January 14, 2022

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

Ben Grynol (00:00:00):
Let’s jump into it. Welcome to Friday Forum. Josh is a way to prime it for anybody who’s here or watching. Welcome to Friday Forum, January 14th, 2022. It’s the second form of the year. So recent achievements, a ton went on this week. It seems like this is thematic every week, but we’ll go through it. There was lots around content, press, order volume, lots of things happening. So longevity on the rise. David Sinclair’s podcast Lifespan has been getting really strong traction and conversions. It dropped on January 5th and there are two episodes out. We’ve sponsored all eight episodes of season one and so far 235 orders, $94,000 in revenue and growing. So it’s very exciting to see that as a channel.
Creators on the move. Dylan Johnson is a cyclist and a YouTube content creator. He started using Levels this week and Jackie and Tom have been in conversation with him about how we might work together moving forward. As well Ali Spagnola created a video on juicing. Austin McGuffie has, I think, the most points on the board for anybody to appear on a slide. He’s on here three times this week, which we’ll get into. But he created two videos, one around his metabolic panel and then he started creating these ultimate guides, so he shipped one that is the ultimate guide to fiber. As well, Campbell Baron did a video on bio observability, so very cool to see that there.
Read all about it. We had not just press, but a lot of tier one press this week. So we had The Economist, Entrepreneur, Men’s Health UK, Wall Street Journal, The Manual, and then Casey was on Morning Express with Robin Meade. As far as Levels Media, what Rob was referencing, he and Austin McGuffie did an episode together. Natalie Vanderpump is a member and we did our first member episode, so we’re experimenting with that. And then Robbie Baxter is an author most notably of The Membership Economy, which we read as a team. So we did a number of episodes for a Whole New Level. And then we had two culture video ship, one around tools for asynchronous communication and then one around why we record in Zoom.
Highest weekly orders, so this is orders that were fulfilled through the pipeline, 970 orders. And then there was a large increase in international interest through support tickets. So over 70 cases came in, which was very cool to see that. Post-holiday uptick. Chris had reported just around the holidays and after there was lower engagement in the app because people were occupied doing many different things, but we’ve seen that there is now an increase in engagement. And then Chris has been testing product market fit score in addition to NPS. So in place of some of the NPS surveys going out, he’s been testing that, and the score is around 59, which is on the higher end. So anything around 60 is very good. Still a small sample set. He’ll still continue to test that. NPS is at just over 60 two weeks in a row.
And then the last thing is team growth is on the rise. So we’ve got seven roles open, lots of great candidates in the pipeline and exciting to see things moving forward there. Other things that we didn’t touch on, Casey and Dr. Kara Fitzgerald did an IG live together. Dave Asprey had an IG post go out that was a paid placement and that got really good traction. And then Tom and Jackie are in conversation with Equinox still very early as far as the conversations go there, but exciting to see those moving forward.
Last call out was these messages come in through different channels frequently, but Josh got one this week, someone saying how addicted they were to watching the Friday Forum, so it’s cool to know that people are paying attention and hopefully learning from what we are learning as a team as we go through. On that note onto our guests of the week. So I’d like to welcome Nik Sharma. Nik is CEO of Sharma Brands, he has all things direct to consumer and marketing. He’s an investor in Levels and we’ll hand it over to you Nick, if you want to talk a little bit about Levels, what we’re doing, your outlook on DTC and where things might be headed.
Nik Sharma (00:04:06):
Yeah, wow, this is exciting. Thank you for having me on this Friday Forum. I am not the fittest person in the world, but I’m obsessed with this world of health tech. And one thing that actually got me really excited about direct to consumer back when I was at a company called Hint Water was the fact that our retail team, the entire country’s retail team their goals were moving a bottle per store per week of each flavor and that was growth in the world of retail. And then we could come in with direct to consumer and all of a sudden 5,000 people a day we could switch from diet soda to flavored water. And that’s what got me really excited about this world of direct to consumer in the first place, was the fact that we could get people healthy or make an impact at scale so quickly.
And so fast forward a few years when I first heard about Levels, which now I’m forgetting how I found out about it, but when I had first talked to Sam and they were raising their first round of funding, just the idea of what this could be got me so excited about Levels and then I actually did use the product and all of a sudden I was like, “Holy shit, if I don’t stop eating this, I’m going to kill myself.” And I remember having that one day of deep thinking of, “Holy shit, I really got to rethink everything I’m doing here.” And I use Levels, I use Whoop, I gamify the whole experience. I try to see how close I can always get to the green. And sometimes this week I’ve been in the green all week, I’m like, “Something’s about to happen. When am I hitting the red here?”
But I think in general, this category excites me a lot. I think the way too that Levels has gone about this, and I’ve told Ben this multiple times, but the way that Levels has gone about building demand and building hype and creating a community around the product is completely unmatched. Levels put so much work into that zero to one, especially with the way Mike’s talks with every single person, onboards everybody, you can text Mike, Mike becomes your best friend as you’re on this process or maybe even…
A lot of times too I’ve found that talking to different Levels people, it is a really hard mental thing to get into the mindset of, “Oh shit, I’m about to be held really accountable for all of these metrics and everything that I consume, beverages, drinks, alcohol, foods, snacks, fruit, everything, and even exercise because Levels will detect that too.” But the onboarding process you guys have built, the community you guys have built as a collective team, it makes me so excited to be a part of this company, truly excited. But all that said, Ben, is there anything specific I can share outside of my excitement for this team?
Ben Grynol (00:07:10):
I think you’ve touched on lots of it, lots of the elements that we’ve spoken about before, this idea of creating the foundation before going into things like, in a DTC world, things like acquisition or this immediate path in and people skip over that and it’s like they’re missing all the infrastructure before getting into the why of what they’re doing.
Nik Sharma (00:07:32):
Yeah, and I mean I don’t know how closely you guys follow marketing news, but there was this whole thing called cookie apocalypse where Apple sent an update with iOS 15. It basically made the ability for marketers to track what data and events come back to Facebook. So for example, if Ian goes to a website from an ad on Facebook and he goes through and he’s looking at a set of bedsheets, he clicks on different sizes or different colors. Facebook previous to this update would be able to ingest that information and say, “Okay, Ian’s got this level of interest or this level awareness of the company, therefore next time we’re going to show him an ad is going to be this exact time with this exact product, with this exact message.” And that’s how Facebook ads had kind of dominated the world for so long.
But with this whole update on Apple, none of that data goes back. And so that’s why there was this whole cookie apocalypse and all these media buyers and marketers are shitting their pants because they have no idea what to do if Facebook’s not getting the right information, how are they going to acquire customers? And the companies that were completely unaffected by any of this stuff were companies like Levels or really the companies that had a reason to exist, that have a story, that have a community. And it made me even more excited because when that happened I was like, “All right, all these companies that have spent so much time building brand, whether it’s a house or a Brightland or a Levels or Truff Hot Sauce, whatever it may be, these companies are completely unaffected because these companies are not reliant on a Pixel to do their entire job of building a brand and building a company. They’ve put the work in.”
And Facebook, in my eyes, all these advertising channels, it’s just the equivalent of you put an image in Microsoft Word, the higher quality image you have, the more you can drag it from the corner and that’s your advertising. The lower quality image you have, the less you can drag it because it just gets blurrier and blurrier. So yeah, I think one thing that I always think about as a consumer, which might be interesting perspective is I use a Whoop, I use an Eight Sleep, I use a Levels patch, and how do I see all of that data intertwined in one? How do I see when I go to Equinox, that workout processing through Levels, through Whoop through Eight Sleep? Because they all show different metrics. Most of them are fairly similar like my Whoop recovery was 88%, my Eight Sleep recovery was 91%. But yeah, have you guys thought about that? Is that something that you guys are thinking about too? Is the bundling of I guess self analytics or something, maybe even mental health gets in there too.
Ben Grynol (00:10:22):
Yeah, Alan and Scott are thinking through some of the meaty product considerations right now. So lots of work to do there. Lots of work.
Nik Sharma (00:10:32):
Yeah. Cool.
Ben Grynol (00:10:34):
Well, it’s awesome. Well, appreciate your perspective. Appreciate you taking the time to join us and share everything DTC and your outlook on what we’re doing, so we’ll leave it there. Onto next, we’ve got new team members that have joined, so you’re welcome to stay Nik, or if you have to hop off, totally cool too. On to Sunny. So welcome Sunny, Sunny has joined our ops team. Won’t take too much time intro-ing, but Sunny hand it over to you to talk a little bit more about what you’re excited for moving forward.
Sunny Negless (00:11:04):
All right, hello and thank you. It’s been a week, it’s been a wonderful week. I started on Monday and it has been drinking from a fire hose but in the most refreshing way, picking up all things Levels. I’m new to Salt Lake City, just recently relocated. Thank you everyone for welcome. So I’m sitting here trying to warm up my nose, I’m not accustomed. I moved from Houston most recently, so adjusting to the new temperature. But not withstanding, I’ve joined with the operations team. I am just over the moon to be here.
You can look at a little bit of background there. I’ve had such great fortune to do a myriad of things in my career and they all seem very disconnected in many ways, but when I look back I have the opportunity to look back on this career and say there are some major themes and two of them being training, continued education, and then also this just reengaging of operations and operators. A lot of times it’s easy to get your head down in the tasks and this is in retail, this is in food service, this is in all sorts of things and not get to really be reinvigorated by the focus and the mission of what we are doing here and how you as an individual contributor can do that, so very, very cool to be here to do potentially some more of that.
Highlight of the career. I could definitely say there are some Professional Circus Artists highlights. I’ve had some really, really cool opportunities there, but really it is my opportunity to work as a trainer for Apple. I had a couple years that I was traveling the country doing all types of different training for Apple. And I was going to go somewhere with that, but that’s okay. That was the big thing that I really got the opportunity to work with a lot of different people and do all of those things collectively.
Most recently I’ve worked as a nutritionist though, after semi-retirement from Apple, went back to school to become a nutritionist. And that is the connection here with Levels as a nutritionist and as a nutritional therapy practitioner, Whole 30 coach, we’re looking for ways to get our clients and our members to develop interoception, to start to make these connections between their health outcomes and their day-to-day activity. It is very common, for example, to have these midday slumps. I can tell you Apple is fueled by Starbucks, at least at the retail level, it’s very common to have that 3:00 PM slump where you’re like, “I cannot possibly get past the rest of this shift without a quad shot latte and a Kind bar.” But it is not normal, it is not metabolically normal. And so, one of the best tools we had was like a 30-day intervention where you would remove something and then bring it back or challenge yourself to add something for 30 days and then take it away and see what the consequence of that was.
But 30 to 45 plus days to develop an interoception doesn’t work for many people. It doesn’t work for everyone. A lot of people fall off, they end up feeling defeated. So seeing that there’s an opportunity to have a more in the moment feedback, I think of Sam’s interview I heard where he said he had his oatmeal and 20 minutes later his hands are shaking and his heart’s racing and he thought, “I had too much coffee, I’m switching to tea.” But instead looked at his Levels up and goes, “Holy cow, my glucose is through the roof and I’m in a hypoglycemic crash.” So to have that in the moment interoception, somatic awareness, the end user, as we all know, I’m preaching to the choir, but that is the tool that I said, “Sign me up, how do I get to be a part of this? How can I further this mission?”
I would say closing the loop like Dave did last week, thank you to Steph Greunke and to everyone here who’s making the podcast happen because I was peripherally aware of Levels. I knew what y’all were doing or what we were doing I should say. But Steph Greunke had Dr. Casey on her podcast and I went on a nice long walk, listened to the whole thing and just came home, sat down at my computer and said, “What do they have open? How do I get in this? How am I going to be a part of this team?” So with that, anyone wants to come out to Salt Lake, get some skiing, get some hiking in, as long as you’re not allergic to cats, house is open and thank you so much. Everyone’s been very wonderful and very welcoming. So thank you for this moment, and thanks for being awesome.
Ben Grynol (00:15:15):
Very cool. Thank you, Sunny. We are very excited to have you join and have you here. Ian is also on our team, so another team member introduction. This will be thematic I think over the course of ’22, but Ian I’ll hand it over to you. I was going to say Zac now has a buddy in Austin, which is very cool.
Ian Schumann (00:15:33):
Hey Zac, we’re automatically friends now. I may have missed a note on my onboarding checklist about thinking about what to say here, but I can wing in a little bit. I spent pretty much my whole software career in the B2B SaaS world and one thing that’s becoming pretty clear to me in retrospect is that I never had a ton of excitement or personal meaning invested in any of those products. I was joking with somebody yesterday that a lot of the B2B SaaS world, the product boils down to you are streamlining something that already exists as a spreadsheet on somebody’s computer and that is not a deeply meaningful mission statement to me surprisingly. And so I started to learn about Levels as a beta customer or a beta wait lister and obviously of course thought it was super cool when I finally got to use the product.
But what really hooked me was just getting to know the values and the vibe and the atmosphere of this team through the blog and the podcast especially. And I just started feel like, “Man, I feel like I get these people, I feel aligned with these motivations and the values that are on display here.” My wife and I, we both work in tech and we obviously know each other better than anybody and have observed and advised on each other’s careers a lot. And she knew before I submitted my application as an engineer here that I was going to go work at Levels, just she could see from the outside that I was that lit up by the resonance with the mission and the values and the reasons here. Anyway, so my first week here has been awesome. Getting to know people has not been a disappointment. It’s been corroboration of my suspicions that you guys are doing this for the right reasons and I’m just, I’m real psyched to be here.
Ben Grynol (00:17:43):
Awesome. We’re super pumped to have you here as well and it’s going to be great, all the things to undertake in ’22. So welcome again and appreciate everything that you are going to do with the rest of the team. Onto Culture and Kudos. So say it every week Levels shows you how food affects your health. Scott’s going to do the kudos, so I’m going to hand it over to him, but well take it away.
Scott Klein (00:18:06):
Yeah, quick note on this, go back one slide. I think just to highlight, I think Jackie and team have been working on expanding on the full-time definition of what we do, just to give a little bit more feedback, or sorry, a little bit more characterization beside just the byline at the top. So if you haven’t familiarized yourself with this statement, I guess we cover a little bit more around how things like biosensors and real-time feedback and personalized data are really going to drive our mission moving forward.
So next slide. All right, Culture and Kudos. This is so cool. John, who lives in Bogota, got to sync up with Jackie and Braden this week, both of which who are just kind of traveling and hanging out in Columbia for a little while. So did some rock climbing in hiking boots. Can’t say I recommend that, but at least had a rope to make sure things were safe. So good for them. I have a feeling we’re going to get a little bit more adventurous with who can meet up, maybe somebody wants to go climb a large mountain and take a picture with their Levels patch on, that would be kind of cool.
All right, next slide. All right, so quick Culture and Kudos. I’ll start in the top. We do a lot building in public and I think sometimes we can get used to it as just part of our job, but it’s really nice to hear validation from really, really, really well respected founders. So we get inbound emails just thanking us. We’re getting a lot of recognition and I think people really truly appreciate the time and effort that we put into building in public. It goes a long way to build some trust and eventually will be a big recruiting flywheel for us as time goes on. So this is the co-founder of OnDeck, which is one of the bigger, I think more like incubator, accelerator-ish types of things, but definitely good to see.
On the left. One thing I just wanted to call out around an interaction that I had with Jeremy, this was in private, and I just wanted to say that as we try to build a culture of yes and disagree and commit that there’s a good space for us to bring some humility and some vulnerability around when we’re not quite there.
Now he and I were sort of talking on Slack one-on-one and I just wanted to say that I really appreciate his effort to go above and beyond to say, “Hey, I need some time. I need to sleep on this. I’m not quite there yet. I’ve had bad experiences with this in the past.” It’s much better I think for us to understand this sort of commitment and why maybe somebody is at a specific opinion place. And so I think he handled it perfectly here. He was sharing his feelings with me and definitely a good intent to get to disagree and commit. So I just wanted to call out that I think this is a very successful case of wanting to navigate toward where we want to be with disagree and commit, even if someone has really bad experiences with something in the past. So certainly appreciated that and wanted to call it out.
Next slide. We talk a lot about experimentation in the product, but we also have a big form of experimentation as it relates to process here internally at Levels and specifically that we have this test, learn and iterate approach that we must bring to process as well. Now this isn’t always the funnest part because it usually requires going pretty deep, spending a lot of time. And so David recently on the first version of the responsible individual spec or process did a bunch of debriefs, I think it was north of six hours of his time to really coalesce a lot of the notes around, “Hey, we put something out, we had a bunch of people go through it, what can we learn about this?” And a lot of those things directly fed into the next big revision of the directly responsible individual process that we just shipped last month. So thanks David for all of the tedious work of doing the interviews and iterating on the process there.
All right, last thing, Product and End. So we usually go over priorities at this point in the presentation. A lot of these strategy and roadmap stuff has coalesced in the background. Next week we will be shipping those memos and doing kind of like a 30 to 60 minute Alan-ish loom with hopefully some good visuals and a bit of an explanation about how we’re going to allocate our time, how we came up with the framework for that, what’s going to be important to us and maybe what’s going to have to take a backseat even if we have strong desire to work on stuff, we have to be very, very, very, very seriously acknowledging of what our limitations are in terms of team size and how fast we’re going to go. So I’m really excited to do this. Sam and I and Alan have been continuing to work on in the background. So next week we’re going to have a much updated priorities slide to talk about where time’s going to be allocated and what projects are coming down the pipeline. So excited to get that to you next week.
Ben Grynol (00:22:31):
Awesome. IRB, Taylor, I think. Yeah, so Taylor for IRB and then-
Taylor Sittler (00:22:36):
Yeah. Thanks. Josh, did you want to comment here or were you going to go afterwards?
Josh Mohrer (00:22:41):
No, this is all you.
Taylor Sittler (00:22:42):
Great, great, great. So just following up on what we said last week, we delivered it, we’re going to be waiting for IRB feedback. Hopefully this will go through. I think the big changes from what we did last week was just updating our consent and opt out so that we maximize the number of people that are able to come in if they want to. Better positioning of the way that we design these IRBs and how we communicate them to people. And we made them modular, so that in the future we do… I’ve already had conversations with a couple of additional advisors who are interested in working with us, so we’re going to be submitting a bunch more IRBs, so making this process as frictionless as possible will hopefully help us to do more research and work in the future. But it is out and we’re just waiting for a response.
Ben Grynol (00:23:35):
That’s great. Very excited for that to get over the line. It’s been a long time coming and a lot of patience, a lot of diligence on everybody who’s been working.
Taylor Sittler (00:23:44):
And honestly a ton of help. Everybody really contributed to making this possible. So thanks to Josh, thanks to Maz, thanks to Lauren and thanks to the team that built that 60-page document to begin with.
Ben Grynol (00:23:55):
That’s awesome. I think JM is onto Blood Work-
Josh Mohrer (00:24:00):
I have a couple short ones and then a kind of lengthy one. On Blood Work, legal review is ongoing. We are figuring out how to position the results page in the best way possible. I hope to have more on that next week.
Ben Grynol (00:24:12):
Onto Mike D with the Now Page.
Mike Didonato (00:24:16):
Thanks, Ben. So I am the directly responsible individual for the Now Page project. And before we jump in, I thought maybe it makes sense to talk a little bit about the why. So as we all know, we’ve made a lot of progress over the last two plus years. Our members think Levels is really cool when they jump in, but at times they feel lost, unsure of what to do next and even unsure of how it relates to their long-term goals and objectives. And I’m not saying anything that everyone doesn’t know, but in order for our members, our future members and our company to be successful, this has change. I’m going to let Alan go way deeper on this via the design slides, but the Levels app will need to have three essential roles.
First, the [inaudible 00:25:07] which is showing them how food affects their health. We need to help them develop healthy habits and then we need to help them stay accountable so that they can achieve their goals. We’re still doing a lot of exploration, but the Now Page at a high level, one of the goals will be to connect members’ data to the right content at the right time. And this would be the first step towards more personalized insights. And as far as a status update, I posted a quick update in the Now forum, but right now we are aligned on the implementation of objectives of the work. We know how we’ll be measuring success, and now Alan’s refining the implementation to ensure it’s aligned to member and company objectives. We’re on deck to scope, hopefully early next week, the effort to determine how long this will take. And I think that’s it.
Ben Grynol (00:26:16):
Perfect. Thank you, Mike. And I know Alan’s got more in the design part of the stack as far as the update on the Now Page. Onto Jhon with Tagging.
Jhon Cruz (00:26:26):
Yeah, thanks. Last week we presented some changes on the log-in experience. It was an experiment aiming to replace the freeform input text for a only tagging approach. That means everything was a tag with the possibility to add custom tags. After some feedback, we decided to go back to the original idea. The main reason is that the freeform way keeps more flexibility and it’s a good way to provide more context besides just a list of ingredients. This is valuable information and with the experiment we were losing it.
Good news is that we can take some ideas from this experiment like the auto-tagging feature and the bigger component or bigger space for suggestions to promote more tapping than typing. That’s why we are replacing the horizontal list of suggestions to a vertical one. So more options can be selected with fewer taps and scrolls and we are also getting rid of the hashtag affordance just to make the experience simpler. On the back-end side, Hao is making good progress on the ranking system and the food recognition system is currently disabled until we figure out some contractual stuff with our API provider. That’s pretty much it.
Ben Grynol (00:28:04):
That’s awesome. Love the experimentation and to watch all the cycles go through on this. Murillo with the Explore Page.
Murillo (00:28:15):
Great. Exciting week for explore. So first two new additions to the explore team, both Helena and Kunal will be helping making sure that this project is a success. On the search front, internal build will be coming out soon. I count on everyone to test it out and give some feedback so we can push to members with some confidence that that’s working as we expect it. On recommendations front, we have Helena working on some goal-based recommendations. So just bridging that gap between what our members want to accomplish and the content that can guide them in their journey. And Kunal is setting up the infrastructure for how we deal with that content, both on the back-end and on the front-end. Other things that we’ve done is just covering some of the explore interactions with analytics so we can better understand our members’ engagement with that part of the app and doing some minor content audit to make sure that the way we present the content in app does justice to the quality of the content that we’re producing.
Ben Grynol (00:29:38):
Awesome. Great to see. Excited to watch it all come together. Onto Hao, so Hao’s got an update on the Prisma Migration that’s underway.
Hao Li (00:29:48):
Thank you. So I take on the role as the DRI for Prisma Migration. If you recall, I think Kunal did a great presentation on the project, we actually introduced the Prisma ORM to our back-end system. So this project will be like heavily technical back-end project internal. And just a quick recap, ORM is a technique that lets you query and manipulate data from database using an object oriented paradigm. And we want to introduce this because this will help us largely for type save database operations, developer friendly coding experience for non-SQL gurus, like me, and improve the speed and safety of making schema changes. And it’ll also better database migration process with Prisma Migrate and it’ll also abstract schema from underlying database, which means we can change our database choice in the future even though it is not likely to happen.
And so for phase one, we are aiming to migrate 50 out of 247 raw queries we having right now in our database to Prisma ORM. And the estimate time is three weeks and hopefully we can do complete the phase one and summarize some documentation on how we did the migration change and how we did the PR migration change, so people can just move more easily forward with the rest of the raw C codes. Yeah, that’s pretty much my update. Thank you.
Ben Grynol (00:31:49):
That’s awesome. Thanks, Hao. So key to get a lot of this infrastructure figured out early on because it only gets more complex with scale. Onto, I think Andrew’s going to give an update on Eng Process, SLAs and KPIs.
Andrew Conner (00:32:03):
Yeah, yeah, good morning everyone. Hope everyone’s having a great morning. This is a check-in on some tactical commitments that we’re going to make as an engineering team. There’s two major themes here. One is how effective can engineers get stuff out? So are they constantly blocked by code reviews or anything like that? And the other side is on our hiring side. So we hire more than any other group inside the company right now and we want to have a very streamlined process. And so I’m presenting these, we’ll be presenting them weekly, but I wanted to take a little bit of time talking about what each one is so it’s not just a number that changes each week. So I’ll go through that and then in proceeding weeks it’ll be a little bit faster.
So first code review is when someone has code ready and they want feedback for this so it’s like a feedback review process. We commit to basically every poll request during working hours, so not necessarily the weekends, but be responded to within 24 hours. In the past week, so this is last Friday to this Friday or this morning, it was 18 hours 12 minutes on average. That skews higher because of some longer ones and so a lot of them are a lot faster, but that’s an average we’re going to keep track of also. And only one poll request was above the SLA for this period of time.
The other is how fast can we get code actually deployed? And some of this is outside control, so if there’s a lot of feedback, imagine a memo where there’s a ton of feedback, that impacts how long it takes to finish the memo and move on to action items or something like this. And so this one’s more of a KPI. We would just want to be able to monitor it and keep track of it. We want in general poll requests, so code bits, to be small enough where we can get them out fairly quickly. So two days seems reasonable. Our median right now is 24 hours, so basically a day from when it’s opened to out. We have two out of the past 10 that have gone in the past week, took longer than this. So there’s just something we’re going to keep an eye on.
And the other is just process related. How many engineers are working on a project that is related to a set DRI? Our goal is 80%, so that means one in five weeks they might be working on something else. So whether it’s cleanups or between weeks or something like that, we’re at a hundred percent right now.
So that’s really exciting. On our candidate hiring, we’re trying to figure out the right metrics for this. We have 16 candidates that are active right now, past the intro call. And one easy SLA that we can hold to is how many are stale. So how many have had no contact in the last week? 0% have, this is something we’ll hold to. So even if we’re waiting on someone to schedule something or something like that, we should have contact with everyone in a week.
A aspirational goal we have is end-to-end process in 30 days. For many people’s it can be faster so if you have a timing constraint, we can be a lot faster. And for a lot of them, when we looked at, it was candidates taking two weeks to schedule the next call or something like that. As long as it’s up to the candidates, that’s fine. But in general, we want this to be as fast as possible really to come up to a decision. And so right now, five are less than 30 days, we have a lot that we’ve been talking to for a while and so this is something that we’ll be keeping an eye on.
Last request for everyone outside of engineering, if there’s anything that you would like us to keep track of on a weekly basis, like a metric that would increase your confidence in execution or just visibility into how we’re operating, please let me know. This is something that we want to refine and we’re excited about. Thanks.
Ben Grynol (00:35:28):
That’s awesome. Thanks, Andrew. Great to see the pipeline too and how fluid that is. It’s such an important part of what we’re building as we bring on more team members. On to open roles, so this is the highest number of open roles we have had to date. There are seven open roles, eight if you include something else as a category. New open roles are chief of staff, which we’ll be working very closely with Casey on everything pertaining to her scope of work. Tom is running point on that. If anyone knows any candidates who might be watching this that would be interested in the role, please reach out.
And then there’s a new role for recruiter which will be working alongside Miz in taking on a lot of the people ops efforts that he’s been undertaking and taking some of the work off the plates of all the hiring managers who have been doing the first intro conversations and reviewing the pipeline as it is. So if anyone knows candidates for any of the roles that are open, please pass them along. New team members. So Shawn is starting on Monday and then Maxine is starting on our engineering team two weeks after that on the 31st. Onto Alan with design.
Alan McLean (00:36:36):
Awesome, thank you. Okay, so I’m going to talk about two segments today. Hope it’s not too long. So visual design and product design. So we recently completed this brand evolution work with TWA and I’m going to start walking through a little bit on how we’re going to apply it to the product. For imagery, we’ve defined this approach that is really embracing the play of light, lots of cast shadows. Next slide please. And the reason for this is a lot of our health rituals kind of incur in these in-between states, these transition states. In the morning you wake up, maybe you make breakfast, you go for a run, evening, you’re making dinner, you’re going to bed. Next slide. And so we’re trying to play with that. And if we ask ourselves what is a premium brand really? Premium brands tend to be pretty consistent and pretty subtle. And so we’re starting some of this to the visual language and the product and you’re going to see an example of that in the Now Page.
But for now we can just go to the next slide. Yes. So I don’t know, I need a name for this. I’ve used twilight in the past, twilight’s fine, but I think really even embracing this change in time through the course of the day. So if you think about our product, we’re trying to develop a connection to your day and the habits that you have within them. We want to be part of that day and we want the product not to feel totally static. It needs to evolve and one of the simplest ways to do that is to show the passage of time on the product. And so we think about the way light is changing in the product, we start applying that to the visual language. This little diagram, how light changes through the course of a day when we look at the next slide.
So really embracing that, you’re going to start seeing the app dashboard at least start to show the passage of time. So you’re going to start seeing the app reflect the passage of time in the product. You’re going to see screens start to evolve and show essentially what you might expect the play of light to look like in your given locale and time of day. So it’s going to get brighter, the sun’s going to rise, it’s going to set. Next slide. We got the middle of the day, we’ve got this big open space. We want it to feel really open and clean. Feel that light cast in there and these shadows and other elements in the screen. Next slide. And then of course as you start winding down for the day, we want to see that too. We’re cheating a little bit with all this beautiful imagery, but it’s a way to elevate the brand and make it feel like it’s a little bit more premium, a little bit more connected to your moments. So that’s just some quick snapshots of that.
Let’s jump into the Now Page, which will show that applied into the experience. So we’ve had some good conversations about the Now Page. Before we’d adopted this design pattern that really embraced the content experience, like showing it full screen. We started to have some discussions about wayfinding and the sense of completion in the product. We want people to read the stuff. We don’t have the same content problem that a Facebook or a TikTok has, so we want to benefit from that full screen treatment, but we do need people to complete it. We need people to read it to get the benefit of it. And so we’re coming up with this concept of essentially a task. There’s some things that you just need to do on your Levels program or Levels journey to get value from it. We’ve had questions from people at the end of their experience not knowing what a zone card was or what his zone actually was. And so we need to be able to address that. And so we’re framing some of the things in the experience around the notion of a task.
So you see there on the first screen essentially some things that you need to do today and the other reason to do this is that we’re expanding the opportunity for celebration. When you complete these things, you’ll have a sense of progress, we will celebrate it and we’ll let you know you’re doing a good job. Next slide. Now there’s still insights of course. We want to be able to in the moment show you what’s happening, what’s relevant. Here’s an example of a sleep insight taking over. Next slide. And as you are getting this content, you are accumulating this intelligence. You’re going to be seeing the product really represent your progress through this metabolic journey that you’re on. So there we added a new section called insights. That’s something that you acquired during this day.
Next slide. One question that came up during wayfinding questions around the new Now section is, I logged some food. Where does it go?” We need to be able to show you that. And we’ve got this notion of sort of programs and stats. We need to workshop these names a little bit, but I think the sense here really is that we’ve got the existing dashboard right now and then we’ve got this other one that’s more focused specifically on insights and the things that are going to help you make progress towards your goals. And so we’ll give a little indicator there and you’ll be able to see, “Hey, you’ve logged some food, it’s over here in the stats section.”
Next slide. You can swipe to the right and you’ll see all the data that you’re familiar with. We’ve got your glucose graph, we’ve got your food accumulating at the bottom with scores. We’ve got metabolic scores, variation of that in the future right up top. And then you can swipe back to your program slide. Next slide. Yes, you’ve logged food, you get a little check mark. Nice. Maybe we can make that a little bit more prominent in celebration mode. You’ve also seen the light change through the course of the day. So this is bringing that twilight visual language to the product, feeling like it’s constantly growing with you and evolving.
Next slide. Of course, more food insights. These are things that are going to pop up as they happen, things like sleep, food, exercise. We’re not going to be able to show these all the time, but some of these are just educational moments and the primary point is finding the right time to trigger it and being just assertive of enough so that people do see it and are able to engage with it or come back to it later. And of course we’ll accumulate all these, you can read these over time, you can go back in your history. At the end of your 30 days with Levels, you should be able to see some sort of artifact of your journey with Levels.
Next slide. Of course now your day is done. Sun’s starting to set, good job. And then perhaps maybe we play with this a little bit. I think next slide shows an example of playing with this idea of zero states. Maybe the day is done, these things disappear. We can play with the messaging here, maybe we ask you how the day went. So really trying to continue to engage through the course of the day. And that’s a very brief review of the latest on the Now Page. Thanks.
Ben Grynol (00:42:57):
That’s awesome. Thanks, Alan. It’s always great to see how conceptually the product is coming along and how we’re thinking about personalizing it so that people understand things like how food affects their health. Got to say it again. Member Experience, Chris Jones.
Chris Jones (00:43:14):
Wow. So seriously, can I just not go after Alan? This is just getting embarrassing for me week after week. But the flip side is I felt like I just went through a 10-minute session on Zen to get my meditation for the day, so that was incredible. So yeah, loved it. So as most of you probably see the weekly update I do, this is the summary slide of it. I’m not going to walk through this, but as probably most of I’m pulling data for every week to try to find insights of what’s going up, what’s going down is what I also like to call my happy time, being in the data, trying to find out why something’s happening. The thing was really interesting this week is the sheer number of highlights. Normally I have pretty balanced of things went well, some of the numbers went down, but it was just overwhelmingly things going up, clicking on all cylinders and we all know most of that was due to the David Sinclair podcast of just floating all of our metrics, which is great to see.
The one low light I had here, I’ll see I’m going to dive into later on, so I won’t cover it, but as soon as I wrapped up my weekly data. Then the next slide is I ran into the big low light of the week, which was I realized we were going to run out of performance sensors. As we were doing so well of selling products and having campaigns, I was checking inventory and updating my assumptions and incorporating feedback from JM’s update around delays in the IRB. And I realize based on current inventory, we were going to run out by the end of February. So as Miz knows really well, I had a bit of a panic attack and lots of side notes with Miz around what do we do, how do we solve it?
What we’ve done this week is we basically turned back on, we went back to Skin Grip because the issue is Skin Grip because of all the shipping delays from COVID. The order that we placed last week that Josh talked about of us ordering 100,000 patches isn’t arriving until April 4th. It’s on boats and that’s just like how long it’s going to take. So we’re trying to close the gap. So we ordered all the unbranded patches they would give us, which is 30,000 and having that delivered to Hayward by the end of today and then the local screen printer that we used before to actually start doing them by hand in batches of 10. So the chart on the left is kind of our current state as of Monday around what the inventory of our patches was looking like based upon our current week-over-week growth. And on the right is now where we’re at with our backup plan in place as it’s in progress and everyone’s lined up. So yes, and hopefully no gevels, but we’ll be checking for that.
So I just bring this up as we enable tapping into the wait list, do campaigns that just crush it, I need to start building more buffer into the system and inventory, especially with long shipping times to make sure that we can cover and don’t have to come asking of like, “Hey, can we actually not do that promotion because we’re going to run out of inventory.” So we’re covered for now, but this was a little bit of a fire drill that we were doing this week, so just wanted to bring it some visibility.
Next slide. This week’s deep dive was all around videos. And you can hear my dog crying in the background because I probably haven’t given him a treat. So we were looking at who’s viewing videos, how long they’re viewing, and just where they’re exposed. So this was a first attempt at that. The big takeaway for me that jumped out was the level of engagement of our iOS users versus Android. We know 90% of our users are on iOS and they just seem to be much more engaged with our product and offering. So it’s just an area of concern as we think about as we try to go broader around what do we have to do differently for the Android audience to make it more compelling to them.
Next slide. Ben brought this one up, as I had mentioned, some of our metrics around the holiday season fell down. This is more just that slide to talk about that recovery that you can see in the rights on the weekly active, the daily actives, average session length of coming back up, which is great to see. And a huge growth in monthly actives in December, which was awesome.
Next slide on the one low light I mentioned on the first slide of an 85% happiness for support, which was the lowest we’ve seen in a long time. Normally I would look at that number and saying, “What broke? Something had to have broken to get numbers that low.” Yeah, it’s our lowest ever. I looked at every comment of a non-great experience and realized nothing broke. This was just a bunch of random one-offs of people hitting edge cases, like someone who actually gets free CGMs and then actually trying to use Levels and realizing they didn’t bring their CGM that they get for free to Levels because we don’t really highlight that. We kind of do it quietly. Another one talking about people thinking that when they signed up for the 3.99, that meant they were going to get a CGM every month for the year. So they didn’t realize it was just for one month. And then a couple around sensor accuracy, which we did.
And boy, he’s being loud today, he’s like, “Pay attention to me, dad.” So this was like nothing individually broke, it was just we hit a bunch of edge cases and that it only took a couple surveys to bring our scores down. And I think that’s it. Next slide. Yeah, that’s all I got for member experience. Thanks.
Ben Grynol (00:49:17):
Perfect. Thanks, Chris. Great update on the covers too, to see how we are working through some of these infrastructure things as we start to get up into launch mode. So growth, reiterating growth is focused on providing value through membership. Weekly recognized revenue, $150,000. Monthly, we’re at 439. Cash, we’re at 69, so you can see there’s a change there. We’re still seeing drips coming in from our Series A raise, and Zac’s going to talk more about this after the growth update. No changes to debt and no changes to runway. The caveat to this is that over the past few months we have been increasing our estimated monthly burn rate. And so we did the same this month is that we’re starting to see just due to having more paid placements, having more team growth, that on average our burn is around $600,000 every month. And so the runway hasn’t changed due to the cash position, but we want to make sure that we’re accurately estimating our burn and not underestimating and being naive saying that it is remaining the same as we change and evolve within the company.
Last week Tom gave an update on partnerships and highlighted what partnerships is working on and it was a good cue to go back into the growth talk and think through. It’s great to reset at the beginning of the year and great to think through as we bring new team members on board and we have perspective candidates in the pipeline like, “What is this thing that we call growth?” And the reason it’s important to do it is one for our own framing as a team and two, to think through if these things hold true. So growth at some organizations, if you’re an enterprise company that’s focused on B2B, growth might mean sales, strictly B2B sales. Growth at a consumer SaaS company might just mean performance marketing. At Levels, it’s very different because it’s got a broad scope, it’s very wide in the sense that sales is very much this idea of what we do with partnerships and marketing is very much this idea of creating content and getting out this educational material to the world that is helping us to achieve our goals.
And so this broad scope is everything from driving revenue and member signups once we’re at the point where that becomes the catalyst to undertaking what we call growth mode. And then it also includes things like creating value for members through things like content, community and partnerships so all these things that we’re working on right now. And the most important thing that we do is we build out this infrastructure as we’re still in these early phases. So one failure mode, if you want to call it that, is we undertake growth, we get into growth mode and the performance covers are on 10 x level, so we’re actually 10 x under from what we needed. That would be a major failure mode if we couldn’t get things like performance covers. Luckily 30,000 is still achievable, but if it was something like 300,000 or 600,000, it’s a very different problem to solve. So these are all learnings that we’re iterating on as we go.
Our goal with growth, our goal with the company is to impact a billion people globally and to educate them about metabolic health. So the outlook on growth, these are a couple sound bites from the growth strategy is Levels is a pull product and not a push product. And so what does that mean? Well, we’ve been in a very gratuitous situation where our product is being pulled into the market by people through things like our content, through things like all the earned media that is the user generated content that people create around their Levels experience or some of the content that we create or the press that we get. The advantage of this is that we don’t have to push the product to the market. We don’t have to do, back to what Nic was saying, we don’t have to try to convince people about Levels and about what we’re doing and why it’s important.
One of our outlooks is that we’re not going to compete for three seconds of attention, so we’re not going to try to hack people’s attention and trick them into buying something that they don’t need. It doesn’t fall within our ethos and it’s something that holds true to the way that we think about building out these pillars of our growth ecosystem that we can think of as the movement of Levels. So what are these growth pillars? Well, there’s members, content, community and partners or partnerships. We have diligence around each.
We’ve spent a lot of time on content and we continue to double down on that. Partnerships, we’re ramping up with creators, we’re getting more involved in things like paid placements across different channels, that being podcasts, that being creators on YouTube, on other platforms. And then members, we’ve been doing a lot around member experience. Everything that Chris is doing. And then everything that Alan and Scott, the engineers, everyone’s thinking through as far as product, and what does that product experience look like? Community is an underserved pillar that we’re putting more diligence on in ’22. And so the way this works is members are interested in Levels. They come on board, they either see our content or create their own content, that engages the community, the community brings more awareness to partners, the partners create more members, and it creates this somewhat of a flywheel effect. These are the pillars. So that’s the way that we think about focusing our time.
Where we’re at right now, once we get into acquisition mode or once we get into growth mode, things change a little bit. So where are we actually at, we’re still very early. We’re in the foundational phase of growth. We’re in between this idea of being scrappy startup, try everything to get to product market fit and actually having product market fit, around ’22 we’re right around here. Once we get deeper in product market fit, we’ll test more channels, we’ll find more growth levers. And as that ramps up, once you find the growth levers that are working, you focus on things like acquisition, you pursue the strongest growth levers, and as you get into scale up, then you start to scale and optimize the growth levers that are working well, so we’re still so early.
On what our focus for growth in ’22 is going to be is testing a lot of these channels, doubling down on things like content efforts, building out the pillar of community and really making sure that we’re building this infrastructure so that we can have strong retention before we go down a path of acquiring customers. Because it’s a lot harder to keep customers if you don’t have strong product market fit. So that is growth. And onto Zac with the Fundraising.
Zac Henderson (00:55:50):
Hey team. So just a quick update on our Series A. So our member crowdfunding is about to leave testing the waters, meaning we will soon be inviting members to confirm their investments and that will move us towards closing of the crowdfunding, so that’s pretty exciting. For a bit of context here for the crowdfunding piece, filing takes filing with the SEC takes some time, mostly because the company was required to undergo a CPA audit as part of its financials, that’s a part of the SEC’S rules here. This process took us roughly a month and a half and it went great. Huge hats off to Ben and Miz both for keeping our financials in such great shape and making things easier for our auditors and also for helping shepherd us through that process.
As for the full fundraise, apart from some holiday related delays and some mandatory waiting periods, everything is on track and moving smoothly. The first half of the raise is now complete as Ben’s financial numbers reflected. We’ll be ready to make a more detailed announcement about the full Series A in early March once everything is wrapped. That’s all for now. Huge thanks to all of our investors, both the new ones and our longstanding folks. That’s it.
Ben Grynol (00:57:04):
Perfect. Thanks, Zac. I think Tom is async on this update.
Tom (00:57:11):
Okay, partnerships update theme of the week here is podcast advertising and starting with the highlight really the last week and a half, which has been the performance of the first two David Sinclair Lifespan Podcast ads that went live. And the TLDR here is that they’re performing exceptionally well, arguably I’d say in an unprecedented fashion. And what I mean by that is if you look down here at the graph on the bottom left, this is showing you best ever one-week performances for a particular partner code, so which codes have generated the most in a one-week period after promotion? And what’s notable here is that all of these promo events are podcast interviews where the David Sinclair bar is a single podcast advertisement. So that means that a single 30 or 60-second ad, I don’t remember what exactly it was, performed about as well as interview drops with people like Dave Asprey, Ben Greenfield, Kelly, Drew, Hyman still remains a significant leader here.
And for context, the few podcast ad experiments that we’ve run to date, while they’ve been I think all profitable, so they’ve done well, they wouldn’t even register on this graph. Dave Asprey, Ben Greenfield, for example, I think generated on the order of 10 or 20 conversions in the week after the ads went live. So we’re seeing an order of magnitude more here. I’d say more to come on what this means for us. This likely is largely a result just of the relationship that David has with his audience, meaning that there’s just enormous trust there and they’re listening to David specifically be told what to do about how to live their life in a more healthy fashion versus other similar shows where people are looking to learn but not necessarily be told exactly what to do and then go and do it. So it’s worth exploring how we might continue to target this particular segment, so we’ll be thinking more about that.
Next slide. And then wanted to just share our outlook on how we’re thinking about podcast ads more broadly and their role over the next 12 months. So in short, they have a few advantages relative to some of the other types of promotions that you’re familiar with so a podcast interview or an ad hoc Instagram post by someone like Kelly or a YouTube video from one of our affiliates and the main ones being these top two here. So they’re fast to set up and fast to scale. And so this means it’s a growth lever that we can pull on if we’re ever focusing more on member acquisition in a particular month, or we decide we need a double spend in order to hit a certain new member target in a particular month. And related to that, it’s predictable revenue. So I’m currently working on ensuring that there’s a good distribution of placements and content across our partners throughout the year. And this is much more difficult, if not impossible to do with either organic placements or even the ad hoc affiliate placements when you don’t really know when they’re going to pop up.
Of course there are downsides as well. So I included that little box here on the bottom right. They’re expensive, they can often run $10,000 for a single ad or much more. But on even these pretty large shows like Huberman or Sinclair or Rich Roll, they’re obviously far less educational than long form content. They create far less derivative. They don’t create any derivative content that we can reuse on our blog. There’s less SEO value, so like everything there’s trade-offs, but this is definitely going to be an important tool in the toolbox over the next couple of years. That is it for partnerships for the week.
Ben Grynol (01:00:49):
All right, the double play, here we go. Got through it. Mike Haney.
Mike Haney (01:00:56):
All right, try to do a quick Content Update here. Three good pieces up this week since last we talked. The one thing I’ll note on here is the David Sinclair article there, that’s really just a cleaned up transcript of the podcast. This is something we’ve been leaning into more, which is you can typically go find a transcript of a podcast, but they’re a little bit hard to read because the way that we talk is not the same as the way we read.
So just a little behind the scenes into what we do with these, is we get the podcast transcribed by a really good service that does some of the cleanup already and does a really good job at breaking out who’s talking when. And then either me or increasingly one of the contractors I work with really goes through and combs each sentence to take out things like when I say, “Kind of.” Or I say, “Ah or well, the thing is,.” And it just makes them much more readable. It’s a little tedious and it’s a few hours of work, but I think it really makes a difference because there’s so much information in these articles and we also try to break them up by section so that if you’re just jumping into it, you don’t have to spend all 46 minutes reading it. You can really just scroll down and see the topics that you like, so I really like being able to have these pieces out on the blog.
Quickly just some other things that are going on in the department. A couple of really big efforts, the blog redesign has been ramping up for a long time and is now really in the works and what’s really exciting is all that beautiful brand guideline work that Alan showed earlier and that we’ll be seeing more of, the timing’s great that we’ll be able to now incorporate that into the blog redesign, so more to come on that. We’re going to launch a new set of emails, these nurture emails, I’ve talked about these before, but it’s basically a drip set of eight emails that’ll come out that’ll go to new signups each week to help them start their education around metabolic health, so some of our core concepts.
A lot of good stuff happening in the hiring stage. I got three candidates right now doing the technical challenge, so it was a slow ramp up there, but now I’m really excited about the number of people we have that I think could all be great. Working on a new content strategy memo. And then a lot of talk this week about some op-ed. So this is a slightly different type of content that we are going to focus on both with Future, which is the publication of A16Z run by Sonal. They do these really great long form editorials, really making an argument for something and we’re going to dive into one on bio observability, I think it’s going to be our opus piece on bio observability, what Campbell just did in that great video, but expand it out quite a bit. And also going to pitch some op-eds for press placement and as was mentioned before, we had a huge press week. Just lots of really good stuff.
Next slide. Just wanted to do a quick, I try to do this at least every couple months, especially as we have new people join. You might hear this phrase, everyone on content, what it means. We had a great piece go up last week that I didn’t highlight last week from Braden. This is a really good actionable piece. I’ve sent this piece to probably three people in the last few weeks. There was a distillation of Braden’s great podcast episode with Ben. We had a writer take that and distill it down into an article. So again, that one’s even less, it’s not reading a transcript, it’s like if you were writing an article based on that interview and it really highlights Braden’s super actionable service tips for why you want to look for a startup and how you get work from them. So that’s one avenue by which we generate what we call everyone on content, but we really mean company content. So this is articles that we write about how we run Levels or in some cases maybe a particular specialty or perspective of a team member.
We publish these out on Medium, if you haven’t seen it’s medium.com/levelshealth. That’s where most of these go. Sometimes we get them placed elsewhere. So we have the podcast piece down there was one that Tom wrote that we got out on first round review. We often try to ship these around to see if there are other places that are interested in publishing these because the point of this is really to share all of this information to all of this insight and experimentation and ideas that we’re creating as we very consciously run our company and try new things with the rest of the startup and even broader business community. I think we really feel that what we’re doing here, how we run this company is almost another product alongside the other products that we’re creating. And I think we’ve also found that this kind of content is really useful for recruiting. It’s great for people to get a sense of how we work and to just bring people into our sphere.
So just quickly on the process side, you may hear from a writer named Erin and increasingly maybe some other writers who reach out to individuals and say, “Hey, we’d love to create a piece with you.” She’ll interview you. If you don’t have a topic already that you’re interested in talking about, she can help you find one. She writes the piece usually and then you can rewrite it or work on it and then we get it out. So just a heads-up that this is something that happens in the background and you may hear from us on this.
And I have one more quick slide. I didn’t do this last week but just wanted to throw up the stats for this week. The TLDR for the last month, this is December stats, TLDR is stable to down a little bit. December’s often down, people are just looking at less stuff seems to be, last December was down a little bit as well. But I did look back and we’re up 67% from last December. So this is what happens with traffic and especially organic and SEO driven traffic, it goes up and down a little bit month to month. We’ve had three huge months in a row and so now we’ve leveled a little bit. I suspect first quarter will kick back up.
The other thing I just want to call out is the last email that we had, the digest we did last week with repurposing the 10 worst foods piece that we did, I don’t know, six months ago based on our data is I think the biggest digest email we’ve ever had. The open rate, we almost never get above 40 on open rate on those, we do on Dr. Casey emails, but that was huge. And then the click-through of 13% I think is probably the single biggest click-through we’ve ever had and that was a combination of the worst foods piece and the Trader Joe’s piece. So just good to see that we continue to get that really high engagement on the email. That’s it for content.
Ben Grynol (01:07:08):
Awesome. Great metrics. Love seeing all of the Content Updates. I think we made it, we’re at the end, we’re going to try something new. The idea is that as a team scales, it is going to become increasingly more challenging to get through personal shares with the amount of time. So we can do two things. One, the idea that has been floated around is going through the list, running out the clock in the full 90 minutes. So we’d have 10 more minutes left and it will become circular. So wherever we leave off one week, then we’ll start up the next week. That’s something that has been surfaced as something to try. Another thing we can do, if everyone feels strongly about getting through all the personal shares, then we can just go into the cafe time. So if anyone has thoughts, why don’t we start through the list and if you can chime in the chat of what you’d like to do, we’ll lean into it right now. So Helena, if you want to kick it off?
David Flinner (01:08:03):
Sorry, who’s missing?
Helena Belloff (01:08:07):
Oh hi. I have a lot to be excited about this week. Professional-wise, I actually think Scott mentioned it at the beginning of the forum talking about OnDeck, so actually Andrew recommended that I apply and I got into their first cohort for the data science fellowship for OnDeck, so I’m really looking forward to that. It starts February, lots of stuff. And then I guess on a personal note, it’s still really cold in New York. I hate saying that in front of the Winnipeg folks, but it’s too cold for me so I’m doing nothing this weekend.
Ben Grynol (01:08:53):
Awesome. Matt, if you want to jump in, is Matt still here? I can’t see him. Nice. Murillo, it looks like Matt is away. Yeah. Oh no, Matt is here.
Helena Belloff (01:09:09):
Yeah, so okay I’ll go. Professionally, just as I dig more and more into content, it’s just always comes back and it always amazes me how we’re producing such quality content. It’s great. Personally, excited about upcoming honeymoon. Yeah, that’s mostly what’s on my mind right now.
Ben Grynol (01:09:42):
Very cool. Mike D.
Mike Didonato (01:09:45):
Yeah, so professionally, just excited to continue to work more closely with Alan and everyone on the Now Page to move that forward. Personally, I don’t really have a personal update. I think it’s going to be an all Levels weekend and I’m excited about it. That’s it.
Ben Grynol (01:10:02):
Nice. The all Levels weekend. Scott.
Scott Klein (01:10:08):
Man, personally, we thought the baby had COVID and then a kid actually got COVID in the older one’s class so we’re just hanging out at home again this weekend. Sounds fun. Professionally, I’m excited to just get the strategy stuff wrapped and on. So next week’s going to be a good week. Also, just more excited about team growth as always.
Ben Grynol (01:10:31):
Tom’s out. David.
David Flinner (01:10:34):
Professionally, super excited about all the hardware partnership updates as well as the really cool direction of the Now Page. Great work there. And yeah, I think I’m excited for this weekend because it’ll be the start of my exercise in 2022. I’ve been getting over some head cold stuff and haven’t been able to get out there, so excited to get back in the game.
Ben Grynol (01:10:54):
Nice. You need the Mike D accountability bot to be texting. I think Nic is out. Jesse, is Jesse here? Don’t think so. Jesse, if you’re here we can come back to you. Chris.
Chris Jones (01:11:09):
First off, professionally, the growth on ops team. So having Britney and Sunny on the team has been awesome, both in terms of what they bring professionally and just their personalities are so much fun. So that’s great to watch them get onboarded. Also, the JM update, the Allen updates are just incredible to see, so that’s great. On personal side, it’s a warm front in Montana, I think hitting 40, so probably all the snow we have is maybe going to melt in the next week so hopefully more time outside.
Ben Grynol (01:11:43):
Getting ready for farm assemblage, you go. Sunny,
Sunny Negless (01:11:50):
Everything’s exciting. I’m essentially a puppy at Levels right now. Absolutely everything professionally is exciting so we’re going to stick with that. And then personally, my family is actually coming out for their annual ski trip. We come to Salt Lake City every year to go skiing. Well, I live here now so I get to go home and sleep in my own bed where they get to do pullout couches up north. So that’s what I’m excited about.
Ben Grynol (01:12:10):
Nice. Very cool. I think Rob is out. Haney.
Mike Haney (01:12:16):
Professionally, definitely the hardware updates. I appreciated the in-person, it does not match the magic of the written updates and threads if you haven’t seen those, thar JM does, they’re truly a highlight when they appear. Personally, I finally took a negative COVID test this morning for the first time and I think 12 days so I get to leave my bedroom and stop masking around my wife and child. So I’m looking forward to reemerging into the world.
Ben Grynol (01:12:41):
Glad to hear that, very glad to hear that. Gabe.
Gabe (01:12:45):
Yeah, so firstly excited about team growth, both on the engineering team and elsewhere. Also, excited about the hardware update. That was amazing. Thanks, Josh. And also, oh I’ve forgotten the third thing I was going to say. So I’m excited about those first two things.
Ben Grynol (01:13:05):
Nice. If you remember, chime in after. Steph.
Stephanie Coates (01:13:09):
Yeah, huge welcome to Ian and Sunny this week. What I’m professionally excited about is the Now screen and huge shout out to Alan and Mike D this week for working so hard to just get everything up and running and I’m super excited to start building it next week. And personally, I think I told all of you, I’m training for a triathlon this year and I’ve started working with a swim coach and it’s really exciting to see improvements along the way. And so yeah, just going to continue with that.
Ben Grynol (01:13:41):
Very cool. You have to post your updates. We need a triathlon thread or something like that, marathon thread, keep everybody up to date with the progress. I don’t know if Dom’s still here, Lori is not here. Dom is away. Kunal.
Kunal Shah (01:13:57):
Yeah, so my girlfriend and I got an invitation to a group house back in the Bay Area. And I know we just got to New York just a few months ago, but we’re still really seriously considering it. It’s a great group of people but the move-in is in two weeks, so it’s just chaos as we try to decide and try to figure out all the logistics. Yeah, it’s basically just a 10 bedroom house and it’s rented out by 10 different people, which is the only way we could actually afford to live there. But yeah, we’ll find out. I might heading back to Seth, that’s all for me.
Ben Grynol (01:14:37):
Very cool. West Coast and East Coast is in constant competition for the most Levels team members on either side. Britney.
Britney (01:14:47):
Thanks. So professionally what I’m most excited about, God, it’s a lot of things. I’m on Sunny’s level, I’m still a puppy, just so excited. Welcome, Sunny to the team. I’m just so excited to have you on the team and Ian as well. It’s just exciting to have both of you on board. And I’m closing out my second week of onboarding and it’s just been such an awesome experience and really excited to dive into some new projects next week, get to start revamping and optimizing the Help Scout self-service portal amongst other things. So super excited about that. And then personally, I have a long hike planned with a good friend of mine tomorrow. We’re going to bring the dogs and just enjoy the Santa Barbara sunshine tomorrow. So that’s it on my end.
Ben Grynol (01:15:42):
That’s awesome. That’s always the hardest part is refraining during onboarding from actually doing all the work that you want to get into. So very cool. While we’re at time, do we want to keep going and then cut into the cafe hours to get through the list or how do people feel?
Josh Mohrer (01:16:00):
Yeah, why not.
Ben Grynol (01:16:01):
Okay, let’s keep doing it. Ian, you’re up.
Ian Schumann (01:16:06):
My shares are kind of similar to Britney’s. Professionally, keep it simple. I started at Levels that seems to be going well so far. Personally, a very long hike coming up. I’ve been talking with a couple of college friends for several years about getting us back out to Big Bend National Park, which is a very special place. And so in early March we’re going to do this classic backpacking route out there called the outer mountain loop and I’m really looking forward to that.
Ben Grynol (01:16:36):
Nice, that sounds like prime material for a lightning talk in the future. I think Braden is out. Braden if you’re here. Go on to Alan.
Alan McLean (01:16:48):
Hey. Yeah, I’m very excited about all these people joining and getting back in the swing of interviewing and team building to continue to have great chats with promising designers. My whole day is basically booked today and initially I was like, “Whoa, no.” Now they’re really fruitful and exciting conversation, so excited about that. And then on the personal side, we finally got our cargo bike delivered and built and so, despite it being incredibly cold, I’m zooming around the city with two kids on the back and that’s a blast. That’s me.
Ben Grynol (01:17:25):
Nice. Getting integrated into New York, the different lifestyle, Mr. Hoa?
Hao Li (01:17:34):
Yeah, I think we can use Alan’s voice to train a AI voice generator. So for the publish the foreign videos, we just use Alan’s voice. I’m just kidding. Yeah, so personally it’s been quite warm here as well, it’s about 50 Fahrenheit, so I won’t head to the mountain this weekend, but I will do some ski maintenance like sharpening and waxing.
Ben Grynol (01:18:00):
Nice. You have to get out there, get on the hills. Jhon.
Jhon Cruz (01:18:06):
It’s great to be back after vacation and seeing lots of new people. The hardware update was awesome as well and it was nice to have Jackie and Brady visiting us on exploring Colombia. I hope they are doing great in other Colombian cities.
Ben Grynol (01:18:27):
That’s very cool. Yeah, it was very cool to see those pictures and see that you all got to connect. Sam is out, Xinlu’s out. JM.
Josh Mohrer (01:18:38):
You may recall my older daughter was off last Friday for snow. My younger daughter is off now and Monday and Tuesday for a COVID shutdown in her classroom. I asked her if she wanted to come and say hi. She said no. What are you going to do? Second kids. I’m excited about this year and the future and all the great things we have going thanks to the great work that’s been going on for years. It’s really nice to be in this moment right now. Have a great long weekend if you’re taking off on Monday.
Ben Grynol (01:19:08):
Awesome. Dr. Casey Means.
Dr. Casey Means (01:19:12):
Hi. Well the good news for Sunny and Britney is that it never stops being exciting. Two and a half years in, I still feel the exact same way. And I will say Ben and I were texting about that last night about how exciting it still is every moment at Levels so it doesn’t diminish and that’s a really good thing. I would say for professionally this week. The Mark Hyman podcast, recording was so fun. I think this one’s going to be an interesting one because it’s I think one of the first podcasts that’s ever going to be out there about objective data of how food affects people on a population level. I don’t think that’s really been able to be done before. And so I think it’s going to be really exciting one for getting the message out there about what the Levels data set can do in terms of power for change in the nutrition industry. We’ll see how it’s received, but I’m excited about that.
The press was really exciting this week, months of work all coming to fruition in one week. And then the digital strategy memo got me so excited this week. Ben did just an incredible thorough job on that. Awesome to see his brain go onto paper in such an amazing way and that is going to be such a huge part of how a billion people see our content and our work and can hopefully improve their metabolic health through that. So really exciting to see that come to fruition.
Ben Grynol (01:20:34):
Nice. Yeah, can’t wait for the Hymen podcast. It’s going to be eye-opening and I think that’ll be get a number of shares online. As far as Levels, so this digital strategy memo has come out, it’s been posted in threads. It’s been an evolution to get to this point because we have so much great content. And Levels-wise, Haney and I had a very long conversation and Casey and I had a long conversation around it this week. And it was more of an alignment than it was differing viewpoints. It was making sure that we’re all on the same page of like, “How do we start getting more of this information out there?”
And so Levels-wise, those are the highlights as far as having these differing views or I guess bringing them together for alignment. And that can be hard sometimes when you’re asynchronous and you’re trying to do things through comments and all these things. And when we all came together it was a point where we said, “Hey, we understand what the intent is behind all these things.” So just really appreciated the way that our team can work through doing some of these big undertakings as an organization. On the personal front, I’m going for a haircut this weekend and very excited about that. Onto Miz.
Michael Mizrahi (01:21:51):
Yeah, what a week. There’s so much here that I’m not just going to list it all out, but this entire forum was awesome. So if you presented this one’s for you, enjoyed this one. Warm welcome to everyone over the last two weeks. So Ian, Sunny, Britney, Dave, it’s really cool to see the different backgrounds, location. Dave’s video with the kids in the field put a massive smile on my face as did the John and Braden and Jackie one. But it’s good to see the culture start clicking with people as they join in and the fit just seems right on so many ends, so thrilled about that. And also having great candidates on the finance side, so excited to bring in some accounting controller help. On the personal side, no long hikes. I did the SF cross-town trail last weekend, January 1st, which is 17 miles from one end of San Francisco to the other. So I’m good on hikes for at least three more weeks. I’m getting out there, but that was fun.
Ben Grynol (01:22:44):
Got all your hikes in. Very cool. Justin.
Justin Stanley (01:22:50):
I just enjoyed watching all the looms and the Zooms for all the now recording stuff or the Now screen stuff. Personally, I’m reading why we sleep and it’s really, really great and hopefully I can finish it off this week. It’s cold here again, so just going to stay inside and finish that off.
Ben Grynol (01:23:11):
It’s not that cold, Justin, come on. It doesn’t look like I’m going to jump into Stacy because I’m sitting here thinking, “Did we miss her?” But I don’t see her on the list so Stacie, jump in.
Stacie Flinner (01:23:21):
All right, thanks. I think most excited about all the press this week, just really incredible all those top tier publications and digging into the digital strategy for 2022 is also very exciting. Personally, we just made a lot of huge strides on our new house. If you’re new, we bought a 200-year-old house in New Hampshire and it’s a big project. So anyway, just plugging away at that.
Ben Grynol (01:23:51):
Love it. The ongoing home renovations, you have to keep posting all the pictures as all the changes get made. Onto Jackie. I think Jackie had to jump. If you’re still here, Jackie. Going to Karen. Is Karen still here or did she jump? Karen, you are here but we’ll go to Tony and Karen if you want to jump in after that.
Anthony Milio (01:24:24):
Yeah, sure. Professional Levels side, just want to say plus one to the team growth, so welcome Sunny and Ian. I also want to mention that one of my highlights from this forum was on Ben’s slide how Levels is a pull product, not a push product. And I really just enjoyed that and I think a lot of people did in the chat and I feel like I wanted to just emphasize it one more time because it really hit me. I was always thinking about Levels’ growth approach and marketing approach and I feel like in that one sentence it says it all. So thanks Ben.
Ben Grynol (01:25:07):
That’s it. Tony, you wrapped it. That’s a good bite to end on. But thank you for everything everyone is doing.