A new productivity app has found a canny way to insert itself into the news cycle, inviting users to motivate themselves with the terrifying prospect of a President Donald Trump.
The app, called Flight: Habit and Goal Tracker, gives the users the option to enter their credit card information and set wellness goals for themselves -- lose weight, quit smoking, get more sleep and so on. You can select the "Charity" option, in which case Flight will send some of your money to a charity of your choice every time you meet a goal. Or you can choose the "Anti-charity" option, which sends your money to an organization you hate, every time you fail to meet a goal. (You also have the option of doing neither.)
Here's the clever part: Flight comes with two default settings already programmed in. The default charity is charity:water, a nonprofit that aims to bring safe drinking water to people in developing countries. The default anti-charity, meanwhile, is none other than Donald Trump's website. Skip one too many days at the gym, and Flight will send a preselected amount of your cash to America's foremost real estate tycoon and insult comic.
The app has about 1,000 users so far, and several hundred have chosen to donate money to Trump's campaign if they don't meet their goals. The program launched earlier this month, and users have already posted about $6,000 in wagers overall, according to Dan Fine, chief financial officer of DatsuSoftware, the San Francisco-based company that created the app.
It's not clear how much of that $6,000 has been pledged (or anti-pledged) to Trump's campaign. Fine said he's personally pledged to donate $1,000 to Trump if he fails to meet his goal of not drinking any alcohol in 2016.
The app's creators have not contacted the Trump campaign, Fine said, but the company believes it is in compliance with campaign finance regulations.
Fine said the app's creators initially considered just having the option to donate to a charity, but they decided anti-charities would offer even more motivation. Putting down cash as an incentive to achieve a goal can be extremely effective.
"We were like, 'Who's the last person you want to give your money to?'" Fine said. "And the first name that came up was Donald Trump."
As for charity:water, Fine said, "we just like them."
"We've been to some conferences where they were a charity that was promoted," he told The Huffington Post. "They're a great organization."