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Sometimes it’s the simplest of services that make the greatest impact on our lives. Startup Lift hopes to find itself in that category with the public release of an iPhone application that aims to make the process of developing good habits absolutely elementary.

Lift is the one-year-old, San Francisco-based company that makes a minalmistic application for tracking personal goals. One can use the app to select habits such as “floss” or “exercise,” click a button to denote completion on any given day, get props (i.e. thumbs up) from Twitter and Facebook friends (or complete strangers), and receive simple stats on goals.

The app is basic, but as Twitter has shown us, basic can be a winning formula — and it just so happens that Lift is backed by Obvious Corporation, the app house started by Twitter creators Evan Williams and Biz Stone.

“This is such a big milestone for us, personally, to be able to actually put out something that we feel will do good in the world,” Lift co-founder Tony Stubblebine told me yesterday in a phone conversation.

And that’s not just a line. After spending a few hours with Stubblebine earlier this summer, I’m convinced that the repeat entrepreneur isn’t just after the same type of fame his famous friends achieved at Twitter, but genuinely interested in helping people become better versions of themselves.

“A year ago, [Lift co-founder] Jon [Crosby] and I came together and really wanted to do something that was meaningful and had impact,” Stubblebine said. “This whole time we’ve been beta testing versions of the app on ourselves … and it’s been really useful for us. Jon is on 400 days of ‘inbox zero,’ and I’ve never exercised as much as I’m exercising right now.”

So Lift works for them, but will the app work for you? If you’re the type of person that merely needs a nudge in the right direction, then yes, Lift should do its job.

The application, which has been in beta with a small group of users since June, also has “crazy-high retention rates,” Stubblebine said. Fifty percent of Lift users who check in once are still using the application one month later, he told me last month.

Now that Lift has launched on iPhone, the four-person team will turn its attention to perfecting the social features, which also means there’s no Android version in the works just yet.

“We know that this version works for a lot people, but we think that it can work even better and work for more people,” Stubblebine said.

Man climbing stairs image via Shutterstock


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