book hack

Carrots and Sticks

Ian Ayres

5 mins

3 key insights

Visual, audio & text

Carrots and Sticks explains how we can harness the power of incentives to change our bad behavior, improve our self-control, and reach our long-term goals.


Carrots and Sticks

Carrots and Sticks

by Ian Ayres


In 2007, a website was built for the sole purpose of holding its users financially accountable. This website is called Stickk, and it lets you set a financial goal, a referee, and an anti-charity - a charity whose views you radically oppose - to donate the money you were supposed to save to in case of failure.

It's a pretty powerful tool using psychological and economical incentives to help you reach your goals. It was founded by Yale economist Ian Ayres. Carrots and Sticks shows us why and how incentives work and how we can use them to our advantage, while building our sense of discipline, self-esteem, and long-term reward.

Favorite quote

When it comes to apples, Adam and Eve aren't alone in being impatient when presented with immediate temptation.

- Ian Ayres

Download the uptime app to

Read or listen, with different modes

Adjust audio speed in the app

Bookmark to save titles for later

Share your favourite Hacks


View the full Hack with Uptime