February 19, 2021

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



Josh Clemente: All right, I want to jump straight into the intro for Kristen Holmes, since she’s on a short schedule here, but I want to welcome Kristen. She’s on the call today. She is our newest member of the research advisory board and an all around badass. I think the bio here speaks for itself, but she’s VP of performance at WHOOP, she’s an All American athlete, one of the most successful coaches in Ivy League history, and also crushing the research side of bringing recovery science to the forefront of everything, from consumer, corporate, healthcare, and sports. Looking forward to learning a lot from her over the next few months and years, and appreciate her being a part of what we’re building here.

Josh Clemente: Kristen, I’d love to hear a little from you.

Kristen Holmes: Yeah. First of all, it’s such an honor to be involved in this journey. I started using Levels, gosh, I guess last January, and really when I came to learn about the technology I was like, “God, this is like the missing piece.” When we think about, I don’t know how familiar you guys are with WHOOP technology, but we measure strain, which is just a summary specific to cardiovascular load recovery, which is your capacity to adapt to stress, and we visualize that on a scale of zero to 100. Then sleep, we dig into your sleep architecture.

Kristen Holmes: My life’s work has really been around understanding the factors that influence human performance. There’s psychological factors and there’s physiological factors, and obviously what you’re putting in your body, the time and the content, the quality, influences everything, right? That is the missing piece to when I’m talking to folks and they’re trying to understand why is my heart rate variability on the lower side chronically? Recovery and heart rate variability specifically feels like a number that’s really hard to mediate.

Kristen Holmes: The biggest, I think, predictor is obviously sleep is massively important, but what you’re putting in your body is. If it’s not sleep, it’s definitely what you’re putting in your body is the next thing. I just found Levels to be mind blowingly insightful. This is for someone who really tracks and monitors everything, and has been for over a decade. To actually find something that gave me another layer of insight, I was wildly excited.

Kristen Holmes: It got me thinking about literally every research opportunity and conversation I would have, I’m just like, “God, if we only had CGM. Ugh, it would just give us another layer of insight to really understand how these individuals are responding and adapting to stress. I think that’s when the conversations between Josh and I started to escalate. I was like, “Gosh, there’s just so much opportunity here for cross-collaboration.” We’re already having conversations now. We’ve got really two studies that we’re already intending to bring Levels into. One is with McKenzie Cohort. It’s 100 top CEOs across the world. We’ve been doing research with them for almost a year now and have preliminary analysis and are ready to ramp up part two. We’re going to add CGM to that data, but it’s really trying to understand sleep, heart rate variability, and executive functioning. I think if we can layer in this other data set, it’s going to be wildly interesting.

Kristen Holmes: Then we have another opportunity, University of California San Francisco, looking at a whole bunch of healthcare providers and looking at, again, how they’re responding and adapting to stress and really trying to create this profile of resilience. Again, being able to add this other data set is going to be really interesting.

Kristen Holmes: I think what’s cool, and I think what we’ve been able to do at WHOOP, is sending up research and helping us understand things about human performance that no one knows. I think we have an opportunity to contribute to the scientific community in ways that have never been done before and, to me, I think that’s what I’m so excited about.

Josh Clemente: Ditto. Excited for it, and appreciate how you’ve hit the ground running already. Looking forward to a ton of huge projects together. Thank you for joining us on the call this morning as well, Kristen. We all appreciate it. Josh Clemente: All right, I’m going to jump back to the recent achievements slide and dive in. Okay, right off the top, we want to get some updates out on the product stuff. Population comparison tools and dashboard V2, both coming along quickly. Dashboard V2 is going to be a significant update to the launch interface of the app. David will give a more detailed breakdown of how that’s coming along.

Josh Clemente: Then population comparison. We have an internal exploration ready for testing, and the intention here is determining how best to show people where they fall on the distribution of the population. This is tricky, because it’s unclear if the distribution of the population, where that falls on health. If you have an unhealthy population and you’re comparing yourself against them, you can very quickly convince yourself that things are great and you’re doing fine, but if normal is unhealthy that needs to come across as well. This is some a complex topic and something we’re tackling right off the bat with an internal move, and then eventually we’ll be able to work something into the future set.

Josh Clemente: We’re piloting a theme tracking project, which goes to this same sort of exploration topic, but Mike will give a bigger update here. The goal is to begin to close loops in a trackable fashion from our member feedback, which is highly valuable. We all read it. It’s great, but then applying closed feedback loops, meaning having a project or a program that will close out that recurring theme of member success feedback. Super excited for this one. It’s going to be, I think, the most powerful bottom up feature driver at the company, potentially.

Josh Clemente: We’ve got pilots for SalesForce. Dr. Allison Hall with USF, the Nutritionist + Levels, and Wearable Challenge cohort 7 all up and running right now. Thank you, by the way, to the operations team for, again, cranking through a bunch of unexpected but much needed deliveries for these pilots we’ve got. There’s a ton to learn here across a whole array of future roadmap stuff.

Josh Clemente: Then we’ve got the V1 IRB, Universal IRB study protocol in draft mode. Many of you have heard about the Universal IRB protocol, but the intention is that we can cover the entire data set with an IRB study that will allow us to define what normal is in the general population, the people that are using the Levels program. We’re structuring this to provide flexibility, scale, and scope. We don’t necessarily know how quickly and how far things are going to change over the next year. We want to make sure this IRB study is strictly beneficial to our growth.

Josh Clemente: Some exciting updates or Casey. She’s going to be lecturing at Stanford in a class that will undoubtedly mention Levels and CGM, and then she’s also going to be guest writing a chapter for Dr. Perlmutter’s new book, which I’m super excited for. Then obviously it’s exciting when the wait list breaks through new barriers. We’re now close to 92,000.

Josh Clemente: On the logo side, we’ve got a few things I want to call out. This week, we had two big pieces drop. One was an opinion piece by Casey in the Hill. I highly recommend everyone reads that, basically just defining the policy challenges to getting better nutrition out there. That was shared by Mark Hymen, Robert Lustig, who also shared our Forbes piece. Well, I say our. John Cumbers wrote about his experience with Levels, which was a big hit and got a ton of attention. Then we’ve just had some major, I think, attention this week, some positive, some less so. We’ll get to that in just a minute, but user generated content still comes flowing in.

Josh Clemente: We’ve got the Mike Barwis collaboration video with a ton of athletes who are using this down in Tampa at the BARWIS Facilities. Definitely watch that video. We’re going to be dropping that on social, soon, and a couple of my favorites are Ryan Fisch, who runs the Real Chalk podcast. He’s a cross fitter and probably the strongest person I’ve ever seen in person. He’s using Levels and loving it, so I’m stoked to potentially chat with him on the podcast. Then Charles Duhigg, who wrote the Power of Habit, is using the program and seems to love it.

Josh Clemente: Beyond that, we’ve had some great conversations with UCSF, as Kristen just alluded to. We are talking with Vessel Health, who has a really cool interpretation algorithm that basically uses QR codes to check additional analytes using the smart phone as the interpretation device. We’re talking about future analyte potential there. Yeah, that’s the big stuff. Some solid customer feedback sprinkled in here as well. Think that just about covers it.

Josh Clemente: With that, I will jump to, I believe he’s on the call here. Moshe, are you on the call?

Moshe Lifschitz: I’m right here.

Josh Clemente: Amazing. I want to hand it over to Moshe, who is an early levels investors. He’s a basement fund. He’s been at several funds, but he’s one of our earliest supporters, and he’s actually one of the first. I think the day that I pitched Sam on levels, I also pitched Moshe on levels, and he was there to see the infamous health drink fruit juice episode, where my blood sugar went to, like, 200.

Moshe Lifschitz: Yes, I was. The one that you got from the cart right outside our office or something.

Josh Clemente: The cart. Please, say some words.

Moshe Lifschitz: Yeah. Thanks for having me here today. It’s crazy to just see that many faces, because I do remember this when it was Sam and Josh, and I didn’t even know what a continuous glucose monitor was. I didn’t fundamentally understand any of this stuff. I actually had been using WHOOP and a bunch of other things, which I still do, and then hearing about what this glucose. I’m like, “What? I don’t have diabetes. This doesn’t matter to me.” And then we started talking more and more.

Moshe Lifschitz: But, yeah, to make a long story short, I was one of the first commitments or checks. The pace at which Levels has gone from two people and an idea with nothing else besides that to where it is today is something that most companies don’t actually achieve at the rate at which Levels is doing it. For all of you who have your heads down in product, in engineering, in ops, in marketing, what have you, you should realize that this is, when I talk to other investors, when I talk to other founders, Levels is constantly the company that people are aspiring to be like from a documentation standpoint, from a velocity standpoint, from a brand standpoint. And, really, I think the more important thing is from a category creation standpoint. This is something that is extremely hard to do as a company, let alone get consumers to believe you as an early stage company.

Moshe Lifschitz: If Peloton came out with a new product, chances are people would believe them that this is the right product, but as an early stage company, to be able to make a movement out of something that was effectively nothing before is really, really impressive. It really hit me that it was even more broadly outside of tech Twitter when I had friends that have no idea what tech Twitter is saying, “Yo, can you get me one of those Levels things? I want to check it out. I’m a health guy.” I’m like, “How the hell do you even know about Levels?” They’re like, “No, I was doing some work trying to understand metabolic health.”

Moshe Lifschitz: It’s becoming real, and metabolic health is becoming a function of Levels, not a function of, “Oh, I went to my doctor and they told me I should probably pay more attention to my blood sugar.” I think it’s a testament to all of you, because I know Sam and Josh are great, but this is not possible without everyone else. I know I’ve worked with David a bunch in the past, and from a product standpoint, the speed at which the product is getting to where it is every single update, every single push, is just impeccable. Engineering is crushing, at least from my point of view, in terms of the ability, shipping new features. Reliability of the app is really freaking good.

Moshe Lifschitz: I really think you guys should realize how impressive the work that you’re doing is, because it’s just not common across all companies. I think just to close it off, I think a lot of people were asking me when you guys were raising your see series A, whatever you guys want to call it, letters aside, “Wow, it seems like this valuation, you think it’s worth it? You think it’s that?” I’m like, “You guys don’t realize, I think this is a $100 billion company.” I know I’m an inherent optimist, always, because that’s just how I am, but when I think about all the different inputs that Levels is able to achieve, whether it’s data, consumer subscription, brand heat, new category creation, the opportunity is really freaking big. I just can’t think of a better team to tackle it. I am as happy as can be. I’m just upset that I didn’t put more money in at the time that I met Sam, and I was supposed to, and then I don’t know what happened. Anyway, I made up for it and I added from basement fund, and I’m sure there’ll be more opportunities down the line.

Josh Clemente: Moshe, thank you. I got to say, it’s awesome to be having this conversation right now. It definitely brings me back, and it wasn’t that long ago. It was like a year and a half ago that we were sitting in the conference room.

Moshe Lifschitz: I think that’s the point. Freaking year and a half. This is just not a- I have so many other companies that I invested in before and after, and they’re just nowhere near the velocity. You guys, really, seriously. It’s not a joke and you should all be really proud of yourselves, because it takes a village.

Josh Clemente: Yes, it does.

Moshe Lifschitz: It’s awesome.

Josh Clemente: Thanks a lot. Exciting to have two special guests on one call. Thanks, both of you. It’s always great to hear the outside perspectives. We get stuck in our loops here in the company, and it’s awesome to hear this feedback. It’s super inspiring.

Josh Clemente: To close the loop on the attention we’ve gotten this week, I highly recommend everyone read the memo Sam put together about how Levels and the Type I diabetes community can essentially support each other. Obviously, we had some attention from a few individuals who really don’t seem to understand the mission of Levels just yet. That’s to be expected. We’re still building our messaging platform. We’re still growing. We’re still trying to get all the pieces in place. This is inevitable. We’re going to get people who don’t quite understand us, but I think the key point is that what we’re doing, what we’re focusing on, is aligned in every sense of the word with the entire metabolic health spectrum and our goals of increasing CGM accessibility and innovation will support everyone who needs this technology, whether to manage an existing condition or to prevent a future one or to just maintain optimal health and performance. Definitely read that memo. Share any thoughts, questions, concerns, and yeah. There will be many opportunities for us to improve our messaging and the way that we present. Let’s just keep doing that.

Josh Clemente: All right, over to David or Andrew.

David Flinner: Awesome. Cool update this week. First off, can you hear me? I’m doing a new audio thing. We’re good?

Josh Clemente: Yep.

David Flinner: Okay, great. One of the big focuses we have right now, as Josh mentioned, is the second iteration of the dashboard. Our current dashboard is excellent about closing the loop in real time, about how your activities affect your metabolic well being, but it’s a really rigid surface. We don’t want to solve all problems on that one surface. We want to have a more qualitative surface that helps people at a glance understand how they’re doing and meets them where they’re at on the program, helps them understand what’s up now and what to think about for today. Then, also, another canvas that can really deep, really quantitative, and double down on that behavior loop closing feedback system.

David Flinner: Last week, I showed this slide. You can see some of the early concept mocks on the left. John was iterating very quickly on a new dashboard, focused on two tabs, and being highly performant. Next slide, Josh. You can see on the right here, this is the in progress change from last week. It’s loading live data. You can take a squint at the graphics right now. It’s not final. This is an in progress effort, but you’ll see here that there’s this one page, it has the glance card at the top where the goal there ultimately is to let you know how you’re doing at a glance without knowing how to interpret glucose data. Then below that, we’re featuring front and center all of your insights for the day, your alerts, the program steps, education next steps, things like that.

David Flinner: Then we want a buttery smooth interaction between that glance card graph and jumping onto the stats page, which is that second tab that you’ll see down below. The final state of this is going to be up for discussion. This is just an exploration, but I think directionally it looks awesome right now. One of the really cool things about this is that John reimplemented the back end architecture for this such that it’s super smooth, both on iOS and Android. Historically, our Android implementation has been very, very slow. It just hasn’t been an exceptional experience, and speed is a feature. The more we can reduce friction, the more people are going to use our app and get personal insights that matter to them in the moment. Excited for you all to try to test this out, hopefully sometime maybe mid-next week.

David Flinner: Next slide. This is an ongoing explanation. We have some of the scaffolding for that new dashboard. What we’re thinking through next is, okay, you saw that glance card at the top that had the dial and the glucose line. I’m not sure that we’ll end up with a dial and a glucose line, but we’re playing around with concepts like, how do we make this glanceable and give you a quick experience without trying to tell all the details.

David Flinner: You see here two concepts. One is an image based background. You can see this in annotations of the dial. Like, hey, today was great. You can play around with that. Down below, it’s more softer and muted colors that might come in based on how the line is shaping up. Next slide.

David Flinner: Something else on the surface. You’ll imagine that our members will open up the Levels app every day and they always know what to do next, and what’s most important, you can see right front and center on the dashboard as well as that glanceable look. You can see some concepts here. This is not in the engineering stage yet. I’m still thinking through what is the right design for this, but you’ll see some concepts on the right for how that dashboard might stack up. Maybe you just earned a metabolic diploma or something, so you get a nice, quick reward in the morning with the insight card. You get your yesterday’s report. You can see how your sleep went. You can see how yesterday was in comparison to what’s on tap for today. Then some of these education sections and program sections that always give you more opportunity to get more value out of Levels and to take the next step in your journey towards metabolic awareness on the right.

David Flinner: Next slide. What I’m currently digging into now on the product side is what is that education and program experience going to look like? There’s two main things to this. One is kind of like metaphysically, what are the messages that we want our members to hear and to leave Levels with that are going to help them ultimately succeed in making healthy changes? And then informing them as to whether their choices are good or bad, where they’re at in their metabolic health, and what they can do to succeed and improve.

David Flinner: I’m working with Haney and Casey and the rest of the team to align on those messages first. Once we have those messages, we’re going to try to slot them into that program journey experience such that on day one, you learn this; on day two, you learn that. We had a really great start to this with the insight card framework, with the day-by-day education material. Although, right now, those are linking to long form blog posts. Right now, we’re taking a V2 to that. We’re trying to just do, “Okay, what are the core messages that we want to leave with people?” If we can crystallize that, it’ll be really easy for us to make beautiful videos that people can watch, or animations, and then slot that into the product in an elegant way.

David Flinner: Beyond that, trying to think through the interactions on what do you see on the dashboard? If you don’t want to read the article we present to you, how do you know what is next in the recommended list? How do you know what you should do this week and the next week? Thinking through some of the information architecture and affordances on how we might show people what’s on tap for today, let them skip ahead, that type of stuff. This is still in progress, but that’s what I’m thinking through right now. Next slide.

David Flinner: Separately, on the subscriptions front, Jeremy made some awesome progress this week and we can now automatically, from Stripe, Stripe will inform us when we should be creating a new order for one of our subscription members. That’s huge. That’s phase two in the subscription effort. The next step is taking that order that Levels now knows should be fulfilled, and automating the fulfillment of it through Truepill. There’s a slightly separate data structure that we have for these Stripe subscriptions versus what we have live today. I believe Jeremy will be working on that next and perhaps we’ll have some sort of production test next week.

David Flinner: Excellent progress here and this is going to be huge for the ops team in alleviating all the manual charging and fulfilling that they do. Next slide.

David Flinner: On the Day Score V2, I talked about this last week, but I wanted to give a few updates on some of the cool work that we’re doing in preparation for it. Xinlu was working this week on API changes that do a whole bunch of things. This is not user facing yet, but we’re laying the groundwork for some changes that will make the app a lot better and make it a much more consistent experience, both for our engineering team and members, in terms of how they interact with data that’s aggregated on the day level.

David Flinner: These are new APIs that we can use that the front end can then call and say, “Hey, get me all of the average glucose for Josh,” or for this set of users, this set of members, and it’s going to enable things indirectly, like letting the calendar picker show all of the glucose days quickly, going back as far in time as we want to. It’s also going to enable things like population comparisons, leaderboards, et cetera, where you’re comparing one day versus another.

David Flinner: The challenge was previously, and in the current launch version, a day is calculated based on whoever’s viewing that day in the app, but there is no universal concept of a member’s day. This was related to time zones, but now there’s a consistent way to represent, like, I’m on the East Coast, maybe Andrew’s on the West Coast. Each of our perceived days are different, but now when the data returns it’ll be David’s perceived full day and Andrew’s perceived full day, and you can compare apples to apples instead of pegging everything to a single time zone, essentially. This work was really awesome, and it’s going to be one of the foundational pieces for the future work on the Day Score. Hopefully I got that directionally right. I think this is going to be a big win.

David Flinner: Next slide. Offline mode is internally launched, so thank you Maria for that. That’s going to be hugely helpful. That should go out with the next build. Again, sorry, no good screenshot to show here, because it’s just kind of [inaudible 00:24:25] across the app. Next slide.

David Flinner: And then Maria started working on the Sleep Details Page. This is sort of like the zone show, the zone details page, but it’ll be for sleep. When you tap on one of those sleep icons in your graph for now, you can then load a full details page and you would get a chart that shows the duration of your sleep and how your glucose was, and then some custom sleep specific metrics, because those are more relevant to sleep than our zone related metrics. How many hours did you sleep, what was your average glucose throughout it, and then what was the waking glucose are the three that I’m proposing for now. If you have more ideas, let me know. We can iterate.

David Flinner: Next slide. Hal has done some awesome work on population comparison. This is exciting to see come to life. As Josh mentioned, right now we’re in the fundamental question phase. We’re trying to use data to answer some fundamental questions about what is helpful for people to see around population comparisons, is there any signal we can find in the data that will be really interesting? We certainly get from our members a lot of questions around where do I fall in relation to my peers, and we’ll be diving into this data over the next week or so. Yeah, you can jump into Slack and find a link for this. Let us know what you think.

David Flinner: Next slide. Gabriel’s still working on the long zone analysis, and one other big change to report was there was a bug fix that Hal did on, the weekly report wasn’t delivering in certain scenarios. That is now fixed and we’re getting weekly reports again. I think that covers it for the week.

Josh Clemente: Awesome. Comprehensive. Thank you, David. All right, quick note on hiring stuff. Running processes for designers, software developers. We’re still gathering intel for the general counsel role on what exactly we need. Generally, we are also exploring options for an applicant manager. Notion does a lot of things well. This one, we’re going to have to probably bring in a tool for. Please continue to keep the candidate tracker updated until we release the new tool. Thanks to [Miz 00:26:32] for leading up that search.

Josh Clemente: All right, Mike.

Mike Didonato: Thanks, Josh. It was another big week of connecting with our members. I will go ahead and include that in the weekly write up later this evening, but I just wanted to quickly give an update about a project that we’re working on. I’ll also shoot an email out about this with a link to the Notion page, but as we all know, from the early days our app and experience has been driven around our member feedback, from the David then Mike bot, up through today. We capture this feedback a few different places, primarily in the meeting note section of Notion. Then we’ll do the weekly write up.

Mike Didonato: But as we continue to scale and develop, we’ve been trying to think about, we tell people that we love closed feedback loop systems for our health and our member feedback process, it just seems like it was just a little bit too open. The thought here is trying to connect the dots. If you can see on the table, there’s the theme, there’s tags, and then there’s stakeholders and a status. The thought is a column on the left will have the theme, and then when you open that notion page we’ll have relevant call notes and any interactions, whether it’s on Help Scout or the various social media platforms. Then tags, whether that’s member feedback or content.

Mike Didonato: The hope here is that we get a lot of feedback, but searchability can be difficult. We want to be able to, anyone at the company, whether that’s David, Haney, or anyone on the eng team, can see what’s happening and then a status. The status, it doesn’t necessarily mean that we’re going to solve it today, but it’s just an easy way to inform everyone on the team.

Josh Clemente: Nice. Yeah, I think this is going to be. Of course, as with everything, it’ll be an iteration. This is MVP. Definitely need feedback from the team on how this is being used, how this could be more useful. Thanks, Mike, for putting this version together and getting it out there. Okay, Miz.

Michael Mizrahi: Cool, yeah. I’ll keep going on that note. I think that’s one of the things I’m most excited about on the ops side is plugging into that table and capturing those member themes. It’s very easy for us to do hundreds and hundreds, I think we’re up to 1,000 Help Scout tickets a week. We’re having plenty of conversations with members. There’s a lot of really great feedback in there, both positive and constructive. Making sure that that actually gets over the finish line.

Michael Mizrahi: Braden, Mercy, myself, we’re very well versed in what those common issues are. We need to make sure that everyone across the team feels that with the exact same level of clarity, just knowing off your fingertips what are members top issues, what do they care about, where are the pain points? Instead of us just, “Oh, we’ve seen this before. Let’s solve this question. We know how to handle it.” We need to make sure that we’re actually capturing that and getting it back into the company, pumping it right back into the blood.

Michael Mizrahi: That’s a huge effort. Thanks, Mike, for putting a foundation together. We’re really excited to plug into it and bring out all that pretty valuable information and keep us moving quickly. We’re not this big company that needs to iterate on that. In quarterly cycles, we can get feedback and implement it within a few days, a week or so, or something like this. That’s very exciting.

Michael Mizrahi: Shout out to Mercy, group fulfillment orders. Just want to give you a quick recognition. I think Josh mentioned it at the top of the call. We’ve had a lot of special projects, three different research studies, the nutritionist pilot, Wearable cohort 7, 150 SalesForce employee wellness program coming through. A lot of different projects to track and orders to make sure they get delivered on the same time, so that those programs can run effectively and on time. Thanks, Mercy and Braden for running those pretty well over the last week or so, or few weeks, rather.

Michael Mizrahi: Quick glance at the two charts on the right. Top right you have our total shipments for the past few weeks, so quite a busy week last week. Then this upcoming next few weeks are busy as well. We have that big SalesForce push and a bunch of other promos coming our way. We’re prepared. We’re going to start hitting some highs that we haven’t hit before on the fulfillment side, but very much ready and looking forward to it.

Michael Mizrahi: Truepill implemented some additional QA on our request, so they’re going to start, or they have started in the last few weeks spot checking a number of packages a day with full photos that then get sent to us at the end of each day, just to make sure that the packaging is as we expect it to be. Everything’s in the right order, stickers are in the right place. We’ve had some hit or miss issues, but on the whole I think we’re trending in the right direction there.

Michael Mizrahi: Active subscribers grew 20 in the last week, and then we have that SalesForce pilot, which runs for three weeks. We’re going to add 150 three month subscribers to our 600 or so. It’s a pretty big increase there. Can’t wait for subscription product to get us through that, because that’s a pretty significant lift coming, but we’re ready to do that if we need to.
Michael Mizrahi: Then we’ve started tracking some cancellation reasons. Very small number of cancellations to use data off of, and I think we’ve got about 20 that we’ve tracked so far in the last two weeks. About 10 a week are canceling for a bunch of different reasons. Some of the ones that we’ve seen so far, I’m falling behind, I took a break and now I’m drowning in sensors. I’m two months behind and so I want to pause for now. We’ve gotten a few of the, “I’ve learned enough, I can take it on my own. I enjoyed the experience,” positive feedback, and then taking a break, intend to return. Only one cancellation was due to cost, at least stated, and then a bunch of folks don’t necessarily share a reason or just want to cancel for now.

Michael Mizrahi: We’ll continue to track this, I think, around refunds, around cancellations, really understanding why those are happening is important so we can improve the experience and the product all around. Expect us to pay a lot more attention to that in the new few weeks. That’s it on the ops front from this week.

Josh Clemente: All right, thank you, Miz. All right, Ben.

Ben Grynol: All right. Growth, we’re going to talk a little bit about some of the financials and dig in. We don’t do this week over week, so this’ll be a bit of a primer. Week over week, we see that we’ve got roughly $10.5, $10.6 remaining in the bank. What that means is, unlike other startups that tend to have a bit higher burn rate, week over week, the cash in the account should go down. That’s the nature of startups, but we’ve been in a very good position as far as cash generation goes week over week. The amount of revenue that we are generating is allowing us to sit in a pretty nice, sustained position.

Ben Grynol: What this means is that if we were to remain in this steady state, not that we will forever, but we’ve got an incredible amount of runway. Years of runway. Two plus years of runway at the current burn rate we have. We’re in a healthy position from a cash standpoint.

Ben Grynol: From a recognized revenue standpoint, we continue to have a goal of $300,000 per month that we’re trying to hit. You can see we’re at $332 right now of recognized revenue. What that means is that when we get orders every week, we’re not actually recognizing them. In order for us to recognize the revenue, a person has to go through the full flow and be approved, go through the physician flow and be approved, so that they’re at the fulfillment point. That’s when we recognize this revenue. We’ve got a deeper pipeline of orders that Miz is somewhat flexing the controls on to let through as many people as we can through the gate, knowing that we have to balance it with immediate needs like a big SalesForce pilot coming in or VIPs. That pipeline continues to grow and that’s why you’ll see recognized revenue be different than the cash we generate each week.

Ben Grynol: Next slide, please. Weekly revenue, this is the cash. This is the number of orders that we’ve generated. It’s at $54,000, and what we do know is when we look at attribution, we see a lot of growth coming from our affiliate partners or from pretty large tent pole moments, like Josh or Casey being on a prominent podcast. We didn’t have as many of those this past week, but what we do have is a pretty good sweep moving forward. We’re also being cognizant of balancing that with some of the others ops fulfillment needs that we have, like SalesForce. That’s what the $54,000 in cash is.

Ben Grynol: Next slide, please. Data and analytics. Quick highlight on partner codes. It’s interesting to see that Ben Greenfield generated 28 partner code conversions this week. $11,000 of revenue, and that’s linking back to some of his previous content. You can see that there’s this flywheel that’s starting to happen where week over week, Hyman, Greenfield, Kelly, they’re trickling in all of these partner codes that are actually helping to generate a substantial amount of our meaningful revenue that we generate each week.

Ben Grynol: One other highlight on data and analytics. We started trying out LinkedIn as a platform, which we’ve talked about previously, and hat tip to Casey for this great article, but you can see the posts. We did or retweet on Twitter, and then on LinkedIn we just did a general organic post. There’s an 8.5% ER. That’s engagement rate. That is incredibly high, incredibly high for engagement rate. Average engagement rate will be .5, very low. What it means is that LinkedIn as a platform is getting us really good reach, but we’re also, even though it’s a small audience that we have, we’re getting pretty good engagement from them. They like hearing from us there and it’s a nice platform where we can start to be more strategic about the content that we put out.

Ben Grynol: And then last slide, please. Growth updates. You’ll see Sam got the transparency strategy memo over the line, which hat tip to him, because that was very thorough on coordination. It’s a really, really great doc. Forecasting, working on some growth forecasts related to revenue. Pretty complex modeling when you start to think about how our future might look like. That’s coming together.

Ben Grynol: Then the last, from the assets standpoint, website updates are underway with Eduardo. We’re doing packaging exploration with a couple of different agencies right now, and then the Branded pod. There is a new release with Josh and Casey. That’s it for growth.

Josh Clemente: Awesome. Thank you, Ben. All right, Mercy. Rapid update on social.

Mercy Clemente: Combining these into one slide. Instagram, we are at 21,000 followers. Twitters, we broke 11,000 this week. One common theme this week on both channels were habits, and how changing your habits and creating habits can make lasting change, which can then spill over and create changes in the rest of your life, which kind of relates to Levels’s whole mission of the goal is to reverse the metabolic disfunction. It’s cool to see, especially this top right photo, how he’s saying the instant feedback gives him the habits to then go ahead and make other small changes in this life, which can then give him lower numbers day to day and a higher overall percentage rate for his daily score. That was really interesting to see throughout the week. That’s it.

Josh Clemente: Cool. Thank you. All right, Tom.

Tom Griffin: All right, quick podcast update. Couple released this week, three recorded, and we’ve got a really strong pipeline of top tier shows over the next couple of months. Main update from last week is that we added WHOOP to the list, which we’re really excited about.

Tom Griffin: Just a reminder that, while some of these shows are generating revenue, the real goal of them is to increase awareness and education around this space, and really push metabolic health and levels into the cultural zeitgeist. I’m not sure if Josh mentioned this since live one, but just a very small example of this listening to the CEO of Aura on a podcast yesterday and he started talking about personalized nutrition and mentioned a Weissman Institute study, which has been one of our key talking points. I thought that was really cool and interesting. If Harpreet is talking about glucose and personalized nutrition, then we’re doing something right on our end.

Tom Griffin: Next slide. All right, upcoming influencer events. As a reminder, this slide is specifically highlighting partners that are generating revenue for us, whether it’s a podcast interview or an ad or an Instagram post or a blog post with an affiliate link. That’s what’s included on this slide. The next four weeks is here. The biggest note is that starting next week, we’re going to have a small Bulletproof sprint, Dave Asprey. Starting with Josh’s podcast interview going live, followed by a back catalog ad running on all their historical podcasts, and then a blog post that Casey ghost wrote for Dave. Lots of exciting stuff here.

Tom Griffin: Next slide. All right, the BARWIS partnership video is complete as of yesterday and we’re really happy with the way it came out, especially on a relatively tight turnaround. Only just a few months from initial conversations and the athlete testing to a completed video. It’s our first partnership and video that’s highlighting the application of CGM in physical performance, particularly at the elite level. The goals of a video like this are a few fold. Social proof. When the best athletes and performance experts on planet Earth are using Levels, that pretty immediately validates the product, the technology, and the company, especially for those that are less familiar with the space.

Tom Griffin: Branding, as we all know, pro sports are very culturally valued. While professional sports is not maybe our initial target market in terms of customer acquisition revenue, pro athletes are going to play a small but critical role in helping us build a premium brand that general consumers aspire towards. Then, lastly, education. Just helping to tell this story more fully of why athletes optimizing physical performance should care about metabolic health markers like glucose. That’s about it.

Tom Griffin: All right, then lastly, quick update on other partnership stuff. SalesForce is off and running. Seventy-six sign ups so far. SalesForce was surprised at the level of interest. I think we’re outpacing the other vendors, so that’s a good early sign for a new population for us. Equinox trainers are beginning to test and there’s a lot of excitement. They’re posting on social media, multiple of them, and they’re announcing it, like we’re already partnered with Equinox, which typically these trainers do not do. I’ve had experience with them, so it says something about just how cool of a brand we are that they want to announce Equinox X Levels on all of their Instagram accounts.

Tom Griffin: Then, lastly, we just had a few fun VIPs come into the program this week. A couple of celebrity trainers I’ve had calls with and are starting to use Levels. These people train everyone from Ben Affleck, Gal Godot, Scarlet Johansson, Hugh Jackman, so they got a lot of awesome relationships in the Hollywood Space. Excited to see how that pans out. Then a couple of very high level cross fitters, as Josh mentioned on slide one. That’s it.

Josh Clemente: All right. Thank you. Casey?

Casey Means: Awesome, yeah. Just going to run through a few of our press wins this week. We contributed to a number of great articles that came out. The first was Eat This, Not That. This was 14 Best Foods for Better Workout Results. We threw them a curve ball there and gave the example of eat nothing and focused on fasted workouts for building metabolic flexibility. We were also in Well To Do as one of the top 10 wellness trends and brands to watch. Next slide.

Casey Means: We had this incredible feature in Forbes. Thank you, John Cumbers. He’s been using Levels, he probably started fall of last year, so this is a long time coming. He’s been incredibly engaged and invested in learning as much as he can. Big, big thanks to John for that. As Josh and Ben mentioned, we also had this Hill article and opinion piece that I wrote that got some good traction on social media. Robert Lustig and Mark Hyman shared these on Twitter. Mark Hyman shared the Hill article on Instagram to his 1.2 million followers. Really great traction there. Next slide.

Casey Means: Upcoming press, we’ve got a lot of great things in the pipeline. Mindbodygreen article on Levels, a press release on Dr. David Perlmutter joining our advisory board, the Dave Asprey blog post, many other things, and then a lot of external speaking events coming in. These are coming in now, rapidly inbound, including the Stanford lecture on Levels and CGM next week. We’re going to have an A16z Clubhouse with Jeff Jordan and Vijay Pande, our investors, multiple other Clubhouses. We’re being involved in a Fit2Fat2Fit webinar on weight loss and CGM. Part of MITs Wearable Device in Healthcare conference. Number of things coming up.

Casey Means: Just big picture, the purpose of our investment in developing relationships with journalists, press, and pursuing these external events is twofold. The first is, of course, in support of our efforts to define and amplify the message of metabolic dysfunction, and this is in support of generating the movement that Levels is synonymous with. Also, to create a profile of Levels as the dominant thought leader in the metabolic health space.

Casey Means: The second piece is for growth purposes, of course. This is creating really strong back links that will boost our search engine optimization for the Levels web presence, and then also driving people towards our social media. That’s really where a lot of this investment in press and in these events comes from. It’s great to see lots more inbound coming in. Great opportunities.

Josh Clemente: Awesome. Thank you, Casey. Okay, SEO update. SEO article. Haney.

Mike Haney: On the content side, there’s been a couple of pieces of content. The piece that went up this week called What is Glucose? I mentioned in the Slack post about this, that it was created to appease the SEO gods and just a little bit on why we’re doing that and what that means. SEO basically means driving organic traffic to the site. It’s actually the biggest driver of traffic to the site, both to the site and to the blog, and growing. Doing things on the blog that will help increase that are really good, and that means both writing articles that match what people are looking for, but also writing articles that will help what’s called our domain authority, which basically means when Google looks at our site, does it think we’re an expert site and a trustworthy site. That helps with our ranking for all articles. When it’s deciding where to rank, say, our natural sweeteners, we have better domain authority, we rank higher.

Mike Haney: Part of what determines your domain authority is having these kind of very thorough, complete pieces, usually centered around phrases like what is, or how to. This is the first of more articles you’re going to see around what is some core concept, what is metabolic health, and even some of our existing articles we’ve retitled into what is CGM, what is insulin resistance. That screenshot on the right is just the tool that we use that helps us write things in a way that is very SEO friendly. It tells us what terms to use, et cetera, and gives us a letter grade.

Mike Haney: Next slide. Other quick update. We’re adding, we now use fact checkers for all of our articles. This is something I wanted to add since we came in. I got a little screenshot on the right there that shows what those folks are doing. What they’re primarily focusing on for us right now when they review an article is to make sure we’re interpreting the studies correctly. We cite tons of studies for all kinds of facts that we do, but studies are very complicated and it’s easy to misinterpret them or to leave out some important detail. Now we’ve got this extra layer. This really just helps to make sure we’re being as thorough and complete and high quality as we can.

Mike Haney: On the left, we’ve added back in medical reviewers to the site, next to the byline. This was there and it broke, and now it’s back. This actually helps both with authority with our readers, but also with Google. Google sees that we have medical reviewers on our articles, or expert reviewers, and it helps our search ranking. We’ll be expanding beyond just Casey as the number of people who can review our pieces. Next slide.

Mike Haney: The last thing, just an update from this week’s newsletter. We did another AB test, and the reason we are doing these AB tests is that we’re going to put some real focus in the newsletter, what I’m calling newsletter 2.0, in the coming couple of months. These are learnings to try to figure out as we think about the newsletter and changing it and growing it, what are people interested in? Overwhelming results from this week is people sure do like their nutrition tips. That click through rate on the breakfast is the highest click through rate we’ve ever had, and just insanely high for a newsletter. I’m blaming my terrible headline writing on why Este didn’t get more clicks, because it’s a great story and we love her. But we’re excited that the breakfast piece did so well.

Mike Haney: That’s it for me.

Josh Clemente: Awesome. Okay, I’m going to skip over most of this. We’ve got several potential studies in exploration, several in work right now. Looking into executive performance, military readiness, surgery staff recovery. Overall, the goal, again, of our research is to continue to put the Levels technology out there in the hands of people who are studying its efficacy for even highlighting, so just recognizing that trends exist and the correlations between potentially negative and/or positive outcomes, which will then unlock future research, which will be more intervention focused. Demonstrating the efficacy of the product itself to intervene and change behaviors for a desirable outcome. That’s about it on the high level stuff there.

Josh Clemente: Real quick, we’re running a bit behind. Haney has a really awesome share that I’m stoked for, so if we don’t get through this stuff fast enough, I’m going to ask Haney to share that next week, because I want to make sure that he has plenty of time. I’m just going to preface with that.

Josh Clemente: Ten seconds on something that we’re each excited out.

Mike Didonato: Levels front, super excited for the new day, excuse me, not the new day score, the new dashboard, and then also to have Kristen on board. She’s awesome. Then, personally, I escaped the ice storm and I got to warmer weather. I am on the West Coast right now for a few weeks. I despise cold weather, so I’m super pumped to be on the West Coast and be with my family.

Josh Clemente: Awesome. It is icing here. Mercy.

Mercy Clemente: Professionally and personally, my Levels merch is supposed to come in today, so I’m hoping the snow doesn’t delay that. That’s what I’m excited for.

Josh Clemente: Sweet. Post pictures of the merch when everyone gets it. I think mine’s stuff in the ice storm, too. Casey.

Casey Means: Yeah, professionally, loved doing the Branded Levels podcast with Josh and Ben today. It’s such a professional setup already, and it was really awesome and a fun conversation. Then personally, I’m going to the driving range tomorrow. Working on my golf game. Excited about that.

Josh Clemente: Nice. Miz.

Michael Mizrahi: On the work side, excited about the fact checkers. I think that’s awesome, Mike. It’s nice that we’re not just using these studies willy nilly and just publishing whatever, but there’s some depth behind it and some seriousness. Just super happy to see that.

Josh Clemente: Stacy?

Stacy: Personally, excited to meet up with some friends from New York for dinner tonight, and then professionally, it’s just exciting to see Equinox folks sharing so enthusiastically, in especially Instagram.

Josh Clemente: Sorry. My computer is switching things on me. My audio is screwed up, so sorry. Dom.

Dominic D’Agostino: Excited about many things on the research front. It’s 80 down here in Florida, so I’m excited to do some outdoor stuff this weekend with friends.

Josh Clemente: Nice. All right, I’m feeling super energized about research stuff. I’ve had some really great conversations this week. Kristen is bringing a whole host of hype into the conversation, and she’s a machine. Yeah, there’s a ton we can do and learn from these other companies that are further along, and I’m looking forward to it. Then personally, going to be trying to move back to Philly this weekend, which is both a good and a bad thing, because I hate moving. But hopefully the outcome is worth it. Ben?

Ben Grynol: Super pumped on Casey’s article and the Forbes article this week. I thought those were great. Then personally, been really enjoying the HVMN bars. They are awesome.

Josh Clemente: All right. Tom?

Tom Griffin: Super excited about Kristen joining. I think she’s going to just accelerate the hell out of our research efforts, but also relationships generally and partnerships. Pumped about that. Personally, I’m going to do everything I can to reacquire heat this afternoon.

Josh Clemente: Good luck. Haney?

Mike Haney: Professionally, I’m really excited about all the product updates, the new Day Score, the new dashboard, all that kind of stuff. Just seems like it’s going to be a real exponential leap in people understanding stuff better. Personally, I’m excited because yesterday I made my first Andrew omelet without browning the egg, and I feel like that was a real achievement weeks in the making.

Josh Clemente: Love it. Hal?

Hao Li: I ordered a new coffee brewer called Hario SWITCH. I’m really excited to receive it today. Just play with it. J

osh Clemente: Awesome. Sam?

Sam Corcos: For me, I was going through our old investor updates from a year plus ago and it was- Sorry about this background noise. I’m in Florida and it’s very aggressively raining. It was really exciting just to see the amount of progress we’ve had in terms of team and product. I was really surprised to see where the product was even just six months ago and how far we’ve come.

Josh Clemente: Gabriel.

Gabriel: Yeah, I’m also really excited about the dashboard they’ve been working on. Can’t wait to see that. Personally, me and my wife are doing some traveling [inaudible 00:53:24] this weekend, so I’m looking forward to seeing some slightly different types of snow.

Josh Clemente: All right, John.

Jhon Cruz: Of course, I’m excited about the progress we have made in the new dashboard, especially on the backing side and the way we handle data on the mobile application, which finally results in better performance and cleaner code. I’m also excited and looking forward to the new subscriptions implementation. J

osh Clemente: Agreed. Okay, we do have some time left. Most people, I think, do not have hard stops, so I’m actually going to have Haney give us the down low on cross laminated timber. Haney, don’t feel like you have to rush. Go ahead and just give this one the respect it deserves.

Mike Haney: Okay, yes. I’m going to talk about something called cross laminated timber, which is a building material. It’s a structural building material made entirely out of wood, and I’ll talk about what that means. Next slide.

Mike Haney: The reason that I’m talking about this is that for about the five years prior to my joining this call, I ran a business with a friend called Cubist Engineering. We were a design and build shop for custom prefab spaces, primarily small spaces like backyard offices and guest suites and cabins and that kind of stuff. We did some full size houses as well. My partner in that business was also a Popular Science alum, like me, and so we were really fascinated by new building materials and technologies, and it was our excuse to play with those things.

Mike Haney: Cross laminated timber is one of those things that we found. As you can see here, it’s what’s called a structural panel. In traditional building, you built a skeleton, whether that’s 2x4s for whether it’s steel girders, and then that’s the actual strength of the building. Then you skin it with drywall or siding or anything else, or there’s also a concrete building in which you take and basically make a skeleton out of rebar and then pour concrete in it. In structural panel building, the wall itself, the skin and the wall, is the structure of the building. There’s no skeleton inside these panels. These panels are solid wood. Next slide.

Mike Haney: The way that CLT is made, the reason it’s called cross laminated timber, is you basically take boards, you edge glue them together into a layer. Typically they’re about 10 foot by 60 foot long when they’re made, and then you take another layer and you turn the boards the other way and you put that together, and you keep doing that until you have enough layers to get to the structural strength that you need, and then you take a 60,000 foot press and you put some organic glue between them, and you press down really hard, and you make a giant panel.

Mike Haney: Then you can take that big panel and put it on another machine and cut it up with a CNC router and cut your door and window openings. What that basically means is at the end of this process, you’ve got a finished wall panel ready to go in. This has been a really common material in Scandinavia, actually, for the past couple of decades, but it’s really just come to the U.S. and North America in the last five of so years, 10 years. There’s one manufacturer in the U.S. and there’s another couple manufacturers up in Canada. Next slide.

Mike Haney: Why do people want to use wood to build buildings? Well, there’s a few reasons. One, it’s much greener than doing particularly steel or particularly concrete construction. Concrete’s pretty bad environmentally. CLT is really great because, A, you’ve got the carbon capture that already happened in the wood. B, it’s obviously an organic material so, years from now, when the buildings fade away, it can go back to the earth. Also, it’s able to take advantage of wood that wouldn’t be used for other things. In the western United States, for instance, there’s a whole bunch of forests that have been struck by disease, and that means that that timber can’t be turned into normal boards, but in CLT, because you’re using a whole bunch of boards together, each individual board doesn’t have to be perfect. It’s a really good way to take advantage of lumber that otherwise wouldn’t be able to be used.

Mike Haney: It’s typically made out of a wood like Douglas fir, which is a soft wood. We actually did a project at Cubist where we were hired by a tech founder who had a private island in the Caribbean, wanted to build some cabanas out of CLT down there, but the traditional softwoods wouldn’t stand up to the Caribbean weather. We actually did a whole bunch of R&D around building a CLT panel out of tropical hardwoods, which fare really well in that kind of weather, but had never been used in a panel before. The little GIF you see up in the corner is us at an R&D facility in Montreal testing one of these panels on a 40,000 pound press, basically bending it until it actually broke, which was super fun to do.

Mike Haney: A couple other advantages to CLT, which are sort of interesting. It’s super fire resistant, which people are a little surprised by, because you think wood, it’s going to burn, until you think about the way a campfire works. You imagine if you put a little stick, like say a 2×4 would be in a house, into a fire, it catches fire very quickly, but if you put a really big, thick log in the fire, you put a stump in the fire, it takes a really long time to burn. CLT actually has better fire resisting capabilities than even steel because of the way-

Josh Clemente: Uh oh. Am I the only one that lost him?

Casey Means: No, I lost him, too.

Josh Clemente: Oh, he’s back.

Mike Haney: Am I here?

Josh Clemente: Yeah.

Mike Haney: Okay. It’s also super strong and performs really well in earthquake tests. There’s a really cool video of people, a building that was built and then put on one of these earthquake tables and shook. But because of the way wood acts, unlike steel, it’s not rigid, it actually flexes a little bit in earthquakes, so it’s a really strong building material.

Mike Haney: Finally, it’s really fast to build with, as I mentioned, because you’re building these panels. As you see in that image on the left, you can basically just crane these big panels in, drop them into place, screw them together, and, boom, you have a building. It is super, duper heavy, I can tell you, as being one of those people who was maneuvering around panels hanging from a crane. Last slide.

Mike Haney: What is this used for? It actually isn’t really used much for residential buildings. We built three buildings out of it, three small structures. Super overkill. Typically in a house, you don’t really need this much strength, you don’t really need that kind of fire resistance, and really the residential building infrastructure, particularly in this country, is just not set up for this kind of funky materials. If you’re not building a 2×4 building, then it throws the whole building system out of whack and it gets very expensive and very complicated. But it has been used a lot more in buildings, where it can replace steel. It can replace concrete.

Mike Haney: That building you see on the right is the tallest CLT building in the world. That’s in Norway. It’s something like 20 stories tall, and there’s bigger buildings going up in Chicago and in Minneapolis and in other places. You’ll see more of this coming online, but it’s a really cool thing to stand inside a building that is made entirely of wood and has no steel in it. I’ll end there.

Josh Clemente: So cool. Yeah, I’ve been tracking this. There’s some really cool concepts that I hope are picked up for skyscrapers, like in Seattle and elsewhere, and I just find it to be so beautiful. The other thing with cross lamination, it’s essentially carbon fiber. I mean, it’s a different fiber, but the way that you’ll see laminates in really high end aerospace structures is the exact same thing. You have multidirectional fibers that are just laminated together, so it’s that concept, but with a much more, like you mentioned, reusable material.

Josh Clemente: Oftentimes people are like, oh, no, don’t use trees. That’s not environmentally friendly, but as you mentioned when you cut down a tree, all that carbon is captured, so it lives off CO2. It’s capturing carbon dioxide and then you plant another tree and you can capture another full tree mass of carbon dioxide. It’s actually the greenest material that you can build with. Very cool.

Mike Haney: Yeah.

Josh Clemente: I’m excited for this one.

Mike Haney: I’m curious. Reminds me of looking into mechanically stabilized dirt, in terms of it’s a similar building material that just blew my mind when I realized that that’s a thing you can do. I’ll add that to Slack.

Josh Clemente: Yeah. I think someone posted a link in Slack recently. They were calling it by something different, like rammed earth. That’s what they’re calling it. Rammed earth homes. You just take a giant press and punch the ground until it’s sturdy. Cool stuff. Thank you, Haney. Thanks, everybody, for going over this week and for contributing and continuing to build an amazing company. I appreciate you all. Have a great weekend.