Author Archives: Laurel Fan

Subscriptions Changes (Behind the Scenes)

As part of our effort to make it more fun and easy for you to stay up to date on the goals and people that you’re interested in, we are simplifying subscriptions. In the past you could subscribe to people who are not 43 Things users or subscribe to part of a user (if that doesn’t make sense to you, don’t worry…). Now you can only subscribe to users (if that seems obvious… well, that’s why we are changing it :)). If all goes well, most of you will only notice minor changes. Of course if you have been subscribed to some of the not-actual-users I mentioned above the number of people you’re subscribed to may change (this should only apply to people who used 43 People extensively).

Tonight (May 25) at around 10PM PDT I will be moving subscriptions over to the new system. 43 Things will stay up and you will be able to do everything as normal, but if you are on the site around that time, you may notice that your subscriptions have disappeared. This should be (very) temporary! If you come back later and there’s still a problem with your subscriptions, or if you see any other bugs, or just have feedback, please report them using the Contact Us form.

Update: 10:21 PM PDT: starting the migration, if your subscriptions are missing, sit tight…

Update: 11:07 PM PDT: the migration is complete, all subscriptions should be restored

New 43 Things Homepage

Are you tired of the 43 Things homepage telling you how hard it is to change your life? Never look at it anymore because it’s always the same? You may be happy to hear that we’ve revamped it to be more interesting for repeat goal-achievers!

We’re now showing you recent updates on goals on your list, on goals you’ve completed and are willing to help with, and from people you’re subscribed to. We are hoping it will be useful and inspiring to see what other people are doing on the goals you are working on. For the helpers and experts among us I think it will be a great way to find people who could use some cheers, encouragement or advice on goals you’ve completed.

Just to clarify, this is the 43 Things homepage at when you are logged in to your account. Your profile page ( hasn’t changed, and the old subscription page is still there.

Let me know what you think!

Snow Day

The snow is coming down at the Robot Co-op headquarters in Seattle, and most of the robots are all bundled up in the office, enjoying the view of snow falling on autumn leaves and people trying to drive up the hill.

But one of us is missing out on all the fun:

Poor Josh is stuck in Hawaii!

What’s on your snow day list? Do you want to learn to snowboard? learn to ski? kiss in the snow? build a snowman? have a snowball fight?

Or does the thought of snow inspire you to move to a tropical island?

43 Places and 43 Things login

Just a short note because most of you will (hopefully) not notice anything different. If you use both 43 Things and 43 Places, you have been logging in to both with your 43 Things account. We’re splitting them apart, so now you have separate 43 Things and 43 Places accounts. All existing users have had their usernames and passwords copied over, so you have the same urls, same usernames, and same passwords as before.

If you’re having trouble logging in, I apologize for any bugs, and please contact us so we can get things sorted out.

If you’re curious about our reasons for doing this, it’s mostly to reduce confusion (with things like logging in with facebook, closing accounts, etc) as we develop the two sites in different directions. If you haven’t had a look at 43 Places in a while, go take a look.

Holiday Cheers

Josh thinks we get more cards than Google.

Robot Holiday Cards 2009

Thanks for the cards, and we hope you’re finding success in the New Year so far!

Your Year in Review

Are you curious about how many things you’ve accomplished this year?  What your most successful month was?  Whether you’ve given more cheers or received more cheers?  Maybe you’re making some New Year’s Resolutions and you just want to look back on the past year.  We’ve added a new feature for data nerds and anyone who wants to reflect on 2009:

It’s your 43 Things Year In Review.  All the gory details in list format are also available.  There’s a link to it on the right side of your profile page, like so:

When I looked at my Year In Review I noticed that I write entries and give cheers in fits and spurts.  I also found a few goals from the beginning of the year that I totally forgot about.  Is there anything interesting, surprising, or totally expected in yours?

New iPhone App

We robots love our iPhones (Joe is the only robot without one).  Now there’s an all new version of the 43 Things app.  It’s gotten a complete UI redesign and some new features that we hope will make it more fun and useful.  You can post entries with photos using the built in camera, add new goals, and review your goals, completed goals, and entries.  There’s one new feature for iPhone app users only: a 0-100% progress meter for each goal.

Download it for free from the iTunes Store using this link, or search for “43 things” (PS. we had to release a new app rather than do an upgrade of our existing app, so users who already have our app will have to install it again instead of upgrading).  We hope you like it!

Robots Love Robots

When I tell people I’m working for the Robot Co-op, sometimes they ask if we make robots. I’ve had to explain that we actually make websites, but we got our long-awaited Roomba yesterday, so now I can say we own one at least.


We put it together yesterday, watched it buzz around the office, chased each other with the remote control mode, and asked it to find its way home to its dock. Not to neglect the actual cleaning functionality, we programmed it to run early this morning. The first question we all asked when we came in was “how is the robot?” (answer: it got stuck on one side of the office because we forgot to turn on the Virtual Walls).

Looks like there’s competition for the title of Chief Janitorial Officer.

The Final Countdown

Todd decided to reward my hard work on some last minute performance improvements with the daily blog entry. At least I didn’t have to pay for lunch. I fully expected that the fates would align in such a way that I would very nonrandomly end my time in Seattle with a massive losing streak.

We tried to have a discussion of the nature of planets and why it was necessary to call for a conference to define what a planet was, but there wasn’t a lot of interest among the earthbound gang. But just for the record, Pluto is a planet, Charon is not, and the Moon will only become a planet once sharks with laser beams blast it out of its orbit.

A review of Snakes On A Plane was a little more interesting although only two of the five of us had actually seen the movie. So much for the target demographic.

The Guilty Conscience of Self Improvement

Todd was nice enough to pay for lunch today but then quickly showed his meaner side by choosing me to write the blog entry, and I don’t think he even felt guilty about it. When asked the reason behind the decision, he explained that he was tired of paying for meals and thought the best chance of getting a free lunch would be to assign the writing to me since I would be the one most likely to forget and have to pick up the next lunch.

Well, sorry to disappoint, but I’ll rise to the challenge of writing an entry, and I don’t think I’ll feel guilty about doing it either. After all, I don’t believe in the conscience. Or maybe that’s just that I don’t believe in being conscious. I forget sometimes.

The walk to lunch continued on from where the conversation from yesterday’s walk back from lunch ended. Who had a guilty conscience about the results of yesterday’s game. Should Daniel have felt guilty about letting the first game run when he hadn’t put in his card? Should Todd have felt guilty for letting Josh pay even though he had lost the first game? Should we all have felt guilty that Josh both paid for lunch and wrote the blog post? Given the lack of follow up to Josh’s challenge in his post to get other guilty parties to write, it is apparent that none of us feel all that guilty.

With the guilt trip out of the way, the conversation then turned to self improvement. Josh had just watched a video podcast of Tony Robbins and thought there was something profound in there. I tried watching the video but quickly had to turn it off—he talks so fast that the words were gone before they had time to sink in.

This led to a discussion of the self-improvement industry, apparently a billions upon billions of dollars a year industry. Erik just got back from his meditation retreat. Todd has planned a month full of activities—so many that I wonder how he will be able to get through them all. Josh considered a few different conferences and retreats.

Are self improvement conferences and seminars helpful? What would you expect to get out of one? Will they provide techniques that will aid in your quest for self improvement, or can you do just as well-and save a lot of money-through more personal exercises in self discovery and experimentation?