Lose it or Lose It (catchy name, eh?) is a new(?) online service that promises to help you lose your unwanted weight through systematically threatening both your wallet and your sense of public shame. The following is an excerpt from their service description:
Lose It or Lose It helps all you chubby geeks put an end to your constant battle to lose weight by making you try hard for 10 weeks or be punished! Choose [poundage] per week and dollars per [pound] and give us the money up front. Each week, if you skip a weigh-in or don’t make your goal weight, you lose part of your initial investment. We send you daily reminders as well as let you add accountability friends who are updated every week with the status of your weigh-in. After the 10 weeks, you get the remaining balance back as a reward!
OK. Wow. Punishment? Investment? Reward? Strange words here, since an “investment” is generally regarded as something that you put money into with the expectation that you will get everything you put in back, plus more. Best case scenario with Lose It Or Lose It, you get all your money back as a “reward” (generally thought of as a recompense for good deeds done) with no return. Unless, that is, you consider the weight loss that you’ve managed to pull off on your own to be a return on your investment. We can quibble over the use of financial terms here, but to me this sounds like an absurd proposition almost guaranteed to fail in everything other than generating a population of angry consumers who will never give repeat business. But then maybe this is the idea.
Now, I found out about Lose it or Lose It because they are sponsoring the Daring Fireball RSS Feed this week. For those of you unfamiliar with Daring Fireball, it is a blog that features links and news bits about technology and gadgets, goings on in the blogosphere, and just general internet happenings. It has a pretty pro-Apple stance, but even without hardcore PC hackers in the audience I would guess there are plenty of “chubby geeks” who read it, so I guess this is good targeting on the part of the marketing team at Lose It or Lose It. My main problem with this service is that it appears to be trying to use the standard bet that people make with each other about losing weight into a business model. You know, where you have a friend who wants to lose weight, and you want to lose weight, so you bet each other and see who can lose it first? This is the premise, right? I’ve never understood that bet, and perhaps this is why I don’t understand this service.
I would pay any amount of money to lose weight. I would work sixteen extra jobs to lose weight. Money is not important to me in comparison with weight, at least not on this scale. I mean, if I forked over $100,000.00 to them or something, OK, maybe it would mean something. But I’m guessing that people are doing a couple hundred here or there . . . I just don’t get it. But mainly I wanted to hear from you guys about this service, because I’m wondering if maybe this is a gender thing. Perhaps this is a service that would work with men but not so well with women?