April 14, 2023

Friday Forum is an All Hands meeting for the Levels team, where they discuss their progress and traction each week.

Josh Clemente (00:00):

All right, let’s do it. Welcome to Friday Forum, April 14th, ’23. And a quick reminder of what the Friday Forum is all about. So this is our weekly sync time. So we’re a remote, asynchronous team. It’s often a little bit difficult to keep up with what’s happening across all the functions that make up the organization and this is our opportunity to sync on what happened across the company each week, celebrate achievements, hear from members directly, share our culture and generally get on the same level. We have other forums and channels for social connection and for deep business metrics. This is not that. So just a reminder on what we’re all here for. Okay, recent achievements. So on the product front, we shipped Levels Levels 1.6 and Trends 1.1 features to 100% of our members. So the app now has Trends rather than just raw data where that Trends tab was. This is great and Beta 1 or the CGM optional experience is still showing really good engagement.


So our target for engagement, which is at least two app opens per week is currently 50% and our engagement is showing 69%. So a healthy margin over our target right now. Obviously still early, but this is looking good. Engineering is focused on Beta 2, so as this is just going to roll right through our milestones onto the next one, one of the big hurdles there is hybridizing the app for all the member states that someone can have. So you could have CGM, you could have no CGM and the experience has to be quite fluid. So hybridization is the major push on engineering side. We’ve got a synthetic glucose project that is underway. So the goal there is to be able to represent some of the community data in a more visceral CGM-like way for those that don’t necessarily have a sensor on. So that’s a big project. We’re shifting from a local post hog instance to a cloud post hog instance, which should substantially reduce a lot of burden on the team, on the inch team for post hog.


And then restoring zones for CGM, so basically again, part of that hybridization experience. And then we’re building some guides, content levers features, so multi-part stories, Food Guides, polls, Kitchen V2, all in work right now in preparation for that Beta 2. So a ton of work there. On the internal ops front, we’ve got new memos on the compensation philosophy. It’s largely a restatement of our comp philosophy where we separate out the policy from the philosophy. And that was a really good idea from Ryley to make sure that we aren’t mixing our terminologies there and also have the flexibility to maintain a philosophy while adapting to the real company dynamics on the policy side. And then we’ve got a benchmarking memo that digs deeper into the compensation benchmarks that we use inside the company.


Q1 2023. So we had basically 100% participation in that. Early results are coming in, so we will talk about that in a week, so hang tight for takeaways from the survey. And then we had a great ops meetup this past week in Austin. It’s awesome to see the member support team and the whole ops team here in town on the ops front. So we had 97% happiness this past week, which is huge. I think we’ve been well above our target for the last two weeks and despite that huge weekly volume, which is really straining our turnaround times for the support team. There’s just a lot of new initiatives and people are trying to figure out what’s going on and occasionally we’ll have bugs and new signups and experiments that we’re running. And just a reminder, the support team is where the rubber hits the road for that and they’re really working through a huge backlog frequently.


That said, our support leverage is also down, so below target right now. So just a lot of load on the support team and just a reminder that everything we’re experimenting on and all the pace that we’re shipping at translates into additional friction for members occasionally and that leads to support having to take on more volume. So just keep that in mind. We had a great whole new Level episode with Tim Noakes. So Tim. Last week we had Andrew Kutnick on, he talked about the study that we did with Tim Noakes on high card versus low card performance and we dig into some of that on the whole new Level episode, so I highly recommend that. It was a great chat.


Caitlin and Tony are diving deep on Beta 1 and 2 content, so continuing to bring our editorial firepower to the product team and we’re focusing on content growth opportunities in the second half of the year. Let’s see. Okay, so signups are back underway. So last week we had to suspend signups for Beta 2 because we did not have the right number, we couldn’t handle certain purchase states. So those are back underway. We’ve hit about a quarter of our target for the beta. Let’s see here. The progress bar is at about 25% right now and conversion rates are looking really good relative to checkout starts, so up near 26%, which we got to be very careful. And Ben does a deep dive in his async this week on how to calculate conversion rate based on checkout start and make sure that we’re not kidding ourselves in these numbers.


But so far looking quite good. We also have very good metrics on the first 3,000 emails that we sent out to our email list about the Beta 2. So great open rates on the order of 60 plus percent, click-through rates above 10%, so really good. We’ve got a modal on the homepage right here talking about early access to our updated app. Social posts are going up to describe the upcoming beta and we have user referrals, so Beta 1 members can refer people for Beta 2. So tons of stuff going on. We’re testing many, many things simultaneously, staying data-driven and prepping for Beta 2. And then, okay, finally, so blended conversion rate is our second highest of 2023. So the wins that the growth team have incorporated into our homepage and into our signup flow continue to pay off. So shout out to the growth product team.


Beta 2 partner promotions are live. So again, as I mentioned, I think five of our partners are now talking about Beta 2 and creating content around it so that they can generate support. And the Q2 growth plan is out, so you’ll hear a lot more about smoke tests. Smoke tests are essentially confirming assumptions at a very high rate about how to position our product, what resonates with members, how to adapt our homepage, how do we adapt our signup flow without having to do a ton of engineering work. So check out the memo from Karen. There’s going to be a ton on the smoke test front and this will trickle across signups again, homepages and on into our new referrals program where refer a friend 1.0, you can see coming together here. Okay, I think that generally touches on the majority of it.


We’ve got just a ton of stuff going on. Emails optimized for mobile here, tons of guides content and production. It’s hard to describe how much stuff is going on behind the scenes on the guides front in particular, all the contents being generated. I know I in particular do not have a good calibration for how much is happening here and then I get exposed to some of the volume and I’m like, “Holy smokes, I had no idea this is going on.” So there’s just a lot out there, so shout out to the whole team. Okay, jumping ahead. So I want to welcome Megan McNab. Megan has joining us this morning as a member of Levels. She’s a partner at a law firm focused deeply on the technical and regulated areas that we all know and love, like healthcare. She’s a health and fitness enthusiast. She is a certified personal trainer and nutritionist.


And Megan, I really appreciate you taking some time this morning to hang out with us on the Friday Forum. I would love to, in particular, hear your perspective on what you’re most excited about in the world of health and wellness, metabolic health in particular, and maybe a bit about your experience with Levels thus far.

Meghan Linvill Mcnab (07:48):

I am most excited about just the education that Levels is doing and the access to data that Levels is providing to folks. We wouldn’t expect a pilot to fly a plane without information about the engine, the wings, all the things. So why should we operate our bodies, our most important machines without that same data and information? And you guys are doing just that and I’m in awe of it and I applaud you really. I started with Levels a year or two ago. My father is a type 2 diabetic. I remember the day he was diagnosed, he was so overwhelmed with this table that the doctor gave him on what to eat. When we went to dinner that night, he didn’t even know he was overwhelmed. And so that really resonated with me and I committed to not being in that position.


It was a shock a few years ago when I actually, even though I worked out all the time and limited processed food, I was on the brink of being pre-diabetic. And so learning that and that really it might’ve just been that my body doesn’t like bananas, it made me realize I need data about myself. And so I started exploring CGMs and I came across a Levels blog and I just deep dove into that website and that blog. You guys had so much information available for free and I was just reading as much as I could. And then I think I signed up for the beta at that time multiple times just trying to like, oh, maybe the more they see my name, they’ll get me on it sooner. Luckily I ended up connecting with somebody that had an access code and so as soon as I got that, I immediately signed up and I’ve used Levels multiple times since. And I love the personalized feedback that it provides along with the education.


You know quinoa? It’s a great food, it doesn’t work for my body and I’m able to take what I learn and apply it. And as my slide says, I’m really big into fitness and so this Tim Noakes whole new level, I’m so excited to see that and hear that because I’m really curious about just glucose intake and physical performance. And so the more information we can get, the better. And so I applaud you all for what you’re doing.

Josh Clemente (10:31):

Awesome. Well, first of all, thank you for sharing that and I love to hear the paths to Levels. It’s always interesting to hear the individual perspectives. I think having the amount of exposure and how early you were exposed to what we’ve been building towards, I would love to just hear one major improvement that you would recommend that we focus on. It could be anything. It could be a product feature, a new product vertical altogether, or something that we’re just dropping the ball on right now. But what would you recommend we focus on that you haven’t seen yet?

Meghan Linvill Mcnab (11:02):

Well, what I’ve struggled with the most has been around nutrition timing for physical performance. And I’ll try out different things myself and it’s just really hard to piece together what I see on my Levels app in terms of where my glucose spikes and how that relates to a pre-workout meal versus a workout. And you have some articles on the blog about this and it sounds like you’re coming out with something new, but I would love more information for not just somebody that is working out to burn calories, but somebody who truly wants physical performance, is competing, or the ability to apply to the everyday person as well as to a competitive athlete.

Josh Clemente (11:56):

Yes, that specific goal-based element, getting sharper, getting more individualized. Absolutely. Yeah. Well, I’m excited because so much of this is falling into the direction that we’re driving here and also being able to connect the dots between sensor experiences. So for some people they want to wear that continuously and have that full-time feedback loop. Others want to use this as a trajectory check. And being able to stay aligned on a goal set that you have regardless of your sensor state is something we’re building right now. And I’m very excited to have you as an early user, I hope, on one of those features sometime very soon.

Meghan Linvill Mcnab (12:33):

Yeah, that’s awesome. Thank you so much.

Josh Clemente (12:36):

Well, thank you for joining, Megan and we’d love to have you stick around for the rest of the meeting. We’ll dig into some various function stuff and some updates there. If not, I just want to say from the whole team, we really appreciate you setting aside some morning time on Friday and sharing your story with us.

Meghan Linvill Mcnab (12:50):

Yes. Thank you so much for having me.

Josh Clemente (12:53):

Awesome, thank you. Okay, we got a double feature this morning, which is exciting. I want to welcome Mark Janzen. So Mark is a member, he’s a crowdfunding investor, backed us in our refunded round, which was one of the most exciting moments of my time here at Levels personally. Venture partner, engineer and product manager. Mark, I really appreciate you joining us. I think you’ve been a member now since January of 2022, something along those lines. So also has a lot of exposure to what we’ve done and seen the arc of our building. So Mark, thanks for joining us. I’d love to hear what you’re excited about in the world of health, metabolic health and your personal experience with Levels.

Mark Janzen (13:32):

Thank you so much. It’s a pleasure to be here. I’m excited to be part of this. Can you hear me okay? Great. So as you mentioned, I’m a serial tech entrepreneur. I love gadgets and what it’s been called, the quantified self. I would cover my body with sensors if that was an option. I heard your story, Josh, on the Acquired podcast and was so intrigued I signed up that day. So I’ve used the product twice for a month one year apart. Most recently this past January I’ve used both the Dexcom and Libre sensors and maybe surprisingly, I prefer the one that I have to attach to my arm. I think that’s the Libre. So I’m here because I reported a UI issue. Those of you over 40 know, you go through about a decade period where on your iPhone you keep increasing the font size as you age.


And the issue for me was I had a certain setting of zoom and font scalability that meant I could no longer enter food in the diary in the app. It was hidden in the UI and I got to imagine it’s incredibly hard to test all the permutations of that user experience. But I was delighted by the feedback I got on reporting the issue and the invitation to be here today. So what I’ve loved about the experience of using Levels was just an insight. I’ve heard my whole life people say, oh this person has low blood sugar or whatever, but it really is a mystery until you get the data. And I loved learning what worked for me and what didn’t. I was happy to find out my blood sugar stays in a relatively normal range unless I eat sushi. And that was great to learn about.


A few thoughts. Sometimes I’ve had the experience of feeling like I’m working for the app instead of it working for me where I constantly have to care and feed and garden the app almost like it’s a chore and much more like in an ideal world it would be almost passive where it’s just picking up what I’m eating and the sensors and occasionally giving me insights instead of the alarm goes off, it’s time to feed the app. I’m not quite sure how to fix that, but I just wanted to give that feedback. I heard something you just said about synthetic blood sugar. That was one of the ideas I wished. Once you have enough data you would start guessing my blood sugar even when I’m not wearing a sensor. If you’ve got thousands of samples and you know that if I eat this every time it’s within this range.


Maybe it could be a confidence interval, like you’re probably between 80 and 100 right now. Maybe that’s what you’re already working on. So not sure about that, but I wanted to give that feedback. It would make me more likely to use the app when I’m not wearing a sensor. And the last thing is I really look forward to more diverse sensors like hormone levels. I don’t know if that technology is progressing, but I would love to have that kind of data as well. So that’s my whole pitch.

Josh Clemente (17:05):

Well thank you, Mark, for stringing together the complete end to end. I think first of all, as a fellow former sushi eater, I feel for you there and definitely know that feeling. Thank you so much for spending some time with us and sharing your experience and also where we can improve. If you’d like to stick around, please do. We’ve got the rest of the meeting, we’ll be diving into more of the function stuff. But if not, thanks again on behalf of the team.

Mark Janzen (17:33):

You’re welcome. And I have one last thought. I love your investor updates and I share them occasionally. I show them to other founders to say, this is what you need to be doing. This is the gold standard of investor updates.

Josh Clemente (17:45):

We love to hear that. The whole team contributes. It’s definitely a beautiful chronology of the company as well ’cause you can string those together and see where we came from. So I appreciate the appreciation.

Mark Janzen (17:56):

Thank you.

Josh Clemente (17:57):

All right, awesome. Jumping ahead and welcoming Daniel Hensley. So many of you or several of you were able to meet Dan this past week. And so he’s helping us out on the R&D front. He’s worked on MRI-like technology. He’s got a depth of experience on bioengineering as well as data and signal processing problems. Has worked on many cool startups and I’m excited to work with him here in Austin. Daniel, over to you.

Danile Hensley (18:23):

Thanks. Great to be here, everyone. Great to join the team. So maybe I’ll just say a little bit to add onto what Josh said about myself. So I’m here in Austin, again, consulting now with the R&D team. Grew up in a random small town in the middle of nowhere in Texas and then was out in the San Francisco Bay Area for about 10 years. And then recently found my way back to Austin, really enjoying it and excited again to work with the R&D team. As Josh mentioned, briefly touching on my background, most recently I was co-founder and head of engineering at a company called Infinity AI, which was a great team, and got to experience what it’s like to build a company from scratch. That was great. And then even before that, right out of college, 21, 22 years old, did a startup with my professor out of UT. Didn’t necessarily know what I was doing, but I had a lot of fun, learned a lot.


But when I think about this, I’ve basically my entire professional career, I’ve been working at startups and I really love the excitement, the energy and the ambition and especially an exciting mission. And Levels has all of these and I’m really excited to work with Levels in this regard. And again, really excited to be here.

Josh Clemente (19:32):

Awesome. Thanks Daniel. Daniel’s doing a truncated version of onboarding to really ramp into the culture, get familiar with the tools, get familiar with the team. So because this project, it’s in RD, which can feel a little bit separate from the main business, we definitely want to create a good welcome for Daniel across the team. So I think we have a coffee chat coming up maybe this coming week. Jump in there, say hi to Daniel, help him out as he gets familiar with our strange and exciting way of doing work. Looking forward to it, Daniel.


All right, Culture and Kudos slide. So got a couple anniversaries here. So firstly, happy two years to Justin. Can’t believe it’s been two years. I feel like we just talked about your one year, but congratulations. That’s a huge milestone. And then Sonja and Caitlin both hitting the one-year mark this past week. Awesome and just been amazing to have you both on the team. It feels like you’re just so integrated across all the major projects already, which is really cool. And it was awesome to get to hang with Caitlin in person this past week. And then you can see some ops and support meetup action on right here, R&D location, support team hanging out, got a bunch of barbecue at Terry Black’s. It was great. Okay, managers matter. Chris Jones, over to you.

Chris Jones (20:51):

Thanks, Josh. A couple days ago when we were in Austin, Miz asked me to present for the cultural axiom and I was like, “What topic?” He’s like, “I don’t know. Something about managerial stuff.” And I went through this slide, I’m like, nothing resonated with me. So I actually added a new one, so consider this a bit of a proposal or a kickoff for continuing to expand the everything’s written in pencil axiom. The number one reason why people leave companies is because of a bad or poor manager. So if you think about your career or people that you know, have, you heard them say phrases, things like, I can’t deal with my boss, he or she’s a micromanager? I’m bored at work? I’m overworked at work? I don’t know what’s going on? I’m being asked about did I get the memo about the TPS reports and being asked to work on Saturday?


Those comments are pretty typical in the work environment and a lot of it comes back to the managerial skills. But the inverse is also true. Employees will also leave a company to follow a great manager. I personally have left four jobs to follow an old boss because I know that when I work for someone that I respect, who respects me and can protect me and guide me and coach me and make me the best I can be, that is the environment that I want to be regardless of what company is signing my paycheck. So managers can have both a huge influence on employees both negatively and positively. So when I was flying back, Nicole sent out the, here’s the pre-read for the culture survey, which I’m sure all of us have read. And the first question I go immediately to before anything else is the question around the am I supported and cared for by my manager and can lean on for them for guidance? If I can hit that one out of the park, the rest of it’s gravy.


And luckily I actually went back, as a company, we’ve been averaging 4.8 for the last three surveys on that one. So across all of our managers, it’s an area that we are doing extremely well on. The flip side, the do I get regular feedback from my manager? A little bit more of there are cracks in the armor across the board. And I know this is an area I personally struggle with. It came up in the Austin off side of I struggle giving negative feedback. That is a big opportunity for me as a manager, so something I’m working on. But as I think about it, the best way we learn this from each other. The example of the weekly sync calls I had with Dave Tan or watching another Levels manager deliver a PIP are some of the best managerial tips that I’ve gotten in my entire career.


It wasn’t by bringing an external consultant in or taking us through some program. It was from us sharing what works and what doesn’t amongst ourselves. So we are our best resource when we think about building great managers. So really my commitment of this is I’m going to be spending a lot more time thinking about should we have a vacuum of managers matter and a memo and more best practice around sharing from each other, learning, creating environments where managers can basically bounce ideas off of each other? Because it does make a difference in terms of retaining great talent. That is my cultural axiom proposal, I guess.

Josh Clemente (24:19):

Love it. Well, I can see it fitting directly into the talent density value that we have here. And so I think that it’s a really important element that fits right into building a super talent dense and supportive culture of a great team that crushes our mission. So I love the perspective there, Chris, and I really appreciate you always bring this depth of wisdom that is grounded in experience. So I love it. If anyone hasn’t seen Chris’s coffee chat from last week, he recorded something, or maybe it was two weeks ago, digging into his history and background and how to think about jobs. It’s a great watch. I won’t go deeper than that. Thank you, Chris.


Company objectives. All right, main thing, Levels shows you how food affects your health. This is where we still are. Everyone should be working towards this priority and I feel highly confident that everyone is. If you have any questions, just raise those with your manager or with anyone else. Sam.

Sam Corcos (25:19):

All right, just a quick beta numbers to hit update. We’ve got some updated numbers on engagement at 69%, which is still above our target and we are about 25% of the way to hitting our beta conversions goal. We still have a couple weeks to hit it. Seems like we will likely be able to, but just keeping everyone aware that we’re still about 750 conversions before we hit that goal. Next slide gives a little more detail on it. So this is our conversion rate on a number of different channels that we’re trying. How many of these are current members? How many of them are new members? So let’s just keep that going. And if there’s anything that the growth team, this is mostly Ben, needs in terms of support, hit these numbers, definitely reach out to them and let’s make it happen.

Josh Clemente (26:15):

All right, let’s do it. Love seeing a progress bar. Let’s bag it. All right, Miz.

Michael Mizrahi (26:23):

Awesome, thanks. Wanted to talk for a few minutes today about something that’s been, I think on a lot of people’s minds and just part of the conversations that I heard in the offsite this week, but also just across the company recently. So you always get this question, how’s everything going at work? And you can go to the next slide here. You get the I love job, I love my life, my team loves each other. We’re working hard. It’s great. It’s been really busy, but it’s awesome. And that’s a normal gut reaction. And we’ve spoken on a few podcasts about the responding with how’s work? It’s great, it’s busy and what that means. And so we’ll dig into that a little bit. But next slide here. I want to acknowledge that it’s okay that it might feel and look like this, right? We’re all playing with our Legos, we’re all getting along. It’s fun, it’s enjoyable.


But you might feel differently and that’s okay sometimes. Let’s go to the next slide here. You might feeling like this, you might be drowning in Legos, more Legos than you know what to do with. And credit where it’s due, Lego analogy is not mine. That comes from Molly Graham, who wrote that post, Giving Away Your Legos. And so this is very much inspired by her, so credit there. So that’s one possible feeling and it’s fine to be feeling that way. We can go to another slide. You might also be feeling like you’re in firefighter mode, which is a little bit different. That’s not necessarily drowning, but this is trying to keep up. It’s feeling overwhelmed, it’s being stressed, it’s focused and organized, but whoa, it’s a little hot in here. And so I think this is calling on attention that exists at the moment, which is okay to acknowledge.


And so if you can go to the next slide here, I think there’s two things going on. Two realities. Reality number one, we’re building a healthy company with a sustainable culture. We’re calm, not busy. We stress the importance of rest, of mandatory minimum times off, of encouraging delegation, creating slack in our workday and in our work in general, not glorifying hustle culture or burnout or buying into the cult of overwork. We’re remote. Manage your own schedule. You’re in charge. Go work out during the day, take the ski run on the Friday, do your thing. It’s great and we encourage that and you’re your own boss. That’s awesome. Reality number two, we’re default dead. What we do matters right now. We can’t afford to get it wrong too many times. We’re relentlessly focused on product-market fit. Hustle culture exists for a reason. It works.


We need to build and ship faster than ever. Our company mission, our culture and our company as a whole, success is on the line. Everyone has to chip in and find a way to grab a shovel. And wherever you are across the organization, content support, operations, growth, we’re all focused on the exact same goal. And that’s what it’s going to take. And I think it’s okay that there’s some tension between these two and that they both exist. And it’s okay to call out that tension and acknowledge that it’s there. I think if we were really hard in either direction, we’d probably have a very different set of problems. And so it’s okay that we have both so long as we can make sense of it, address it, acknowledge it. And something that’s come up in a few conversations is I’ve heard some people say, and I myself might’ve said, we’re going to get through this period.


We’ll finish Beta 2, we’ll finish Beta 3 and then we’ll take a step back and we’ll regroup and we’ll all deep exhale and return to normal, return to our sanity, and that’s where we’ll end up. And I think my hot take, my big insight is that if we do this right and if we nail this, we’re not going to have a chance to take a step back. It’s unlikely, right? If we’re successful, then this is not this one sprint, this is mile one of the marathon. And that changes the mindset, which is to say that everything we’ve been doing until this point hasn’t been this false reality of this culture that we’ve been building. It’s been practicing for the right mindset so that we can now play the game the way we need to. And so hopefully we’re always growing, we’re always going forward and we’re going to always going to have that sense of momentum and structure. And really what needs to change is the way that we think about it and the way we adapt to it.


So you can go to the next slide here. I want to call out some things that we’ve done very, very well and things that we can do as a team to keep our eye on the ball. So constantly adjusting our goals, having systems, not targets. We just finished off on that slide with really clear visibility on what we’re working towards, which is really helpful. Something to keep in mind, Winners and losers have the same goals. I always love that line and it always sticks with me, but we should get into that mindset of we are professional, sustainable athletes that can perform, show up for big games, feel the pressure. And if you think about who you want in that field, you want someone showing up that’s fresh and sharp and well-rested, a team player, fully invested and that requires them being balanced and being able to perform strongly and have a full battery to do that. One second, I lost my slide here.


It requires having alignment on clear goals, being clear about what we’re trying to accomplish, knowing what timeframe we’re doing that on, and having context for knowing if we’ll be successful. So the point of that alignment is to reduce wasted energy, and I think we’ve done an exceptional job at having very, very crystal clear goals. And so patting ourselves on the back for that. That’s gotten us to this point. But go to the next slide here. What’s important is also to zoom out. This one came from the discussion section of the original Defending Against Burnout memo. We don’t want to get lost in the woods because we’re too busy to see what we could be doing differently. So keeping this in mind is important. And so I’m going to pull us to that memo that we wrote, Defending Against Burnout.


There was two sections to it, and you can go to the next slide here. I’m not going to go into that memo specifically ’cause I don’t think this is specifically about burnout. It’s really just resolving some of that tension that exists. But touching on that memo, there was protecting against overwork and there was protecting overinvestment of identity into work. On the protecting against overwork, ruthlessly prioritizing, aligning your work to your zone of genius. You’re not easily getting exhausted. Calling your shots so that your focus is crystal clear and you can get rid of everything else. When things are moving fast and there’s a lot going on, it’s easy to get into this mode of everything’s important and we’re going to do all of it and we’re going to spend more and more and more hours, but that’s actually not going to help us get to the right place.


So all the tactics that we’ve practiced to date in terms of keeping perspective and knowing that you’re doing a good job, having the systems and structures in place, knowing that we have feedback in place, that if you’re not being told explicitly that you’re not performing, then you’re in the good spot so you don’t have that constant negative self-talk of I’m not doing enough, everyone else is working harder. And then you get into that cycle. And connecting with others at work, building social relationships, all of these things are really, really important and we need to make sure that we continue to do them and lean on those practices to have somewhat of a sustainable mindset to get through this. So we have a great, great foundation and that’s what’s going to power us through this next phase. So I’ll wrap up on that, but also acknowledge that there’s one more slide here.


It’s okay to talk about these things with people. It’s okay to acknowledge the tensions that exist and we should really focus on getting to a sustainable mindset where we can perform exceptionally. And if we are at 100%, find that 80, stay in that zone. We can flex up and down as needed, but you can’t stay all the way here. And so we’ve got to get this right. We’re all in it, we’re excited about it, but let’s give it our all. So there’s a ton of great resources on this. There’s a podcast that Haney, Josh and Tom did from a year ago that fueled a lot of this content. So thanks to the three of you from last year. There’s a podcast that Ben and I did on burnout. There’s the memos. There’s a dozen resources on that topic in that notion doc that I think most people haven’t seen in quite a while, maybe since onboarding.


So if you’re feeling that any of this resonates, this is probably a good time to take some time, go through that and just re-center yourself, make sure you know what your priorities are for the day, focus on those. Everything else is after. Cool.

Josh Clemente (34:49):

Nothing to add there. Awesome. Thank you, Miz. And yes, glad we’re addressing the elephant in the room of the tension that is inherent here in a startup like ours. David.

David Finner (35:02):

Awesome. So I think last week when I was out for the product update, we went into a deep dive on all the product content, the Food Guide and all the thinking around everything that we’re doing on that side. This week, I thought I could go through… Actually Josh, can you progress the slide please? Unless it’s… Yeah. Great. One more. I just wanted to give you a quick update on things that are in flight for Beta 1 from the product software side, what we’re learning and what we’re releasing this week to help us learn faster. So it’s a reminder, our current Beta 1 priorities are to keep up a high cadence of learning velocity and to develop a system so we can leverage content and reuse it scalably. So next slide. This week we launched multi-part stories, which if you zoom in a little bit on this photo, which you can’t, but just look at the bottom, now there’s three different progress bars.


So you can attach multiple assets to the same video, like Instagram Stories. And this is a huge unlock for us because it helps us do two things. One is it really turbocharges our ability to reuse content. So someone like Sonja can tee up and set context for an older video and then associate the video quickly with the second one. Maybe it’s from Stacy, maybe it’s from Lynette or someone else. As we develop more and more guides in the future, we’ll have the ability for people to mix and match in this way. And also, the hypothesis is that it’s going to massively decrease our video production effort because now the guides don’t need to do a single produced long-form video. They can chop it up into text-based slides, short videos where they’re just talking into the camera much like they could on Instagram Stories. So really looking forward to seeing how this one plays out in the coming week. Next slide.


And then we released a temporary feature, which is a DM the guide feature. There’s a little chat button you can now tap inside of a video, and that opens up a text message where you can text Sonja or Stacy. And then we also have Lynette and Rebecca helping us out to man these. The thing we’re doing here is we’re hoping to increase learning velocity by hearing what the pain points are, having a more synchronous method, you go back and forth with people and tease out more details on what they want from the experience, what’s working, what’s not working. We’re going to pull this feature out before general availability, but in the meantime it’s been a really nice way for us to get feedback from users. Next slide. Also released this week is in-app profiles for people who are not guides and we’re starting with recipe content creators.


So you see here Beth Bollinger, one of our recipe partners. In exchange for promotion in app, she’s giving us access to all of her delicious metabolically healthy recipes. And so we think this is a win-win for her to be increased exposure and brand presence and also for our members who are going to get access to some of the best recipes that are metabolically friendly that are out there. And this is great. It’s setting the stage for having a better people presence throughout the app. So not only will you be able to tap onto Sonja, but you could tap onto Beth, see all of her recipes. Beth won’t be producing videos, but you can still see the corpus of her work and how it relates into the Levels ecosystem. And Sonja was talking to Dr. Hyman who agreed to provide us access to all of his recipes.


So you’re going to be seeing more and more to come in the Kitchen tab in Levels for really excellent recipes here. So we’re seeing really strong engagement. The Kitchen tab so far, you can see customers’ update in comms on this, but we’re seeing, I think it’s somewhere around 50% of people are coming in weekly to the Kitchen tab. It’s currently higher than we have for food logging even. So I’m really excited to see what’s going to be happening on this direction. Next slide. And then this is in progress concepts here, so don’t hold these designs as exactly as they are, but the software has been working really hard to work on the hybrid no CGM and CGM experience. And as you know for Beta 1, we released the no CGM meal review and it has a beautiful new designs. We’re now upleveling that so that those new designs work in the world with zones where when you have a CGM you can see the context both your meals and your activities and how it matters and how they interplay.


We’re going to be unifying the experience so that things are excellent and great and simple when you have no CGM and they get even better when you’re on CGM. And expect some really cool beta tests to come out of this over the next few weeks as the engineering team develops this and we shift gears towards Beta 2. Next slide. And then two quick call-outs for releases this week unrelated to our 2023 vision. We released to 100% of people Trends 1.1, which you can see a screenshot there on the left, which is not just showing you the raw data but making the trends and insights more visible and so you can take action on that. And then Levels Levels 1.6 has finally been released, which is our converting from the points based system into a streak space system and the corresponding rewards for that. So results read out for these features next week, but wanted to just announce that these are now alive and you can see them. That’s it for the product update this week.

Josh Clemente (39:50):

All right, awesome. A lot of super cool stuff.

David Finner (39:54):

There’s actually a lot of other things going on. I just wanted to highlight a few. So there’s a lot of other features in development on both the software pod and the guidance pod, so we’ll highlight those next week.

Josh Clemente (40:04):

Killer. Well, thank you David. Thanks product team, eng team. Tons of progress here. And continuing to love seeing the social elements, the people elements of the outcome together and the enhanced focus on engagement and metrics tracking. It’s really cool to see data-driven learning here. All right, quick hiring update. So John Carroll, who many of you know as Comms John, has formally joined Levels. I think his first full-time day is April 16th, so Tuesday or someday. So excited to have John full-time on the Levels team continuing to develop the communications tool that is truly made in the image of Levels’ culture. And it’s been amazing to see how quickly he has built what we all rely on as our daily comms tool, which is pretty great. So welcome aboard John.


Okay, open roles. If you or someone you know is interested in Levels and what we’re building here, check out levels.link/careers. We don’t currently have open roles at the moment, but definitely check out what we’re doing here. Stay in the loop and you can submit some info for the future. Okay, we got plenty of time here, so we will do individual contributions. I’m going to stop the share and we can go to reactions. So you can click the reactions button on your Zoom app. Raise your hand. Chris beat me to it. Chris.

Chris Jones (41:41):

Well, one, it was an incredible trip to Austin to meet everyone, the local team, the R&D team, even some of the new people like Daniel. It was great to meet you. I also just want to really big huge shout out to the support knobs team. We had a lot of hard conversations, really transparent, open-end. People were really highly engaged, really spoke their mind, not just the hey, what Miz [inaudible 00:42:08], hey, work’s great, I love it, but these are struggles. This is where I’m having trouble. That’s really what we need to hear to figure out how can we change this and fix it. So I just really appreciate the honesty, the transparency and the openness of the support ops team as we went maybe a little deeper than you’re used to in some off sites. So I just want to say thanks. It was a great trip and I really enjoyed it.

Josh Clemente (42:32):

Awesome. On the professional side, just continuing to be really proud of the team and all the efforts that are going into maintaining a high level of cadence, hitting deadlines, facing serious challenges in the context of a very transparent set of circumstances. I think everyone’s really rallied and the early glimpse I’ve seen of the culture survey results show that, as Miz touched on, we’ve got a lot going on, people are excited by that and catalyzed by that, but also there’s some culture trades happening there, which is fine. It’s good to know that and to be able to say that out loud. And so I think I’m most excited right now about the team and the embracing of our culture values and transparency elements and leaning in where we need to lean in above everything else.


It was also great to get to hang out with the support team. I hadn’t met several of you, so my bingo card is about to get updated. I think I’m probably going to take the lead, sorry, MD. And we’re going to relocate to the west side of Austin in a month, so we got a new place and I’m excited about that personally. Ryley.

Ryley Walker (43:48):

Just want to say huge update today. So much going on and it’s so cool to jump in and see all the things that are happening but really enjoyed Miz’s touchpoint and just calling out the tension between just the need to push, push, push and deliver and ship right now and our culture. And I think in the past or in my last role, I really got caught up in that hustle side and maybe a little bit chewed up and swallowed up by it, but this time, Levels just feels so different and I think there’s a lot of things that we do that help us balance those two sides of the slide that Miz showed, the need to hustle and deliver and then the commitment to our culture. And it’s just things like being there for each other, having tools, processes, Athena, all the chat that’s going on with the ChatGPT right now, how to leverage, make things better.


And I think that’s what really sets us apart. And I know it’s going to be hard, but I feel so supported by things like that that the team’s doing. So no worries at all that we’re going to get there.

Josh Clemente (45:08):

Love to hear it. Ian.

Ian Schumann (45:13):

For me, two on the professional side. One, just developers in my team continue to beat estimates shipping stuff. So multi-part stories for instance was just supposed to be real big, but it went out real fast and I’m just super impressed with the productivity people on my team. The other professional hat was just seeing people for barbecue in Austin this week. It was great to see all your faces again and connect with people. On the personal side, this is not good news, but it’s colorful novel news. On Monday I had jury duty, and there was a recess mid-morning. I took a walk around the block, went back in the building and when I went through the security screening, there was nobody else in the lobby, so I guess the security guards were extra on their guard and testing out how meticulous they could be at that moment.


And so I carry around a little tiny metal pill container with lactate because I’m Jewish. I’m watching my wife laugh at me right now. And so they pulled that out of the security screening and then briefly arrested me and escorted me to a detention room and had me convince them that the white powdery remnants of the lactate was not cocaine. And then they tested it and determined that I was telling the truth and then we had a nice chat. Anyway, it really added some color and flair to my otherwise boring experience of jury duty.

Josh Clemente (46:43):

Criminal confessions on Friday Forum. I love it. This is a first. Glad you made it through that one, Ian. Mercy.

Mercy Clemente (46:55):

Professionally, it was really great to meet so many people in person. We’ve been working together for months and some people a year or more. So that was really nice getting, to know everybody on a deeper level. And then personally, going to run a 10K race on Sunday. First race I’ve ever done so I’m nervous and excited for that.

Josh Clemente (47:18):

Yep, it’s exciting. Well, I’m going to walk it at least. I’m still nursing a hip flexor injury, but I’ll be there as well. Sonja.

Sonja Manning (47:29):

All right, team, I can’t believe it’s been one year. I’m honored to share this date with Caitlin and sort of share this date with Justin also. And I was actually meaning to put together some reflections over the weekend, which maybe I’ll do, but just off the top of my head, I feel so grateful. I’ve learned so much in a year and I love working so cross-functionally and doing so many things I never thought I’d be able to do, like post podcasts and publish articles and film in-app content. And it’s just been so fun and I’m so grateful to have learned from so many people on this team over the last year. So just feeling super grateful and energized today, ready for mile two, as Miz was putting it. And then personally, this weekend, Alex and I are hosting a burrito battle because each of us have very strong feelings on what the best breakfast burrito is. So we’re inviting all of our friends over and they each have to have half of each of ours and we’re going to have a rating system and may the best burrito win.

Josh Clemente (48:24):

Good luck. Keep us posted. This sounds like the breakfast taco version of this should happen in Austin. Caitlin.

Caitlin Shure (48:34):

Okay, so first of all Sonja, that sounds like a content opportunity, so I hope you will be recording it, but-

Sonja Manning (48:42):

Mine is medically healthy, Alex’s is not, so we’ll see here.

Caitlin Shure (48:47):

Okay. So I’m basically just going to jump on Sonja’s, which is, whoa, it’s been a year and this is, I feel like, a mix of personal and professional. Having this benchmark just makes me feel like, oh, this was a good year. And for me it’s hard to disambiguate what is the work piece and what is the rest of life piece. Obviously the birth of my sole child plays a big part in it being a good year. But I’m feeling very satisfied and just am just very happy with all the things that I’ve been able to do in this obviously somewhat curtailed year because I was out for a chunk of it. But also, thanks to Miz for his presentation today. Definitely resonated. Miz and I may or may not have chatted over barbecue earlier this week. So thanks to that and I think that’s it. Also, great to see everyone in Austin. Josh, really appreciated how nerdy we were able to get very, very quickly. And good week, good year. Thanks everybody.

Josh Clemente (50:08):

We went full nerd on that one right off the bat. Sorry about that. All right, anyone else have anything to share? Personal, professional, criminal?

Shawn Jones (50:22):

I’ll share. I don’t have nothing criminal unfortunately. Sorry to disappoint. I’m really inspired by everyone talking about some of their fitness stuff they’ve got going on and I’ve got some things coming up too. And I’m going to be out for next [inaudible 00:50:36] Friday, so I thought I’d share. I’ve got a CrossFit comp that we’re hitting in two weeks and then the week after that, I’m participating in my first swim meet and I’m nervous about that one because I’ve never done a swimming. I started swimming seriously in September, October, and apparently this is a big deal. I didn’t realize it when I signed up. It’s like, I guess Masters National or something like that in Irvine and they have some pretty serious swimmers there. And so I’ve tested my 500 for the first time and got a 7:28 on it and then I went and looked at the qualifying times for it and you’re supposed to build something like a 5:10 and I’m like, “Okay, cool. I’ve got some work to do.”


So I’m going to be bringing up the rear on this competition, but I’m really looking forward to it. This is a big area of growth for me to hit. I’m hoping to do it for myself and have a good time. And otherwise though, the CrossFit comp, I’m hoping to come home with either the second place, which I got last year, or first place. So we’ll see how that goes. I did personal first. Professionally, I’m loving what we’re doing right now with the app. I’m having a really fun time building it. Thanks for all the great product ideas and all the designs and all this stuff. It’s been really fun to implement. I think we’re going in a really good direction, so thanks everybody.

Josh Clemente (51:47):

Awesome, man. Good luck on those competitions. That sounds like a hell of a menu. Miz.

Michael Mizrahi (51:52):

[inaudible 00:51:53] after I’ll share it. My professional highlight of the week was the energy that happened when we were ordering barbecue across the team. I think me and Mike just got on another level of excitement around the barbecue itself. And sometimes the energy in the air is just so high and everyone’s just in a awesome mood, so there was a good five minutes there that we’re just on top of the world. It was really fun just seeing the team lose their minds over this. And I didn’t know barbecue could be so good. The big argument was whether or not we were ordering enough. We ordered enough is the answer.


On the professional side, really good to have the in-person time with the team. We did a new session this time where we were just told the history of support, showing how the team grew so much over the course of the last year. And that was a really, really interesting exercise just to remember how much has changed, how much we’ve implemented and how much work has gone into getting it to this point. So it was really healthy. Loved meeting the team in person, getting us all together for the first time, that subgroup, and spent a little bit of time in the Helps tab, a handful of tickets, which was a good reminder. So thanks everyone for the time there.

Josh Clemente (53:09):

Awesome. Good note to end on. All right, great week everybody. Another great week to look forward to ahead, I’m sure. And thanks everyone for joining the forum and making this a really solid one. And to our special guests, it was awesome to have a doubleheader today. That’s a first. So all right, have a great weekend and we’ll see you all soon.