Markets in everything?, self-constraint edition

An alarm clock to get you out of bed in the morning:

Connects via WiFi to your online bank account, and donates YOUR real money to an organization you HATE when you decide to snooze!

Hat tips to Kottke and Magnetbox, apparently there is doubt as to whether this is real.  The wise guy also may wonder why you just don’t disable the snooze function on your alarm clock.  But of course that is precisely the sort of non-convexity that markets seek to avoid.  At times you will wish to sleep past your limit, even at your prespecified price, but perhaps you cannot always know in advance.


Did you see the fine print at the bottom?

"Really Fine Print: ThinkGeek reserves the right to take up to a 50% commision on all donations made through the SnŠ«zNLŠ«z. In fact the software supplied with the clock ensures such is the case. Yay!. However, we promise to only use the money for rockets and beach front property."

The alarm clock is indeed one of the clever pranks from ThinkGeek. I was ahead of them on this one though with a mechanical version of the same idea. I never rigged it up, but I probably would have been more productive these past two years if I had.

The Snoozester Wake Up Call Service ( offers a feature that is somewhat comparable (and actually exists). When scheduling a call, you can enable the secure awake feature; by doing so, the service will call you back every three minutes (for up to 25 minutes or so) until you actually answer the phone and press a button indicating that you are awake. The kicker? Each of the additional calls costs one of your credits for the service, so you have a little extra motivation to wake up.

In my eyes the clocky gives a lot more incentive to get up fast:

For a real cool alarm clock idea that may avert the need for extra incentive to wake up by simply waking you up at the right time in the sleep cycle try this:

The latter idea has room for improvement, but there is lots of potentiall there.

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