Genius: This Alarm Clock Shreds a Dollar Bill If You Let It Buzz Too Long

Because time is money, and yours is precious.

Self-control is hard. People tend to go for "smaller-sooner" benefits over "larger-later" rewards. Economists call this "hyperbolic discounting." You call it "I'll go to the gym next Tuesday." Nothing encapsulates procrastination better than snoozing your alarm for 30 minutes because it's easier to lie in bed than think about the costs of starting work late.

But here's an economic punishment that will wake you up in the morning: An alarm clock that shreds a dollar bill if you don't smack it in the first few seconds.

Utter genius. And actually in keeping with most research on how to pull forward the punishment from delayed costs!

Now, you might not wake up every morning thinking about hyperbolic discounting. Lucky you. But for the sleep-deprived economist in your life, this is the gift that says: "Wake the &*$# up and put your money where current hyperbolic discounting research is."

Presented by

Derek Thompson is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he writes about economics, labor markets, and the entertainment business.

Why Principals Matter

Nadia Lopez didn't think anybody cared about her middle school. Then Humans of New York told her story to the Internet—and everything changed.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

A History of Contraception

In the 16th century, men used linen condoms laced shut with ribbons.

Video

'A Music That Has No End'

In Spain, a flamenco guitarist hustles to make a modest living.

Video

What Fifty Shades Left Out

A straightforward guide to BDSM

More in Business

Just In