January 7, 2022

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

Josh (00:00:00):
All right. Can everyone see my screen? Am I all set up and running?
Mike (00:00:04):
Josh (00:00:04):
Cool, let’s dive straight in. First forum of 2022, pretty wild. All right, kicking off at the top. Recent achievements. So we hit nine million in all-time revenue. This is of course just a vanity metric for us because we are not in growth mode still, but it is really cool to keep track of this and watch it climb despite still being in beta and still managing accessibility. About 20% conversion rate last week, which is really solid five months of solid subscription growth, even given the membership transition, which we’re still in the process of improving the messaging around it, so it’s really cool to see this hold. Our top candidate for community lead verbally accepted this week, so look for an announcement, more information on that. But really exciting. Obviously we want to continue to lean into our community as soon as possible.
Britney, who’s on this call, and David ten Have are both starting this week. They have started, so welcome. We’ll have a bit more info in just a minute. And then Sunny starts next week on ops. So we’ve got people getting started. And then of course Taylor, who many of you have already gotten familiar with, he is on this call as well. He accepted a few months back and has been slowly ramping up over the months and so he’s now full steam ahead, which is awesome. We hit number one on the search results for the term metabolic health here and you can see the featured snippet. You can also see a little testimonial here from somebody that just reinforces this person has turned to the Levels blog to learn about everything metabolic health related for the last year. And just really cool to see this transition, especially because we called this shot in August that we wanted to own this top spot.
So a little more on that in just a minute as well. We’re continuing to evolve our feedback and review strategy. So we released the first memo on this after the employee survey that went out a few months ago and definitely still getting our arms around what is going to be most effective for the team at this stage, as we grow, what will be most effective for managers as we start to build more management structure? And on this topic, Miz and Ben are going to be recording a culture video about giving and receiving feedback. Feedback and performance reviews, there’s some overlap, but they’re not mutually inclusive, meaning they are separate things. Feedback is intended to help people understand how they’re operating within the team and it’s independent of promotional tracks and things like this. So anyway, we’re still trying to get our strategy fully formed there, open to all sorts of feedback on the process as we go.
And then promoting answers, which I’ll let Chris speak to this more, but promoting answers. Just finding small ways to drop ops volume through in intelligent operational improvements. So really cool to see these sorts of things give incremental improvement. So on the flip side, we are at a 48 NPS, which is our lowest month yet. Most of the learnings are around experience, price and what to do next. Not surprising, we’ve made a bunch of changes to how the NPS form is delivered. And so we have a higher response rate overall than we were a few months ago. And this is really good information, we need to know these things. There’s still some debate around NPS versus product market fit. Another metric for people who aren’t familiar with these, we have a memo with a lot of discussion, a lot of threads action going on. And we’re actually going to have a podcast, I think, recording this week on this topic as well.
So still figuring out which metrics are going to be the baseline that we track. We’ll likely track both, but which ones we benchmark for rapid focus and prioritization are still in flux. Unsubscribes around the rise. Conversion rates are our lowest month yet, although this past week was really good. So obviously with the holidays and such, these sorts of things can be disrupted. But good to keep our eyes open on these metrics. Our app now supports dynamic font sizing, which is great, a lot great accessibility improvement there. If you set your font size manually in your settings, that will now push into the Levels app. Tons of progress on suggested tagging and prep for the now and explore pages, which we’ll have more info on in the product sections. And then a quick update on the IRB. So this has been paused for some additional clarification around membership pricing.
Essentially the IRB wants to know about accessibility for audiences outside the membership, whether or not that’s going to be a possibility, whether people can opt out, et cetera. So there’s a lot of clarification that we have to do there. Some great updates. I really appreciate a lot of people coming together this week while I’ve been out unexpectedly, but coming together to get traction on how to get this resubmitted over the line as soon as today. So really appreciate that and more to come on the IRB. You can see a couple of 2021 year interview items came out. Tony put together an amazing video. Stacy put together this Instagram snippet just showing a lot of our member action from this week, or sorry this year. And Tony’s video covered a broader subset of the information from this past year. Definitely recommend checking those out.
Alan put out a great product design in 2022 video, one of his stellar looms that he’s known for at this point, highly recommend watching that. Bunch of great memos and strategy documents, so the Levels company blurbs update from Jackie, how we work with content creators to help people understand how they can interface with the Levels team. Memos database for public documents, so people can refer to and find all of the public documents that we have put out there into the world. And then digital media strategy, refining how we think about digital media in 2022. And then let’s see, a couple other important ones. We made two of the 30 spots on the first round review, 30 Best Pieces of Advice for Entrepreneurs in 2021. So congrats to Sam and Tom for rating on that. That’s really awesome. HIIT Runners World, Women’s Health Magazine.
We had 61 conversions in less than 48 hours from the New Lifespan Podcast from our advisor, David Sinclair and Fit Insider. I like this one right here. So this was posted on Twitter, but this little girl was really excited to see her parents wearing Levels and she wanted to put the Levels patch on. She doesn’t have a CGM under there, but it just, I think, goes towards the undercurrent of trying to improve the aspirational nature of what we’re building and remove the stigma. In general, this is a little girl who understands that her parents are trying to do something healthy and she wants to be like them. And I really appreciated that little anecdote. And then a couple of other great videos drops, The Ultimate Guide to Metabolic Health from Austin, Casey and Rob posted an unbelievable, listen, you really have to listen to the deep dive on cholesterol that they put out on YouTube this week and on the podcast.
We’ve got tons of testimonials rolling in from people, including this guy who said, “I paused this midway and pulled out my most recent blood work and started doing calculations on the numbers.” So that’s the type of thing we want, let’s get people caring about their labs. So that’s the high level there. Great work, great week. Then I want to welcome Betsy McLaughlin, Levels member. She is the president, well, former president and CEO of Hot Topic. We had a whole new Level episode with Betsy that was really unbelievable, one of my favorite episodes yet. And I’m super excited to have her join us today. I appreciate you making the time, Betsy, and thank you for not only being a Levels number and helping support us even in this early stage, but also taking the time to then explain your experience and help us form our thoughts for the future. So would love to hear a few words from you, if you don’t mind.
Betsy (00:07:24):
No. Well first of all, thank you so much for inviting me. I haven’t been in consumer businesses all of my life. I know you get feedback when you go out and ask for feedback and you get a lot of data. But I think it’s always nice to have a true customer who knew nothing about you prior to putting the Levels patch on. And had certainly spent a good portion of my life trying to figure out what the heck I was going to do from a metabolic standpoint. I obviously have had a block. Super athletic my entire life, just to level set here. I work out about 25 hours a week. I do aerobics, I do inside, I do abs, I do upper body, lower body. I’ve got a strength trainer, I’ve got a flexibility trainer. And I’ve had this for a long time, but was never able really to try to figure out why, metabolically, my body wouldn’t react.
I’ve also been a very good eater and I think I swore off processed foods and sodas in my 20s. And so as I’ve moved through my journey, and if you listen to the podcast, you certainly know I went through my plant-based phase because I thought that was the best thing to do. And then I had Atkins before that and then I went on to The Zone Diet and then I did Weight Watchers and then I did nutrition, people who were doing all these bespoke programs for me because everybody had the answer. And so I went through my entire professional life thinking this is just the way it’s going to be and I’m going to have to manage the consequences as they come.. Left Hot Topic in 2011 and started my next chapter. And lucky for me, my next chapter included some time off to try to figure out what the heck I was going to do with the next 30 years of my life.
And I discovered Levels through my trainer. He’s not actually a trainer, he’s a life coach, but fitness and training is a big part of what he does. So I got turned onto Levels and I knew, just based on my decades of history that I wasn’t going to be able to just read the instructions and fall into the mass response. So I dove deep into figuring out how to create a program for myself based on my own personal results. And you’ve changed my life, down 81 pounds. My A1C went from 6.1 to 5.3. My glucose went from 124, not fasted, after eating, to 84. My ALT went from 52 to 15. My AST went from 30 to 15, my triglycerides went down by 70 points. Really amazing what has happened with Levels. And I think you certainly see all the data, but I don’t know how often you get these testimonials from people that say, “If it wasn’t for Levels, I’m not really sure where I would be right now, probably 30 pounds heavier or 40 pounds heavier, probably coming out of COVID feeling frustrated with life.”
But I still wear Levels and I’m wearing it, not because I don’t know how my body reacts to food, but I wear it because it validates what I’m doing and I know this is a lifetime journey for me. This is not a chapter where you get the answer and you move on. This is something that I have to pay attention to for my entire life. And so I’m a huge evangelist. Tell every person who talks to me about how’d you do it? Levels, then they want to know what Levels is. And then I get to tell the Levels story. But I really appreciate all the work that you’ve done. I know these are long development stages and I’m sure a lot of you have been at this for quite a while, but what you’re doing is really meaningful. And certainly, I’m sure that you save lives on the diabetes front. But for those of us who are fairly healthy in the way that we make our lifestyle choices, what you’re doing is adding an element that I’m not sure anyone else can do.
And I’m really grateful, really, really grateful. So I’m thrilled to have the opportunity just to say thank you to you all for working so hard. And when I did my podcast with Casey, she’s fantastic by the way. And it brought me so much joy to see her reaction in just hearing a real life story of somebody who again, was not attached to the Levels brand at all. My doctor didn’t tell me to do it, I’ve never had a glucose monitor before, didn’t even know what it was, didn’t particularly want a needle in me, didn’t know it wasn’t a needle. There were so many things that I think mentally I would’ve pushed back on. But for some reason, I think whether it was the app, whether it was the way that you introduced the subject to me, or whether it was Michael, my friend, who said, ” Listen, this is an amazing startup and I just want you to do this for me.”
And I said, “Okay, you’ve done so much for me, I’ll do something for you.” And became attached immediately. I, in the first 14 days, figured out what foods I could eat and what I couldn’t eat and when I could eat them. And on day 15, I started losing weight and I had not lost weight in 40 years no matter what I did. I could fast for a week and I’d lose two pounds fasting for a week. And so I stuck to that plan. I think I had, with the exception of Thanksgiving, three days of Thanksgiving, which were a lot less worse than they would’ve been, I was green on the calendar for five months straight and the weight came off. I didn’t have to change anything other than the foods I was eating. And it wasn’t that much different than what I had before.
It was just different orders and different quantities. And now I am deep into the order and what I can have, because I think I’ve retrained my metabolism. I can actually have some of those foods. I could not eat a sweet potato. I had been eating sweet potatoes, steamed sweet potatoes, refrigerated, prior to Levels because that’s what everybody said I should eat once a day. First thing I ate on the Levels with the monitor in was a steamed sweet potato and I went up to 200. And it took four hours to get back even to the 100 range. But anyway, but now as I go through it now, there’s a lot of things I can eat as long as I eat them after protein or I eat them in combination with something else. So I’m just super thrilled with the knowledge that I have, the changes that it’s made to my life and the story that I get to tell on behalf of Levels to everyone I meet.
Josh (00:14:34):
Incredible. Yeah, the personal testimony is just unbelievable for the team to hear. And there’s a lot wrapped up in that, including what we touched on in the beginning of the meeting, which was the stigma that surrounds some of these decisions, which are regardless of metabolic health status, and we apply a lot of labels to different symptoms, but at the end of the day, everyone wants to get healthier. And the information that guides how your body responds to your decisions should be readily available. And that’s what we ultimately want to do. And your story just drives home why it’s so important because it unlocks N of 1 you’re the person that you need to optimize. You can’t optimize the whole country with one size fits all decisions.
Betsy (00:15:19):
Yeah, I was going to say too, I’ve had hundreds of LinkedIn requests that come with questions from people who have sought me out on LinkedIn because of the podcast. And have said, “Hey, I’m in the same situation. I’m in my 40s or I’m in my 50s, I’ve tried everything. I think I’m pretty normal and after listening to the podcast, I’m going to try Levels.” So I think that there’s definitely an inflection point here where people are actually saying, “Listen, I need this to have a healthy life as much as I need an Oura Ring or a Whoop strap or exercise five days a week. I think there’s definitely a shift in mentality that’s happening in pop culture.
Josh (00:16:08):
Totally agreed. Betsy, thank you so much for coming on and sharing all of that with our team. This is the second time you’ve set aside a lot of time in your busy schedule to share with us. So really appreciate that. And please feel free to stay for the rest of the meeting. I know it’s Friday, so there may be other things. But you’re more than welcome and we really appreciate everything you’ve contributed.
Betsy (00:16:29):
I do have to jump off, but just thank you guys, keep up the good work.
Josh (00:16:33):
Thank you so much, Betsy. Have a nice day-
Betsy (00:16:34):
All right, bye-bye.
Josh (00:16:35):
… nice weekend, bye-bye. All right, jumping forward. I want to welcome Britney. Britney is our most recent addition to the operations team, the member support team. Very excited to hear Britney’s perspective on joining Levels. And there’s some info up on the slide. I won’t read it verbatim, but Britney would love to hear in your own words. Welcome.
Britney (00:16:56):
Yeah, well thank you so much, Josh. It’s so exciting to be here and especially after a month or so of watching the Friday forums. It’s just surreal to be a part of it now. And for those of you who don’t know me, I’m Britney, operation specialist on the support team here at Levels. Just joined on Monday and it’s been such an incredible and exciting week, learning more about Levels. And I just couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of this team and just excited for what’s to come this year. So a little bit about me. I grew up in Northern California and I’d say my desire to improve customer service for people began when I was 13 years old, working at my stepdad’s health club or athletic club.
I know probably, I was a little too young to legally be working, but I was still working every summer until graduated or sorry, moved to go to college. And I was basically the go-to person there for questions, concerns, issues, having to problem-solve and improve people’s customer experience and also just think of new ways to improve the customer experience. And just seeing people’s reactions when I did that and connecting with people on that way, I was basically hooked from then on out. And I think that the customer service side of things or customer support has always been a common thread with every role that I’ve held from there on out throughout my career. So I had moved to Santa Barbara about 12 years ago to get my degree from UC Santa Barbara, and I’ve been there ever since, or been in Santa Barbara ever since.
After I graduated I moved into hospitality, working for Kenton and Hilton Hotels and that’s really where I developed a more solid foundation of how to improve the customer experience and customer support. I learned everything I know today from working in hospitality. And so that was an incredible experience that I carry a lot of my learnings with me to this day from there. And from the hospitality, I had moved into an operations role at a company for the past five years, worked at Procore Technologies as operations manager there. And my team there, we were focused on two things. One, supporting all the individuals within the product and technology department. By the time I left, that was almost 1,000 individuals. And then also working on the operations side of things, constantly looking on how we can improve and optimize the internal business operations for the product and technology team. So that was an incredible ride.
When I started there, I was employee number two on their operations team and we were definitely still in the scrappy startup phase. And it was a very exciting time to join and it was jumping on a rocket ship. It was the white knuckle startup phase and went through a period of exponential growth and this year Procore IPOed, which was a really exciting thing to be a part of. And so from there, I’m just really excited to bring that experience to the table here and also learn from all of you as well. And what I’m most excited about now, I’m, as mentioned, moving into a role here where I’ll be owning member-facing support and also supporting process improvements at Levels. And from a professional standpoint, the things that I’m most passionate about are operations and customer support. So perfect for my role here.
But from a personal standpoint, I would say my biggest passion and interest in life or one of my biggest passions and interests in life is health and wellness. And that’s how I learned about Levels this past year. Became very passionate about Levels, eventually applied to Levels because my mind was blown about what this company is doing. And no longer just wanted to be a customer, I wanted to contribute in any way that I can and be a part of this incredible mission and be a part of this team. So that’s a little bit about me and I’m just thrilled to be here and can’t wait to see what this next year brings. And if that 2021 year review video didn’t get everyone excited, I don’t know what will. That was an incredible hype video. Chris sent that to me, I think the weekend before I started, and it just put a huge smile on my face. So excited to be a part of this team. Thank you.
Josh (00:22:10):
Amazing. Thank you, Britney. Excited to have you on the team. I know there was a coffee chat with Britney yesterday, which I always love those. I unfortunately couldn’t join, but hopefully everyone has had a chance to chat with Britney. If not, definitely reach out, make yourself available. Help her in the onboarding process and welcomed into the culture and can’t be more excited to see the continued awesome growth from people who care personally about what we’re doing here. That’s the most important thing and a theme with our team. So thanks again Britney, and looking forward to hearing more about that oyster eating contest.
All right, with that welcoming Dave. So David ten Have, our first New Zealand team addition, which for those of you that don’t know, it is currently Saturday in New Zealand. Dave is CEO and co-founder of Omniblox. He has held COO, CEO, and CTO roles across hardware and software. He’s an incredible, not only business leader, but also functional lead in inside of his expertise, which is quite broad. And I’m very excited to learn from Dave and have him on the team. I sent out a note on Threads with a little more information about Omniblox, Dave and his co-founder, Sean. But all that to say, Dave, excited to have you here. We’d love to hear a few words as you join the team.
Dave (00:23:28):
Awesome, thanks, Josh. Yes. So from New Zealand, so I guess I moved up to the top of the Levels bingo card and most valuable acquisition. And I apologize ahead of time for my antipathy and idioms, which you’ll all get to experience at one point or the other. Yeah, I’m one half of Omniblox, the real star starts in a couple of weeks. We’re focused on making the hardware development process more efficient. Prior to that, I worked at Makey Makey, took that from being a mega product to being a STEM product throughout the United States. Built all the networks, all the supply chains, all that sort of thing. Really excited about products that are hardware and software in community. I think that’s super important. Yeah, I’m a programmer that reads balance sheet, that’s what I do, who I am. And I guess to close the loop, if Jon Bier from Jack Taylor is watching this, I would like to thank you. Jon is a friend of mine from making Makey Makey times and he helped out on introducing me to Levels. So thank you to Jon. Yeah, that’s me.
Josh (00:24:59):
For those of you that haven’t had a chance, we’re definitely going to have more opportunities to chat with Dave and Sean on the coming day…
PART 1 OF 4 ENDS [00:25:04]
Josh (00:25:03):
Those of you that haven’t had a chance, we’re definitely going to have more opportunities to chat with Dave and Sean in the coming days. I’ve had some awesome long conversations with both of them, and just couldn’t be more excited to have them on the team. They bring a broad set of experiences and capabilities. And yeah, the idioms are only one part of the personality Dave’s bringing. So looking forward to having everybody learn, and help Dave and Sean get onboarded into the team, and yeah, super stoked. Thanks, Dave.
And then, lastly, a quick recap here. Everyone’s fairly familiar with Taylor. But. Taylor, we’re going to just run this slide once more, just to get everyone re-familiarized. Because he joined the forum back in, I don’t know, maybe even September or October. So Taylor is a pathologist from UCSF, software engineer. He co-founded Color Genomics. Also, started off as a levels investor and user. He’s got some cool fun facts there. Beating the mayor of Shanghai at, what I imagine is one of his skills, blackjack. And generally just brings, again, a very broad set of expertise to the Levels product platform business. Has already been getting his hands dirty across the entire spectrum that we’ve got going here. So for those of you that haven’t had a chance to chat with Taylor, I believe we have a coffee chat with him, on Monday the 10th, set up. So definitely reach out directly to both he and Dave. And then, also, try and join those coffee chats to get a little more one-on-one time. Taylor, anything else you want to add?
Taylor Sittler (00:26:27):
Oh, I’m unmuted here. No, just really excited. Honestly, the experience has been amazing so far. I spent November and December doing a lot of thinking, and had a couple of other things to take care of. And I’m now really excited to ramp up. It’s been an awesome first week. And I’ll have a slide in a little bit so I’ll chat more then.
Josh (00:26:47):
Perfect. All right, great. Exciting week of team additions here. All right, jumping into culture and kudos. Quick sides here. We get these testimonials actually weekly, but we just wanted to feature one here. There are a lot of people that reach out and remind us that they are devout or religious followers of the Friday Forum. It’s the highlight of their week. And these are people who are outside of the Levels ecosystem directly. And just wanted to remind everyone that these meetings are an amazing benefit to our community building. Outside the Levels team specifically, we’re building a network of real believers and people who want to support us. And it’s really powerful. Some people take the time to reach out and just remind us of that, and just wanted to boost that.
We’ve got here a picture of Hao, Scott, and Taylor in real life, which is awesome. Love to see these. If you get together with any other Levels members, always send a pic in. We really enjoy seeing that.
And then, on the culture side, Braden… This is just an example of Braden, for example, taking a bug on the website that he found. And rather than just pitching it over the wall and saying, “Hey, here’s this problem, deal with it when you can.” He took the next action of saying, “Who can I reach out to, to solve this?” And I just wanted to get it taken care of because his goal is not to derail someone else’s day by creating a problem that they then have to solve. It’s, instead, he’s already taken the course of action to find the bug and raise it so he’s going to just close the loop on it. So these sorts of things are always really helpful, across the team, as we work in this asynchronous environment. Just try and find ways to alleviate other people, instead of disrupting them, because we don’t all work on the same time schedules. And so, if you have a problem, you want to fix it, try and provide the next action for the person to take.
And then, lastly, I just want to highlight real quick, this right here. This is from August 27th. Sam raised that, “We need to own ‘metabolic health’ more so than ‘metabolic fitness’. We are not in the top 10 for that search result. Let’s figure out a plan to capture that keyword.” And today is January 7th. I think we rated number one a few days ago. And I love seeing shot calling and execution. So, Casey Haney, just really amazing to see this sort of thing. Metabolic health is, as Casey put it on Twitter, “The most important word in health or phrase in health.” And to see the quick turnaround on just putting a plan together with our SEO in content, and then executing, is incredible. So thank you both.
Okay, another culture and kudos slide. So we have a new memo out today on spending money. So overall, those of you who read the book, No Rules Rules with us from Netflix. Generally, we want to pull a few things from that, not the entire culture. But one of the most important things is treating people like adults and allowing them to use their best judgment. We had a couple policies that were scattered around how we use, or how we guide, money spending. And the bottom line is, we trust your best judgment. Please spend dollars responsibly. If you need something to do your job, if you need to experiment with a product in order to better understand the industry, that’s readily available.
Now, one thing that we’re changing as a function of this, and I highly recommend everyone read the full memo, is we’re going to move away from stipends in order to better fit with our philosophies on compensation and paternalism. So we want to treat people like adults. We want to make sure that you are able to live your life however you see fit. It’s your personal choice. And offering cash incentives for only specific products or services doesn’t really fit with that. So, right now, we’re going to release this new approach to spending money. Do what you see fit, experimenting with products that you think are going to be important for Levels or could be helpful for you understanding the industry. Entirely up to you. If you do go about, say, experimenting with a product, we will want to capture some of those learnings in some way. And that might be a memo that you write, could be an Everyone on Content piece that Haney or someone else sets up an interview with you for. But we want to capture the learnings.
So it doesn’t mean that we can’t use products in the health and wellness space. It’s more so, we’re not going to have a specific stipend for it. And we’re going to do this on a case by case basis. Everyone is given the leeway to make the best judgment. If you have any concerns about this, any questions, if you’re already using a product or service from this old stipend program, just reach out to Miz or I. And we can work through making sure that we either set that up in a product experimentation framework so that you can get some learnings out of it for content, or some other path forward. But, in general, just wanted to get everyone up to speed. We’re going to back away from that stipend strategy, instead move to a best judgment approach. And we’re going to leave it up to the individuals. And that’s how we’re going to continue to grow our company and our culture. So yeah, again, reach out to me or Miz if you have any questions on any of this stuff.
And then, lastly, we have a new memo on Levels blurbs. So you’ll see the top line, “Levels helps you see how food affects your health.” No change there. But then we have a longer version here. So, “Levels helps you see how food affects your health by leveraging biosensors like continuous glucose monitors, Levels provides real-time feedback on how diet and lifestyle choices impact your metabolic health. Our Members are using personalized data to discover their optimal diet, control their weight, and reduce long-term health risk.”
The updated terminologies are all highlighted in green here. So we want to drive home a few key components of what that means. How Levels helps you see how food affects your health. So real-time feedback, diet and lifestyle, biosensors, these sorts of elements all come together to paint the picture of what Levels really is. So this is an updated phrase. This is inside the blurbs memo. Definitely open to feedback. Please share that with the team. Jackie is the owner of this memo. And, obviously, this is going to continue to evolve as we proceed.
All right. No major updates on this slide. App store we launched, nutritionist pilot, bloodwork pilot’s still going. Membership fee three, we’re still working on. And tagging, along with suggested tags, is in work. So as we push forward, direct device integration is the key blocker to a major launch. And then, completing that membership transition.
JM (00:33:08):
Hi there. Hello from snowy New York, where it’s a snow day here for some schools, believe it or not. On bloodwork, we’re going to do a legal review next week to make sure we’re comfortable with the way everything looks. And then, hopefully, get this out to all members sometime after that. Engineering work for phase one and two are complete. Results are perfectly integrated. And I just went through it yesterday. I got a test in the morning. And I expect to have the results in my app later today, which is great. And after we do that, we’ll put this down for a bit. But do hope to revisit it in the coming months because there’s a lot of great ideas on how to improve and augment. Let’s go to the next slide.
Hi, I’m your DRI for launch. Because it’s 2022, and we’re going to launch this year. And that’s, more or less, all I have to say at the moment. I have a memo in the works, after getting asked to do this yesterday. Very, very excited about it. This will probably touch basically everyone on the team. And I’m looking forward to doing that. So more to come on that. This is just a preview. Thank you.
Josh (00:34:25):
Exciting. Love the cliffhanger here. Thanks, JM. All right, update from Jhon for tagging.
Jhon (00:34:42):
Hey team. Version two of the tagging project has started this week. This is a six-week project split into two phases, with the following features and changes. The first one is food recognition. You take a picture, or pick a photo from your library, and a set of tags will be automatically recognized. This feature is already working in our internal operation, so please provide feedback.
The second change is redefined login experience. In order to minimize typing and make this process a little bit easier, everything is going to be a tag. No more freeform text. And, hopefully, everything is going to be displayed as a suggestion. Whether they are coming from the picture or from the backend, our members will be able to tap on suggestions and build their list of ingredients or the description of the log. We will also have an auto-tagging feature, where suggestions are automatically added, based on a confidence score. And we will also bring the option to add custom tags, if the suggestions are not good. Part of this feature is working in our internal version as well.
Finally, we will have a tag page. A list of used tags will show up in the zone show page. And for every tag we will have some insights, like a comparison response with other meals, the average score among all members using the same ingredient, and so on. So please check the tagging v2 threads for more information. Thanks.
Josh (00:37:00):
Awesome, thank you, Jhon. Yeah, that’s not to be underestimated in terms of how large these changes will be. Being able to directly correlate two responses between two individuals who ate the same meal, it comes down to structured data like this. So this is going to be a huge unlock so excited for this. And it will always replay when I push. Okay, explore page, Murillo.
Murillo Nicacio de Maraes (00:37:24):
Yeah, so we are doing some work on the previously learn tab that’s now the explore tab. Which is meant to be a little sandbox for members to learn more about their metabolic health, what they can do next, and all of that. Phase two, right now, the one active, is about table stakes content, just doing the obvious things that we need to get right to have compelling content in the app. So our goals right now are just surfacing more appropriate content, either by recommending content that is relevant to you and to your case. Or by making it easier for you to find content whenever you have a question, whenever you want to learn, whenever you’re seeking that content.
So yes, our focus is on searching recommendations. This work should take about two to three weeks. Yeah, so over there on the pictures, you can see some of the experiments we’ve been running around searching. Right now, if you try our search, you see that it only matches whole words and the title of the article. But if we can go deeper, then we can do a better job of counseling our members on what to eat or what their next steps might be. So yeah, so that’s explore for now. Looking forward to bringing you more updates soon.
Josh (00:38:59):
Amazing. Thank you, Murillo. All right, quick aside on hiring. We expect to have the updated… Well, actually, I believe the new Corporate Counsel was posted already. So yeah, Corporate Counsel and Chief of Staff are both live right now. So the big update here will be a second attorney to help out Zach on many of the unbelievable scope of the work he’s doing today. So this is going to be a big one. And then, a Chief of Staff to work with Casey on strategic projects. So building a playbook for managing our advisors is one of those items, but there’s a whole host here. So Casey’s playing a dual role right now of both Chief Medical Officer and also our primary spokesperson to the outside world for press and PR. So this is going to be a huge unlock for her to help her scale her efforts. Any questions on hiring, if you feel that you have a great person and you’re watching this, please share them, refer them in. Point them directly to levels.link/careers.
All right, new team members. This slide hasn’t changed much, other than a few people who were on it last week are now on this call with us. Ian and Maxine will both be joining in a few days. Oh sorry, Ian starts in a few days. Sunny starts in a few days after that. Shawn Grening, the other half of Omniblox, and Maxine, later in January. So a lot of roles posted, a lot of people starting. It’s going to be a big month, two months, of growth for the Levels team. So exciting, but also, everybody please keep your eyes open for cracks in the culture, cracks in the process. Help everybody get onboarded, figure out ways to improve the experience as we onboard many people simultaneously. Everything’s an experiment.
Alan McLean (00:40:40):
Yeah, so in design, wrapping up some projects right now. This is some work we did yesterday, just relating to giving members in the Day Review a bit of a chance to see how they compared to others. So if they jump buckets and scores, they’ll be able to see how they scored relative to other people. So in this example, on the right, where I usually am, you can show you plus 16% of members. And if you’re one of the rare one or two people that get 100, you’ll see how special that is, actually, as it relates to your metabolic score. So wrapping up that stuff, next slide, please.
Working on the Now page. So probably a lot of you saw how this is coming together. It’s a very big content and education focus, to address some of the gaps on metabolic health understanding for our members. And so, this is, right now, I sent a little thread about this yesterday, largely an organizational task on compiling articles, finding content, rewriting some of it so that it could fit. And then, just figuring out what does it look like, what does a day look like, if you’re getting insights like this on a regular basis? Do we have the right kind of content? Are we answering the right kind of questions? So largely organizational. Next slide.
Another example of that, bringing data forward, on the left, going for this big imagery treatment, trying to be just a little bit fresher. Sometimes the graphs can feel cold, so we’re starting to embrace a bit richer visual language. So, hopefully, this brightens up the app a little bit. Next slide.
And so, yeah, we’re almost wrapped on the TWA project, the brand alignment project. We’re getting to a really good place. We had a review yesterday. Some final loose ends to wrap up so we can flip through these a little bit. Next slide.
So we’ve got photography guidance in a good spot. We’re embracing this bright and warm feeling, exercise outside. Next slide.
Trying to have slightly more diverse imagery with respect to people, and bodies, and ages. Next slide.
We’ve got some tweaks on color too. We’re bringing some of that brightness to the brand. And so this is an interesting approach for us, this tonal treatment. It’s going to allow us to retain the seriousness of green that we have, this darker green here, whilst offsetting some of it with this tonal treatment that we can lay over top of it with that bright green. And so, we’re going to have a bit more flexibility to allow things to breathe and feel a little bit more aligned overall. Next slide.
Type, that’s boring, type. Type’s looking good.
Iconography, we’ve got a slightly lighter icon treatment. I think this is going to be nice. It’s going to feel a little bit fresher and not quite so duplicative of the material icons. Next slide.
And illustration, so these are just sketches, they’re not quite done. But we’re starting to define this nice illustration style that we can use both in editorial content and in the app. So we’re embracing this isometric view. There’s no color applied to these yet, but I’m really optimistic that these are going to be great. So this is about brain health, probably a little bit more art direction needed here, but I think it’s on a really good track. Next slide.
Light exercise, so coming up with some original imagery we can use and populate throughout the app and so on. I think this is going to look really great. Next slide.
And then, so the website, we’ve run into a couple issues on licensing of photos, but I think we’re going to get to a good spot. This is the dark version of the app. It’s bright, it’s got some great color popping there at the top. We’ll have some video up front as well that will allow us to have diverse imagery and members shown. We’re going to also try to… We’ve got this interesting approach we’re going to take. Hopefully, this works, is a lot of the really interesting video and photography is going to be a mix of both original stuff that Stacey has done and has been shot in the past, and a mix of licensing stuff as well. And so I think just having those little pops of the Levels logo, and the Levels patch, is going to really help us expand our use of imagery. But also, ensuring that it feels original too. And next slide.
You can see a light version of it, so this light version of the app. And you can actually see that tonal treatment on the button there too. So I think this is pretty much wrapped. We’re going to start fleshing out those illustrations, and we should be pretty much done by next week.
Josh (00:45:20):
Looks awesome. Thank you, Alan. Huge improvements over the early versions that we saw, so thanks for guiding that. All right, now over to Chris.
Chris Jones (00:45:27):
All right, all right, now, I feel better. To start off with Alan’s beautiful slides, and then I bring you back down to earth with just basic lines and charts and pie charts. So now I feel better. So as I mentioned, I was working with Tom and Jackie around some new partner dashboards. I actually have two of them in development, one’s on Snowflake and one’s on Retool. The reason is, one, as I mentioned, I am having so much fun, why not build it twice to test the limits of what you can do on one versus the other. There was some data limitations I actually had in Snowflake. So I’ve actually created a Notion document to the team in terms of what would it unlock, more functionality on Snowflake, in terms of dropdown filters or additional data. So right now, Retool is the primary place, but moving it over to Snowflake as we unlock that. Next slide.
In the weekly update, I talked about this so I’m sure everyone is already familiar with this example. But what we did, when you click on the question mark in the app, it launches our help scout UI, which you see on the left. What we used to do is, when you click on that, we instantly take you to Send us a Message. And on the top, you can toggle between Answers and Ask, which basically the answers are FAQs. So what we did is we changed the default to be answers versus messaging. And on the right, you can see the changes when we made the UI. So the number of support emails we got from within the app dropped by about 20 or 30 a day. And the number of FAQ visits, the chart on the bottom, actually jumped way up. So, overall, this had a pretty significant change on the in-app support. But in aggregate, it’s reducing our overall support volume by about 15%, which is a significant number.
We do still get a lot of support by just people emailing us or coming to other channels. We continue to monitor it because we don’t want to just say, “Well, let’s just throw them to self-service and we’ve solved it.” We want to make sure that they’re actually getting FAQ answers and that’s solving their issues. So we’re going to continue looking for, is there any feedback of people saying, “Hey, I tried reaching out to you and I didn’t know how.” So this is still a work in progress and we’re not ready to ship it. But we want to make sure that we are still answering members’ problems. And, also, do it in an efficient way. Next slide.
We talked a lot about our email list, which is north of 175,000. And I did a deep dive looking at where do those come from? Because as we have a lot of the cart abandonments or new members, they come from different places. So this is a new way to look at… The gray bar is the net new emails that are adding to that 175,000. The blue line is people that are signing up for the wait list, in a given month or a given week. The yellow or orange is where people are starting through the shopping cart and they abandon. So they give us their email, but they actually don’t purchase. Green are new members. And then red are unsubscribed. So you can see the flows of ins and outs, in terms of people that are adding or coming off the list. So I wanted to call this out just because I know we throw around… We use email list, and then wait list, interchangeably. Email is the net, and wait list is a subset of that, just because we have a lot of people coming in through different ways. Next slide.
On the Voice of the Member, two things to call out. I spend, as we have lots of different channels, occasionally we want to make sure that we’re highlighting things going on social media or NPS or CSAT. These are both from this most recent week. So this was a member who was asking about that he came down with COVID, and changes to his glucose levels. So this was other members sharing their experience. And for the most part, all the members who either got the shot, got the booster, were getting sick, had increases in spikes, in terms of their baseline or how they reacted. I think, except for one member, actually had the opposite expect, where their glucose went low. So we get about a post a day on our Facebook group, but a lot of comments behind it. Next slide.
On the more positive flip side, in the same week, we actually had someone saying, “Hey, I want to hear about your favorite meals that you scored nines and tens.” So these are people sharing what meals that they eat, where they constantly get nines or tens. That people actually really enjoyed that-
PART 2 OF 4 ENDS [00:50:04]
Chris Jones (00:50:03):
That people really enjoyed that community aspect of sharing this. I know we’ve talked a lot about Dr. Casey’s Kitchen or community in sharing this, so there’s quite a bit of demand that I see people sharing what works for them, but then also the person in the bottom right, realizing that everyone’s different. This is all personalized. Just because someone had a 10 with a meal, doesn’t mean they’re going to as well. And that’s it for member experience.
Josh (00:50:28):
Love it. Always appreciate these deep dives, Chris. And yes, right here, these sorts of examples of people wanting to see each other’s successful meals, this goes right to many of the features that Alan has been mocking up for a long time now, so exciting to see it. All right, Ben.
Ben Grynol (00:50:48):
Okay, we’re going to hammer this. So growth is focused on providing value through membership. To recap what that means, that is providing value through the ancillary revenue streams, providing value in the way that we communicate it to members, so we’re continuing to iterate on this. Next slide please. Weekly recognized revenue, $150,000, so it is a little bit higher than we have been seeing over the past few weeks due mostly to David Sinclair and that great podcast that’s dropped. Monthly, we’re at 193, so significant start to the week, given that we’re only one week into the month. Cash, we’re at 12.3, that’s due to drips that have come in from the Wefunder campaign and we’ll start to see more of that over the next couple of months. Zach will likely update threads with what is happening there on the raise. No changes to debt, 44 months of runway. Next slide please.
So recap as far as the month goes, 690 in recognized revenue for December. We’ve changed the slide up a little bit so you can see the 12 months of trailing revenue and then the all-time month-over-month revenue is the bottom right graph, you can see how things are tracking there. So despite not being in growth mode, that’s what things are looking like. Next slide please. Net revenue breakdown. So this is the month of December, revenue broken down by CGMs membership only sales, so that does not include a CGM, and then blood work. The blood work is the only one to highlight, so we haven’t actually launched that. That’s why the number is lower than the previous month when we were testing things out. And we’ll start to see some of these ancillary streams go up over time as we push them out to members. Next slide please.
Yearly recognized revenue. So December of ’20, we were at 462. December of ’21, 690, that’s 49% year-over-year growth. And then membership, the benchmark from last year, this 92,000, is based on subscription revenue so it’s not a true benchmark up to membership revenue, which is a full margin revenue stream as opposed to the subscription was based on CGM. So 95% year-over-year revenue, but the benchmark is due to focusing on membership as opposed to subscription. Moving forward, next slide please. Growth. So our focus in Q1, we highlighted this in Q3 of ’21. Most of Q1 we’re going to focus a lot on digital media, so we won’t go too deep into it.
But what that means is the four pillars of creation, distribution, engagement and membership across the different stacks. So photo, video and audio. There’s a digital strategy memo that will be distributed to the team later in threads in the next probably half week or so. But we’re going to start ramping things up to recap what happened in ’21. Or actually we’ll go ’20, ’21, ’22. So we had one video in ’20, we had no podcast at all. In ’21, we produced and distributed more than 80 videos, and that’s of our own, that’s not of content creators. And then podcasts, we went from zero in ’20 and then over 215 episodes distributed and over 150,000 downloads, so pretty significant ramp up on the audio side of things. And the idea for ’22 is to double down, so expect double the output with a nice lean team. Tony’s got lots of work cut out as we all do. So next slide please. We’re not in growth mode, that is growth. Onto Tony.
Tony Milio (00:54:11):
Thanks, Ben. So December recap for the Whole New Level podcast. So last month we released 10 episodes, and for January we have seven episodes scheduled. All time plays, this morning we reached 68,000. And then in December alone we had over 19,000. These of course are vanity metrics, it’s not something we’re optimizing for, that’s something we’re definitely going to keep reiterating on every month when we do these recaps. Because the main focus is really just telling a great story and just producing more of these episodes about our members. Not only just our team members, but also other members that we work with and all of the other great partners that we work with as well. So we’re going to continue to make these episodes. And next slide.
Okay, growth theme of the week. I’m going to talk a little bit about delegation and outsourcing and how it’s helped me just protect my time really and just scale my time so I could focus on deep work. Just for some context, when I first started here a few months ago and then after onboarding, I was noticing on a weekly basis that a significant amount of time was dedicated to these repetitive small tasks, like uploading the podcast or downloading the podcast after it’s been recorded. And each of those tasks alone could be five minutes, it could be 10 minutes, it could be 20 minutes, but all of those little increments definitely add up. And then another task was also curating and editing the Friday Forums. We had a large backlog, 2021 Friday Forums, which you see release on a weekly basis every Friday.
So then I decided to outsource those because I wanted to be able to protect my time so I could focus on my deep work. And I reached out to Athena and I was able to delegate some of those tasks. I also outsourced the backlog of 2021 Friday Forums to a freelance editor, and I was able to dedicate maybe that six to eight hour time throughout one week to more deep work. And it also helps with reducing context switching because it’s just I’m looking back and forth while I’m editing a video or a podcast to see if, okay, did this podcast finish uploading yet? And then I’m just looking at the spinning wheel of death that I’m sure we’re all familiar with.
So now I’ve been able to delegate a lot of these small repetitive tasks to Athena. Vanessa and Irwin have been amazing with this every week. So every time when you see that an episode’s been scheduled for a certain day, Vanessa’s been handling that. Anytime when you see a Friday Forum now that’s uploaded, Irwin has been handling that. And that’s honestly just helped me focus on deep work day-to-day and every week. So it’s definitely helped me and I feel it definitely will help a lot of people on the team. So definitely take advantage of being able to work with the Athena team and see those little increments of time throughout your week that might be repetitive and recurring, so you can use that time better focusing on deep work.
And then on the right here, timestamps and show notes, this is another bonus that Vanessa’s been working on. If you listen to our podcast on Spotify, you’ll notice these are clickable time codes in the description and you could jump to different sections. So we didn’t have this previously, and in the last few weeks Vanessa’s been working on this. So you’ll see, I think we’re at 60 episodes so far. So if there’s a whole backlog of episodes, then she’ll be adding these time codes. And yeah, that’s pretty much it for the theme of the week. Let me know if you have any questions about outsourcing or delegating though, any time.
Josh (00:58:33):
Thanks, Tony. These specific examples are always awesome I think for the team. Reminder that we do have the help of several Athena executive assistants. They can basically do a whole host of different kinds of work. So if you have something that you’re calling project debt that you have to do every week, you have a blocked off calendar on a recurring event, that might be something that’s a candidate to get the help of Vanessa and others to take off your plate. Thanks a lot, Tony. All right, we got a social update from Stacey.
Stacey (00:59:10):
Hello from the Italian Alps. David and I have been skiing in the Dolomites for the last week, and I just wanted to pop on here and share some highlights from our social platforms in December. We historically have had a big month on Instagram in December, this year we grew by 5000 followers in December alone, hitting 55,800 followers total. A large part of that is thanks to Kelly LeVeque who ran a giveaway called the 12 Days of Kelly, featuring some of her favorite wellness products. And on day four she featured Levels and the response was huge. She had 177,000 views on the Reel promoting the giveaway, over 3000 comments. And we gained over 2000 new Instagram followers from that alone, so huge thank you to Kelly. A lot of bloggers do this every holiday season as the way to give back to their communities, and we were just thrilled by the way her community responded to this. And perhaps it’s something we should roll out on a larger scale in 2022.
A top post from our own account was the Levels Year Review Reel, which just had a pump it up, feelgood vibe. It was featuring our members who had posted photos of themselves wearing the Levels sensor cover. And so the reach of it was great, we had almost 25,000 views, and at a benchmark, typically our Reels would be getting around 8000 views each, so it’s really incredible. And about two thirds of the members who were featured in the Reel shared it to their IG Stories, which is likely a big part of the growth in reach, but also a strong indicator that we should really focus on doing things that feel inspirational in addition to our existing very educational content on social.
Last thing to highlight would be a great IG takeover in our stories called Day in the Life with Gabe Mendoza. He shared how he uses his Levels CGM to navigate his day, whether he’s thinking about his diet, his workout methodology, walks, even taking a cold plunge after lunch. So thank you so much Gabe for sharing those insights and a look into your day. Next up on Twitter, we hit 20,300 followers, which was a growth of over 1000 in December alone, which is great. Top tweet, everyone loved the Chipotle blog post, How to Streamline your Chipotle Order for a Glucose Friendly Response, so that had over 6000 impressions. And the runner-up was the A Whole New Level Podcast featuring Dr. Terry Wahls’ conversation with Casey. That one had almost 3000 impressions, so those are really great numbers for our account, but also dwarfed by some of our friends on Twitter.
The piece that Mario of The Generalist did for us was incredible. Not even looking at impressions, these are engagements, liking, retweeting, commenting. He had over 4000 engagements on his summary of his 10 tips and takeaways from studying Levels, and that’s a large part of the growth that we saw in December. And then there’s an honorable mention here to Josh Moore. Josh did a great job summarizing his fitness goals in 2021 and his progress against those goals, and he had 800 engagements on that. Again, that’s comments, retweets, likes. And so thank you so much Josh for sharing this, you can tell that people really responded to this personal look at your own goals and strategies. And so if other members of the Levels team ever want to tweet things out, I know Justin has tweeted about his Levels experience before or the way he thinks about things, our followers really love having that personal connection to our team. So feel free to do so and then we’d love to amplify that through our brand channels. So those are the highlights. All right, thanks so much guys.
Josh (01:03:29):
Thank you, Stacey. I always forget we have a resident blue check mark with JM on the team. It’s important. All right, promo code performance, TG or Jackie.
Tom Griffin (01:03:39):
Yep, this is me. Lots of slides this week and I’m going to be adding to them, so I’ll try to move as quickly as possible, starting with the December recap highlights here, with The Verge product review, which completely crushed from a sales perspective, I think we’ve mentioned this on previous forums. The other two new codes this month were Katie Type A, a YouTuber, we’re going to be seeing a lot more of her, which is great. And then Mat Fraser, best CrossFitter of all time, who’s also a power user and investor. And then some other fun holiday content and giveaways. Next slide.
Okay, regular disclaimer about us not optimizing for growth, but it’s always fun to see some of these graphs. So what this is showing here is top five partner codes in terms of revenue in 2021, which is shown in green on the left there. And then compared to the top five in 2020 shown in white. So this was just cool for me to see because I remember how big I thought some of these numbers were in 2020, like when Broken Brain dropped. But as you can see, these are all just paling in comparison to codes from this past year, which are topped by Mark Hyman as our number one there on the left. Next slide.
Okay. So I’m going to do a quick look back on this past year as it compares to what’s ahead. But first I thought it would be worth stepping back just for a quick refresh on what this often nebulous term partnership means for Levels, and especially because we got lots of new team members joining constantly. So the broad definition here is just anyone helping us with our sales and marketing goals. And I emphasize that because partnerships can mean a lot of different things, it could be research partnerships, manufacture relationships, product integrations. None of these are the focus right now for partnerships at Levels.
You’ll see our top line goals there on the right, which would be pretty familiar terms. And those are relatively in order of priority. So to date, most of our energy has been on educating the market, creating amazing content, building our community and our brand. And then revenue has sort of come along for the ride but will be an increasing focus for partnerships. And then I would just lastly say there’s an asterisk down there that we’ve been laser focused on the consumer market, not enterprise, which is an entirely different world in and of itself, but given limited resources, we’ve got to pick and choose right now, so that’s it. Next slide.
Okay, so the big green circle here represents really what’s been the center of the bullseye over the past year for partnerships, which is the influencer and content creator space. And we’re focused here in short just because this is the most effective way to achieve our goals outlined in the previous slide. And we also spent some time outside of that circle exploring other areas throughout the year, most notably some enterprise markets like corporate wellness, military, dabbled in pro sports events and conferences and some other stuff not included. But ultimately at the end of the year we landed on understanding what our focus is and what it needs to be with limited resources. Next slide.
Okay, so looking ahead, the TLDR is center of the bullseye is more of the same. We’ll be doubling down on top partners who we’re all very familiar with. And then we’re going to see some new faces that will emerge as significant players for us in terms of awareness and brand and marketing and also revenue, and then expanding the long tail of influencer and content creator relationships. And then in terms of some of the things outside of the bullseye that we’ll be experimenting with, I put some of these in the category of B2B2C. So it’s not B2B in that we’re selling in bulk to say whole 30 on a yearly basis, but we’re working with other brands and organizations that might help us reach our target consumers directly and then also level up our brand as well. Next slide.
Lastly, just looking at some focus areas, 2021 versus 2022. 2021 was really about securing the biggest names in the space and activating them across their channels, doing some exploration in terms of just figuring out what the focus of partnerships at Levels is, exploring B2B, et cetera. And then laying the foundation really across influencer, which is organic and affiliate and paid marketing initiatives. And then 2022, we’ll continue to secure the all stars and it’s been great to add Huberman and Sinclair and Rich Roll recently. We’ll be really scaling the influencer stuff, so affiliate, paid marketing tests across podcasts and a variety of platforms, and then scaling content.
And what I mean here is I think you’ll see us leaning more on content creators to scale our efforts even across our owned channels. So Austin doing the Ultimate Guide video is an example of this. Campbell doing a video on bio-observability, which people will see soon, think we’re going to be leaning into this more. And then lastly, just given the scaling of influencer and paid tests, I think we’re going to be at a point where we have a meaningful data set to start looking at trends across these different partners and different promotion types and generate some real learnings that are going to impact our growth strategy in the future. That is it.
Josh (01:08:55):
Great update. Thank you, Tom. Haney.
Mike Haney (01:09:01):
So in content, we’ve had a few more pieces than this that have gone up since we last spoke, pre-holidays, but wanted to highlight a few here, both because they’re great and how they speak to a larger point. So the trauma piece we put up is one of our deep dives, it’s an ultimate guide. I’ll just note with this one that when Dr. Maloof reviewed this for us, she came back and said she thinks this might be the best piece we’ve done. So little endorsement there, if you haven’t looked at this one, if it slipped by over the holidays, it’s worth going back to read, super interesting topic.
And then three good food pieces. So these are all pieces that have come out of the partnership we’ve done with a content agency called Revel, I’ve talked about on here before. Really smart group of folks, come from a real service background, sites like Greatest, magazines like Women’s Health and Men’s Health. So they really know how to take content and turn it into real actionable service. So things like the grocery list are an idea that came out of an earlier strategy we did with them where they just helped us brainstorm what are more ways we can deliver real actionable takeaways? The Chipotle article that we just talked about, same thing, I think we called it metabolic menu, but that idea of walking into a place and what can you actually order that fits into all of the larger science that we often talk about?
The sardines piece we have here is another great foods we love. Definitely worth reading this one, I was not on board with sardines, but I bought some. I’m going to give it a whirl. I encourage others to do the same. And then the kids’ lunches one on the end, this is a little bit of an expansion of a rubric we started last year called Eat This Instead, which is about food swaps. So we’ve done things like dessert, where normally you would eat this, instead swap in this one. This is kind of taking that and expanding it out to things like a meal with kids’ lunches. So there’s some really good custom recipe development in here, which is really cool. One of the other things that Revel has brought to us is a really good writer set. And they work with a lot of RDs, so you’ll note down here that the author on this is an RD, and he actually developed the four recipes that make up this piece. One of them inspired by Kelly. Next slide.
So you’ll notice some circles on that previous one. The thing I want to talk about briefly this week is expert reviewers. This is something we’ve really started to ramp up in the last few months for a few reasons. So each one of those pieces that I had up there, you’ll notice had an expert reviewer on it So quickly what that is is all of our pieces go through a process of normal reporting, writing and editing. So that’s typically me, or maybe one of our contract editors, and the writer going back and forth to try to get it as correct and good as possible. Then it goes to a fact checker, that’s a separate role. Our fact checkers we use are great, they’re people who normally work for science magazines. They go through and really deep dive into all the studies. They read every study, they make sure that the numbers we’re quoting are correct, that our interpretation of the study’s correct, that the study is legit. So they’ll often come back and say, “Hey, this one’s really small.” Or, “This was only an animal line, so we didn’t really call that out.”
And then the final step that we have in here is this expert review, and that’s where we send the piece off. After it’s been through all those steps, then we send it off to typically a doctor, or for the food pieces, it might be an RD, folks in our network, a lot of great folks that have come in through Casey, and they do another read on it. And in some places this can be a real rubber stamp. And what’s notable about what’s been happening here, and we’ve really encouraged this, and I’ve been excited to see this as we’ve ramped up, the people who are doing these reviews is they’re not rubber stamps. I spent a good amount of back and forth over the last couple weeks on those pieces that you saw there, like sardines, incorporating the suggestions that the reviewer gave. Where they said, “Boy, look, you’re suggesting rinsing these. That’s not something I ever really do.” Or, “We’re telling people to go with canned first. In my experience, if we really want people to try sardines, we really should suggest that they go fresh first.”
Those are kind of food-based ones, but on the science-based stuff we get all the time reviewers say, “Yeah, the way we’re highlighting this is not quite right.” And so this really speaks to the last point I have over here on the left about why we do these, and that is that they actually really do make the pieces better. The surface reason that this happens and why you see this on all these sites that I’ve highlighted here in the middle is that Google decided a few years ago that this helps credibility if they see something like reviewed by, medically reviewed, or expert reviewed, or even fact checked in some cases. We don’t call that out, but some sites do. It just ups your credibility, which ups your domain score, which ups your likelihood of ranking for topics.
So I don’t think we’re really seeing any SEO juice off of this now, right now we’re really doing this for these other reasons, that it helps build reader trust, it helps make the pieces better. It gives us a chance to interface more with some of these experts and just build out our network of people we can turn to when we have questions for these kinds of things. But over time, I think this will also help our search rankings as well, so that’s just one piece. And there’s a memo of course out in Notion if you want to dive into why we do this, you want to see the list of folks that we use and how we use them. That’s what I’ve captured over here on the right, it’s the expert reviewers list and strategy on the content Wiki. So that’s all for content.
Josh (01:14:18):
Love it. It’s awesome to hear the process behind the scenes. Thanks for ramping that up. This would be a good clip, I feel like, to share even on Twitter just because it is helpful for people to recognize that we’re going the extra mile here. So appreciate that. All right. This has been a packed meeting for sure. For those of you that have been here for a long time, there you go, Scott calling it out, we just hit three columns. Honestly, we’re rapidly approaching 50 people, in the next few weeks we may easily be there. So we’re going to probably end up rolling through into the time that’s blocked off for the post forum cafe, which is okay. But these contributions are important. We’re going to keep iterating on the forum format to try and make this work as the team grows. But Justin, why don’t you-
PART 3 OF 4 ENDS [01:15:04]
Josh (01:15:03):
… on the format to try and make this work as the team grows, but Justin, why don’t you go ahead and kick us off.
Justin (01:15:06):
I’m excited about Britney, Dave and Taylor joining the team and the people starting in the next few weeks as well. And personally, it’s very, very cold here in Winnipeg. It’s a big minus 45 Celsius overnight, and I’m just going to stay inside and that’s it.
Josh (01:15:24):
All right, enjoy. Hao.
Hao (01:15:28):
Yeah, team girls is always exciting and really glad we have so many passionate people joining us. And personally, I’m heading to the mountain this afternoon to catch some snow.
Josh (01:15:45):
Enjoy it. I think I just saw minus 49F on someone’s chat, which that doesn’t seem physically possible, so I’m going to disregard. Jackie.
Jackie (01:15:54):
I won’t complain about the snow in New York then after that, that’s crazy. I’m also so excited about the team growth and Alan, those designs were so beautiful. I always got so hyped up looking at those. And Chris, thank you so much for your help with the partner dashboards. I’m so excited about those two. Personally, I’m headed to Columbia tomorrow and I’m hanging out with John and Braden on Sunday. We’re going to go for a hike and I’m really, really excited to see them. And I’m going to be there for an indefinite period of time, so I’m excited for that.
Josh (01:16:27):
Awesome. That sounds great, enjoy. Haney.
Mike Haney (01:16:32):
Yeah, on the Level side, I’ll call it something different. I went through the, or kind of in the thick of going through the performance review process that we just started, and I found it incredibly valuable. I was very nervous about it. We all have egos, it’s hard sometimes to open yourself up to feedback, but it has been just incredibly valuable and not ego bruising at all. And I look forward to everybody getting the chance to go through this and providing some other feedback. On the personal side, I finally got COVID this week, but it’s been very mild. And other than trying to hide in my bedroom all week, I’m actually sort of grateful that it’s happened and it isn’t been too bad, but look forward to coming out of that next week.
Josh (01:17:12):
Good. Hope you feel better, Miz.
Miz (01:17:13):
Great, easy, Mike. Warm, welcome to Britney and super excited about all the other hires starting, Dave and Taylor officially, and then plenty more coming soon. Want to give a shout-out to Jesse and no to all the other onboarding buddies really helping in the process. It’s nice to have just some peer resources to help people along, especially as we’re all distributed. So thanks Jesse, and welcome to everyone new. On the personal side, not much, excited to start off the new year. Got some good things going on and looking forward to the weekend.
Josh (01:17:45):
Matt (01:17:47):
Yeah, super excited about team growth. Happy that Britney joined. Looking forward to be Sunny’s onboarding buddy this upcoming week or upcoming weeks. And on the personal side, I was able to catch lunch with Jackie this week before she leaves for Columbia, so that was always fun to see levels, team members in person and know that you guys are all real people.
Josh (01:18:09):
Love it. Maz, I don’t know if you’re on read only, but jump in.
Maz (01:18:13):
Hi here.
Josh (01:18:14):
There he is.
Maz (01:18:15):
On the work side, I’m excited about the hire beginning we submitted, there’s a ton of work that went into this week, feel to get about it. I had to tell Lauren and JM really great collaboration there. On the personal side, I’m excited to get back to the US if they let me back. So hopefully next week sometime. And looking forward to being [inaudible 01:18:35].
Josh (01:18:36):
Travel safe, for me professionally, stoked about the team growth. Excited to prep for the next wave. We’ve got a lot of posts open, we’ve got a lot of people actively onboarding, so it’s going to be, as I said, it’s all an experiment and we need to continually improve as we go. So looking forward to that. Personally, I was unexpectedly sort of stranded in Virginia at my parents’ place with no power or internet and completely locked down roadways for the past five days. I just got back to Philadelphia yesterday, but those of you might have seen some of the national news. But I95 was completely closed for 50 miles for 27 hours, and the entire surface streets were locked down with ice and snow, 14 inches of snow. And so we were melting snow over a fire in the living room and filtering it for drinking water, literally camping indoors with my family. So quite an experience and now back to reality. So I’m catching up on comms. Bear with me, Helena.
Helena (01:19:42):
Oh wow, glad you made it out safe, that sounds very intense, Josh. Levels wise, I’m really excited about growth as well, and I’m also really excited that Alan and Scott are officially back. It’s been really cool to see all the work that’s been getting done over the last month. So really excited about that. And then personally, there’s snow in New York, there’s COVID, so this weekend’s just looking pretty boring.
Josh (01:20:14):
Boring weeks are good, Taylor.
Taylor (01:20:18):
Hey, well, so professionally, definitely just excited to be here and it’s really been a joy of working with you guys already. I think we’ve gotten a lot done with the IRB, as Matt said, and hopefully we’ll get that over the finish line. Also, really excited to dig into different potential molecules that we could be checking out, and I think there’s just a ton of potential. Personally, like how I’m getting ready to go up into the mountains in a week and hopefully take advantage of some of the snow that’s out here on the West Coast, but that’s a little over a week away. So passing on.
Josh (01:20:55):
Amazing. David is skiing the Dolomites right now, so I’m sure that’s his update. Braden.
Braden (01:21:04):
I was chatting with someone in a coffee shop this weekend, and not only did they know about Levels, they couldn’t stop talking about how Levels is everywhere and didn’t believe that we were a team of less than 50 people. So that was pretty cool and looking forward to meeting John and Jackie this weekend.
Taylor (01:21:21):
So cool, Britney.
Britney (01:21:26):
So professionally, just so excited to be here and closing out my first week already at Levels. It’s just been an awesome week. Everyone’s been so welcoming. Shout out to Jesse who’s been an incredible onboarding partner and made this process just so awesome. And Chris and the rest of the team as well, really appreciate it. And personally just excited for this weekend. We have zero plans and I just going to get… I don’t think we’ve had a second to get our life back together since the holidays. We’ve had family here and everything, so I even think we have some remaining Christmas decorations to take down, which is very embarrassing. So just getting things back in order and relaxing. Thanks.
Josh (01:22:13):
I believe Karen had to jump off. Karen, if you’re still on, feel free to step in, otherwise we will. Let’s see, Xinlu? No, I believe Xinlu and Gabriel are both out. Murillo.
Gabriel (01:22:29):
All right, so Levels-
Josh (01:22:30):
I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m going to jump back to Gabriel. He is there, there he is.
Murillo Nicacio de Maraes (01:22:34):
All right.
Gabriel (01:22:35):
Hey, so as some people know, I’ve been pretty unwell recently. I’ve been adjusting to a new chronic health condition that’s come up. But I’m excited to be back at work, to be back at a hundred percent availability and really excited about the new team members and also the tagging work that John’s been working on. It’s been magical to me.
Josh (01:22:58):
Sorry, hear about that, of course, Gabriel, and hope you’re feeling well. Let us know what we can do. Murillo over to you.
Murillo Nicacio de Maraes (01:23:06):
All right. On Level’s front, really excited about Alan’s share this week, really addresses some of the concerns I’ve been having with the product so far. And he really nails it down. It’s just like, “Whoa, all that’s solved.” It was really exciting for me to watch that. And also the sardines content, a big part of Portuguese culture and one of my favorite parts of it. So really excited to see that.
Josh (01:23:40):
Send us some sardine recipes, Murillo. Tony.
Tony Milio (01:23:47):
Sorry, I was on mute there. Levels side, excuse me, definitely excited for the team growth. Welcome, Britney, Dave and Taylor to the team, and looking forward to all the other team members joining this month for sure. And also was really excited yesterday seeing how we’re at the top for the metabolic health search. I was very excited about that. And also seeing Alan’s update for the photography and everything with all the guidelines. Personally, nothing really exciting. I’ll be getting my booster in about two hours, so we’ll see what the effects will be like today or tomorrow, but hopefully minimal.
Josh (01:24:34):
Good luck, JM and family.
JM (01:24:37):
We’re excited about the snow day today. A little bit of snow, might as well not go to school. And this is Lily, but her Levels friends call her LM. On the work front, we’re excited about the new year, the year of launch, and getting out there to way more people and it should be a really good one. Have a good weekend everybody.
Josh (01:25:02):
Thanks JM and LM. Laurie’s not in, Steph.
Steph (01:25:07):
Yeah, huge warm welcome to all the new team members. I’m really excited about the screens that Alan is designing in terms of making it more personalized experience. And personally, oh gosh, I got back from [Geacock Belize inaudible 01:25:23] this week. And shout out to Zach for that wonderful recommendation. If anyone loves super slow island life, I highly recommend you go. And we got a ton of snow here in Colorado, and so I’m excited to flip seasons and now go Nordic skiing this weekend.
Josh (01:25:38):
So cool, have fun. Scott.
Scott (01:25:42):
Hey everybody. Couple things on the work front. I think the growth is good, but I’ve actually gotten to spend some pretty deep time with both Dave and Taylor and I’m just excited that we have cool people, but also highly competent people. And I think that it’s easy for culture to slip and by the time you notice it’s quite late and it’s almost impossible to fix. So I’m really happy that we’re sort of seeking out people that are just nice, kind, considerate, fun to spend time with. Also on the work front tagging is really cool. I’ve had some really magical moments where I’ve made a breakfast, you take a picture and it’s pretty much all there and you just go, boop, boop, boop, and you’re done. So under the hood, a lot of the tagging data in the infrastructure is just going to enable so much of what we’re going to do around showing people how food affects their health, swaps, recommendations, content, et cetera. Personally, we’re just hanging out because the baby might have COVID, so we don’t know quite yet. We’re just waiting and maybe go get a PCR test for it,
Josh (01:26:38):
Hope they feel better. Alan.
Alan McLean (01:26:43):
Hey. Yeah, lots to be excited about work-wise, glad Taylor’s starting. All kinds of wonderful team growth, new projects to work on. I get to do a lot more imagery based stuff, which is exciting. Hiring is going great. We’re very close to approaching an offer for somebody, so that’s looking really good. Personal side, my kids woke me up at six in the morning to tell me it was snowing outside. Thank you. So new experiences over here on the personal front too, so very positive.
Josh (01:27:14):
Enjoy the snow, Dave.
Dave (01:27:17):
Well, excited to be starting. What can I say? So that’s going to consume the next couple of weeks. Thank you very much for everyone, for being so welcoming. Personal side, I’ve got a couple of days of 30 degrees, see ahead. And I want to be moving my Christmas software, personal software project across the line, so that’ll be taken up some time. That’s me.
Josh (01:27:44):
Awesome. Yeah, I saw that hemisphere stuff going on. Casey.
Casey (01:27:52):
Well big welcome to Britney, Dave and Taylor, so excited to have you guys on board. Professionally, I am in LA this week recorded with Sean Stevenson yesterday, which was a thrill. He really pushed the levels.link code, so I hope we will see a lot of conversions there. And then gearing up from Mike Hymen part two next week. I’d say I’m also just so personally excited about what Mike talked about with our expert reviewer process. It’s so amazing what he has set up and that’s definitely personally changed the way I spend my time, no longer having to be the expert reviewer for all our pieces and has really just figured out a way to scale some really important processes so effectively, so huge kudos to him. And the fact that we have such a trusted group of people in our network now who are passionate about Levels and can share additional expertise and perspective on this stuff is just so incredible and will only grow. And personally, I’m heading to Phoenix tonight for my sister-in-law’s baby shower, so very excited about that tomorrow.
Josh (01:28:53):
Very nice, congrats. Lauren.
Lauren (01:28:57):
Yeah, it’s so cool to see the team growing and special thanks to Taylor who has been helping us a lot for quite a while now, even before officially being on the team. And while he’s also juggling onboarding, so that’s been amazing and really fun with the whole IRB Group. Personally, I am finally moving next week, so I’m mentally preparing to do the boxing and unboxing process. But I had to say, Jackie, after I heard your update, I’m kind of like, “Should I really even have signed a lease here?” Maybe this is like, “I missed the boat.” So doing some rethinking, but for now living in the Bay Area another year.
Josh (01:29:33):
Awesome. Well I hope that move goes painlessly, Tom.
Tom Griffin (01:29:38):
Yeah, I think I’m also most excited about team growth, but I’ll try to go with something else, which is that the David Sinclair Lifespan podcast launching this week was very exciting for me personally. I’m sort of a fanboy of David and Andrew Huberman and the likes and Casey Means, people like that. And had a group thread with some friends where people were dropping the link in saying how pumped they were about the new podcast and then someone was like, “Wait a second, he’s endorsing Levels right now. What the hell’s going on?” And so I’m just excited for us to continue to explode in 2022.
And I actually just checked, it’s number one, that podcast is number one in health and it’s 16 overall in podcasts, which is pretty incredible. It’s definitely the only health podcast in the top 25. So really cool to see. And personally did a little bit of like 2021 reflection, 2022 planning this past week, which I don’t normally do. And I put all of my travel in a spreadsheet for 2022 and figured out where there are gaps in terms of people I want to see that aren’t on the list. So that’s been a fun process and made me very excited about what’s ahead.
Josh (01:30:46):
Super cool. Mercy.
Mercy (01:30:51):
Professionally, the new hires, Britney, it’s super awesome to have you on the ops team, Dave, everyone, all the new people really, really excited to have you joining the team. And then personally, kind of the same as Josh said, five days or four days without any electricity, power, wi-fi was definitely an adventure, but I am glad that that is behind me and I am now warm and I have wi-fi, so it’s really all I need. So I’m happy to be back on the grid and catching up with all that I’ve missed.
Josh (01:31:24):
Yes, I think Andrew had a jump, Chris.
Chris Jones (01:31:30):
Definitely plus one on all the new hires, Britney, Dave, Taylor. Super excited about the new hires as well as people coming down the pipeline. On the product side, Tagging, I’ve also been having a lot of fun with Tagging both in terms of the data we’ll provide and the experience. So super excited to get that in the hands of our users. On a personal side over kind of the holiday break, I took up a new hobby and took up Nordic skiing because I have to embrace winter, otherwise I’m going to go crazy up here in Montana. So I went four days in a row, having so much fun and now there’s lots of snow. I can’t wait to get back out there and not quite ready for Beijing yet, but maybe soon.
Josh (01:32:16):
My uncle was just talking about Nordic skiing. So looking forward to farm assemblage 2022, show us the ropes. Jesse.
Jesse (01:32:26):
Yeah, plus one to the team growth. Warm welcome to Britney and to Dave and Taylor. Super excited to get to know you all and I also, I really enjoyed watching Alan’s loom in the direction of the app for 2022. I got really excited about that. On the personal front, I have been sick for the last few days, I don’t think it’s COVID, but how could it not be? So I’m just going to drink tea and hang out on my couch again this weekend.
Josh (01:32:55):
Feel better. Mike D?
Mike D (01:32:58):
Yeah, so I’m at the end again and I’ll just plus one what everyone said and just jump to the personal. I am excited to be feeling better. It’s funny, I don’t think that I take things for granted, but you take for granted being able to do things, feeling good, interacting with all of you. And I hate to lay around, I hate to be inside. I don’t watch TV, so I was going insane for a little bit. So I’m just excited to be back and to get caught up and get going.
Josh (01:33:34):
Dito, Ben.
Ben (01:33:37):
Yeah, stoked to have Dave and Britney and Taylor finally starting. On the Levels front, big hat tip to Miz. So I’m going to take a little extra time on this one, but in the past… So over the course of 21, we have racked up a ton of people, ops, debt, and in the past it’s really six weeks, Miz has sole handedly put together things like the culture, the entire, like all the database of culture docs in notion and all of these other important memos. And he is ramping up things pertaining to recruiting and trying to automate as many processes while managing all the other things like finance that he’s got ongoing. So huge hat tip to him because as we grow the team, it’s integral that we have this infrastructure in place and somehow Miz is Gandalf and working magic every day. So appreciate all the work that he is doing. On the personal front, it is nice and cold outside, so what better thing to do than take the kids outside and make sure that they’re nice and tough. So that’s what’s happening this weekend.
Josh (01:34:42):
Dito, plus one to everything Ben said. John, no, John’s out. Kunal.
Kunal (01:34:48):
Yeah, I’ll reflect a lot of what other people have said. Excited for the team growth. Welcome Britney, Dave Taylor, really excited to get to know you guys. Besides that, on a personal front, I’ve been doing a little bit more experimentation. I got this brand new C6 Ketone Di-ester by this new company. It just came out and I’ve tried out the competitors, the Ketone esters from Keto Aid and HVMN and each of those costs about $35 a bottle and this one’s about 11. So excited for that. I tried it out. It tastes exactly as I imagined gasoline tasting, like this thing is putrid. But I check my ketones levels right after and there were sky high. So maybe a good opportunity to improve my energy levels a little bit. So I’m designing a little self quantification experiment to see the consistency of my energy against the control. So designing that right now, I’ll report back for anyone who’s interested and that’s all for me.
Josh (01:35:49):
Definitely want to follow along on this. I’d be curious to see how the CGM stuff looks relative to the Keto experiments. All right, Zac, close us out.
Zac (01:36:00):
On the professional front, also so excited for the team growth. And I’ll just second something that Scott said. We keep managing to hire very competent and very kind people and that’s really wonderful. Also, really excited to be in the search for a second attorney. Lots of work to do. And I have so many sort of legal and legal adjacent projects that I really want to carve out time for, but I don’t have it yet. So looking forward to that. Personal front, over the holiday, my baby has started smiling and laughing and being like a human. And I will tell you, for those of you who haven’t experienced it yet, first smiles are pretty cool. So if you want children and that’s in your future, look forward to that. It makes the biggest poops you’ve ever seen all worth it.
Josh (01:36:54):
Love it. Well, with that, I just want to thank everybody for crushing through a, what are we going on here, hour and 42 minutes. So long action packed week here. But we’re coming off the holidays entering I’m sure an action packed 22. So looking forward to it all with every one of you. So have a great weekend. Hopefully there’s nobody getting snowed in anywhere. Enjoy some sports or some TV and talk to you next week.
Michael (01:37:24):
And we’ve got the café coming up, so if you-