August 14, 2020

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


[00:00:00] Josh Clemente: I’m going to say I’m grateful for my parents. I’ve had, I was a typical child growing up, definitely had my share of self-induced conflict with them. But my relationship with my parents is just getting better with time and I just genuinely appreciate their contributions to, I guess how I look at the world today. And would, by no means, be anywhere near as lucky as I am, if not for them. So just want to give them a shout out. I don’t think they’ll ever see this, but if they do, thanks for all the help all right.

Kicking off. So exciting development, we’ve continued to grow our world-class team and the latest addition, starting this week, was Gabriel. I’m going to hand over the slide to him, but I just want everyone to, definitely make sure this week, to reach out to Gabriel, set up a time to chat and learn something about him. He’s really interesting. And just a fantastic addition, as usual, to the team. Gabriel, please give us a little background here and yeah, tell us anything we should know.

[00:00:55] Gabriel: Sure. Hi everyone. Thank you for that kind introduction, Josh. I’ve already had a chance to talk with some of you and looking forward to talking with more of you in the coming days and weeks. Yeah, so joined on Monday, I’m from Scotland originally and living in Chicago, USA for 2 years. Before this, I was working for educational software company and wanting to join something smaller, more dynamic. My wife is the type-1 diabetic, so I’ve always been interested in, the kind of glucose monitoring space, and feel a lot of connection with the mission. About me, my hobbies, I like writing, I like cooking. I’m playing around with drawing robots right now, as a hobby. So I put that on the slide. I’m going to begin at Levels, working on the mobile app primarily. I’m hoping to do more, at different levels, of the stack over time. And then for my fun fact, I thought hard about this and decided to go with the time that I was managing an email list for a side project and misconfigured it to send email once a second instead of once a month by mistake, caught it after about 6 minutes. But 6 minutes is quite a long time when you’re sending emails once a second to thousands of people. Yeah, that’s me.

[00:02:02] Josh Clemente: Yeah, we were going to go with a bi-weekly newsletter, starting this week. I think we’ll stick with that one rather than the every second on the second, but high cadence comms. Any questions for Gabriel? Cool. We have the Levels’ cafe set up, which I was able to join my first cafe this week, and highly recommend. That’s a great way to just mix and mingle and chat about stuff as the team grows. And then obviously, please do reach out and set up a one-on-one with Gabriel and everyone who is joining the team as we grow. All right, thanks for taking that slide. Over to your recent achievements – this week, we really had some serious buzz going, as usual at this point, on Twitter. And I always try to balance like, visuals versus words and text on the screen, but the quotes are just overwhelmingly awesome this week, from all different directions. I’ll start with the bullet list here. We’ve shipped 859 all-time beta orders. So we’re getting very close to 1000 original beta orders shipped. We have well over that in in orders, including those that we have not yet fulfilled. But these numbers are getting really strong and  I’ve been, I think on my calls, saying something like 500 or 600 orders shipped and I’m having to adjust by 50% upwards because we’re just pushing quite a bit of volume right now. I want to give a special note here about the GP meetings that we’ve had this week with A16-Z and Sequoia. Sam took these meetings and there was some really compelling stuff coming out of them. You’ll see the quote right here, in the middle of the screen, the information shared in advance was the most impressive they’ve ever seen. And this was coming from one of the funds you probably know about, they’ve likely seen quite a bit of pre-meeting information. So that is just a really compelling vote of confidence in what we’re doing. So awesome work everyone for contributing to that and thanks to attending those meetings.

And then we’re in the final. Sorry, if you can hear that dog, by the way. We’re in the final terms, we’ve agreed on final terms with Dom D’Agostino, who’s a total rock star in the world of metabolic health and neuroscience, and he’s down at the University of South Florida. So, he’s very excited to, basically take a large role in our research trajectory and also our content collaborations. He’ll be publishing monthly information through his blog or on the Levels blog. And then also, we’ll be trending towards an agreement within 12 months to start sponsored research at the University of South Florida through Keytone Technologies, which is the company he runs, it’s a University of South Florida, LLC. And he has some really awesome students and research assistants down there. So very excited about this. He’s got, just a fantastic reputation in the industry. Hopefully when we do get that USF approval, he’ll be able to join a forum or something.

We’ve got the new partnerships landing page was launched this week. This is awesome, there’s a screenshot right here in the middle. But essentially, up until now, whenever we have an affiliate link, they go straight to the purchase page. They didn’t really have context and you can’t quite tell what you’re looking at or what you’re buying necessarily. And so now we’ve got this landing page, which thanks to David, and Nick, and Tom for pushing this out. It’s going to be awesome. It’s basically a version of our homepage, but it allows you to immediately get access by clicking that link and going through to purchase, or you get more information about it. And so we’ll be funneling all of our affiliates through this. Thanks a lot guys for pushing that quickly.

We’ve got our first 4 live EHR consults completed. So as of this week, the EHR is up and running. Still have a few bugs that we’re working on. It’s going to be a, sort of a project going into the future, but it’s awesome to be electronically prescribing directly into the True Pill system. And it’s going to really, in the very short term, free up a ton of resources on customer success. Thank you to Andrew and everyone who’s been working on that, on the backend.

We’ve also done some work, our Standby List, which is a term for the people who have already pre-ordered our product. So even though we don’t have pre-orders per se, where you can go on the website and buy, we do distribute links to allow people to purchase, knowing that they will not be able to get the product until maybe 8 to 10 weeks out. We’ve done some work this week on distributing our Standby List, which is now over 520 pre-orders. And we want to make sure that we have smooth and controlled growth of that. We don’t spike the system and overwhelm ourselves or potentially break something we’re not quite aware of. And also, we want to make sure we have repeatability. So we’re always interested in ensuring that we have a continuation of growth rather than just these spikes and crashes, because obviously that’s not sustainable. It’s really cool to see that we’ve got this list inside a list, but let’s get the systems built that allow us to consolidate our lists into a single, continuous trajectory of growth.

And then, some great progress this week on introducing our bi-weekly newsletter. So this will be going out to the wait list, it’s going to help drive excitement, allow us to distribute content out to those people who are on our 25,000, close to 26,000 person wait-list now. And keep them engaged as we eventually get to the point where we can provide a purchase pathway for them. Also, and I’m angry that my emoji did not show up here. That’s supposed to be a robotic flexing arm, because the weekly emails are now auto distributed according to the customer’s actual status in the program. So we have a series of weekly emails that go out to, basically help people follow along in the program. Week-1 is all about understanding where you are, weeks 2 and 3 are about exploration, week 4 is about optimization. And Mike has been manually timing these emails, based on all the information that he can get his hands on. But it’s insufficient because we can’t quite tell in real-time through that manual technique whether someone has paused, whether they’re actually on track, whether they’ve had a sensor issue, etc… Jeremy in particular, and everyone else who has worked on getting the data set up so that we can do this, thank you. And this is going to be a huge improvement for sure, in Mike’s life, and also in generally automating the program that we’re building here.

Some other things you may see here, some interesting logos, like That 70’s Show, we’ve had some very cool people join our program, not gonna name names, but that’s a little Easter egg there. We’ve got, again some people from Bulletproof who quite high up, I would say, and generally very interesting. So hopefully we’ll see some stuff surfacing on social from those folks in the next few weeks.

We’ve got, in the bottom right there, we’ve been iterating on the performance covers and got some color waves introduced, that I received samples for yesterday and so I’m going to distribute those out. Generally, this is going to be an ongoing project as well. Look out for different colors, send in suggestions, if there’s something that you’d like to see in the performance covers, this is a really key branding opportunity for us. And we want to own and continue to iterate on this in a meaningful way.

And then, check out all of the Peloton comparisons we’ve gotten this week. This isn’t even all of them, but Peloton is a company that has an extremely elegant user interface and user experience. They have a hardware and software play and they’re obviously dominating right now. And so, to be compared head-to-head with Peloton level health and fitness cultishness is one of the highest, sort of compliments we can get. And it happened multiple times. It also seems that we have an instructor out there in the wild using our patch, potentially even using our program, so we need to track them down. But this is fantastic. Shout out to everybody who contributed to all the progress this week. And any questions on what’s on the slide? Cool. And as always, if I missed something, I’m sorry. There’s just a lot happening and it’s sometimes hard to go back and realize, oh yeah, that was this week, not last week. So thanks everybody. Okay, this is a generic milestones-to-track slide for the new people on the call. Basically, the big milestones are, we want to roll out pre-orders, basically in a sustainable way, such that we can get links out and have a distributed Standby List for those people that have ordered and get them the best information about when they can expect to receive their order. And then we want to get launch ready, obviously, for our full feature set, such that we can distribute a webpage where you can go on and anyone can purchase, in the near future. Looking to do that by the end of the year. And then we want to secure a next generation hardware partnerships. So, really had some great conversations this week on this topic as well. And the hardware industry is moving quite quickly. And it’s going to be really awesome because we are the bow wave for that hardware. Without Levels producing the marketplace for general wellness and performance there is no way for a company to produce and confidently introduce next generation hardware for this purpose because no one knows that it matters. And so Levels is the company that is educating the world on metabolic fitness. I think we’re making great progress on that one.

For the weekly beta trends – this is basically information about orders that we’re processing for replacement sensors, subscription sensors, and new orders, and then total shipments. Since the last forum, these numbers don’t perfectly match up with the forum dates, which are the 7th and 14th. So since the last forum, we’ve slowed things down due to our Standby List distribution. And so we’ve only processed 40 orders and 28 shipments, but that’s deliberate of course, and this will ramp back up starting early next week. Sam.

[00:10:32]Sam Corcos: Yeah, so financial, we still have 2.6 million in cash. We’re starting to get a little bit more sophisticated in projecting. These projected monthly revenue figures are people who are on pre-order. So this is not just projected in terms of what we think sales will be, these are actually people who have already paid. So this, assuming no change in the number of people that we allow into the program, there are the revenue numbers that we have already hit. So short of all of these people canceling their orders between now and September, this is what the numbers will be. Next slide, Josh.

Monthly revenue, we’re on track. We’re still keeping revenue steady because we need to make sure that we bring on somebody who can really help us ramp up and understand our channels before we kick things off in a really major way. We’ve been doing a pretty good job of getting people out the door and growth has been pretty organic, but we need to start doing some real measurement of conversion rate from the waitlist. Really understand CAC. Our user acquisition has really not been hard for us. So we haven’t been dedicating very many resources to it, but we really need to make sure that we understand that in the near future. Next slide.

These are a weekly revenue, as always, this is offset by about half the week, because they start on Monday, but this is what the numbers look like. This is a just cash that came in the door from various different channels. The jobs that we’re hiring for, we are looking for a Head of Growth, still working on the job description for that. We have 3 really good candidates for a Head of Operations. If anybody comes to mind, that’s the link to the job description. And Head of Clinical Research, we’re bringing on somebody part-time, probably next week. We’ll be signing the documents today to help us with that, but obviously, as we work through that, figuring out what other candidates are available is really helpful. Next.

And customer engagement. I thought, we have so many positive things happening that I thought it required a slide. These are just people who are talking about the, one is Matteo, top left, who’s, he founded Eight Sleep. And somebody asked him what’s the best resource for metabolic health and he said, “It’s Levels.” That’s something that we’ve really been pushing for. And more examples of, in the middle top there, user generated content. Glenn wrote a really great post on his experience with continuous glucose monitoring and how it really changed the way that he approaches diet and health. And seeing other examples, on the bottom there, of people who are looping Levels in with other really excellent brands.  And it’s just, it’s really good to see that social proof of people really seeing us as the thought leader in the space.

[00:13:30] Josh Clemente: Absolutely. Yeah, I think we’re going to just need a scrolling page for this, at some point, with all the live updates coming in. It’s like sports. Casey.

[00:13:39] Dr. Casey Means: Yeah. Awesome update Sam. So just going to run through a few SEO stats, a little different format today, I’m preparing our updates for our Investor Update for July. Really compiled some of our key growth metrics and so wanted to share those with the team. So first thing, we’re doing great with backlinks. So our content partnerships and content reach has definitely expanded quite a bit over the past 4 months. And we’ve seen a sharp increase in backlinks to our site. This is a key driver of our search rankings and SERPs. You can see that in March, we had 4 new backlinks in the entire month. April, we had 27. May, we had 40. June, we had 62. And July, we had 133. So these are other people, high quality sites, linking to our site. And actually, if you look at total backlinks, these are orders of magnitude higher, but this is just looking at backlinks from new, unique domains. So if there’s multiple links from one domain this is all categorized as one.

We’ve also just been doing great with featured snippets and now have a way of tracking that through a new tool that we’re using, called Ahrefs, to actually see exactly where our featured snippets are on Google. So this is when you Google something and above the search results there’s like a little snippet that Google picks out and the answer to the question. And there’s lots of strategic ways that you can, basically maximize your chance of being a featured snippet. So we’re continuing to align our content, efforts to increase our representations in these featured snippets, so that you’re actually ranking above the first thing on the SERPs. So we’re featured snippets for “What is normal fasting blood sugar for non-diabetic?” We are ranking number one for “glucose weight”, and we are also ranking as a featured snippet for “metabolic fitness”. So some of our key terms, which is fantastic.

In terms of user acquisition, we are seeing a great increase in our percentage and number of users coming to our site via organic search. So our organic search trends of the past 4 months have shown a 16X increase in total users and a 5X % of total visitors to the site. So in April, 5% of the people coming to our site were just searching a term and ending up on Google, I’m sorry, ending up on our site. And that was, net 664 people in April. And as of July, that’s 23% of the people. And since the traffic has also gone up so much, that’s actually 10,000 unique users just Google in some term and end up on the Levels site. Next slide. We’ve also seen our blog traffic continue to grow, doubling since April. So we had 3200 unique page views in April, and 6,500 in July. Also, the average time on each page has almost doubled since April. So people coming to the site will stay on the pages for quite a bit longer than they did in April. 53 is the average time on the pages for the site. Again, for many of our pages, especially our most popular posts, the “Ultimate Guide to Healthy Glucose Levels” and the “Ultimate Guide to Metabolic Fitness”, people are spending an average of 5 to 7 minutes on these pages. And then in terms of Google News, so Google News is starting to recognize our blog as what they consider to be a news outlet and is registering our new blog posts as news articles. Which means that anyone subscribing to Google News is more likely to see one of our blog posts pop up organically. And so now we have over 20 posts featured in Google News. And generally, when we post a new post, they’re all being picked up by Google. So there’s this sort of algorithmic trust that’s being built with Google News. So definitely encourage people to follow us on Google News. And that’s a really good way, other than newsletter and just coming to our site, to see when new blog posts are published. Next slide.

So podcasts – moving strong. Huge shout out to Nick and Tom for so much work on this. And then of course, another shout out to Alex Cunningham for continued awesome introductions to us. And just really a big thanks, to anyone in our network watching this, for any leads you’ve given us. We appreciate it so much. So this is just new updates for this week – so on the left, the first, let’s see, 6 columns are podcasts that are scheduled or already recorded. Then, that second to the left, second to the far right column is new podcasts that were just booked this week. And then we had 2 podcasts, on the far right, that were aired this week. So just in terms of overall metrics we have had 13 shows that have been released, 9 shows that are recorded and unreleased, and 21 that are currently scheduled. And I put 53 there but I believe that adds up to 43. So sorry about that. But really awesome success and we’re just very much on track for our goal of 100 by the end of the quarter. Next slide.

[00:18:16] Sam Corcos: So be clear, those are from this week, not from this month?

[00:18:20] Dr. Casey Means: Go back. The second to the right column is new pods booked this week, the others are the ones that are scheduled or already recorded. But anything that’s been aired, as of last week and is no longer in play, like it’s come and done, is not going to be on this slide. So yeah, the 13 shows that have been released are not on this slide. So this is what’s in play. And then, just to give visibility to the team on some of the neat, sort of like content collaborations and press interactions we’re having – so these are all press outlets that we have been in contact with journalists in the past week. So, Forbes, New York times, Business Insider, BBC, United Nations, Hungry TV, Spartan, and then a number of industry research discussions. But yeah, there are a lot of threads going, a lot of conversations happening, a lot of interviews. And yeah, so lots of exciting stuff coming down the pipeline. And with some of these editors, we’re giving them access to the product, and they’re exploring it and interviewing Josh and I to come up with a piece. But there’s a long lead time on some of this stuff, but we should see some of the fruits of this, kind of coming down the pipeline in the coming weeks. So, exciting to see the interest from top tier news outlets. Next slide.

Yes, so I’ll just encourage you to check out the blog. There’s some new posts up, user testimonials, under our Metabolic Journeys section. Also, a new post on Women’s Health. We also have a new blog redesign coming, that Sam has been working super hard on and that’s on the far left. So we’re going to see a total reformat to the blog, which is going to be really beautiful. And also just really help users understand and work through the blog a lot easier, there’s going to be a search function, it’s going be easier to find categories, it’s gonna be easier to scroll through and load lots of posts on one single page. So it’s gonna have a lot of features that’s going to, just make it a lot easier to learn and engage with the blog. And so we’re super excited about that. And that’s all for me.

[00:20:16] Josh Clemente: Awesome update. Thank you. Yeah, I was on the blog yesterday and realized just how much we have on there. It’s pretty wild. And it is hard to find stuff because there is just so much, and it’s there somewhere, but so that reformat is gonna be great. Any questions on the finance, BizDev and/or content? Cool.

Tom maintains a podcast feedback document so if you do happen to listen to the shows, please share feedback. It’s always helpful for us to have bumpers for the lane to help navigate the messaging. It can be a little bit hard to figure out if the performance was successful, so yeah, try to listen to it as though you are someone who knows nothing about metabolic health. Okay. Mike is going to share a Customer Success Weekly Feedback round up, this is a new slide for us.

[00:21:04] Mike: Yeah, thanks Josh. So, it was another great week of communication with our customers. First and foremost, there’s so much excitement and positivity. I dropped some notes in here. There’s one piece of feedback that I do want to call out, it’s, “Particularly if I eat anything with carbs, I spike. Feels a lot like keto is the only way to control this?” I think many of us have seen that personally, it doesn’t necessarily have to be true. And a lot of our users themselves have seen this. And I’m really excited, like some of the things we have planned with the program cards, to solve and help guide users here. And I think, like 2 things to consider are how we, although we’re not necessarily prescriptive with how to move through the experience, there is, like a suggested way to move through – don’t make changes and explore and then optimize. And then the other thing, and in my conversations, I lean heavily on our Alison Crooks story, who lost, narrowly, I think it was more than 95 pounds going keto. And as you can imagine, was pretty scared of carbohydrates after that experience, and coming into Levels she found that she can eat carbohydrates and remain in ketosis. And then the other person I lean on is Casey and her experiences. Like, I think she actually posted this today, and if we just take a look, she had an apple and there’s rice in there. And I think all of my conversations that I had around this piece of feedback this week, I think either an apple or a rice was included. So I think, how do we continue to effectively communicate like the real beauty of Levels and CGM? To help individuals figure out how to modulate like portions, food combinations and lifestyle behaviors to achieve the lowest glycemic impact of their favorite foods? To find, like the time and the place. And I think that’s a really powerful thing that we need to continue to improve and deliver to our users. And then one final thing, this quote here, I thought it was really cool. This is from, this person’s a physician and he’s a medical director at a pretty well-known a tele-health company and, “Thought it was pretty neat, really great experience. If I had diabetes, I would use Levels.” I have a few more calls today, but that’s all I have.

[00:23:20] Josh Clemente: Cool. Any questions on this stuff?

[00:23:25] Dr. Casey Means: Awesome Mike, thank you so much for putting that together. I think you really articulated, like the next steps for us in terms of the insights and the value we can add to customers. That was really, that was awesome.

[00:23:35] Sam Corcos: Yeah, I really appreciate you keeping a pulse on the customers. That’s been a huge value add for the company.

[00:23:41] Josh Clemente: Yeah, if there’s anything, by the way, throughout the forum, we have these various sections, everyone watching and participating, please share feedback on this stuff. We want to provide, like Sam said, a pulse, for not just the customer, but also the different segments of the organization, the different departments. We’re all moving very quickly and it can be a little bit hard to, I’m sure, keep up with the pace. So if there’s something you’re looking for and want to want a better idea of, please reach out and then also let Mike know how you feel about this slide in particular, and we’ll keep getting better. Okay. Onto product. David.

[00:24:11] David: Yeah, what Mike mentioned about the education cards, that’s in progress. So I’m really excited to get, that was kicked off this week, with John and Jen Lou working on how that can be designed from the engineering perspective. So, we’re underway for that. Things that we launched this week, as Josh mentioned – we’re automatically sending those program emails. So a huge congrats on that, Jeremy and Sam for getting the code out there. Gabriel also pushed out a strenuous exercise explanation page, which is a common question that Mike gets, “What does a strenuous exercise?” Should I use it? Should I not use it? This is a nice incremental change to help explain that. And then we’ve been talking for the last several weeks, improving the pending glucose states, and that was, that’s code complete. We fixed all the bugs and that’s pushed out to Apple for approval as of this morning. So excited for everyone to get that.

Let’s see, and then some of the other in-progress efforts – continued work on improving our data sync integration. Hao has been doing a lot of great work there. It’s looking great. Evan’s been working on some, like some bounds for detecting the dawn effect. So that’s gonna be really useful once the insight framework is launched, we’ll then be able to give you, like a dawn effect card, put that on the graph, help explain that. That’s another common question Mike gets. And then, the better comms for the Standby List that Josh mentioned is underway. Some other upcoming things, there’s a whole bunch of other upcoming things, but just a couple of them to call out – we’re working with designers that Andrew helped find for us, to do some rethinking about how we display zones and their various forms. So particularly on the zone show page, the details page when you tap a zone, how might we better organize our information, improve information density, and make it shareable all at the same time. And then also, as sometimes zones get really big and they’re their card form, so how might we compact that. Or just make it make it a better experience for people to be, at a glance, understanding what that zone is. And then, next slide.

One thing we always wanted to do is compare more than 1 zone. So just a quick call out here – we’re going to be adding a feature soon, for comparing up to 5 zones. And this is really nice. So if you’re into optimizing or if you discover that, like maybe you’re Alison and you try something that is spiking you and you’re like, “Maybe I can try that banana again. Let me try it with some”, I don’t know, “peanut butter. And then let me try it with almond butter.” And you can try, you can see all the different variants on 1 graph and visually tell the story of your progress, through your optimization journey. So the way this will work is in the catalog. You can press the compare button and then select the things you want to compare and then chuck them together. You could, optionally also do a search for something. So let’s say you’d try out a lot of different rice trials, you can search for “rice”, drill down and search those ones for all those specific rice zones and compare them. Next slide.

And for now, what we’ll probably do, is just tack on the extra zones at the bottom of the existing UI with some new colors. But it’s a problem because it’s gonna be so long and you can’t see it all together in 1 page. So as part of that zone rethink with the designers, we’re going to be trying to improve the information density. One idea I had was, an example on the right, where we could collapse every zone into one row and then you can do a horizontal slider between the entries to scroll different things onto the screen. But it’s a tough problem. Just a little snippet into the things I’m thinking about right now.

[00:27:09] Josh Clemente: Yeah, the compare feature has been shared numerous times this past week alone, and we’ve had some really awesome testimonials around it. So that’ll definitely be a key feature to lean into. So, thanks for that update. Any questions on product and design?

It’s also quite a bit of engineering update there. Cause you can see how the projects are progressing and all that is driven by engineering work. That’s, we should probably throw eng in that tagline too, because it’s all 3 really.

Okay. So this week we are gonna move, right, because a lot of the engineering update was in that product update, we’re gonna move straight on to the individual contributions. And so these are, for the new folks at the meeting, this is just a quick, couple seconds on something we’re excited about. We definitely encourage a personal share, something that happened this week, or that you’ve been thinking about a lot. Feel free to make it Levels related if you’d like, and I’ll have Casey kickoff.

[00:28:05] Dr. Casey Means: Sorry, having trouble unmuting. In terms of things I’m excited about, so excited that Gabriel has joined, it was so wonderful to chat with you this week. And just really cool to have our team expanding with such interesting, wonderful people. Thank you so much for joining us and we’re super pumped. I’m also really excited about the part-time clinical research coordinator that we’re bringing on, who I think is going to really help take us to the next level, in terms of managing these research relationships and getting some clinical trials started so we can move towards our goal of showing the efficacy of this product and how it can really help people reverse metabolic dysfunction and improve their glycemic control. So really amped about that. From a personal standpoint, I am heading down, tomorrow morning, to pick blueberries on a beautiful blueberry farm outside of Portland, about 45 minutes. I was going to go a couple of weekends ago but my partner wasn’t feeling well so we didn’t go. So I’m really excited to go down and have some time outside on a beautiful farm tomorrow. And we’re going to take a 60 mile bike ride. And yeah, so I think that’ll be really fun recharge.

[00:29:10] Josh Clemente: Sounds awesome.

[00:29:11] Hao: Personally, we finally booked a spot for camping for next weekend. So I’m looking forward for that.

[00:29:20] Josh Clemente: Nice, John.

[00:29:21] Jhon: I’m excited about the features we are developing now, like the feed or the insight sprint work, the blinking offline mode. I think it’s going to be huge for our customers. And I’m most also excited about having Gabriel in the team. It’s always good to have additional help on the engineering team.

[00:29:42] Mike: Definitely grateful for our ever-growing team. Nice to see projects moving really quickly. The other thing is, every conversation that I have, and if I get connected with another person, it’s that person’s already heard about Levels 3 different times and is excited to get connected with our team. It never gets old and it’s really awesome. And it definitely has not always been that way. So yeah, just grateful and super pumped. Kudos to Tom and Josh and Casey and Nick, for definitely moving that forward, like on the podcast and the content side as well.

[00:30:17] Josh Clemente: Thanks. Evan.

[00:30:20] Evan: So last week, Andrew gave my wife 20 pounds of pasta, and that is way more pasta than we can eat. Because my wife also just got 40 pounds of rice. Plus, we’ve been getting beans, accreting them, so what I did, over this week, is I’ve been reaching out to friends and I’ve been saying, “Do you want pasta? You’re moving? You’re getting pasta as a house warming gift. You’re finishing the semester, pasta gift.” And I’ve been distributing the pasta to everybody, as many people as I can. And so over the week, I’ve been distributing pasta. Over the weekend, I distributed pasta. And that’s what I’m up to. And it’s just really great because everybody’s, “Yay, pasta.” I didn’t really want it per se, but I’m getting it and it’s good. Which is, honestly the best sort of gift. My love language is not gifts, so I’m taking it where I can. All right. That’s my week. That’s my update.

[00:31:08] Nick: Advancing the trend of metabolic disfunction.

[00:31:12] Evan: I’m making more customers. What more do you want from me? This is practically sales I’m doing.

[00:31:17] Josh Clemente: Secure the supply chain.

[00:31:19] Dr. Casey Means: Honestly, Ali Spagnola, no response to pasta. She’s got the Italian gene, so maybe you’re helping people Evan.

[00:31:29] Josh Clemente: That’s true.

[00:31:28] Evan: Yeah okay, okay.

[00:31:30] Josh Clemente: Distributing by ancestral heritage. All right, Gabriel, your first Friday Forum contribution.

[00:31:37] Gabriel: Yeah, I’m so very excited to be here. Thank you for the kind words Casey and Jhon. I’m excited to get to talk with those of you I’ve not had a chance to talk with yet. I’m also super excited to try Levels. Interestingly enough, this is by coincidence, my wife, who’s type 1 diabetic, is getting on a CGM at around the same time as I will probably be trying out the product. So I’ll be able to do, like a direct comparison of my experience versus hers, which will be interesting. And yeah, just excited to get more up to speed and to get contributing more. On a personal level, I had to board my cats last minute yesterday, cause there’s some construction in my apartment. So I’m excited about picking them up at the end of the day today and then hanging out with them again.

[00:32:21] Josh Clemente: Nice. Yeah, it’s always exciting to get somebody onboarded for the first time and hear the stories. The magic moments are typically front end loaded, so keep us posted. Tom.

[00:32:32] Tom: Sounds awesome. On a personal front, I am excited that my oldest brother is having his second baby any day now. So the family is very excited. So this will be my first nephew. I have one niece and the niece is also getting really pumped that she’s got a baby coming home, even though she almost certainly thinks that it’s a doll and not a real baby. So we’re excited about that. And then, I’m really excited that my next batch of sensors arrived last night. I’d gone 2 weeks without using any, one had fallen off and there was a little bit of a delay. And I think it’s just a really good sign, that this is going to be, like month 3 for me and I’m more pumped to use it than I was, even in month 1 or 2. And another perk of this job is that I just got a ton of perfect keto foods, supplements, and snacks. And so, I’m going to go crazy testing all those things. I also got a NutriBullet, so tons of experimenting are gonna happen in the next couple of weeks.

[00:33:27] Josh Clemente: Nice. Lori.

[00:33:30] Lori: Hi, it’s been a while. Boy, things changed in a week or two. It’s exciting to see all these new faces and the numbers are crazy. I have my head down, I think I was talking to Mike yesterday, it’s like, fill orders, track orders, talk to the pharmacy and repeat. But it’s crazy to see what the company’s doing. I’m really excited to be part of this. I’m very excited about the electronic prescriptions coming through. Thank you for your email earlier, Josh. I’m looking forward to that. Personally, I have some kind of weird, late spring fever. So I am going through cupboards and drawers and I don’t know, I’m doing some kind of weird purge, which is probably very good. And possibly, because it’s so hot outside, we’re stuck in the house for the most part. But I’m excited about getting, just my environment changed. So that’s pretty exciting for me right now. I enjoy it.

[00:34:25] Josh Clemente: Yeah. It sounds like a nice little change of scenery going on in the works. That’s great. Sam.

[00:34:31] Sam Corcos: Yeah, the thing that I’m most excited about is just the quality of inbound we’re seeing in terms of hiring. I think Casey used the term, manifesting, where we decided on a Friday that we really needed to hire for this, and we set some loose criteria, and then the candidates we’re getting from ops are equally, just incredibly high quality. And we’re getting just, really excellent people interested in terms of inbound on joining the team. So a very fortunate position to be in. And I’m very excited to see how we build out the team.

[00:35:06] Josh Clemente: Definitely. All right, Nick closing us out.

[00:35:10] Nick: Yeah. Work-wise, I’ve been building narrative Legos for different versions of the pitch for the company. Both for PR, for users, for investors, tackling all the different slices of the things we discussed and trying to position them in a way that anybody can understand. It’s been a lot of fun. It’s nice to have a project to go deep on and be able to focus on. Personally, a couple of things, one is we moved into our apartment, like a couple of days before the lockdown hit, and we just now got to the place where we just decided, “Okay, this is going to last, say a year, what’s our strategy going to be for sort of high risk activities?” So we had the handyman over, I have a bookshelf now. I got a haircut, mask on, an outdoor barber place. So that’s been a huge quality of life improvement for me. And the second thing this week, I’ve just been trying to be very deliberate about things I’m grateful for. And I just wanted to say, as I look through all the faces on the Zoom, I’m thinking about the hours of conversation I’ve had with so many of you and just wanted everybody who I’ve worked with here, to just say how far you’ve moved my life forward and really enriched me. And I’m grateful for all of you individually. So, thank you for all the time we’ve been able to spend together and all the conversations we’ve had. In some cases, before Levels enduring, and then in other cases, obviously, in the last 2 1/2 or so months, so yeah. Thank you all.

[00:36:27] Josh Clemente: Nice. Thanks, Nick. All right. We are right on time here. Casey, I think it’s your week for the weekly share.

[00:36:37] Dr. Casey Means: It is.

[00:36:38] Josh Clemente: Do you need me to do anything?

[00:36:40] Dr. Casey Means: Yeah. Okay. Can you guys see my screen? Yeah? Okay, awesome. Is it showing, like my whole screen or just the presentation?

[00:36:53] Evan: The whole screen. I think, yeah, it’s preset. ****

[00:37:03] Dr. Casey Means: Okay. Cool, and that’s better, right? Thanks guys. Okay, so this is just, I just want to share with you guys one of the craziest things I’ve learned about this summer. People may all know about this already, but I have been totally blown away. So, been doing a ton of hiking this summer of the Pacific Northwest, at Mount Hood, up in Washington. And I’ve been noticing these crazy patterns in the wood of dead trees. And so I’ve been doing a little bit of research on it, and now it’s become an obsession of, basically finding new patterns in the wood. And what we’re looking at here, in this picture, on this first slide, is these little tunnels that are in bark of wood of dead trees. And they’re called beetle galleries. And these are patterns that beetles actually make as part of their mating and reproductive process. So I thought I’d show you a few pictures of the beetle galleries that I’ve found this summer. This is called Beetle Galleries, aka, Nature’s Weird Art, and “Are these alien patterns or reproductive highways?” Okay, so what are beetle galleries? So these are channels created by beetle larvae, boring through wood to create little homes for the winter. So, basically a female beetle will bore a tunnel straight into the phloem. If I’m pronouncing it wrong, please correct me guys. When the phloem is the vascular tissue in plants that conduct sugars and other metabolic products downward from the leaves and then the male follows into that hole. If you can see my mouse, there’s, at the top of this, sort of zig-zaggy pattern here, top left, there’s a little hole. And that hole is where the female would basically bore into the wood. So she goes in there and after mating she lays her eggs in that hole. And when the eggs hatch, the larvae actually create these tunnels and they create, like cozy little nest in the wood, where they spend the winter while they metamorphosis into pupa. And finally into adults. And when they’re ready to leave the nest, they munch little escape holes in the tree, and then they flutter out to make their own way in their beetle life. Beetles are basically drawn to particular trees by pheromones that are admitted as other beetles bore their tunnels. The crazy part is that different beetle types make totally different patterns. And I still don’t have an answer for why, but they are, like not just slightly different. They’re like completely different. So here’s a photo I took at Elk Cove in Mount Hood, which, truly to me, looks like a person did it, but it’s not. These are just, like perfectly spaced horizontal lines in this tree bark and very different from other types of patterns. So you can see, like the Western Pine Bill beetle, on the top right, has this like very serpiginous pattern. You’ve got the Western Balsam Bark beetle has, like a full-on stellate pattern. You’ve got, like these horizontal patterns from the Douglas Fir beetle and the Fir Engraver, so totally different.

And it’s just so interesting to think, like what, in these little, tiny beetle brains are they responding to, to create these patterns? And how is that, like genetically transmitted from a behavioral evolution perspective? I don’t know. So here’s some of the ones that I’ve found this summer, that I’ve been able to really pair with a type of beetle. So on the left, this is actually from this past weekend, up at Snow Grass Flats in Washington, near Mount St. Helens. I finally found a stellate pattern, which I was super excited about. In the middle, this one seems to be a Western Pine Bill beetle, which is that, sort of random serpiginous pattern. And on the right, the horizontal pattern, I think that’s a Mountain Pine beetle. So I am, my goal is to keep finding these and check off the box for these different beetles. And then other, just fun, nature observations from the summer that have, I’ve also been tracking and that makes hikes, like a little bit more interesting and fun, is this concept of nurse rocks and nurse trees.

And so on the left, that’s a picture I took in central Oregon a couple of weeks ago, near Bend, of a nurse tree, a nurse log. So basically, when a tree falls down and dies it essentially becomes a home and food for all these other trees that start to grow on top of it. And then, sometimes you’ll see really interesting root patterns, where it almost looks like the tree is, like the roots are 2 legs, like going into the ground. And what happens there, is that when this nurse log disintegrates, after I don’t know, decades or centuries, essentially the roots that had grown around it or through it are going have those kinds of interesting patterns that you see. And so yeah, so lots of trees growing out of this and really cool visual representation of the cycle of life and the beauty of how nature passes nutrients onto the next generation. And then on the right is a picture of a nurse rock. This is the only photo I didn’t take. But that’s, you can see a tree actually growing on top of a rock. And I’ve been noticing this a lot this summer, but basically, this is evolutionarily advantageous behavior for trees because rocks really change the, they’re like a heat sink that keeps temperature more stable over time and can help trees, basically weather through seasons. So rocks are named nurse rocks because they hold moisture, they lengthen the growing season, they provide some shade, they trap seeds and give them time to root and shelter from extreme winds. And there’s actually a lot of published scientific studies on nurse rocks. So there was one from July, 2020, and that’s this quote up on the top, that, “They provide thermal amelioration in the microclimate at a biotic nurse rock sites.” And they showed that, basically, in this study, that cactuses growing near rocks in the desert helps, basically “Reduce potential exposure to freezing temperatures that could result in injury or mortality to these Cigarro cactuses.” That was just from a recent study. But yeah, fun to see some new, interesting observations and gives me a little bit of a focus on my future hikes to find fun patterns in nature. So that’s what I wanted to share with you guys today. Any questions?

[00:43:00] Josh Clemente: Nice. So I’m curious about the scoring on the exterior surface of the tree. Why don’t they just go straight in? Is that just like a signal channel? What’s the deal with those lines on the outside?

[00:43:11] Dr. Casey Means: You mean like the crazy patterns?

[00:43:12] Josh Clemente: Yeah. Like why not just bore straight into the material?

[00:43:15] Dr. Casey Means: The female bores straight into the material. And so at the end of each of those squiggles is a hole, but then she lays the eggs in the hole. And as the larvae are trying to then escape, they bore the patterns. So the egg laying is just in a little, yeah, a little hole, but as the larvae, basically emerge, they create those patterns. I don’t understand, really what signal they’re responding to, to make a zigzag or a horizontal line or a stellate pattern. But, like in the stellate one, the eggs would all have been laid in the middle and then the larvae are, essentially going outwards. So it’s really interesting.

[00:43:54] Josh Clemente: Yeah. I guess if they’re responding to whatever alien tribal signal they’re receiving from the cosmos.

[00:44:00] Dr. Casey Means: And I feel, like I just watched a couple months ago, a movie that, I think Andrew recommended, which was so freaking good. It was called Fantastic Fungi, highly recommend. And basically, the concept of that movie was like, oh like fungi are controlling us, like that. Like, we are not in control. Like, they are basically controlling our minds and our behavior and our earth and our planet. And I was like, “Wow. Are they like controlling the beetles?” And then looking at mosses, it’s similar to fungi. These are, literally on every ecosystem on the planet and they can survive anything. They can go dormant for hundreds of years and then come back to life with water. There’s some bigger thing going on here. But yeah, this is super fun. Has anyone seen any of these on their hikes before? Is that something you’ve? You have Evan? Cool.

[00:44:47] Evan: Yeah, my brother’s a lumberjack and whenever I visit, he takes me on freelance jobs. So I’ve been like, “Hey, what’s up with this?”And he’s, “These bugs Evan, whatever.” And he’s got like a very folk theory on how this works, but it’s really great to hear the science behind it and, like the tech instead of the [unclear] approach to these groves.

[00:45:07] Josh Clemente: I think what I may have missed is that the, so the exterior patterns are like between the bark and the tree, then that bark falls away and you then see the exposed route. Okay. Cause, why are they like chewing around on the outside of the thing?

[00:45:21] Dr. Casey Means: Yeah, and some… Oh, sorry. Okay. Yeah. And some of them, I don’t usually like to move anything on a tree or whatever. But some of them, I like, lifted up a little bit of bark to actually see like it. And I think if, on a dead tree, you can pull the bark really easily. Like I think, basically for a lot of these trees that would just be covered under the surface. So yeah, these are trees where the bark had fallen off.

[00:45:45] Josh Clemente: Nice. All right, everybody. We’re a little over time here. I appreciate everybody tuning in, contributing, being a part of this every week. It’s a highlight. If there’s any other questions, please feel free to chime in, otherwise, we can all jump out and have a great weekend. Cool.

[00:45:59] Dr. Casey Means: Thanks Josh for leading a great meeting. Bye.

[00:46:01] Josh Clemente: See ya. Thanks Casey.