenever one of the brother’s was challenged in this way, he would almost immediately respond, proving the challenger wrong.

The double dog dare is a phenomenon that you are all probably familiar with. This technique of motivation was made popular in the classic Cleveland based film, a Christmas Story. This clip demonstrates the potency of the double dog dare.

Betchyu’s vision is to harness this competitive dynamic to help people achieve their personal wellness goals. In order to really understand what we are talking about, I’ll give a personal example of how Betchyu works. 2 months ago, when the concept of Betchyu was still in its infancy, I decided to experiment with my friends. A group of 7 guys got together and identified a number of goals that we wanted to achieve. One friend wanted to bike 100 miles. Another friend wanted to quit his job. I set the goal of running 30 miles in 5 days. I had 4 friends sign up as adversaries to my goal, the stake, some a beer from the Great Lakes Brewery!

Here’s the challenge board that we drew up:


I consider myself to be a very healthy and active person. But I had never run more than 15 miles in a single week. In order to keep myself in check, I downloaded the Nike Running App. This is a great app that uses a GPS tracking system on your smartphone to measure your run.

nike running

The challenge started on a Friday. On Saturday, I began chipping away at my goal, running a solid 8 miles in less than an hour. I was feeling great! The next day, on Sunday, I ran another 7 miles. Things were looking up—I had finished half of my goal in a short two day span. I took Monday off, and knocked out another 4 miles on Tuesday and 5 miles on Wednesday.

By this time, I started feeling a good deal of soreness in my legs. My body was not used to all of this impact from running. On top of that, Thursday was the last day that I had to finish up my run. I was extremely busy at work and would not have any free time to finish up my run during the day. One part of my brain was shouting at me to give up. This whole experience was not worth the grief and pain. I was tired, I was cranky. It was just so much easier to give up.

However, at that moment, another part of my brain kicked in. This was the competitive side of me. This part of me hated the thought of losing the bet. I wanted to succeed in my goal because I wanted to win!

The next day, I woke up at 5am in the dark to run the final 6 miles. Now, anyone who knows me, will know that I am a night person. I am a cranky and dysfunctional monster in the morning. I therefore surprised myself as I was breathing to my steady pace, before dawn. In fact, after the first mile, I was starting to feel awake. The run was gradually getting easier and I was increasingly roused with each passing step.

By the last mile, I was as vigorous as ever. I sprinted the last leg at a sub-6 minute pace. Finishing my 30 mile challenge was incredible. I felt victorious. I achieved my goals and was making incredible steps to improve my fitness.

My personal experience with Betchyu serves as my inspiration. I know that this dynamic works. Its really fun. I truly believe that it can change people’s lives.


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