June 25, 2021

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


Josh Clemente: Welcome to June 25th, 2021, which so happens to be Level’s second birthday. And we were officially incorporated and recognized as incorporated on June 25th, 2019. So I just want to do a quick recap of where that brings us today. We are a team of 25. We have two CGM platforms, importing data into the Level software. We have close to 11,000 all-time beta members, despite being invitation-only still, nearing a 1000-person private community. We’ve got multiple podcasts, 200 plus memo documents driving strategy, thousands of call notes, a thousand subscribers ish. I think since about late 2019, we’ve had close to a million food logs and, Andrew can correct me, but we’re bringing in tens of millions of data points per month into the Levels’ data set, which has rapidly accelerated over that two years. So, just generally speaking, things are exponentially different than they were when we started, and it’s just wild to me that it’s been two years. It’s hard to believe, honestly, but at the same time, it feels like five years in some ways. So, congrats team. Thanks to everyone who’s on this call, being a part of this. Josh Clemente: Okay, moving from there. So continuing to explore waitlist drip campaigns, we’ve got this big waitlist. It’s like 120,000 people, approximately. We’ve been testing age cohorts, so when certain groups sort of signed up, and comparing conversion rates and just generally learning from the waitlist. We also have a new double opt-in link, so shout-out Ben and JM for launching that. So people who are particularly intent and they click through essentially two sign up flows, they can get direct purchase access. So this is like the first opportunity we’ve provided for people who go to the website to actually get a link directly. Josh Clemente: So it’s exciting. It’s actually converting quite well compared to what I expect, which is cool. Culture documentation V2s. A lot of people on the team were interviewed as part of this effort to try and document what makes Levels’ culture what it is. And we got some really awesome assets from that. Really appreciate all the team that set time aside. We’re going to do a V3 of this as well, because V2 has been so successful. Huge shout-out to Miz, in particular, for launching the Q2 virtual assemblage which we’ve been doing this week. I’ve had a blast. We’ve done cooking classes, coffee cupping. We’ve done team trivia, which I think was particularly interesting because it was all oriented around the Levels team. And generally, I think it was a huge success, and I appreciate everyone working that into the schedules. Josh Clemente: And then the Whoop/Levels case study is live. So we’ve got Whoop team, Levels team, a couple influencers, all using both systems, and we’re going to run some correlations. So see how this data plays out and try to find some interesting stuff. And for future research and also discussion on the Whoop podcast. Let’s see, on the visuals here, firstly, in the middle there, we’ve got some beautiful renderings that we’re putting together to really present the product more directly on our various assets, both in print and on the website, et cetera, just showing exactly what a Levels’ program entails. And the beautiful, I think, product is really quite exciting. There’s a bunch of swag stuff showing up out there in the wild. I wanted to highlight Casey’s father here who built some DIY swag, using the, intelligent use of the Levels’ performance covers, which I just absolutely love. Josh Clemente: And then Dhru Purohit was spotted in the wild wearing Levels swag. I think that sweatshirt has just continued to knock it out of the park. We were invited to participate in the CrossFit, well actually CrossFit Health, which is a conference at the CrossFit Games this summer as a panelist. So I think I’ll be going out there and sharing more about the future of wearables. CrossFit as an organization is very interested in, not just physical fitness, but also metabolic health, in particular, so that’ll be cool. In touch with Lex Friedman’s team. I’ll let Tom take that one next. Biggest loser, trainers. We had Dr. Lustig’s formal PR news wire announcement go out that he has joined as an advisor, which is quite exciting. And then we had a beautiful Runner’s World spread similar to the Men’s Health spread we had earlier this year, which went out in print this week. Josh Clemente: And then some organic sharing of some of the other interesting articles we posted, like Ben Greenfield here posted about our cope test, or at least the internal one. And it was really quite successful, I think, on his Twitter, one of the more successful tweets he’s put out there. And then got a couple really nice anecdotal testimonials from people this week. We’re continuing to see great results for certain people who are experiencing A1C issues. And so I just always want to highlight these because, as you can see, certain people have been struggling for years, with and without meds, to get their A1C to drop. And several of these people have had breakthroughs because they’ve been able to see what is driving their glucose levels. And so this is really important. It’s something that, although we can’t lean on it in any sort of claims-driven way just yet, because we haven’t conducted rigorous research on it, it’s amazing to hear these anecdotes of people who are having really great success. Josh Clemente: Okay. With that, I will hand it over to Brian Tochman. So Brian is partner at Trust Ventures, one of the earlier investors in Levels. And he also happens to be the very first person to order and pay for Levels, way back in summer of 2019. So, Brian, I really appreciate you taking some time. Thanks for being here. And we’d love to hear some thoughts. Brian Tochman: Yeah. Thanks Josh. Man, I’m so excited for you guys. Congratulations on all the success to date. It’s been amazing to watch and participate in some small way. When you and Sam pitched the idea, it immediately resonated to me. It’s something I’d been curious about in the past. So my mom has Type 2 diabetes and I’ve watched her manage her ups and downs and her not having the knowledge and experience and maybe curiosity that I do about food, and like getting to Type 2 diabetes versus me saying, hey, I want to always be ahead of my health and understand what’s happening. I was super curious, and I tried in the past and I realized it just takes a lot of work. Without some kind of way to quantify those numbers, you’re relying on gut feel. Brian Tochman: And I guess I’m a lot like a Jay-Z. I got no patience and I don’t like waiting. I just was always trying to find ways to figure out what was my feeling and correlate that to something I’d done in the past. So yeah, as soon as I saw the opportunity, I said, look, let’s do it. A, let’s invest. Sal and I were just so excited to fuel this mission and this vision you guys had, and also be a part of it and do it. So we got our first CGMs and got to experiment with the app. It was immediately like, it was the feedback I’d wanted. The experimentation was just so fun. I got to see what was an average day for me and what were the outliers and how can I isolate those to understand? And then correlate to how I felt. Brian Tochman: I think that was the biggest one for me is, I always, you feel those ups and downs throughout the day and you don’t really know what’s driving them. You try to isolate them, but you’re still trying to put down on paper how you feel versus having it truly quantified on my phone, immediately available to me. And then saying, this is also how I feel. That was a game changer for me. So I continue to jump on as you guys do updates. I find that it’s really valuable to take a little time off and then jump back in. And every time I do it, you guys have made just amazing strides in the platform. I’m like, oh man, I can do this, now I can do this now. So it’s been a blast. Thanks for letting me be a part of it. Josh Clemente: Of course. Yeah, thank you for continuing to hang with us as those … I know the earliest version of the product was, left something to be desired, given that it only let you log tacos and things like that. But you’ve been with us along the entire way. I remember specifically, I think you went through some of the similar struggles I had with trying to get a CGM. And I think you had some German units or something, and we were trading notes on how to possibly get them to work. And it’s just, I’m sure you can appreciate the accessibility developments as much as the actionability of the software itself, given that you kind of struggled to get access in the beginning, so. Brian Tochman: You remember. I completely forgot. I still have some German CGMs in a closet somewhere that … Man, the amount of work I tried to do to download the German apps and work behind the scenes to make them work, was pretty ridiculous. I was doing like IP masking to try to put myself in Germany to activate it. It was ridiculous. Josh Clemente: The hoops we had to jump through. But yeah, times have changed. So Brian, thank you for joining us. Appreciate you sharing thoughts and just generally being a really great support system. For those who don’t know, Trust has been an amazing partner in the regulatory space. So as we try to feel our way through the challenges of getting a product to market in a regulated industry, they’ve been a huge help in understanding where to look, and when. And so appreciate that. And they’re still continuing to be really helpful to us as we search for our head of Legal. So Brian, Sal and team, Dan Epstein, thank you. Brian Tochman: Of course. Josh Clemente: All right, jumping up to Scott. So everyone here knows Scott by now. He was able to participate in the assemblage this week. But Scott has formally started working with us, and so, just to give you all and everyone watching this meeting a little bit more context on who Scott is, I would love to hand it off to him to share some details about how he came to be a part of Levels. Scott Klein: All right. Thanks Josh. Man, what a journey. I have been a customer of Levels since November, and I got this curious email from Sam. Very Sam email, that was like, he very much typed it out. Had said, hey, I’m literally just looking through our customer waitlist for developers. We’re trying to grow the team. Do you want to, what are you working on next? And so I, background for me is, sort of coming off this really intense experience of my twenties, where I was a founder and CEO of a company. We did this accelerator thing called Y Combinator. We ended up not raising money afterward, we ended up just kind of bootstrapping the company and growing it and then got acquired in 2016 by Atlassian. So they make JIRA and they also have Trello and a couple of other products. So really intense twenties growing up, sort of learning to become from a developer into like a leader and a manager. Had a really, really fun experience there. Scott Klein: And I think in the intervening years we had a couple of, you know life just starts to happen. We got married. Before me and my wife got married, but even before that, I think, to kick off my twenties, my dad almost died of a heart attack at age of like 42. And so I’ve sort of been on this journey of trying to figure out for my own self, what is going to be my food approach for the rest of my life? Because genetically I’m just not in a good shape for my heart as I tend to get older. And just the whole way, greeted with kind of open hostility from my doctors, the people that are trying to help me go on this journey and navigate it with me, were really not willing to have the conversation. Scott Klein: And then I think too, we had this unique experience after our wedding, like literally day one of marriage, we woke up to some 23andMe results that really changed the trajectory of how we were going to have kids. And also just for my wife, her predisposition to cancer. And so there was some weird confluence of events that really happened around having really near misses on the health. So with my dad and then for us, just in terms of our genes, where the through line for us was that data was the thing that led us sort of, either barely saved my dad, or for us, is going to let us make decisions that have us have healthy kids and that also are going to have us avoid heart disease and cancer, I think, later in life. And so coming to Levels has been sort of the culmination of just such a intense experience of work and life in my twenties, and then wanting to just have an existential problem to work on. Scott Klein: I had a really good, we call status page, very good exercise in capitalism, but I think I was really looking for something much more, having a bottom line around impacting the world in a good way. So I was looking at climate pretty deeply, and then Sam came along and all the things, the stars just sort of aligned and it was a good time. So this is the first job in my life where I have actually applied and been hired for. Everything else I either started a company or got acquired into something. And so this is a very fun thing to be doing, I guess, at the age of 34. So I live in Seattle, got two kids and we are just trying to enjoy life with them. It’s a lot of work and it’s a lot of fun at the same time. Scott Klein: So yeah, I put my … 2 truths and a lie. I just, we’ll do that in a second. I just want to say for Levels, I think it’s very trite to just say, I’m looking forward to an immense future together and I’m very much looking forward to that. I also just want to say, thank you, because I think all the work that you all have done so far has just given me a platform to come in and help out. So I’m going to be forever grateful for that. So 2 truths and a lie. We did this at previous companies and I thought it was really fun. So I thought I’d resurrect it here on this slide. Does anybody have any guesses? Josh Clemente: I got to say, it would be impressive if your wife actually broke her leg on the first date. I’m going to call that the lie. Justin: Yeah. The MC Hammer peeing must be true. Scott Klein: A little too specific. So I did get bit by a sea lion one time, that’s very true. It jumped in the boat, wasn’t fun. I did go pee next to MC Hammer when we did Y Combinator, it’s sort of this beauty pageant for startups. There was MC Hammer, Aston Kutcher, Mark Kelly, really weird people that I just kind of ran into that day. The wife leg thing is not, it is a lie, but it’s not entirely a lie. She actually ended up tearing her ACL. Our first date was skiing. And so she likes to joke that she has scars that have trapped me into being her husband for the rest of her life, so. But yes, that is a lie. Good job, Josh. Josh Clemente: Love it. The guilt trap, nice. Scott Klein: Yeah, yeah. Josh Clemente: Awesome. Well, Scott, it’s mutual. It’s been really awesome. Getting quickly ramped up to speed on your background and all of the capabilities that you bring to the team. So on behalf of everyone who you’ve already had a chance, I hope, to be able to meet most of them one-on-one, please continue to do so. And can’t wait to be working together for, as you said, years to come. Scott Klein: Thanks. Josh Clemente: All right. So I just want to do a fast recap of this week. It’s been such a blast to set time aside and kind of weave the assemblage events into our past week. So I think it was really exciting, in particular, to see all of the activity on the [inaudible 00:15:50] sort of like asynchronous workouts happening. Everyone kind of went after it in their own specific way, which was really cool to see. The specific experiences that our different team, the different parts of our team bring, is really exciting because we had this array of different backgrounds, and Hao, for example, led us through this cupping, this blinded cupping challenge, which I was enjoying some cold brew leftovers from that this morning. And it was just so fun to learn from Hao, on what this even is. Josh Clemente: And actually, I think I came away with some great lessons on how to sample coffee based on aroma, which I had never been able to do prior. And then we had a really nice chef lead us through this amazing meal. Preparation of shawarma. Had a vegetarian option, had a chicken option, and it turned out fantastic. And then we discovered that Shin Loo is the most interesting person on our team by a long shot. Gabriel is the tallest by a long shot. And Jeremy’s the world’s fastest typist. So none of those things had been known by me prior to this assemblage, so this is why we do these things. So thanks everybody, for participating and can’t wait for the next one. I didn’t hide the slide apparently, but David is currently out. So we’re going to have a shorter meeting this week most likely. And we’re going to jump straight into a design update from Alan. Alan: All right. Josh, can you give it a quick refresh? Sorry. Maybe, there we go. Okay. Maybe go back up a slide. Cool. Yeah, okay. So yeah, so Dave’s not here. I’m going to quickly run through some design stuff this week. A slightly less tactical work week for me on the design side. Was a lot of talking to users, it was collecting some feedback on the product experience and starting to look at some of these changes that we’ve started to introduce into the product, and seeing how well they’re working. And looking at sort of areas of opportunity that we can come back to later. Alan: So, next slide. So last week, too bad that these are the old slides, but last week I showed a slide like this that was essentially, we don’t know what to put here exactly. We’re wondering what goes here in this, My Data section, what’s a good summary on the week? We have a calendar. Alan: Next slide. And, previous. And I think the concern that I was having was, and I think this has been brought up a couple of times, is that the color system, we’ve boosted the brightness. It’s a little less muddy, but sometimes it can kind of feel like a Christmas scene here where we’ve got a bunch of reds and greens. And so it can look a little bit jarring, and so we’re starting to look at color again. This will probably be something that we continue to look at. And I think the reason why color, for us particularly, as a product is so important is that we’re applying semantic meaning to it. It’s not just to indicate what’s clickable or cappable or whatever. We actually say something specific about your metabolic health based on, with color. Alan: So next slide. So we’ve actually started to, really as a designer, we actually need real data to drive some of these decisions. We’re visualizing data. I can kind of just spot it or play with palettes and see what happens, but that’s not a really productive or [inaudible 00:19:23] informed way to do the design work. So we’re actually starting to grab some of our data, using real lines in our charts, in Figma, and actually starting to visualize what some of data looks like. And so we pulled 30 days of employee metabolic scores. There’s a little notebook that you can jump into to take a look at. I don’t know who these people are. You’re in here somewhere. And I think what’s kind of interesting here is that there’s, even within the Levels’ employee base, some people are doing great and some people maybe less so. There’s a bunch of reds. Alan: And so the reason that this is important to me, and I think to our members, is that we want to make sure that the product is a positive part of your life. And so if we’re constantly telling you that you’re failing, that’s not great. But also if we’re just constantly telling you that no matter what you do, you’re doing awesome, that’s not particularly helpful. Alan: Next slide. So we started looking at what our users are doing, and how they’re doing as well. And so we’ve got a couple of different alternative palettes that we’re playing with. One of the issues in the current color scheme is that you’re kind of losing, as Josh noted, some of the directionality, if there’s changes happening. The colors are sort of [inaudible 00:20:35] in a way that leans positive, but makes it a little bit more difficult to tell one day versus another. So we’ve got a couple of sequential palettes here. We’ve got a diverging wing up one on the right. So jury’s still out on kind of the direction to go here. But I do think it’s kind of interesting to just look at where our users are right now, and see what their metabolic scores are looking like, and what they might be experiencing. Alan: Next slide. So let’s look at the top. These users are killing it, they’re doing great. Lots of greens. You start to see near the end there, a couple more oranges and reds. I think, to me that’s kind of fascinating, even just seeing that. One thing that I’m keen to look at is what happens after they’ve started a new sensor. Is there that warmup issue that we’ve been identifying in some user feedback? Alan: Next slide. Look at the bottom. There’s a user there that has had 55 every single day that they’ve had Levels on. That’s a situation that we probably want to avoid. And I think, it’s not just that we don’t want them to feel bad, it’s that it’s not going to be productive to changing their behavior, if they feel like no matter what they do, they’re not unable to change sort of the direction of the experience. It’s going to feel broken, or it’s not going to feel particularly helpful. They probably bought Levels because they knew that they weren’t doing great. And so this is, we don’t want to be reinforcing that. We want to be providing more opportunities for it to get better. Alan: Jumping to the next slide. So here’s the middle. Actually, I think of all the site, we always know there’s going to be people at the top that are doing great, people at the bottom who are not doing so awesome. So what does it look like when you’re, for the most part, within the middle? I’ve sorted these scores by average score per day. And I think it’s actually kind of cool. You’ve got some people that are doing great, a bunch of greens. Look at row number 19. And then one day, they fall off the wagon. They got a big red. I think this is kind of be expected. You’ve got these YOLO days. Maybe you have a cheat day, or whatever. Alan: And so I think these are some actually really interesting user research opportunities for us. Like how do we make sure that Levels either supports you in that moment, or validates or even just makes you feel, yeah sure, it’s fine? Like take care of yourself. If you’re feeling sick, you’re going to have a down day. Or if you’re feeling like a bowl of ice cream after dinner, whatever, good for you. Alan: Next slide. So, to recap a little bit, what we’re looking at through data, we’ve got some other data too, just looking at glucose tracers and so on. To be perfectly honest, I think many of our members are doing better than I expected. I expected to see a lot more red, but it actually, the average score we were seeing there was in the seventies to low eighties. That’s pretty impressive. Red has come up in some user interviews. I did some user interviews this week around disordered eating, and the red did come up a couple times as being potentially very problematic or punishing, judgemental. So we’re going to continue to look at that. On the right you’ve got a little screenshot of many iterations on playing with color. I think in general, the rule in design is that when you see something like this happening for a single screen, it usually means take something away. And so for me, that means we probably want to reduce the application of color so that we don’t have that many iterations of a single screen. Alan: Yeah, I think actually the other way to recap that is, when you have that many iterations of a single screen, it either means you’re an obsessive designer and you can’t step away or there’s some ingredient that isn’t quite right and that we need to either remove it or find a way to change it and replace it with something else. Alan: Next slide. So here’s where we’ve arrived. Despite all those color explorations with the new, My Data section, we’re going to keep some of those colors on the left and continue to iterate on it, to Sam’s point over slack, because we, 80/20, it’s good enough for now, and we’ll come back to it later. And on the right, we’ve got the metabolic report, which we’re working on now, which will be surfaced in a recap and sort of a reveal around how we arrived at your score. Charts, chart’s color. Alan: And next slide. And sort of in that theme of continuous improvement, food logging is one of the most important parts of the experience. I’ve been jamming on the food experience for quite a bit, and even last night making some tweaks. And so I think we’ve got some more iterations on the food logging experience that I’m hopeful to roll out to users in the coming weeks. So, that’s it for Design. Josh Clemente: Awesome. I absolutely love the nuance of the design considerations. It’s something that I am learning quite a bit about through the process of Levels that I just would never have understood. There’s so much psychology and emotion built into it, and it makes total sense. So thank you, Alan, for leading us. Josh Clemente: Okay. Quick Hiring Update. So we still have four open positions or categories right now. We’re exploring head of Research. We have some really great candidates in the pipeline for head of Legal, and we have a perennially open engineering role category. And then some really nice candidates coming through for partnership specialists. So for those watching from the outskirts, please continue to send in candidates for all of these. We are by no means closed on these categories. And then I’m going to ask Miz to comment on the massive spike in applications that we’ve got here. I imagine there’s a data import going on, but any other insight, Miz? Miz: Yeah, not a data import. Stacey had a good idea, as part of our content, and all nine efforts, we have been sprucing up our LinkedIn. Ben filled us in on the YouTube changes that we made a few weeks back. So we thought it might be a good idea to post our open roles to our LinkedIn company page. It was a very good idea, but it also resulted in a few hundred extra applications, a lot of applicants that might not have known of Levels earlier, beforehand, or just used the LinkedIn Quick Apply feature, which is a feature through Workable and LinkedIn that just got us a ton of applications. So on the one hand, great, because we’re seeing applicants that might not have been familiar with Levels beforehand. On the flip side, we got applicants and a lot to work through. Miz: And so we’re obviously prioritizing moving folks through the funnel who are already at the challenge stage of the discussion stages, but we do have a lot of new in bound to consider as well, so excited about that. And shout-out to Michelle who’s been helping us out, managing this process. To all the engineers that are helping out with interviews and to Andrew for keeping up with most of it, so that explained that big influx. We’ve pulled that role off of LinkedIn. We’ve got plenty of applicants. It’s still open otherwise, and we kept it posted for the other roles, for partnerships, for inside council and for the research clinical role. Josh Clemente: Very helpful. Thank you. Yeah, I didn’t think 10 X made perfect sense, so good to know about that. Okay, Ben. Ben: Awesome. To add to what Miz was saying too. When talking to candidates, a lot of them will say, oh, I just go to LinkedIn to keep posted on your postings. And so some people don’t know about work at Levels and that is their only avenue in. And as soon as they see that nugget, then they just pounce on it. So it’s very cool. Growth. So shout-outs. We, Josh alluded to the waitlist in the conversion test that we’ve been running, and over the course of the past week, we had conversations with different investors and people in our network. So shout-out to Julia Lipton from Awesome People, Julian Shapiro from Demand Curve, Will Wong is one of the newest partners at Andresen, and then Alexey Komissarouk from MasterClass. So thank you to all of them for all their help in jamming through ideas. Ben: Next slide, please. So Financials. Strong week, as far as cash generation goes, $80,000 so we surpassed our goal there. And then Recognize revenue for the month, we’re at 445, which is great. So we’ll finish out in a strong position. No changes in cash position as far as cash in the bank or access to our debt. Ben: So next slide please. Growth Theme. So we’ll go deeper on the conversion test here. I’ll try to expedite this because there’s lots of cool stuff to talk through. So we ran … Back to the other slide for a sec, thanks. So we ran two different tests. We’ll go through the what, the why, and the how. We started running these conversion tests with the idea of dripping people into the beta, and this had two parts to it. So it was the /Waitlist and /Doubleopt. Ben: So what /Waitlist was, we targeted people who signed up in May of 2020, and then May of 2021. Small groups, and we just said, hey, if we send the same email to them, what is going to happen? The hypothesis was, the older the cohort, the less engaged or the less aware they would be of Levels. And the newer the cohort, the more engaged they would be and have a higher probability of converting. The outcome of running these two tests, actually, sorry, doubleopt-in, I didn’t highlight that, doubleopt-in was putting another Sign Up link within the Welcome to the Waitlist email that gets sent out from Josh. What the outcome was over the course of two weeks, both of these tests led to 35K of revenue. So pretty cool to understand how to meet the supply and demand, and flex those levers when need be. Ben: So the goal of running these wasn’t optimization. It wasn’t running the perfect test. It was a matter of how quickly can we get data and learn about what’s going to happen if we send out emails or if we provide opportunities for people to convert, when they’re ready to convert. We didn’t want to design a full funnel process because that takes more time and it doesn’t necessarily get us the results that we want right now in the interim, which is, understanding how to turn on and off the tap when need be. And this is based on things like partnership initiatives. So if we know we’ve got a day or a week or any period of time where there are fewer initiatives or things like, the Doctor’s Pharmacy with Casey, is coming out in mid-July sometime, that’s going to lead to more conversion. So that might be a time where we say, whoa, let’s back off on some of these things like including a doubleopt-in link. Let’s take that out because we don’t want to fill the pipeline with anything that’s going to back up our throughput. Ben: What we learnt, so the main takeaways are, older cohorts require a full funnel process. So they require a very different engagement process to learn about what the product is, learn about things like pricing. And newer sign-ups, they’ll take time to think about the purchase, but they have a higher probability of conversion over a period of time. Ben: So if you go to the next slide for a sec. So you can see this is /Waitlist. The large graph, on the left hand side, that’s when the email gets sent out. And then you can see people sort of think about the purchase or opt-in. These are not additional emails that are sent out. And so they’ve got a different way of engaging with their purchase decision. Ben: And the next slide, please. Doubleopt-in. So you can see that’s just a gradual drip. And where you see, that is June 22nd, that’s when the Doubleopt-in link went out, where, if people are ready to convert, they have an opportunity to find that high friction path and they convert immediately. So it’s a cool way of understanding the way that we have to think about providing the right opportunities for people, given their cohort and given the way we approach it. And so that is Growth for the week. Josh Clemente: Very nice. It’s interesting to see some of these other sort of bar heights over here. These are people who, I think, signed up prior to having that link opportunity and went and found a link elsewhere, which they were able to convert with. So those are probably super intent folks as well, prior to us launching that. Mike is out today. So we’re going to jump right to Social Update. Speaker 18: Okay. So Instagram, we hit 31.9000 followers. Twitter, 14.4. We actually grew a hundred followers this week on Twitter alone, which was kind of interesting. Usually we grow really slowly on Twitter. Some key insights from the week. We reached 1,000 followers in the private Facebook group, as of this morning. We were mentioned quite a few times alongside Whoop and Peloton on Twitter, and a lot of people were tweeting and posting on their Instagram about food combining and how important it is. Some of the social chatter and kind of a common theme was, just people increasing their daily averages and lowering their average glucose after only a couple days or a couple weeks of using their sensor. That’s it for social. Josh Clemente: Yeah, and I loved this anecdote here, which, the connection between stress and scaling, eating decisions is really important. That’s something that we talk about a lot, but I think is going to be a huge kind of vector of what Levels does for people, is help them understand the context. So instead of indulging when you’re stressed, doing quite the opposite is, I think, a big change that Levels can bring about. Tom. Tom: All right. I’m realizing now that we should have done a slide this week on JM’s tweet that has 27,000 retweets as of this morning, but … Josh Clemente: Yeah, JM is a full blown influencer now. JM: Oh my God, stop. Tom: That explains the uptick in Twitter followers. No mystery as to why that happened. Okay, just a quick update for me this week, specifically looking at influencer partnerships. And as a reminder, we’re using that term now to refer to any partnerships across, really any type of content creator, whether that’s podcast, YouTube, Instagram, newsletter, et cetera. And so one new conversation from this week that I wanted to call out was with Lex Fridman’s team. So I know many people on this team are fans and listeners of Lex’s show. He is an AI researcher and computer scientist at MIT. And he’s kind of become part of this group of public intellectuals and his podcast focuses on sort of all things science, technology, philosophy, a little bit of health. And that’s one reason why I’m calling him out is because, in terms of sourcing these new partnerships, we’ve begun to move beyond just the health and nutrition space in order to test audiences that are still core in target for us, but perhaps slightly adjacent to like the Ben Greenfields and Kelly Labecks of the world. Tom: And so these tests, really over the next year or so, are going to be helping us refine our marketing strategy, figure out where to put our dollars and just better understand our prospective customer bases. And we’re also in a fortunate position because we have relationships with a lot of other like-minded companies in the space. So we can triangulate with brands like Eight Sleep or Athletic Greens and find out what are the top performing shows for them, which will likely work for us as well. And then just quickly on the right side of the screen, calling out the Dave Asprey Instagram post this week. Got about 20,000 views already. We estimate about 50 orders are going to come from that. And then over the next month, we’re going to see, definitely a bit of an uptick from what we saw over the last month in terms of partner promotions, highlighted by the Mark Hyman podcast episode, which is going to drop in mid July. I think that is it. Josh Clemente: On it. Thank you, Tom. Excited for the Lex conversations. Heyni. Heyni: Yeah, a couple of great posts and content this week. If you haven’t checked out that Levels’ diary from Dr. Cam yet, I encourage you to do that. This was a really cool connection via Tom and idea that came directly from Dr. Cam to do this. He said, hey, Ramadan’s coming up, I’m going to try fasting and I’d like to wear Levels throughout it. And what he found, in his experience doing it, was just really interesting for anybody who’s interested in fasting, and also training and trying to really pay attention what you eat while fasting. And so it was a really cool piece. And another Foods We Love piece as well, is we put the Dr. Lustig release up on the site. Couple of other things going on this week. We’re just finalizing a memo off to JTPR to kind of talk about our PR goals for the next six months and how we might make some adjustments to that, as I’m starting to be more involved in the PR efforts there. Heyni: We also kicked off this week, a pilot project with an agency. It’s actually the same agency that helped with our email revamp and research around that. The same folks who were former magazine editors, people who come out of my world, are going to try producing some content for us, all the way from sort of assignment through editing and writing, and fact checking, as a way to start to expand our capabilities and allow us to scale. As we do more things, we need more folks helping to feed the beast and keep getting our posts up every week. So, excited to kick that off with them and hope it’s successful. Some really good pieces coming up in the pipeline. We have a piece we’ve been working on for a long time, that I think is just about ready on longevity. This is actually a distillation of a talk that Casey gave at Stanford last fall. One of our really core, we’ve got a couple of really core pieces I think, that are just going to be really significant reference pieces for us to have. Heyni: One is the Levels’ dietary philosophy, which I talked about, we’re just finishing up now, kind of our manifesto about how we think about food. But another key component to that is micronutrients. And as you all know, Casey talks about this a lot in podcasts and stuff, the importance of micronutrients. We’re doing a really thorough dive into, I think, 10 of the micronutrients that are important for metabolic health. And why? Heyni: And I’m working on a research roundup about kids and sugar and some of the detrimental effects of sugar on kids and how we can start to, things that have proven to work, to get kids to take in less sugar. So a really touchy topic. There’s a lot of opinions about it, but we’re going to try coming at it from a real research-driven standpoint. So out probably next week. Heyni: Next slide. Just one other quick thing I wanted to show this week. If you remember, two weeks ago in the newsletter, we did 110 best foods. And it was by far our biggest performing newsletter ever, in terms of both opens and clicks. So this week we went the other way, and did the worst foods. This was the piece based on our data. Much lower open rates, which was sort of interesting, but the click-through rate was even higher. So, not exactly sure what the signal is in that, but certainly it means that people are definitely interested in nutrition advice and when we distill it down to something that sounds like a real service message. I think it engages people. But these click-through rates are several points higher than we get for even our best stories so, kind of interesting. That’s it for Content. Josh Clemente: Yeah, I’m fascinated by the lower open rate. Counterintuitive for me. Thanks, Heyni. Josh Clemente: Okay. We made it to the Individual Contributions. Mercy, go ahead and kick us off. Mercy: Professionally and personally, I just want to say a huge shout to Miz for assemblage this past week. It was a ton of fun. Yeah, that’s it. Josh Clemente: Laurie. Laurie: Well, I’m echoing Mercy on that. We’ve had a really good time. I love the breakout sessions. I think I should be going to the little Tuesdays and Thursday meetings where I can get to know people a little better. I’m excited about summer. It’s super hot, but I’m outside a lot. So I’m looking forward to summer. Josh Clemente: Very nice. Hao. Hao: Plus one to the assemblage, super fun. Thanks everybody for organizing it and participating. And also plus one to the hot weather. We are going to have a really hot weekend, so I’m going to find some water. A river, or a lake, just to dip myself in. Josh Clemente: Awesome. Gabriel. Gabriel: Yeah. This might be a theme this week, but also huge props to everyone who’s involved in assemblage. It’s been so great. Particularly enjoyed trivia, even though I realized, after the fact, my score would’ve been higher if I’d answered Shin Loo for every question, even the ones for which she was not an option. That’s on me. Josh Clemente: Love it. Yep. That’s Shin Loo is always the answer. Casey. Casey: Yeah. I think huge shout-out to Miz for assemblage and planning it, and everyone involved. Hao, your session was amazing. And Sam, thanks for planning [00:41:31] trivia. That was just so fun, to do the breakout rooms as well and chat more with people, so that was awesome. Also, just welcome to Scott. So happy to have you on board and glad your first week was great. Josh Clemente: For sure. Justin. Justin: First assemblage, best assemblage. So much fun. Getting to know everybody better and seeing what all the fuss was about. And yeah, I love the design stuff that’s happening. I’m always [inaudible 00:41:59] of design. And yeah, I’m on my first week off next week. So going to be going to my brother’s cabin for a bit and having some downtime. Josh Clemente: Amazing. Jesse. Jesse: Yeah. Plus one, I had a really awesome time at the assemblage events this week. So thanks to everyone who had a part in playing them. And I’m in New York this week, hanging out with my brother, sister. My brother’s having a world premier of his new COVID band, so that’ll be interesting tonight. And I guess, also I’m feeling like I’m hitting a comfortable stride at Levels, in the work, so that also feels really good. Josh Clemente: Love that. Enjoy New York. Dom is also not able to join. I think Sam’s on the call. Sam? Maybe not. Alan. Alan: Yeah. I think first call, shout-out to Miz. I know everyone has already, but I’ve done a bunch of these kinds of things before, and somehow it managed to hit like that sweet spot of the right amount of time, the right amount of conversation and fun, and still feel really good. So big shout-out there, I really enjoyed that. Personal side, my six-year old son finally really loves cycling. And so he rode to camp today. And so that was like a big personal highlight. So I’m looking forward to riding with him this weekend. Josh Clemente: That’s awesome. Yeah, the assemblage has come a long way. The earliest ones, I think, did not balance the equation so effectively, so it’s good to hear that. JM. JM: Really awesome assemblage this time around. This was my second one. I feel like I’m not the new guy anymore. So shout-out to Miz for everything. This weekend, this is actually the last day of school here in New York today. So we’re going to head down the shore tomorrow and get some sun for a couple days. And hope everyone has a good weekend. Josh Clemente: Nice. Brayden, I do not see you on the call. Jump in if you are. Tom. Tom: Yeah. Excited about the team, broadly, which is really to say the assemblage was great, but also had an awesome conversation with Scott this week. Excited about understanding our waitlist more, that was a big development this week. And then have been focused on my brother’s wedding and bachelor party, which are both coming up in the next couple of months. Josh Clemente: Nice. Ben. Ben: Yeah, [inaudible 00:44:23] Miz, all the work that goes into assemblage. He’s balancing it on top of everything else. Also, super stoked to have a Scott on the team. It’s so cool when we get new team members and you just sort of shake your head. You’re like, can’t believe all the people that we get to work with are such high caliber people. And so it’s really cool when you get to see the team grow, so that’s awesome. Personally, Pam and I booked a tee time this weekend and I haven’t golfed in like seven years, and so pretty stoked to put it into the bush and hopefully keep it on the fairway as much as possible. Josh Clemente: Let’s go. Ben is emerging from the basement of work to go out into the world. Ben: There is a sun, I’ve heard. Josh Clemente: Enjoy. Marilo. Marilo: Yeah. So plus one on assemblage, especially trivia was a lot of fun, had a lot of laughs. Really looking forward to my first live fireside in a little bit, and run afterwards. I didn’t get to run on Wednesday and I’m at a point where I’m really missing it. So, yeah, looking forward to that. Josh Clemente: Nice. John. John: Yeah, plus one on the assemblage. It was a lot of fun. Josh Clemente: Heyni. Heyni: I’ll do a specific shout-out to Miz on the assemblage. The Russian breathing exercise thing came from me because I interviewed Glen for a piece, and I spent half the interview just quizzing him about systemic because I was fascinated by it. And just sort of offhandedly threw it out to Miz of like, hey, maybe this would be a cool assemblage. And I know it was not an easy thing to schedule and that it came together, just from that, is such a testament to his ability to just make things happen, so that was super cool to see. Josh Clemente: Yeah, ditto. I think the assemblage was, it is just such a great, I think, recipe to weave them into the week and see everybody in these event formats, is great fun. I was excited to learn how to make shawarma in my own kitchen. That’s something I will repeat often. And then very excited to have Scott joining. Great week all around. Scott. Scott Klein: I really appreciate all the kind words. It means a lot to me. I think everybody should start on assemblage week. It’s a bit overwhelming trying to get some actual work done amongst all the great conversations I had, so thank you everybody for giving me 30 or oftentimes 60 minutes of your day. There’s probably half the team I still need to schedule with, so know that I will get to all of you, eventually. It’s going to be 110 degrees here on Monday, and so I need to go literally figure out how to block windows because our AC’s probably not going to keep up, so that’s my personal side. Probably find some fun to do water stuff as well. And then professionally, there’s just so much I think to get spot up on. The onboarding process has been great, so I think Miz, you’ve been a great steward, both with assemblage and also with the onboarding stuff for me. It’s been a fantastic first week. So I got a lot in my head, but I’m mostly just excited to be here. Josh Clemente: Awesome. Miz. Miz: Well, thanks guys. No idea what assemblage is. Just kidding. Appreciate being in such a supportive environment. It makes the work worth it, but also a ton of other people put a lot of work in. And everyone attending the events is really the key part, talking to one another and just kind of reading the sessions. Hao, Sam and Ben from the notion work. So yeah, group effort and happy to be on a team. In this remote environment it’s tough to kind of get those connections. And so I think the things that we do that feel great and create those conversations, are awesome. So I very much enjoyed participating this week as well. And then on the personal side, booked on a whim, yesterday, there’s this thing called Safari West up in, I think it’s up in Sonoma, which is a safari on the west coast. So there’s like antelope and zebra and giraffe, and just sounds like a fun activity. So doing that Sunday morning. Excited to see some animals. Josh Clemente: Sounds awesome. All right. Well, we did it. Great work, everybody. Josh Clemente: I’m going to take a few minutes here and just cover some stuff I learned recently that … This will all be making its way into a whole sort of state of bio wearables document, but I’m just going to chat about microneedle biosensors for a minute. I’m sure everybody on the team is getting some amount of information about the direction of biosensors and technology that is out there. And so I’ve been researching quite a number of these things and I’m just going to dive in real quick to microneedles. So microneedles are not actually a CGM technology. They’re a body interface for biosensing. So the goal of microneedles is to minimize trauma at a sensor site, while enabling interface with bodily fluids. So when you have the transdermal sensor, which is what we currently use, it kind of penetrates a few millimeters into the skin, past the epidermis, the dermis, into the subcutaneous area. And that gives quite a bit of surface area to interface with the skin. Josh Clemente: And as we know, that works quite well. Some companies want to minimize the invasiveness to make it more user friendly, et cetera, et cetera. And so microneedles are one way of doing so. Microneedles are not necessarily a single design concept. So some are actually replicating the large transdermal filament with a much larger number of small semi or micro filaments, so that’s one design. Other designs are actually hollow, and so you can actually do incorporation of medications or dosing of various molecules of interest, if needed. So a microneedle can both be an injection device and a sensing device. So today there are a number of companies that are working on integrating the same enzymatic electrochemical sensor paradigm, so the way that current CGMs function, integrating that into a minimally invasive microneedle design. Josh Clemente: And to kind of show … So this is an example of a sensor that has been demonstrated in vivo, so on the body, in a microneedle design. So this is a half millimeter length microneedle, which is essentially etched out of the base material, using a variety of chemicals and/or lasers. And it’s hollow, it allows interstitial fluid flow in, it then senses it there. And that’s compared to the insertion needle for a standard commercial CGM. So you can kind of see the scale of the difference there. They both have the same general concept, but very different in terms of how the product will interface with the person. Josh Clemente: There are some cool things that microneedles can unlock. So they could theoretically provide a very minimal invasiveness, so it could feel like a less concerning application process for people who are new to this. As those of us who have used CGM know, CGM is really quite painless and quite convenient to use. It’s not, it’s certainly, once you get over the first application, it becomes very easy. So that’s one area though that microneedles could improve the presentation factor. They could theoretically be designed in ways that could be mass producible, with great manufacturability. So you could potentially print the needle directly into the printed circuit board design. Josh Clemente: And then a couple other benefits could be, they theoretically could be removed and replaced on the body, unlike transdermal filaments. Early versions probably will not. And then there’s likely reduced risk of infection because they don’t penetrate as deep. So those are all benefits. The challenges that are facing this tech today are kinetics and surface area. So because the microneedles really don’t go very far into the skin, the body has a much more rapid healing process. So it will actually be able to form a protein layer around those microneedles and seal off the interface to the bodily fluids pretty quickly. Josh Clemente: So what this means is a reduced lifespan for a sensor. This is sometimes called biofouling, but basically the shallower the filament penetration, the more likely that your body can quickly seal it off. They’re also rigid, so the sensor itself, if you have a watch or something that has an optical heart rate sensor, there’s a lot of gapping and movement. That’s because the sensor itself, the watch is very rigid. Your skin is flexing and moving all the time, and that creates gaps. And this is actually one of the main sources of error in a heart rate monitor that’s optical, while you’re exercising, for example. Similar things can happen with a microneedle sensor on the skin, but the gapping actually creates more disruption because obviously it’s supposed to be in touch with fluid and it’s not optical, so it doesn’t regain a perfect seal. So this is one of the main sort of real world problems with microneedles today. And then you have environmental factors, so because the needles are close to the surface, it introduces additional problems like water intrusion, for example. Josh Clemente: And then one of the biggest ones is sweat. So because the sweat glands are actually in that derma layer where the microneedles sit, sweat is exposed to the microneedles themselves, and sweat contains glucose, but not in the same concentrations as interstitial fluid and blood. So those are not linearly correlated. So if you’re measuring glucose and sweat, you may not be getting a realistic signal for what blood sugar could be. So anyway, just wanted to cover some of the key benefits, some of the key issues. If microneedles are successfully produced in a real world environment at scale, they will probably become state of the art. Everyone will want to replicate it. A lot of great benefits to the end user. Josh Clemente: I would say that, based on what I know, we’re probably about three years away from viability, maybe about five years from real market availability. But that’s what we know today. So several companies are working on it. Many of them are working fast. And the cool thing about them is there a platform that you could go beyond enzymatic sensors into say Optimers and some of the other super futuristic tech as well. So with that, I think … I’ll be releasing some of these documents out to the company as they finish out, but a lot of good resources. The goal is just to get all of us kind of up to speed on sensor tech. Josh Clemente: So thanks for tuning in. And with that, we can go ahead and be recording here, and jump into the next session.