March 29, 2023

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


Josh Clemente (00:00):

All right, let’s go ahead and get into it. Welcome to Friday Forum, March 31st, last one of March, last one of Q1 2023, somehow. Just a reminder on what the meeting is all about. So this is our synchronous time to catch up on what’s going on across the company, various functions, hear from our members and partners directly, sync on culture and generally just align on what’s going to happen next week and what happened this week. This isn’t the main social connection, nor is it the main business analytics meeting. We do that typically asynchronously and in other channels, so just a reminder on the goals for this meeting.


All right, so this past week… my emojis did not show up properly. It’s okay. Big stuff. So Beta 1 launch is coming soon. So April 3rd is the launch date. We’re within a few days now and this is the biggest push for the company right now. So product and support growth, all hands have been on deck to get this live and we’re just seeing really tremendous progress there.


On the app side, so we’re currently internal testing the Beta 1 app experience. We had a really nice launch notes or release notes, a thread from Cosima, I think yesterday. So definitely recommend checking that out, getting signed up to try this out, and giving feedback as we’re in the validation phase on that internal testing experience. So this is a no-CGM necessary metabolic health experience, it’s got guidance, habit checklists, trends. The objective for this initial Beta is 50% engagement, 30% retention. So this will be again, going live April 3rd.


The inside, so code is complete of course for that Beta 1 launch. We’re now in the validation stage, so working on bug fixes, working on general validation, making sure all the I’s are dotted, T’s are crossed. So again, really valuable to test that experience, help out, make the team aware of bugs as they arise. And the more people that try this, the better we will be when we go live April 3rd.


We’re also on the ENG side successfully scaling the Genuisee team. So this is a consulting team we’ve been using for web stuff into full-stack work. So that’s been quite successful so far, which is great. And then metrics-wise, cycle pickup and deploy times are among the best we’ve seen. So just huge shout-out to the ENG team. Not only are we shipping things fast, we’re doing it in a very disciplined way and just keeping our metrics as short as they can be. So it’s awesome.


Beta 1 sign-up, so we close those at 504. So we hit the target there. Onboarding work is underway. Reminder that the Beta 1 is going to be kind of two programs or two plans, I need to make sure I got my vocabulary right there, but the objective is to test two experiences against each other. One more structured, one less structured. And so that’s why we doubled signups from originally 250 to 500.


The onboarding work is now underway there and we’re getting ready to transition kind of directly into the multi-channel testing for Beta 2. So we did all of our signups for Beta 1 via email. Beta 2 is going to be about testing across many digital channels, even including partnerships. So we’ve got a lot of work going on shaping what those conversion tests are going to look like because Beta 2 is going to be a fast follow essentially on the Beta 1. And Beta 2 will enable an experience with or without CGM, so this is kind of an evolution, again, multiple ways.


And then we’re shipping some more persona-focused, more specifically marine-focused paid test next week. So this will be leveraging a lot of the content that Sonya and Stacy have been producing and that we’ve been using for guides. So we’re going to be testing this on Instagram and Meta over the next week. That’s going to go live very soon. And then we ran a signed book giveaway for Peter Attia’s Outlive launch right here, which got a lot of attention. This was kind of exclusive, I don’t think we have another CGM organization that was able to get a direct signed distribution of Outlive before it went live.


We’ve got a CGM optimal flow, which is ready to ship. So this is big. This is the first moment that you’ll be able to buy Levels independently of a sensor. You’ll obviously, of course, be able to continue purchasing CGM, but the goal is to split this as we’re now entering the CGM optional phase. And then we’re shaping smoke tests, which smoke tests are a way of us converging on optimal positioning. So we’re going to try a number of different go-to-market positions, messaging schematics in order to test for general availability, how to position our messaging for the new product when we’re ready to do so.


And then we’re also going to be preparing user referrals as a new feature, which will be targeting a May release sometime around Beta 3. And then lastly, we’re going to be shipping our email platform from Drip to Braze, which is a big move for the growth product team. And finally some inside the company stuff. So we had an AMA this week on beta numbers to hit. So these are the targets that we’re setting for each of these Beta 1, 2, and 3 efforts. Please watch that, review the notes on that. Watch the recording. We had a nice retro on Labs V2 launch and a full release notes on Beta 1 as I mentioned earlier.


And of course, we got just a ton of work here. You can see the beta one experience in app, the Levels food guide, and fitness planner, which are going to be elements of the guidance experience, and some great testimonial and test on Twitter here. All right, handing it over to Sonja.

Sonja Manning (05:13):

Awesome. I am so excited and thrilled to introduce Veronica who also goes by Vero. She was part of my February Guide Z5, also known as the Instagram content experiment, and is joining us all the way from Germany after just moving apartments. So thank you for making the time to join us. And Vero is actually entry point to Levels was through our culture content, so learned and read about our culture content. And I’ll let her share a little bit more about her experience on Instagram and February.


But just want to say, Vero, how much I appreciated your engagement and your feedback, and your DMs throughout. We’re continuously learning that the feedback loop with Guides is so important and your comments were just so motivating and so inspiring for me. So thank you so much. And Vero is now interested in even potentially exploring a career in metabolic health. So it’s just been so awesome to get to know you through your Guides and would love to hear more about your experience, what you liked, what you learned, and areas that you think we could improve upon. I think you’re still muted, my friend.

Veronica Encinas (06:22):

Hi. Yeah, now thank you for having me. I’m so excited. I was in shock by watching the picture that I shared with you guys. So I was just like, what? This is the very first time that I’m sharing that picture with somebody. I’ve never shared before. That picture was back to May 1st, 2021, and I only put it together to show it to you because you guys play a huge role on that transformation and I wanted you to be the first ones to see it.


And as I was putting it together, I showed it to my husband, which I never shown to him. And he was like, “What? What is that?” And I’m like, “Well, that’s my before and after.” And he’s like, “No, but what did you do to the picture?” I’m like, “Well, that was me two years ago.” He’s like, “But, you did something. Why do you look like that?” And I said, “Yeah, I was 35 kilos overweight, which is around 80 pounds.” And he’s like, “I know”… He was in total denial, which is really nice because that means that his love is blind and he never got to see that going on. But that was happening and that was right before we moved here to Germany. Well, that was right after we moved to Germany. I’m sorry, it was three months after we moved to Germany and I call it my post-pandemic moving to Germany weight.


But, it also includes my goodbye to Mexico because we moved to Germany after living in Mexico in the Riviera Maya in the area of Cancun, which is where I had my business and everything. And I closed the business because of the pandemic. We lost it. And we decided to move to Germany. And as soon as I knew I was moving to Germany, I was eating every taco on my way and every quesadilla and I just didn’t hold my horses at all.


I had always struggled with weight so I have always been on a restricted calorie diet. Well, I didn’t at this time, and then I came to Germany and ate a lot of bread and I was really 80 pounds overweight. And the day I took that picture is really symbolic. And this is what I wanted to share with you because I made that picture the very same day I made the decision to make lifetime changes, sustainable changes because I have been on a rollercoaster of yo-yo dieting my entire life.


I remember, I think the first time I diet, I was 13 years old. And when I was 15 years old, my mom took me to the doctor because I think it was about I had 20 pounds, maybe 15 pounds more. So she took me to the doctor to lose weight and they ended up giving me amphetamines and we didn’t know. And I lost 20 pounds in a matter of two months, but with amphetamines. And ever since that moment, I don’t know if it ruined my metabolism or what happened, but I was just like all my life up and down.


And that very same day I remember feeling… we went to a canopy park here in Germany. It was a four-story canopy park and that was the moment that changed my life. I don’t know, those challenges that you have to climb and put ropes and just do a lot of army stuff. And my husband is super fit and super athletic and he was like, come on, let’s do it, mi amor, vamos, vamos, you can do it, andale. And I was like, yeah, yeah, I can do it. And as I was doing it, I was in physical pain, physical and emotional pain. I really felt I was going to die there. My knees hurt, my back hurt, my joints were screaming. I had a 35-kilo carrying in my back and performing that, imagine.


And I remember thinking, this has got to stop. This is the last day of your life that you are going to feel like this. You’re going to change. So I’m getting all emotional here. So let me take one sip of water. Just one second.

Sonja Manning (10:27):

Take your time. Take your time.

Veronica Encinas (10:28):

While this opens. It’s glass.

Sonja Manning (10:33):

We love reusable water bottle. Great habit.

Veronica Encinas (10:36):

There you go. So okay, I’m going to pull myself together. So I said, this is the last time, really I don’t want to feel like this. I felt old and I was only… I’m 43 now. I was only 41 at the time and I felt old. And I thought, this is not possible, I need to do something. So I went home. I took that picture of me wanting to say goodbye to those kilos and that weight. The angle is terrible because I did it myself. I made the picture. I didn’t tell anybody. I sat down and I went on a searching journey to find out why. I wanted to know why now. I wasn’t so much interested to do a miracle diet anymore. I really wanted to know why that I was struggling with that all my life.


So that’s how I came out, that’s how I found you, and that’s where you come and that’s where I found out about metabolic health. I bumped into this incredible number of doctors, which are all in your board of advisors and they recommended you. And well, I found you, I found all about your company, I loved it. But it was a bit sad that you guys were not on this side of the world, which is why I was thrilled when I saw the cohort invitation and the experiment invitation. I thought, oh, I need to sign in. I wanted to learn more from the best because I had been a fan of your blog and of Dr. Casey Kitchen for quite some time, and it got me where I was. I think at the time that I took the after picture that is already in the challenge. That was I think one week in the challenge.


So I just wanted to be there and to be honest, I signed in and I was so excited. And I remember the very first day just logging in and just hear that good morning. You have no idea how inspiring that was because, at the time that I joined the challenge, I had been in Germany already for two years, but it was the very first time that I was spending an entire winter in Germany and that was tough. That was more than two months not seeing the sun, sitting in an apartment, just watching through the window. The day passed by me day after day and not having any motivation to go out and do absolutely anything. Even though I was still eating healthy, I was still fasting and I was still learning everything about metabolic diet, but I just couldn’t put it together. I just didn’t have the motivation to do it.


And that’s exactly, exactly what the experiment did for me. It gave me a reason to get up every day at 7 in the morning looking forward to the previous day messages because I am eight hours or nine hours ahead of you. So I would wake up just because I knew if I would wake up at 6 or 7, you would be already there with the next good morning. So I was waking up like a bit ashamed of accepting it, but I hope my husband is here and he’s going to hear it. He would go to work, I would say hi, and I would wake up a little bit just to go back in bed and stay under the covers up until midday just because I couldn’t get myself out of bed. And I’ll wait there and I will take a shower five minutes before he would get home and cook something real quick and pretend everything was fine.


But to be honest, I had no motivation and I think that was so important for me. All the information you provided, it was incredible. I love science and I love research. So you provided the best on-point information with everything. I remember the very first task, which was I remember waking up, and so you’re going to go out and you’re going to go and take those rays of sun just to start your morning. And I was thinking like, yeah, girl, you’re in California, I’m in North Germany. I mean it’s a different kind of sun here.


And I wrote you a message from thinking like, hi, that would be a great idea. That sounds lovely, but you know what? I’m in Germany, north Germany. We border with Denmark. And your answer was so warm and so accurate and so sympathetic. I remember you wrote me, I feel you. I was living in Prague for a year while in college and I know you don’t see this sun, but here’s the science back… a link to Huberman lab and you just going to need a little bit longer, like 30 minutes, but try it. Believe me, trust the science. And I was like, oh, you better be right.


So after that day, every single day I woke up and if there was a little ray of sun, I got out of bed, jumped in my pajamas, sometimes just put a blanket on top because it was freezing cold, we were -0. We were freezing. I go in, decrease, you guys go in Fahrenheit. Well, I would put my pajamas like a little hot and I’d just be out there looking at the sun as if it was the sun in the south of Spain and I believed it with all my heart. And I swear after two weeks of doing that and every single tiny habit that you gave us because I committed with all my heart, I did, because I felt amazing after a couple of days and I thought, if this is already doing this to me after a couple of days, I cannot imagine how I’m going to feel after a month.


And I did. I was pouring seeds everywhere. I order basil seeds, which everybody thought I wanted to plant them and I want to eat them. I just poured everywhere. I was going to bed early, having my husband holding me accountable to go to bed early and taking those cold showers, which you have no idea how much pain I went through. The first time I was like, oh my god, I’m going to die. I’m sure I’m going to die under this cold water. And the water in here in Germany when you open the water all the way to cold, that’s cold water. This is Baltic Sea water. And I did it. And I did it and I went and did that, had cold exposure therapy that I told you about. And for the very first time after the sauna and being 90 degrees in that finished sauna, I went directly into the cold therapy and embraced it. And it was so magical and so powerful and I felt so alive after that. I’ve never done it.


I mean, I follow Wim Hof for a long time, but I never did it. You know why I never did it? Because I didn’t have a community to plug into and to say, Hey, we’re doing this, you guys. My husband is here from the Baltic Sea and he swims in the Baltic Sea every year at zero degrees like freezing Baltic Sea. And I always told myself, but you grew up here. You’re German, you grew up in that water. I’m Mexican, I come from the desert. How do you want me to do that? But when I saw you doing it and you guys can do it, you can train it, he gave us all… you see Wim Hof and he’s a God, but then you see a real person talking to you and telling you it is possible. Just do it. Just do it and tell me how it goes. And then you have something to look forward to. You have somebody who’s celebrating your little successes with, and that’s exactly what I needed. And it was right on time.


Two weeks later, Sonja, I felt like a whole new person. I was happy as if I was in Mexico. I’m super smiley and happy and I have a great Mexican charisma you will say. And that was all gone during the winter and I had no idea that that also had to do with metabolic health. I learned it through your challenge. And then I learned it through an article with Dr. Molly Maloof and I’m like, my God, it’s incredible how holistic metabolic health is and nobody’s talking about this. And there’s all these people here in Germany and all the Nordic countries who are suffering from that because we don’t have sun here. Then also we don’t have that much of a community like in Mexico. Mexico is sunny, you have a great sense of community, and I never knew that was so important in somebody’s life.

Sonja Manning (19:05):

Oh, thank you so much. You’re such an inspiration. I think we’re going to have to do a part two, maybe a podcast or a blog article or something to continue to hear your story. So thank you so, so much. One final question is if there’s one thing that we could have changed about the Instagram experiment or that you’d like us to consider as we’re moving this experiment into the app, what’s one thing that we could improve upon?

Veronica Encinas (19:36):

Well, I think the thing is that I can’t have the app here in Germany.

Sonja Manning (19:41):

Besides having that. That’s a good one.

Veronica Encinas (19:43):

Okay, I’m going to the States in a couple of days. I’m going to the States in couple of days and I’m so excited. I’m going to stay three months just to be able to give it a go to my continuous glucose monitor for a good three months. So that’s why I’m really staying there too long because I want to try the whole experience and I want to engage in your next experiment. I would think just make it more accessible to the general public who is not in the United States, especially in these countries in the north, especially in Europe where there’s not really a community. And metabolic health is not that big here. It’s not here yet. So I think just by getting there with social media and getting people to be able, while you have an app-only option so that people can get their own continuous glucose monitors, because I would do that. And for example, Mexico. Mexico, you can get your own continuous glucose monitor. You don’t need a prescription.

Sonja Manning (20:42):

Totally. Amazing.

Veronica Encinas (20:45):

It’ll be great, I just think to engage. I think what I saw that you guys are about to do, that’s great. Just have people jumping in even before wearing a continuous glucose monitor because the job you’re doing through your blog, through Dr. Casey Kitchen, through all the board of advisors, and through these experiments, you are already having a much bigger impact than you could ever imagine.

Sonja Manning (21:10):

Thank you so, so much for being here and sharing your story. Well, I’ll have to do a part two sometime. And we have a packed rest of the meeting, we’d love for you to stay and join us for the rest of the meeting if you’re able to, but just on behalf of the whole team, thank you so much and thank you personally for inspiring me throughout the way with all of your comments and engagement.

Veronica Encinas (21:30):

Thank you so much. Thank you for changing my entire winter and giving me back something to look forward to. Really, you sealed the deal for me when it came to metabolic health, and from now on, I can’t imagine what’s coming.

Josh Clemente (21:47):

Well, that was amazing. I mean, yeah, I agree, we got to get a full feature film here I think is really the only way to do this justice. But Veronica, thank you so much for joining us and for the reinforcement of what we’re working on and looking forward to being able to make the full experience available to you wherever you are in the world.


All right, jumping ahead, culture and kudos. So I want to wish Galit a happy one year, and I want to boost the shout-out to Xinlu who just constantly in the background is looking for opportunities to improve in areas where we don’t always kind of focus. So Xinlu stepped up and made some improvements on a number of linear tickets, which had not made the cut line in previous pushes. And the team really just appreciates these subtle tweaks and sometimes step function improvements that Xinlu frequently can be counted on to just do in her spare time. It’s really awesome and I think the support team in particular was very excited about these. So thank you. All right, over to David.

David Flinner (22:47):

Thanks, Josh. Can you do a quick refresh? I know it’s a culture day, but still doing the refreshes. Great. So yeah. Hi, everyone. Today I wanted to talk about one of our core cultural values, disagree and commit. I’ll start by explaining what it means, why it’s valuable, and then walk you through the stages of disagree and commit. And finally, I wanted to share some practical tips and personal anecdotes to illustrate its importance to our everyday work. Next slide.


All right, hoping to one-up Tom here on the hand-drawn graphics. So disagree and commit is one of the principles that encourages team members to align around a goal regardless of their outlook on it. The foundation of the principle is to have people express their honest opinions about an initiative and then commit to whatever direction the company decides to go. It helps us make decisions more effectively and implement them with greater efficiency. And by embracing this principle, we can maintain our velocity, break down gridlock, and foster a culture of trust and collaboration within our team.


So there’s two basic stages of disagree and commit, the pre-decision and the post-decision, and then some common friction points. Pre-decision before a decision is made, it’s crucial to invite disagreement and hear everyone’s input, and make sure that we’re all heard. We should put the problem in writing and align on what we’re trying to solve. I think that’s really important. It’s often easy to talk past each other and really talk through solutions, and when we really should be aligning on what is the problem that we’re trying to solve. And especially in an async company like ours, we don’t talk face-to-face and see all the emotional nuances of our faces and things like that. So it’s really important to get out of back and forth in strange channels and get into writing and have a source of truth and try to seek alignment on what is a problem that we’re solving.


And then once we have alignment on the problem that we’re solving, we can talk through what are the different facets of that, how might we solve this, what are the important pieces of it. And then propose an experiment and come up with a framework to use data to guide our decision-making process. Ultimately, after a period of time where we gather the inputs, there’s going to be a decider. If we can’t come to a decision, if that’s not clear, whoever the decider is and whoever those who have disagreements should collaboratively escalate that both to if it’s not at that decider level to the next level and come to a decision point. Document that all in a memo or a short paper that just recognizes where everyone was, what all the opinions were, and what trade-offs we made going forward.


And then post-decision, once that decision has been made, it’s time to switch gears and fully commit. We need to be relentless in pursuing the chosen direction and focus on solutions and positive framing. Ask yourself if you’re part of this team, what needs to be true to make this succeed, and then really try to get to that end goal as a team because if we’re individually working on this and raising up issues, it can cause a lot of friction in the system.


So common friction points. The most common one I think is it comes from passive criticism, rehashing arguments and not fully committing. And this one I think is easy to slip into because we don’t fully always recognize when a decision has been made and we have passionate arguments upfront for what we believe in. And next slide, Josh.


And so if you find yourself in this situation, which I have found myself in this situation many times at the company, and it’s one of the reasons I wanted to talk about this is that it’s important that we introspect our concerns and try to be aware of the process and where you are in the pipeline. So if there has been a spirited debate and the team has come to a decision, there has been an actual path set forward and you still find yourself with some anxiety about that direction or strong concerns, one thing I found helpful is to try to introspect why am I feeling that way. Am I thinking through things that we did discuss and we agreed that we’re tabling them and we kind of documented that in the memo and said, these are things that were valid, but we’re not considering it now for other important reasons? Or are you identifying something that’s actually going to be a huge blocker? Next slide, Josh.


So it’s possible that sometimes you’ve identified something that the leadership team has missed whoever that is in the project and that you’re going to avoid people from going off the waterfall here in the boat analogy. But I think more often than not for myself at least, there’s this part of my, I think, animal brain that wants to go back to my own ideas and reopen them up. And it’s super important that we all think of this as we’re part of a team. And it’s not our own decisions that matter, it’s the team’s decision and what we want to do with that. And it’s inherent in the system that we’re never going to be fully aligned with everyone that we work with so we need the scaffolding to come together. Because we’re always all going to disagree slightly have that scaffolding to make the collaborative team-based direction that we’re going to go. And then, yeah, I think the other next slide, Josh.


So typically, what we’re going to do in a well-functioning area is we’re going to be rowing all in the same direction. That’s going to be informed and smooth sailing because we’ve documented all the decisions upfront and we’ve outsourced some of our own anxieties into an agreed-upon experiment that we can say, Hey, this is the direction we decided to go. We’re going to measure it this way. We’re going to validate it through objective data. Along the way, there’s a few strategies that I found helpful in terms of making sure this goes smoothly. One is communicating positively and constructively.


So if you do have something in either phase of this, making sure that that comes across as a direct, but as a positively constructed way that pushes the ball forward towards what the goal is trying to accomplish. If you do find yourself at loggerheads, know when and how to collaboratively escalate when that’s necessary. So if you do find yourself in an impasse, you could escalate to the DRI and the DRI, if you still have an impasse there, you can escalate to one level above that and that should be really encouraged whenever possible.


I think also know who the decider is and when to commit. It’s really helpful to have a deadline and know when you’re talking past each other. If you’re rehashing arguments, it might be time to take it to that memo and make sure that you’re aligned on the written problem that you’re trying to solve. And then lastly, embrace experimentation and understand that most decisions are two-way doors. So because we’re prioritizing high-velocity team-based learning, we need to have a way to break that gridlock at the team level. And once a decision has been made, allow that experimentation to go forward. And if it turns out that it wasn’t what we hypothesized to be true, that’s totally great and we’ve learned something and we can tee up the next thing and go back and open up the next round of debate for the next direction.


And one personal anecdote I wanted to share for this was earlier on at the company when we were starting out and we weren’t fully committed to being a public company and being very open and transparent, I’m a very private person and I had passionate opinions about not opening up most of what we do at Levels to the public and making sure that mostly from a privacy standpoint, we kept almost everything private. And I think there was spirited debate, which was good. And then there was a time when we decided that we were going to try this out with a small experiment and we laid it out in paper and we put out an experimental definition saying, Hey, we’re going to try this with the investor updates, I believe it was. And it was small, it was self-contained. And I think at the time I failed to realize that transition point.


And so I think this is one of the gotchas for us is recognizing when that transition point happens and then once that happens, getting fully on board with the decision that was made and supporting that decision as if it were your own. And that was a learning for me, and I think it happens at a micro level for all of us all the time. So just keep your mental alertness out for when that decision has been made and when your anxieties are something that has been discussed and we can table it for after the experiment or if it’s something that’s super valid and actually needs to kind of stop the show and then constructively bring that up to the DRI in private. So that’s what I wanted to share with you today. And that was a useful anecdote.

Josh Clemente (30:30):

Yeah, thanks a lot, David. I mean, I certainly actually think this is probably the best visual depiction I’ve seen of disagree and commit. So yeah, there’s a chaotic upstream period, there’s the moment of decision, and then everyone’s got a row in alignment. And if we can’t get to that point, we’re not functioning efficiently and we will not be able to test and update our priors rapidly. And so really appreciate the personal introspection on how we’ve built this out. I think we now kind of consider this one of the bedrock foundational principles of how we operate at Levels, and that was a beautiful articulation. Thanks, David. All right, company objectives. So main thing remains the same, Levels, shows you how food affects your health. And we have a new slide here talking about beta numbers to hit. Sam, did you want to touch on this one?

Sam Corcos (31:14):

Yeah, so I’m going to be keeping this up to date every week. So we are just about to release Beta 1, which would be next week, and we are on track for the product release. We actually exceeded our beta conversions number, which I think maybe David or Ben have or will talk about. Retention, we won’t know until May 3rd. That’ll be a month after. But our engagement numbers are pretty solid right now. If you want to understand more about the numbers that we need to hit between now and early July, which is general availability, you can always go to the Notion doc. And then next week we’ll be looking at whether we’re on track for Beta 2. And every one of these targets and releases gets a little bit more ambitious. So the goals are going to get more and more challenging over the next couple months. So this is a really good result and I’m super excited about it and let’s keep it up.

Josh Clemente (32:16):

Awesome. Yeah, I like the concise new slide here. All right, over to you, Alan. I’m going to stop the share and yield control.

Alan McLean (32:27):

Hey, everybody. Always that moment of anxiety when I have to take control of the screen and you can see exactly what’s on my desktop. Okay, so today I’m going to talk a little bit about guided programs and essentially talk a little bit more about the philosophy of what we’re doing here. The team has been very busy, as you can see. Here’s Levels program Team HQ, everyone is cranking all the time, working really hard to make something that’s really amazing for our users. Sonja, Stacy, David, Maz, Cissy, Azir, there’s a large number of people, and engineering, of course, there’s too many of you guys for me to remember all your names. But, everyone’s working really hard about this program and I want to make sure that we understand the philosophy of it and how we’re approaching providing guidance to people.


So as you recall in my last presentation on this, we’re essentially saying that this program, it’s the plan. It’s the plan that people have been asking for a while to help them achieve their goals. This is what essentially we’ve used this GPS analogy before, you need a path in order to get to the end point. People want guidance, they want to know how to get there. And of course, there’s always these tensions in that they want a path, but of course, life gets in the way. It gets complicated. Often people say they want to know exactly what to do, but then of course their life doesn’t necessarily enable them to do that.


I kind of think about it like this, where at the start you’re up here, it’s all pretty straightforward, you’ve got a clear path to where you go, and then life gets in the way and it gets a little bit crazier and a little bit more difficult. And so our goal here is to get you in a rhythm, make it sure that the program is doable, accessible, and of course effective.


So again, guidance, it has to resonate. It’s got to adapt to your constraints. The number one thing we hear is that the programs that exist out there, they’re too hard to do, they don’t have enough time to do it so on. And also, it’s got to feel like it’s for and about you. We have this one-to-many model. And so sometimes the one-to-one model, which really doesn’t scale, does try to tap into that. And we need to have a dynamic way of adjusting for it. And we’ll do that with personalization and understanding a little bit more about you and your data. And of course, it has to work, it’s got to be effective. If this thing doesn’t work, then no one’s going to keep doing it and then their metabolic health will improve, and so on. We don’t want that. It’s got to be effective. And so this is all informing the direction and the approach that we’re taking in the program.


So of course, it’s going to be about exercise and it’s going to be around food. And one of the interesting things we noticed while looking in the space in these programs is that oftentimes these guidance, these plans, these programs tend to choose one or the other. There’s an exercise plan to lose weight or get fitter. There’s a food plan to essentially do the same thing. But oftentimes they’re not really talking to each other. And I think that’s one of the benefits of our program is that it’s going to be a holistic program around your life, around your metabolic health.


So we think these program principles are really going to define how we provide guidance for people. It’s got to be flexible. We can’t be too rigid in what respect we’re providing to people, otherwise they’re just not going to be able to do it. It needs to be specific when it makes sense. If it’s too specific all the time, you’re also not going to do it. That’s another attribute of rigidity I think. And then accessibility. It’s got to be relatively easy to do, although we do want to be able to make that sort of a spectrum so that for those users that have a little bit more capability, they can challenge themselves.


So I think specificity is actually one of the most interesting ones to go in, and where you’ll see the most divergence between food and exercise. For food, we’ll talk about the principles, we’ll talk about the goals of metabolic health and how this works, but we want to make sure that we’re not too specific because people are not going to resonate with what we typically would call something like this, a meal plan.


I think we started with this direction because people ask for it, it’s sort of a common request and then at some point it kind of breaks, it becomes too difficult to do. It feels like it doesn’t have enough options. Eventually, you get bored. And so we’re going to take the principles of this, having a bunch of options. I think that’s typically how people read these is that here’s some options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but I’m going to eat them when it makes sense to me. That’s essentially what we’re doing here. We’ve collected all our recipes. Great work by Sunny and Cissy here where we’re collecting all these recipes and we put them on this domain of less time and more time. Time is really that attribute of accessibility. It’s really important that we make sure that we can adapt based on the amount of time that users have and provide options that speak to both.


If you look here, we’re trying to break this down across these domains, and we’re going to progressively load these into the experience. We’re going to see someone like Sonja or Stacy or whoever our guides are talking about these meals. It’s meant to almost be sort of inspiration learned through osmosis. So here’s an example of Stacy, coming, here’s what I’m eating this week. You’ll be able to see some of those key recipes. You’ll also be able to dive in. And rather than a Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, here’s what it here’s eating on these days, it’s here’s some meals for this week. Here’s some things I want you to try as you go through the program. I’m going to try them too and you’re going to see what I’m doing and potentially you can do them yourselves. And of course, ensuring that we have a lot of options for people. We’ve got this kitchen, we’re going to load it up with all kinds of great recipes. There’s going to be tons of options to speak to a variety of different tastes.


Exercise is a little bit different. Exercise needs to be more specific for people. And the reason for that is that there’s usually a specific chunk of time. If we provide a really big range of time required, it’s going to be a little bit more difficult to plan for. Typically, with exercise, there’s not quite as many tastes and options as maybe food. And so by providing really specific guidance here, we think we can also more effectively drive the outcome. So, a way to think about this program is that we’re trying to avoid the rigidity and structure of some more traditional guided plans, but we’re riding the structure of exercise, which tends be more specific to satisfy that need for essentially a plan. And through that, we’re also layering in the softer, more ephemeral guidance around food.


So your exercise program is intended to be very simple, three different types of activity. Once a week, we’re going to recommend that you do HIIT or high-intensity interval training. Twice a week, we’re going to recommend that you do strength training. And one to two times a week, we’re going to recommend you do light Zone 2 activity. And for all of these, this is essentially, we’ve got options here that make sure that it’s super accessible. So if you’re doing this, if you’re strength training, it can be with bodyweight exercises or it can be in the gym with equipment. Likewise for this, we’ve got a variety of different options for you. Think kind of like a 7-minute workout. This is meant to be super intense, really quick, time efficient.


And then Zone 2 exercise. It’s not just running and spinning. There’s a variety of different options. And sometimes Zone 2 can actually just be walking depending on your level of fitness. Of course, in the future, what we’re going to need to do is we’re going to need to be tying this guidance in to the experiences that already exist. So things like the metabolic checklist, we’re going to want to connect that level of accountability and do the experience. And thankfully, we have all these components in place and you’ll start to see that progressively load in more as you progress through the program. Of course, get those thumbs up for doing the things that you do. I think that’s it. Do I have any more? Nope. Back to you, Josh.

Josh Clemente (40:07):

All right, awesome. Thanks for the walkthrough, Alan. Let me try and… all right, up here. Okay, cool. Yes, awesome. Thank you, Alan. And product team, ENG team. I’m going to now hand it over to Chris. Voice of the Member.

Chris Jones (40:24):

Thanks, Josh. You want to go to the next slide? So quick reminder, I covered this in my async updates every week. Just a quick reminder for the SLA dashboard. Last week we changed the number of the targets to make them harder. So this is kind of the updated scorecard in terms of how we’re tracking against some of those new targets. The big kind of call-up you’ll see is on our support SLA so the couple of weeks of red. And a lot of this is expected because we are doing a little bit of the student body left because of all the work with guides and meal plans and recipes. A lot of the support team, as all of you know have been trying to help out and we’ve actually intentionally been pulling people out of the queue because it’s all hands on deck.


So some of these numbers are expected to fall just because of what’s the most important thing to the company. And that’s areas where we’ve been leaning on some of our vendors like autonomy more to try to help pick up the slack. So with that, the next slide please, Josh.


I did probably mention last week we green-lit Phase 1 of Otonomee. Right now, we have two agents that are in Europe and we’re going to be increasing that to five plus a team lead. And this a lot is to really help free up capacity for our existing team members to help out on projects like guides or meal plans or wherever they need it best. Quick stat, to date, even though I think they started in mid-January, they’ve helped over 2000 members with a happiness score of 90%. So with our metrics of how we measure performance, they’ve definitely been hitting the mark. Always areas to improve and get help and to help out in more areas.


Specifically, we’re going to start adding them to social support around DMs to help out Matt and team. And also around some of our operational dashboards, we do behind the scenes, getting orders unstuck versus just CQ. So when we think about delegation per Zach’s memo, we think about Athena, we think about Otonomee, and we think about tools like ChatGPT as a trifecta around where is the best place to automate or delegate a lot of this stuff. Next slide.


Speaking of ChatGPT, it’s been one I want to do a hat-tip to David for starting the ChatGPT channel. I know there’s been a lot of conversations and for us to really start sharing that across the company of what’s working, what’s not, where are we actively using it versus just testing it. So this was a little bit of a summary around within ops and support, where are some of the areas that we’re leveraging this type of technology? So adverse event detection. When cases come in, having tools like Zapier and then ChatGTP, try to say, is this an adverse event that we need to flag and review of someone that might be bleeding or having pain from a sensor or having a skin irritation? So that’s active now.


A number of things we’re testing, adding additional tags, member responses. So I was talking to Mercy yesterday who’s been using ChatGPT to help out with harder questions around how to answer it. [inaudible 00:43:25] actually able to sometimes find the answer faster than searching on Notion or searching through our snippets to get to the answer. Matt was looking at his lab analysis of like, Hey, I’ve got three data points, what’s this mean for my numbers going up and down?


NPS, I’m going to show you an example of that in a second. We did some more case summaries which ended up causing more noise for the system. So we actually shut that down. So we realized that there’s some areas that’s really good, some areas not so much, and it’s all about just kind of learning around where this can be most effective as it continues to improve.


Next slide. So on the Net Promoter Score, this is a metric that I haven’t really been bringing up for a while and I wanted to use this as an example. So while we track our Net Promoter Score monthly and quarterly, on the left you’ll see a trend where our target has been 60 forever and we’ve been kind of just bouncing below that. For a while, we were going up and down, but we had a fairly consistent drag below it. So I used ChatGPT to analyze like, well, let me look at some of the open-ended comments for themes as opposed to manually reviewing them, which goes to the next slide.


So I ran into some issues with ChatGTP with errors in terms of when I was trying to upload the data. So I went to the next best thing, which is Bard, which is Google’s version of ChatGTP. I threw in a bunch of promoter comments and said, please summarize this into top themes with example sentences. And probably, to no surprise when we look at it, valuable insights into metabolic health, easy to use, and a valuable tool for people to improve their health. With a lot of great comments in terms of it changed my life, I now have a whole new understanding around how my body works and how food impacts it. So these are things that we hear every day. Comments like we heard from Vero gets a slot.


Now the flip side, next slide. On the detractors, we’ve talked a lot about price and affordability being our number one. So these are comments from this kind of data, which is nothing too surprising. The other area that we talk less about but becoming really a close second is insight and guidance. So as we talk about what we’re doing with the guides program around being more, not prescriptive, but helping people in that journey, just like Alan talked about, this is really almost like neck and neck with the number of people talking about price. Let’s see, what do I do with the data? What do I do next? Needing more help.


So a lot of the work we’re doing both to make the new version more affordable and kind of more nudging people in a direction and giving them tips is really addressing our top two biggest issues around detractors. As I went through these comments, the thing I was interested to see is, I was reading them, especially the ones on the right, and going, wait a minute, these sentences look very similar. And I realized this is areas where the tool was taking liberties of it was taking actual comments and then rewording them in more of a consistent way of the, I would like to see because I want to learn.


So it kind of took whatever people were talking about and reformatted in almost kind of a more consistent way for easier consumption versus just random questions of some people giving two words and some people giving two paragraphs. So it was interesting to see how it was pulling out the insights and doing it in a way that was easier to digest as I was taking it. Next slide.


And then as some of you might’ve saw it in my Notion document I did, can I upload an image of my fridge, of here’s a picture of my fridge, please make some metabolic healthy meals for me. And you’ll see two kind of recipes with the instruction that it did on the left and the right. And first I was like, wow, this is pretty impressive. But you might be asking going, well, Chris, there’s a lot of things in there. One, you have a very messy fridge, so how do I know that it actually got it right?


So if you look at the next slide, I did a look at where did it actually get it right. Meaning the green check marks were things I actually had in my fridge and the red Xs were things I didn’t have in my fridge. So I was like, okay, either this is really good or it’s just making really good guesses. But the thing I did like about it was it gave me recommendations, it gave me ideas, it gave me things to think about. It gave me specific kind of, not just… but also the directions. And then at the bottom around why this is good of the lean proteins, the multivitamins, this is promoting metabolic health. So it kind of really took the ingredients and kind of gave a lot more.


But I was also disappointed to understand it did not see that I had my AG1 in the fridge and did not give me snack recommendations of what to do with my AG1. But as Josh also pointed out, I think he uploaded a blank photo and probably got similar things. So when it’s wrong, it can also come up with pretty good suggestions. So this is just some examples of things that we’re doing within support and ops to try out the new technology. Some areas that works pretty well, some areas it’s kind of mixed results, but it’s pretty fun to try it out. And that’s my update for this week.

Josh Clemente (48:43):

All right, well the dive, yeah, we’re going to try and coalesce an effort around the AI revolution across functions. So there’s a lot of opportunity, especially in product as David’s been surfacing a new channel recently on how he’s using it, both in terms of personal leverage, but also there are many ways that we could potentially build features like these that you’re exploring here, Chris. So we’ll have a more focused effort on this in the coming weeks. The goal is going to be to minimize custom engineering tooling to plug in AI here and there because purpose-built tools will be coming along for many of these purposes, but instead, focus on the highest leverage opportunities and put our effort there. So yeah, this is great. Thanks, Chris.


All right. No existing open roles at levels@link/careers, but if you or someone is interested in what we’re doing here and the way we’re doing it, definitely check it out and send us a general application and we’ll be in touch as we grow in the future. Okay.

Alan McLean (49:46):

I forgot to add this one experiment. Can I jump in?

Josh Clemente (49:48):


Alan McLean (49:49):

Okay. So how else can we improve our members’ metabolic health? This is a question we’re constantly asking ourselves, and we’ve been starting to do some product experiments on how we might sort of expand the product portfolio. And one of the biggest opportunities for improving our members’ health is actually sleep. We know the importance of sleep. If you sleep beside a snorer, you know how incredibly important it is. And we see this in our data, too, right? So how you breathe at night can actually affect the quality of your rest. I didn’t know this until recently, and so we started exploring this, but if you breathe through your nose, the quality of your rest is dramatically better.


Protection of the lungs and airways, it improves your physical and cognitive performance. Apparently, it improves your oral health, optimize oxygen and carbon dioxide levels, and obviously, this prevents dry mouth and so that gross feeling. So next slide, please.


So this is blown up online. This is a big thing now, people are mouth-taping. This is a thing, you search for it on social media and of course, it’s got a bit of a following. Next slide. There’s even a company called Hostage Tape, which sells these things, which is actually incredibly viral and hilarious to me. And we started looking at this and we’re like, who has a whole bunch of black sticky things and what is the margin on these things if we could start repackaging them and increasing our revenue stream? So next slide, please.


So we’ve been experimenting with this. This is a huge opportunity for us. It’s going to be super affordable for us, and it’s to provide a lot of value from members. So it’s super aligned to what our users need and what we need. And thankfully, thanks for Mike for testing this out. He’s seen his sleep dramatically improve and those should be starting to ship out tomorrow, April 1st. That’s it.

Josh Clemente (51:35):

I can’t wait. Non-linear growth is a guarantee at this point, folks. Thank you, Alan, for making sure that we have the most important product update right here at the end.

Alan McLean (51:45):


Josh Clemente (51:47):

All right. We got some time for individual contributions. I’m going to stop the share here. You know the drill, go ahead and hit the reaction down at the bottom, raise your hand, and encourage everybody to share something professional, share something personal. On my side, I think just watching the pace continue and us having some time for validations and bug fixes up ahead of the deadlines, while simultaneously hitting the best cycle times, review times, deploy times on the end side is really impressive. And obviously, it’s well beyond engineering, but it’s some quantitative metrics I can look at and be really proud of. So just really excited and also excited to be able to jump in a bit over the next few weeks and hopefully help with some of the product efforts as we learn more from the beta. On the personal front, nothing to report here. I’ve got a potential hip flexor injury, which I’m not happy about. As you all know, I’ve been battling injuries like it’s my job lately. So will update more when I figure it out. Ian?

Ian Shumann (52:55):

Good luck with the hip flexor. Sorry to hear about that. On the personal side, leading up to this past Tuesday, Wednesday, I was on a babymoon with my wife. It’s our last big trip before our baby comes in June, and we were in Seville in southern Spain. I heard Veronica mention the sun in southern Spain. I was just there. It’s lovely. We had a great time. On the professional front, I came back and everything was going great in my pod. So shout-out to Juan for taking over tech lead duties and for everyone else who contributed to the imminent, on-time launch of everything we hoped for Beta 1 on the guidance side, it’s a huge achievement.

Josh Clemente (53:46):

All right, folks. Miz?

Michael Mizrahi (53:47):

All right. I was going to say the energy this week is great. So love seeing all the action from kind of the outside of the pods and the growth activity, filling the betas. I referred a handful of people to Beta 1 and I was really proud to do so, so excited to see the results of that. So yeah, good work, everyone. The energy is really there and it feels great. On the personal side, I am selling my Peloton, put it on Facebook Marketplace. Got maybe two dozen scammers try and get me, but I got one real buyer coming later today. So excited to end that chapter of hardware sitting in the garage and keep it moving to someone else.

Josh Clemente (54:36):

This is not Miz giving up on cycling. If you follow him on Strava, you’ll see that he does the real thing. Not that I have anything against Peloton, but I also had to sell one. It became a sculpture. Anyone else? Come on, we got some time here. There we go, Cissy.

Cissy Hu (54:59):

This is a note of gratitude I think for the programs team. I just want to give the team a huge shout-out with the launch of Beta 1 in addition to all the engineering work that’s been happening. The folks that have been working so hard on the content side, Azir, Caitlin, Mike D, strategizing with Alan, David, and Maz, and then of course our guides, Sonja and Stacy. It’s been so incredible to see how the teams come together and we’re all working incredibly quickly and somehow everything’s working and happening. And we couldn’t do it without the Athena team who’s been supporting us, working our hours as well as other hours on their time. And so I’m just incredibly grateful to be working on this team and I hope we all make you proud when this all goes live on Monday with Stacy and Sonja’s cohort. And I’m just going to plug the spreadsheet again that if you want to watch, hopefully, you all want to follow along. I will send it in the chat again and we hope to see you in the app on Monday.

Josh Clemente (56:00):

Let’s go. Love it. Mike?

Mike DiDonato (56:03):

Really quick. How’s my audio? I think my internet’s a little off. All right, cool. So I’m going to give a massive plus one… all right, two things, to Cissy saying that it’s been really awesome to do this. There’s so much happening. Everyone’s just moving so fast and working so effectively at a super-fast rate. And I just want to say thank you to Cissy as well, who’s keeping us organized and working amazingly cross-functionally. And then second is while I’ve been deep in product program guideline, it’s just wild to see the pace that the ENG team is working. It’s insane. I’m excited for people in my network to see this app and also the growth team like Karen, Ben, TG, Maxine, I’m very much internally motivated, but if I can throw some extra logs in the fire, I will. So thank you, everyone.

Josh Clemente (57:00):

Great energy. Maz?

Maziar Brumand (57:03):

Mike said a lot of what I wanted to say, so he stole my line. But I just want to add to that, that also a really fantastic cross-collaboration with growth, whether it’s Karen, Tom, Ben, and it’s just been phenomenal. I think we’re definitely firing on all cylinders and it’s just really, really nice to see. So big shout-out to them. And also the pod leads and the engineers and Hauw. Hauw’s definitely stepped up in a big, big way and it’s been really fascinating to see. Obviously, supported by the pod leads and the fantastic engineering team. So I think all across the board it’s just been amazing. And then last but not least, the support team has been phenomenal and just stepping in and taking on stuff that has been a huge help, whether it’s Sunny or Lynette, Rebecca really jumping in to help with the guides program. So I just want to thank the entire team. It’s not just one team, it’s not just products, not engineering, but literally the whole company. So big thank you.

Josh Clemente (58:05):

Awesome. Sonja?

Sonja Manning (58:06):

Well, Maz kind of stole everyone’s stealing what I was going to say, but just want to just huge echo the gratitude and appreciation and just in awe I am with everyone. It feels like we are really like this one team. It doesn’t feel like there’s all these little micro teams, but in fact, we’re really one big team. And this is definitely one of the most challenging things I’ve done in my professional career. I’d never thought I would be in this type of role, but it’s just been so fun and I feel so supported and am really grateful to be trying to be a vehicle of information for Levels and for our whole team.

Josh Clemente (58:38):

Killing it. Shawn?

Shawn Jones (58:44):

Yeah, shout-out to Scott and their engineering team. I feel like we’ve been digging in really deep on making sure that the alphas and betas are all looking good and the organization and just kind of feeding and letting us stay focused on what we need to do to get the job done has been really effective. And so go engineers.

Josh Clemente (59:03):

Awesome. All right, team, awesome week. Really looking forward to next week. And make sure you get your mouth-tape, don’t forget.

Sonja Manning (59:14):

Thank you, Veronica.

Josh Clemente (59:16):

Thank you, Veronica, for joining us, yeah.

Veronica Encinas (59:16):

Thank you, everyone.