May 13, 2022

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

Speaker 1 (00:00):

All right, I’m going to jump in. Welcome to Friday the 13th, May 13th to be exact, and we’ll dive right in. Big week as usual. So the last major agreement that we needed to execute prior to liftoff has been signed. This project has been underway for well over a year and the accumulation of lots of effort. Just want to call out a couple of people, Maz, JM, Taylor, Zach, many, many people who have been pushing hard to get this over the finish line. So big deal and it opens a lot of doors for us as we head towards liftoff.


We onboarded our first UK Levels member. This is a very scrappy onboarding. We have not expanded into the UK yet, but we are testing the waters and trying to learn just where the challenges are that we’ll have to solve prior to that formal expansion. Thanks Karen for pushing that. And then we get 45% GDPR compliance through Vanta. This is up from 29% last week. So making good progress towards one of these major compliance requirements before we can start that expansion. Our new plain language privacy policy, which is also related here, is also ready to ship. I’m quite excited about this. I think it sets a high bar for how health tech companies should interact with and respect the data of their members.


This week, and Maz is going to talk a bit more about it, we completed a product focus and primary personas exercise. So this project pulled together and aligned on the what and the what not to focus on essentially. So this will really be a guiding effort towards where we focus our attention and as we transition from the what to the how, which is specifically how are we going to implement the what. And so Maz will give some more details on this, but it basically pulled together all of the various opportunity that we have out of us, all of the various member profiles that have found a resonance with Levels. And the goal was to really sharpen and hone our focus because we can do many, many things, but one of the core requirements for a company at our stage is focus. So this was a big effort. I appreciate everybody who contributed there, and looking forward to the next steps.


On the partnership side, so we’re ramping up new creator outreach in preparation for liftoff. So the affiliation and partnerships programs have been amazingly successful for us. Dr. Will Cole just joined us, our newest affiliate partner. And essentially, I think the outreach is going to be targeting specific profiles and we’re looking at peloton in particular. So specifically peloton instructors. So lots of outreach going on, going to continue to ramp out the scope, cast a wider net of people who are creating content about Levels in a very organic fashion that their membership or their follower bases can interpret, which is really cool.


And then Julia Glands joined our Nutritionist Marketplace project as well. So we’ve expanded with another nutritionist, which is always exciting. I think this is going to be a continued source of support for those members who want expert interpretation of what they’re seeing in Levels. After our crowdfund round, which closed early this year, we sent out an investor interest form. So the goal here was we have all 1,400 plus crowdfund members and early believers in Levels who have invested in our success and we wanted to understand who are these people? What are they interested in and what are their backgrounds? Can they support us in the key requirements that we have ahead of us, the challenges that we have? And 13% of our member investors responded. I think that was 184 responses with just an overwhelming amount of validation and interest in helping support us. I won’t be able to summarize everything that we could potentially gain from this partnership with our members, but it’s very exciting and we’ll continue to leverage this.


And separately, Sissy, I think she’s going to update us today, launched a white-glove onboarding experiment with seven members. So the goal is to do a throwback to the early days of Levels when we had a very handheld experience as people got onboarded and we’re going to learn from how we can benefit our members that way. Similarly, we’re planning an integrated cohort experiment with the wearable challenge team. So if you don’t know what the wearable challenge is, we have a lot in notion about it. But essentially it’s a platform or it’s a program built on the platform of Levels where people sign up if they want to lose weight, they put a cash… They front a cash bet and then for every day that they can keep their glucose inside of the Levels recommended range, they earn back a portion of that cash.


And so there’s a financial benefit, there’s a community cohort benefit and then there’s the closed loop feedback from Levels. And it’s been very interesting, very successful so far in helping people lose weight. The average weight loss fluctuates between five and eight pounds over 30 days with no nutrition requirements. Essentially you’re just eating for your glucose control. So we’ll be learning a lot from that experiment on this cohort challenge and I appreciate everybody pushing that forward. We hit a 100,000 followers on IG with over 3,000,000 impressions this week. So the growth is very non-linear as you can imagine. We hit 220,000 podcast downloads. You can see that growth curve over here, five episodes shipped this week. So just a lot of essentially our messages is hitting more people every week and we can’t lose sight of that fact. It’s really amazing and it’s the outcome of a lot of hard work.


And then let’s see, on the note of messages hitting many people, Turtle Creek Lane who is… You can see her right here, she runs Instagram account and she and Casey had an IG live this week which led to the largest signup day in Levels history with over 150 signups. Can’t really read the axis here, but you can just see the scale of that bar. This is like a standard day and this is the day that we had TCL on the IG live. So biggest day by far. We had 6,000 email signups from TCL alone, which is just unbelievable. Super awesome to find these sorts of partners who can just amplify our message to people who are receptive.


And then support volume was lowest this year. 71 applications for a support associate with many more I think moving forward. So really awesome. And then NPS for both Android and iOS platforms is equivalent right now, which is great. Okay, tons of great content produced this week. We touched on most of this stuff. Big shout out to Levels content and Levels culture, which is always cool to see. And then I was invited to a Caltech forum this coming week, talking about the future of molecular detection and where the technology should go for people to be able to maximize their health opportunities, which is going to be exciting.


All right, with that I want to welcome Paul. Paul’s on the call today. Paul is a Levels member, executive chef and owner at, want to pronounce this right, Duende. And Paul was recently featured on the blog. He was featured on the whole new Level and just could not love the story more. He learned a ton it seems like through his experience about his own health and his own opportunity to be empowered to change things for the better and also about his practice, the art of making food for others. And this is a quote here, “My why is longevity and being in the game for a long time,” which I certainly resonate with.


Paul, I would love to just hear some thoughts from you on your experience, what you’re interested in the future of metabolic health and what we can improve, what we can learn from your experience while you’re here with us? Thank you for taking the time.

Paul Canales (07:36):

Thanks so much for having me. And it’s great to see some of very familiar faces like Braden, particularly Braden McCarthy because you mentioned something about white loving people and Braden was more than patient with me when I first started with Levels. Oh god, it had to be February of 2021. It’s a daunting thing when you first start to see inside of your body in more or less real time. It’s pretty crazy and you’re not exactly sure what’s happening and why it’s happening. And so I would be emailing Braden and saying, “I did this and this happened and what happens with this?” And he was super amazing at helping me out. So I’m not sure what you’re doing by white glowing, but I would say to whatever extent people can learn early on in their time with Levels… I see a lot of comments on Facebook and I respond to them when I have time.


I’m short on time and I don’t want to take too much time on this, but I think it’s one of those issues that people get lost in perfection rather than progress. And I certainly am a competitive person and I want to be in the 90s all the time and sometimes you’re not and you don’t know why. But anyway, about that. So I just wanted to say that it was a tremendous experience with your team all the way through. And I did Levels for six months, took a little break when my daughter went to college just to figure out what that was going to do financially. And now I’m back on for the last month or month-and-a-half and it’s incredible.


So just about food, I think one of the things you guys wanted me to touch on a little bit is the impact of things that you don’t expect. And I think I love the challenges and I hope people are taking advantage of the literature you guys are doing, the things that Dr. Casey does, the information you guys have through the app and through the website is incredible. You can learn everything from how to deal with things that you might eat like rice or pasta or potatoes and turn them back to resistant starch. I learned that all at Levels. I had no idea even about that concept and I actually do that in my restaurant now. There’s several things if you listen to the podcast that I’ve been able to convert into the restaurant.


But there’s so much data there, but when you first start out, you really are… It’s all about insight. You’re learning what things trigger you. Maybe for some people, sweet potatoes are great. They’re not particularly great for me in large dose. So dosage is important. So I’m fine with eating sweet potatoes in an order and in a certain amount, but if I were to eat a large amount of them, I would see some uptick and maybe a spike depending on what I ate before them. But I think that’s a really important thing. So the first month the challenges really help and the next month maybe there’s still 80%, 90% insight.


And then what starts to happen if people stick it out and hang around for the miracle that you guys are presenting is the optimization, and that’s where things start to get really interesting in terms of what’s happening with your blood glucose. You can make the analog into… You can’t really have an assay, wearable assay for insulin, but you can look at variability and you can do some calculations and imagine what might be happening with your insulin and as a marker for key metabolic health.


And I think I probably said on the podcast, when I started this I didn’t know about the measurement of your waist and your butt. I learned that about a month in, but when I still did that I was definitely over 10 and am now in the maybe eight, eight-and-a-half range, something like that, eight range. But that all happened, you won’t even know these things without Levels. And it’s the value added that you guys are bringing to people that really makes it powerful. So for example, people can get data and people can get prescriptions for these things. I see people doing it all the time on Facebook. “Oh, I got the initial prescription and I dropped Levels. I didn’t want to pay for it. I’m paying $39 for CGM.” That’s fine, but it’s just data. There’s no value added to that information.


And I think that’s something that in providing that value added, then I as a chef, I can start taking that information and start playing around and hacking things. I think I said on the thing, one of my early hacks was trying to figure out how to make black beans less… toxic is the wrong word, but less of an impact on my blood sugar. And I asked Braden if he knew anything about draining the beans and he is like, “Do an experiment.” So I did an experiment by draining beans from the starchy liquid, which in the culinary world we prize because it makes a very suave sauce or whatever you’re doing with those beans. It’s creamy and like that, but it also will jack your sugar, your blood glucose way up.


So by draining them, I didn’t experiment. It was more complicated. I could have just drained the liquid and drank the liquid and drank some water and seen it, but I ended up eating the beans with water in the beans with the bean liquid. And there was a significant difference in what happens in my blood glucose anyway. So things like that got really exciting. And as I mentioned on the podcast, I started thinking about… I had this identity crisis of, “What am I doing to people? What am I doing to people in my restaurant and where am I blowing up? Where am I blowing them up and they don’t even know it and I don’t even know it?”


And I don’t have processed food, I make everything here. I even make my own cured meats. You can see behind me there’s a little… What do you call it? Not a mosaic, mobile that I’m making with lamb bones because I butcher all the animals and do all that stuff, but there are no pre-made sauces and things like that. But there’s white flour, there’s really beautiful artisan made sourdough bread, which I would eat a slab of it in the morning and think I was being healthy with a ton of nut butter or avocado and kaboom.


That was one of my first things I learned on Levels. Regardless of the providence of the organic flour and the naturally occurring yeast and all these things that we prize in the culinary world, it’s still bread and it’s still like a slab of bread. And my wife would tease me, she’d say, “God, you start your day with a pound of roux.” Meaning roux is the combination of butter and flour that thickens sauces in classical cooking. And so anyway, it’s just been an incredible experience and it’s great to be back to see where I’m much more metabolically flexible. So if I do eat something that I know for sure is going to blow me up like I think I said on the podcast, and Ben, I need to come back to cauliflower rice because I did something this week that I have to tell you about just briefly if I have a moment. But I don’t want to run over time too much.


But there’s so many different things that you can do to change what you’re eating and how it impacts your body. And what I’m noticing now a year later or more than a year later of doing all the things, it’s not just the food, it’s the exercise, it’s the sleep, it’s the meditation, cortisol response, it’s all kinds of stuff. Really a lot of little pieces that make things work. And if you’re competitive like me, make your numbers be in the 80s and low 90s as long as you’re doing the right thing and not blowing yourself up. But when I do that, I notice I have a spike or a double spike, but I don’t have that long ride.


If I had eaten a sandwich with a big slab of sourdough kind of thing, that would last a day-and-a-half or sometimes two days. And that’s one thing that Braden told me about could happen because I’m like, “Wow.” I noticed the next day, even though I was eating more like I should have been eating correctly or metabolically correctly, let’s say, I was still way up in the 110, maybe 115 range when I should have been down in the 80, maybe 85 range. And it wasn’t coming down, it was more like a steady thing. So now if I did that, it would be [inaudible 00:16:18], and maybe [inaudible 00:16:20], and then I would be back to normal by morning.


So I don’t know. I haven’t heard Dr. Casey talk about this specifically, but I’m guessing that might be a little bit more a metabolic flexibility than what I had say a year ago. So what you’re doing is incredible, but I’ll take a deep breath and if you have a question or two I’d be glad to answer any.

Speaker 1 (16:46):

It’s amazing to hear you’ve been in the product now for well over a year as you said, and things have changed pretty significantly in how the initial interactions work and the now page that we’re rolling out. And so I’m very excited to hear what you said, which was, it’s all insight right now. And then move into optimization. And what I’m excited for is that we are still just surfacing those insights and I’d love… You’ve kind of gone 10 miles deep relative to what most people start off with. Just incredible. I can’t wait to get to the point where we can replicate what you’ve been able to do.


Because of I think your deep familiarity as a chef with food, you know how to experiment with these sorts of things and the fact that you’re aware of that starchy liquid and the beans for example. That’s such a prime example that most people wouldn’t know to experiment with. And so being able to introduce people to those sorts of little optimizations and then lead them down a path towards, like you said, improved metabolic flexibility and you’re now interpreting that that prolonged elevation is much different than the quick snappy up and back down, and I think Casey would agree.


So Paul, I can’t thank you enough for sharing with the team today and joining us on this Friday. We can’t wait to do a team dinner over there at your restaurant. It sounds like the… Let’s see, we’ll call it bio-optimized gourmet food is going to be the next big wave in culinary arts. I can see it. So we’ve got a full meeting definitely. Please hang around if you have time, but feel free to jump off if you’re… I know you’re super busy on this Friday, but thanks again from the whole team for joining us and thank you for being a member.

Paul Canales (18:25):

Great pleasure. Thank you guys and keep up the great work. You guys are killing it and I love you all.

Speaker 1 (18:30):

Thank you. Love is mutual. All right, jumping to culture this week. So two quick highlights, Paul and Shervin, I think everybody’s familiar now with Shervin. He’s one of our favorite YouTube creators, produces a ton of content about health and wellness and including Levels. They got to meet up there in New York City, which is awesome to see. And then I have a quick example that I wanted to highlight of just really nice collaboration. So Ben and JM have equally been playing back and forth roles on experimentation, pushing the company to adopt what is a cultural foundational principle that we need in order to reduce cycle times and maintain validated learnings.


And what I loved about this example was just the collaboration. There was a lot of short toes evidence here with JM stepping into the lead role on driving implementation of experimentation. Ben had done a ton of background work to basically tee this up both organizationally and principle and also through execution, running experiments himself and honing how we can do these at Levels. And anyway, I just wanted to highlight that right here, there was all good intent, a lot of great back and forth collaboration and sharing responsibility as we transition responsibilities from multiple people over to 1DRI. So thanks to both of you for representing this and just a really good example, most of this was asynchronous and it’s exactly how we need to be able to work, attributing best intent amongst each other. Okay, over to you, Miz.

Speaker 3 (19:59):

Hey Josh, can I just ask you to go back one slide? Sorry.

Speaker 1 (20:02):


Speaker 3 (20:03):

Looks like someone removed my culture and kudos slide. Let me refresh here. Maybe last week or something.

Speaker 1 (20:08):

Oh cool.

Speaker 3 (20:09):

Okay, cool. Thank you. I wanted to call out Morelo because behind the scenes, he’s just being working so hard across a variety of surfaces and was just a real pleasure to jam with on this little interactive glucose thing. He’s helped me set up my machine, which was incredibly painful with the… Whatever was happening on my machine. He’s very patient. And then just yesterday even, he released this little update on the buttons and I was like, “Ah, can we do this little thing, make it look a little more like a wave?” And then not much longer after he’d done it and it was amazing. So I just wanted to acknowledge that as a great working dynamic, I thought.

Speaker 1 (20:51):

Awesome. Love the project and love the collaboration there. Thank you, Marillo. And Alan, Miz?

Speaker 4 (20:55):

I always love those, the Alan partnerships directly in because it yields good result. So on the process cultural organization side, so something that we’ve been kind of working through the tension of is the difference between an area of responsibility and a project or deliverable. We very much don’t want this database to become a list of projects and a project tracker. It’s really who owns which surface areas and some of these happen to also be projects. And so the way that we’re differentiating that in this OKR view, you have each of the key priorities, the key initiatives. So there’s US liftoff, there’s org priorities in design, UK liftoff, core metabolic health product, whatever those are. Those have lists of responsibilities associated with them.


And then all the other things that are areas of responsibility that are more general, things like owning a certain relationship or managing payroll or handling the patent strategy. Those will live in that areas of responsibility bucket. So there’s a separate category for those. I know this isn’t a 100% right, but we’re getting there. So thanks for the continued input and participation on this end. On that note, wanted to call out a recent change, Dave getting involved in the ENG allocation and resourcing effort as DRI there. So he’s been working with each of the key initiative owners as well as trying to figure out how to field all the requests from across the organization that might not be specific to a key initiative.


So when there are requests from Riley to implement some tax changes that are important for us to do but aren’t specifically related to an initiative, that needs to be prioritized within engineering. And so that is one example, many, many other examples of bugs, feature requests, things that need to be addressed. So Dave is working with a handful of people to figure out the right way to integrate requests, track them in some sort of request log and then get them actually scheduled. So not speaking on his behalf, he’ll have much more to share, but just want to use this as an example of something that’s involved. And there is a thread with a link to a memo, which you can see linked here with a ton more detail.


And then finally, wanted to remind everyone of the leadership reading group. People have joined at different points in time and what’s so valuable about the reading group and just the book club in general is that it sets a shared understanding and platform for us to have the same understanding of concepts, the same vocabulary to talk about different things. And it’s so, so valuable when we all do that together, but it’s hard to repeat the same books on an annual cycle.


And so, one thing I want to call out, the non-violent communication is a fan favorite. We added, I think someone found a three-hour workshop on YouTube that’s posted, that goes through the book and explains the concepts. And so if you haven’t had a chance to read the book or listen to the book, but you do have three hours to spare, you can go attend that workshop. It’s from the early 2000s. So it’s a little bit funny, but that’s part of the charm. So yeah, calling that one out is an important one to go through because those concepts are certainly important for us and shared. And then today we’ve got the Brave New Work book club for an hour and then a Q&A with the author Aaron Dagan who’s going to join us for some fun conversation. So looking forward to that and a reminder that all of those are in the notion. That’s it today.

Speaker 1 (24:12):

Awesome. Thank you Miz for driving these ahead. I’m excited for that Q&A today. It’s going to be great. Okay, the main thing, Levels shows you how food affects your health. This is unchanged, this is still our core priority. Of course, this will evolve as we head towards the ultimate mission of solving metabolic health crisis, but we have to pick our steps. So everyone should be working towards us in some capacity. If you aren’t, please raise that. JM?

JM (24:39):

All right. I will now read the numbers off the slide. We had a slight down week, still seeing a bit of an exhale from our lower new signups over the last couple of months, which is by design. And this number will be going up a lot very soon as we go live with liftoff stage one. That’s all for me. Thank you.

Speaker 1 (25:03):

Thank you. All right. Oz has a company objectives update for us.

Ron (25:09):

Hi everyone. Over the past few weeks we’ve been aligning on the top level company objectives and there are the three things that drive our core business and take us from default debt to a live. And that is getting members to join Levels, engaging with the product and being in the product so that we can help them improve their health and actually be able to measure that improvement for them, which will show the value of our product. So these are the three things that will effectively help us grow our business in a sustainable way where we’re actually creating value for people.


And we also aligned directionally on the key results. These numbers are right now provisional, meaning as more information we get, we have the opportunity to update them, but directionally they’re intended to be able to tell us whether we’re on the right track or not. So don’t get too hung up on these specific numbers. They’re directionally where we want to be and we will update them as we get more information.


We then set out to say what are the key initiatives and key initiatives that are a combination of projects that will help us best drive these company objectives. And the four that you are all aware of is [inaudible 00:26:11], which is enabling research and a sustainable infrastructure, which is led by JM, and we are getting very close to launching this initiative.


Number two is basically building the machine that will enable us more effectively achieve our company objectives, and there’s a number of efforts on here. Obviously this OKR process and getting everybody aligned is part of this process, defining what is the product and for whom we want to build it for is also another project under this, which I’ve included an update for that in the async version of Friday forum. And then there are other work that are being led by different folks including Miz, JM, and Ben, which is trying to get a little bit more clarity on roles and responsibilities and the DRI process and the experimentation framework that help us validate the product features that we want to develop and build.


Condition number three is one that will be kicked off based on the results of the what project, and this is really building a product that will help people improve their health. Currently Levels is primarily an awareness tool. It’s not a behavior intervention product. And really, this project is designed to take our product from where it is today to engage people in behavior chain to drive value for them, which is effectively improving their health. So this initiative is how can we generate new features, prioritize them and execute them to really be able to achieve these two company objectives? And obviously as we deliver value and measure that value, it will automatically drive the acquisition as well.


This project will be kicked off in the next week or so with a cross-functional team between product, design, engineering and research and science portion of the team. And then the lastly is UK liftoff. This is primarily to drive member acquisition, but it’s also to build a muscle to be able to launch internationally, which will be a big growth driver for our company. So it’s strategically very important to be able to liftoff in the UK and then onwards. So this is obviously an effort that Karen has been leading.


Now, if you want to really understand what’s the difference between a DRI and a GM? I recommend that you read this section, which is role of the GM, but in short, effectively the GM oversees all the different projects that have individual functional or cross-functional DRI. So it’s really the person that makes sure that in the end, the key initiative is delivered and is responsible to Sam to make sure that this key initiative is successful. And so all the people that are working on projects for a key initiative are ultimately responsible to the GM, and the GM is responsible to Sam. If you have any questions of the role of the GM and what that means, please don’t hesitate to reach out to me and I’ll probably start with just reading this section and see if it makes sense.


We also, in addition to the key initiatives, we added a place for independent projects. These are projects that may be inflight already before we design the company objectives or projects that don’t squarely fit in the key initiative, but still important for the company. So these projects are here. And then we also added experimentation as line items here. These are not key initiatives, but they sit in this table so we can keep track of them well.


We also added a new section to the DRI database called Areas of Responsibility, which is not individual projects because all these above are individual projects for individual outcomes, but the areas of responsibility are effectively what are the processes that people own and deliver on? So hopefully this is clear. If you have any questions, please let me know. We’re also going to do a fireside next week to make sure that everybody understands the company objectives and has an opportunity to ask questions and everybody understand that what the key initiatives are and why they’re important. That’s it for this week. Thank you.

Speaker 1 (29:55):

Awesome. Thanks Miles. Yeah, I highly recommend everyone tune in for… Well, first of all, check out the page, ingest that info, and then like Miles said, we’ll have that fireside to further reinforce this. We’ll be driving through repetition as we learn more as we hone this in small ways, but generally the big chunks are becoming more clear. Yeah, so now it’s time to align, reinforce, and move forward. Okay. Over to Sissy with an experimentation of the week. I’m just going to play this async.

Sissy (30:30):

Hey team. I recently ran a white-glove onboarding experiment for several of our new members who were beginning their Levels journey. I documented all the findings and process here. And so I’ll go through the background process and focus most of the time on results and learnings. The initial problem we were looking to address was the fact that 25% of our members never set up their sensor, and only about 50% of members complete the first 28 days of the program. The hypothesis here was can we leverage our team, me to begin with, and eventually our members to provide some type of white-glove onboarding experience for new members during the sensor application process as well as while they’re downloading the apps and help them feel supported early on. This experiment is similar to the onboarding that Mike D used to do during the early days of Levels.


We want to figure out the answer to two key questions, which are what are the key blockers for members from getting started and what are the main questions these members have as they’re getting started? The scope of this experiment for V1 was for me to provide white-glove onboarding experience for 10 members. I will quickly touch on this. We started the experiment about a month ago and it started with Braden running a report of 130 members who had or would be receiving their CGM within a week or two of me reaching out. I reached out to 33 members and of those 33 members, about 24%, eight of them responded and seven members actually signed up for the onboarding call and went through with the onboarding call.


They were meant to be 25-minute calls and ended up ranging from 15 minutes to almost an hour-and-a-half for one of the calls. And I spent about a total of five hours with the seven members. You can see the recap of each of the calls here with recordings and notes. After the calls, I followed up immediately with resources from the blog, so that day I would follow up with a note, sharing out some pieces that I brought up during the call and then that were relevant to their questions and let them know that I’d be in touch after the first week. And then I followed up one week after asking if they had any questions or any interesting insights? And then a similar email two weeks after, seeing how the first two weeks were. I plan to follow up again at week four with the goal to see what they’ve learned over the last month and if they have any plans to continue with CGM shipments.


So in terms of results, the stats here I just walked through, but I’ll talk a bit on the outreach emails after week one and two. Five out of five responded to the check-in email. The other two are just at their one week, so didn’t include them in this analysis and one member has already let me know that he signed up for quarterly subscriptions. The most common questions, which I think is really the meat of this is really two themes here. The dos and don’ts of using a CGM and using Levels. Of all the seven calls, these are really the main eight questions that came up. Where does the CGM go in my arm? How often do I need to scan it? What’s the purpose of the performance cover? And can I throw away the applicator? And from using the app perspective, what should my glucose Levels be? How do I log a meal? How do I connect to Apple Health? And what are the differences between zone scores and metabolic score?


This unsurprisingly, the rationale for not starting Levels. Not super surprising, the theme was wanting to find the right time. For most folks, they were traveling, had life events and just didn’t feel like it was the right time to start Levels. And so this could be a number of things given that Levels is on the expensive side. It could feel like it’s cost prohibitive. And so you don’t want to be traveling while starting Levels because you want to be eating the diet you would normally eat at home, but this was not super surprising.


And member feedback. After one week, the checking email received three positive emails and one neutral sentiment email. Number one said, “Levels has been great. Really helpful for me to modify my behavior and see the impact of my food decisions. Really, really helpful. I want to continue after the first 28 days.” So this was the member who decided to continue with the program. And this is the second member. “It’s going well. I think I’m figuring it out. Only question was the impact of low readings during the evenings when I’m sleeping.” And interestingly enough, the fourth member also had a similar question about low readings while sleeping. And then the other member, “Things are going well. All has been great so far.” So overall folks are pretty satisfied.


And then during the two-week check-in, we had two positive sentiment emails, a great learning experience so far and it’s been durable for the surf. This particular member had concerns about wearing the CGM while surfing and seems like it’s been going well for him so far. In terms of learnings and next steps, three key learnings here. Takeaway number one is creating ways for new members to opt into white-glove onboarding services. Of the 33 people we reached out to, I would’ve expected there to be a slightly larger number of folks who ended up doing the actual call. Because we only had about 20% of folks go through the actual call, the takeaway here is really that not all members want to go through one-on-one onboarding and it’s left me feeling convinced that one-on-one is not the way to approach onboarding in the long-term.


So the next question then is, what if we could answer questions in a white-glove manner for more members during their first week and make it more available broadly? So as a next step, what I’ll be doing is experimenting with a weekly onboarding event. It’ll be a Zoom event where it’s effectively an onboarding party where if it’s your first week of Levels, you can sign up for this Zoom call and join other members who are onboarding to either drop by and apply your sensor together or say you’re a couple of days in, you can come by and ask questions. I’ll work with Braden to add this weekly registration link to the onboarding emails that are getting sent out right now and encourage folks if they can’t make it to sign up anyways.

Speaker 1 (36:15):

I think we had a truncated version of this, but Sissy has a longer video, which is just in this learning document. And overall, super valuable lessons there. I think I love the concept of an onboarding party to allow people to opt in, get a little cohort, a little community going. And also just the fact is not everybody has enough time in their schedule to make room for even a white-glove glove experiment or experience. Great experiment. Again, focusing on the validated learnings there. We can make assumptions all day about what we think people want and maybe what we want, but then at the end of the day, do our members want it? And that’s the point of this experimentation and learning session. We’ll continue to have more real world examples from experiments we ship. Thanks Sissy. And let me jump ahead.

Speaker 8 (37:04):

Right. Yeah. So on the now side, in the past weeks we’ve been talking about the qualitative validated learnings we’ve been having. Remember feedback interviews that Alan and I and Mike have been doing? And I’m excited to share that. We’ve finally been able to instrument some analytics. And so this week I wanted to give you a quick initial take on some of the analytics and the quantitative feedback we’re getting. So huge thanks to Maxine and John and Chris for helping get some of these post dashboards set up. It was quite the challenge, but TLDR.


So what you’re seeing here, this is average metric per user per day. So what we’re seeing is… And the sample size is pretty small because we’ve really limited the number of new members we’re taking on per day. I think it’s something like 30 or so per day. But right now we’re seeing initially that the app opens are… They’re slightly up, seeing about 40% increase in app opens per day, daily app opens, but food logs are slightly down at 15%.


So one other thing was that we’re seeing slightly more increase in the number of… When you tap into a zone and look at the insights tab. More people are doing that I think from the full screen insights. So I don’t think we can get a whole lot of real actionable information from this, but it’s great that the foundation is laid. I’m eager to also track NPS, but since these are members who are only one to two weeks into their journey, they haven’t had a chance yet to share their net promoter score results with us. So TBD on that for future weeks.


And one of the metrics that I really want to track to line with our company metric is just percentage of each member in the cohort for now or home that is actually logging food. So just a brief insight into this. Alan and I are going to be digging into this and I think some of the stuff that we’re currently queued up, Gabriel’s working on tool tips that will help members understand where to log. So it’ll highlight the little button at the bottom that says, “Tap here to add your first log.” We’ll get more, hopefully that will have that uplift back for the logs, but something worth keeping an eye on.


Next slide Josh. Okay, so in terms of what we’re doing right now, all the new projects are currently… We’re pausing those while Alan and I are iterating on the designs for the next version of the now tab that we are planning based on the feedback that we gathered from our existing members and all the new members and most recently the internal team feedback. So we’ve gone through two or three iterations of this now. Alan is still… He’s putting together another tweak from that based on the feedback to put forward for members in the next couple of days. And hopefully by end of next week, we’ll have the final version.


What we’re trying to do, we’re taking a step back as a product development team and trying to hand off the proposals to engineering that we are more confident are going to land upfront by front loading some of the design iteration with members and tweaking that on the design and product side. So I’m excited about that effort going forward and think we’re going to get into a really good spot.


I didn’t have a slide for this, but the next things up for validated learning are going to be the metabolic report and that animated glucose game that you saw earlier in the forum. I know Marillo just put the final code changes out there today, so I’ll be shipping another build. We ship the build today, but we’re going to ship another one if that gets approved as soon as that happens. So excited to get some validated learnings on that over the next week. That’s it.

Speaker 1 (40:25):

Awesome, thanks David. And Now team. Really excited for that game to ship. Okay, quick hiring update. So [inaudible 00:40:32] is joining us, May 23rd. We’re going to put together a little something for her, so please check out threads for the prompt for that and looking forward to having her join the team. And then on the hiring side, still looking for software engineer, visual designer, corporate council, support associate. We’ve got a good pipeline on the last one there, but if you’re interested in one of these roles, if you know someone that’s a good fit for our culture and very interested in coming aboard for something like this, please point them in our direction.


You’ll see we took the PM role down for right now. We have a good pipeline and we’re going to focus on those folks that we have in the pipeline thus far. And of course, check out ; if you’re interested in a general role. Okay. We have a little new session here we’re going to try out. Chris Jones is going to share with us a perspective story of the week.

Speaker 9 (41:20):

Thanks Josh. So earlier this week was Google IO, and for those of you that aren’t familiar, it’s Google’s biggest conference of the year, like an Apple event for those of us who don’t have iPhones. So from a Google standpoint, it’s a pretty big deal. They cover about 10 or 12 topics every year and within Google, it’s a big deal. So at the time, I was actually still working for Nest and Nest was in the position of getting acquired by Google Hardware. So rolling the brands, the products, really taking the brand and making it part of the Google hardware ecosystem. And a small group of us decided, “Well, let’s actually create something new within Google.” There’s lots of experiments, lots of new ideas, lots of people that take an idea and run with it and they’re given room to do that within the company.


So we actually set out to try to create a new sales channel and instead of most people might say, “Oh, I buy a Nest camera by walking into Best Buy. I grab a guy in a blue shirt and I ask them a bunch of questions around these products.” They don’t represent the product usually very well and they really don’t know about how these things are integrated within a smart home of how they all work together. They can read off specs, but in terms of like, well, how’s this going to change my lifestyle and here’s what I’m at. So we created a team of what we’ll call smart home consultants or advisors that were experts not in only Google or Nest products, but the entire ecosystem. Sonos, Apple, pods of how do all these things work together to provide me an experience?


So we created two teams. One was people would come to your house with a bunch of products, think of it like a Geek Squad coming to your house with a Google van and the other one was online, which is the team I ran. 95% of our traffic came by adding the banner to the Nest page on the left that you see highlighted. That’s how people found out about us and came in the front door. Just with this one banner, we were driving a million dollars of sales and highly profitable, which got the attention of the larger org of like, “Oh, is there not necessarily just a new product, but a new way for us to sell all these products?” Got Google super interested and we got a spot on the next Google IO. For a team of 12 people within Google of a over a 100,000, this was a pretty big deal and we are excited.


We scaled the team and as I mentioned in my note, as we scaled, we poured gas on this thing and the wheels quickly came off. So we lost our spot of Google IO with a week before the show because we couldn’t maintain the numbers and the growth as we really started to scale this thing left and right. So I got really close to being on stage with Sundar of my 15 minutes of fame, but not so much.


Josh, I want to go to the next slide, I think what’s Etsy… What I think as we are about to come into liftoff, what this means for Levels and some of the learnings that I took away from it is one, scaling too fast can be a very bad thing. You have early success, you have all the metrics going the right way and you’re like, “Great, let’s pour gas on it.” That was the absolute wrong thing for us to do. So as we think about liftoff versus launch, I couldn’t back that more.


Conversion rates wild are very different. We’ve seen this with some of our partners. One partner might be converting at 10%, the other at 1%. We saw this, the difference between and Google Store was like a 90% difference in conversion because the audience was different. What they wanted, what they needed coming to that site was very different. People, our agents, as we scaled from agents within Folsom to other call centers, we just lost that magic and that really sense of we could not replicate that kind of really deep mindset. So it’s all about not just saying, “Hey, I’ve got the right content, I’ve got the right onboarding document,” but you have to hire the people with the right mindset that really get your mission, what you’re trying to do.


Next is don’t get distracted. Launch when you’re ready. It gets easy if the timing of there’s some big event you’re trying to coordinate your efforts to, and sometimes people aren’t ready and we weren’t. We had a lot of interest, but we weren’t ready for the big time and be on stage and that would’ve set us up for real bad success to have millions of people now trying to sign up for the service and we weren’t ready for it.


And then lastly, which I think is actually we covered earlier, the reason we were so successful within Google is because we were a small nimble team and we focused on execution in our experimentation culture. The number of experiments we ran in a given week was off the charts because we were iterating and learning as we go. So as we double down as a company around our experimentation like we covered earlier, I think it’s absolutely the right thing to do. So that’s the story of the week.

Speaker 1 (46:18):

Love it. So we had stories of the week, like a year ago, and then our team, we just had a bunch of challenge fitting everything into the meeting. And so with the new reformat the meeting, I’m going to try and keep these going with perspective stories. So essentially how you arrived at a certain perspective, a certain validated learning in your own career that we could then apply to Levels. And I thought this story that Chris added to threads was just ideal, especially as we’re ramping into liftoff. It’s very relevant, but generally if you have a story that formed your, or shaped your perspective in life and in work, would love to feature that in this section going forward. So shoot me a note or just throw it in threads and I’ll call on you if it seems to fit. Maybe we’ll add some more process here, but thank you Chris.


All right, we’re at the individual contributions. I’m going to flip the script from last week, so I’m going to work from our participant list backwards. So we’re going to start with Zach. Zach, go ahead and kick us off.

Speaker 10 (47:16):

Hey everyone. Yeah, so lots to be excited about. The agreement work that we’ve been doing and getting to work with Moz so closely this past several weeks has just been a real treat. I learned a lot. We got a lot done. That was a really cool thing. On a personal note, gosh, lots to be happy about. Nate still can’t crawl, which sounds like maybe it should be disappointing, but it means he’s still easy and that’s really awesome. I can put him in a place and walk away and 10 minutes later he’s still right there. So small blessings, but he’s a lot of fun and also not yet mobile.

Speaker 1 (47:54):

Love that. Tony, I’m actually going to stop the screen share here. Now we can all see each other.

Speaker 11 (48:03):

Cool. Yeah, just before this call, I set up my first metabolic blood test for Monday, so I’m really excited about that.

Speaker 1 (48:14):

Awesome. Yeah, give us feedback. Taylor?

Speaker 12 (48:20):

Hey, so personally, it’s Sevy’s birthday today, so it’s going to be a day hanging out in the playground with pizza and swings at the same time. That’s what we’re doing.

Speaker 1 (48:32):

Awesome. All right, Sunny?

Speaker 13 (48:36):

Hello. On a personal note, it snowed here on Monday and it’s a beautiful day. I know that’s kind of lame, but I am going to pull the trigger and find some outdoor furniture so I can go and enjoy my beautiful backyard.

Speaker 1 (48:49):

Love that. We got some chase lounges out back, pretty recently as well. Sonya?

Speaker 14 (48:59):

Professionally, this is the end of week five, so this is the first week I really got to start contributing. I drafted my first memo, which was awesome. Casey and I mind melded on a few items and got case to inbox zero, which was a huge moment of celebration. And personally, I am so excited to go on a hike with Mike D tomorrow in la.

Speaker 1 (49:20):

Awesome. That’s right.

Speaker 14 (49:22):

Photos to come.

Speaker 1 (49:23):

Yeah, please, enjoy. Riley?

Speaker 15 (49:28):

Personally, it is hockey playoffs are going on up here in Canada and US, and I promise myself every year I will not get emotionally involved and I fail every year and my team lets me down every year. So it’s probably happening again. I’m a fan of Toronto and they’ve lost nine straight series deciding games. So one last chance on Saturday night for me.

Speaker 1 (49:57):

Well, preemptive condolences from the rest of us here. I hope it goes well. Paul, if you’d like to share a little something personal, please do. Oh, Paul Canales.

Paul Canales (50:13):

Just getting ready to open a second restaurant and it’s a French themed restaurant and I’m going to be doing many things that will not have white flour, that normally would have white flour using Himalaya and Tartary buckwheat from big, bold health to keep people’s… They all have no idea what I’m doing, but I’ll be happy. So anyway, that’s a big exciting thing for me and there’s a bunch of things I need to follow up with some Levels people, but I’m going to wait a minute until I get up from underwater. Thanks for including me.

Speaker 1 (50:47):

Thanks for joining, and congrats on the new restaurant. And I think as more people adopt CGM, they will know what you’re doing and they’ll appreciate it. Mike Haney?

Speaker 16 (50:59):

Personally, taking the boy up to Malibu to camp and then go look at fancy cars driving around this particular parking lot in Malibu where they all gather every Saturday morning. So it’ll be fun.

Speaker 1 (51:11):

Sounds amazing. Enjoy. Mercy?

Speaker 17 (51:15):

Personally, my sister, her husband and my nephew are coming in town for the next week, so I’m excited to be off all of next week and hang out with them.

Speaker 1 (51:25):

It’s going to be fun. Maz?

Speaker 18 (51:29):

Hey guys. Professionally, obviously [inaudible 00:51:31] been great, but most importantly, just working with Zach and JM has just been fantastic. It’s been a lot of fun. Another item was working on the what project with the cross-functional team, Casey Taylor, Josh and Allen. It’s just been fantastic, just the level of collaboration. Also spending some time in New York with everybody to do this face-to-face really helped the bandwidth of the communication just was out of this world. So that was fantastic. Anyways, really great stuff.


On the personal front, spent a little bit of time in Yosemite on the way back from New York, directly from the airport. That was fun with the family.

Speaker 1 (52:11):

It’s one of my favorite places. Matt?

Speaker 19 (52:16):

Professionally, I think seeing the, I guess, six digits on the Levels Instagram account is really awesome to see. So shout out to Stacy and everybody who’s played a part in getting it there. Personally, I’ve been trying to do some working out more and doing a few more runs every week and have been a bit sore and was trying to run up my steps to my apartment this morning and really stubbed my toe. So I might be pulling off on the workouts for a little bit, or the runs at least, but it’s feels good to do it.

Speaker 1 (52:52):

Love it. JM?

JM (52:58):

Sorry about that. All right. I have a few things to say. First of all, it was amazing seeing so many people in New York last week or the week before. On a personal note, I was to go to Florida this weekend with three friends to celebrate our 40th birthdays, but two of them got COVID, so we’re not going. I’m very sad about that. You should unmute and say, “Oh,” if you want.

Sissy (53:23):


JM (53:26):

But the Brooklyn half is next week. I’ve been working hard to get ready for that over the last few months, so I’m pumped about that and have a good weekend.

Speaker 1 (53:36):

Love it. Love it all. Sorry about Florida. Happy birthday. Jen?

Speaker 20 (53:43):

Personally, I am really excited that it’s been about a week with my aura ring and I just feel so seen with it because it picked up when I did yard work and I was like, “Yes, that’s right. I did do yard work. Thank you very much.” So I thought that was really cool.

Speaker 1 (53:56):

Did it identify yard work?

Speaker 20 (53:59):

It didn’t. It just identified the activity and then I could go in and tap what it was, but I felt really good.

Speaker 1 (54:05):

Love that. Awesome. Dom?

Speaker 21 (54:10):

Yeah, coming back down from Metabolic Health Summit, that was an amazing experience. It was great to meet Taylor there. We had a nice discussion and so I had a bunch of conferences back to back, including Metabolic Psychiatry, which is an emerging field and I think we’ll bring more attention to that with our conference. And I’m preparing for… I don’t know if Rob Lustig is on the line, but for the conference, the Swedish Metabolic Health Symposium. So I’m preparing and doing all my paperwork for that. So great CGM discussions at MHS and I’m sure there’s going to be a lot more at the next conference I’ll be attending.

Speaker 1 (54:51):

I was sad to miss it, but awesome to hear all the connections through Taylor. So cool. Congrats on kicking that off again. Back to the real world.

Speaker 21 (54:59):


Speaker 1 (55:00):


Speaker 22 (55:02):

Yeah, good to see everybody again after not being able to join this for a few weeks, but awesome to see all the momentum towards liftoff and launch. And then on a personal note, made it to the Midwest and through the logistics nightmare of moving across the country, but now on to trying to find a house and buy a house in this market.

Speaker 1 (55:26):

Pulling for you. Congrats on making it there. All right team. So we’re going to call it at noon. If you didn’t get a chance to share this week, I’m sorry, but we’ll work back in the other direction. So you’ll definitely have a chance next week. So this is how we’re going to try and handle as the team grows. With that, really awesome week. Obviously a ton of successes at the company level, at the individual level, and just couldn’t be more excited for it all. And yeah, just appreciate you all. Thanks Paul for joining us and everybody have a great weekend, and tune in for the book club later today if you’re going to join. See you.