May 27, 2022

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

Josh Clemente (00:00):

Welcome to Friday Forum, May 27th, 2022. Okay, big news this week is that we’re on track for our liftoff date the week of June 6th. So the website copy for the IRB is up and live. Support training has been well underway, close to completion there and there’s engineering work being done. But the realtime API is live internally for testing, that is accompanying our liftoff. So all huge stuff, a lot of work has been going into this and it’s exciting. We’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of this development phase and the beta phase. In the words of Miz, the realtime API feels like using Levels for the first time, which is super exciting. Can’t wait to get this to more people. On the product side, the Glucose Game and Tool Tips, you can see some images of what those look like, are live to 50% of new members.


The goal here is to help people onboard into the app, into a new product and into a new concept, which is biological observability or realtime feedback on a molecule in your body in an approachable way. So most people have never seen a glucose curve before. Many people don’t even know they have sugar in their blood. And so understanding with an easy and quite engaging little game is a brilliant hack to help people get engaged, understand what they might see in the coming weeks as they get started. And I’m really excited for the learnings here. I think we ran into a couple snags with our launch here where we weren’t getting data for a little while, but point is we’ve got that out to two members and we’ll be learning soon.


Then the focus is now on Now Page 2.0. So essentially taking in learnings now that the page has been or new dashboard or hub for the app has been out to members for a few weeks now. We’re learning a lot and there will be some updates made, continue the experimentation and likely we’ll be changing the scoring or at least experimenting with it to make the score more interpretable, more transparent for people.


Right now we have a fairly complex score, which we started off calling the metabolic score, transition to a day score. In general, most people don’t really understand what goes into it. You kind of have a sense, but it’s not entirely transparent. And so we’re going to focus on biting off a few areas of the scoring algorithm to focus on, to make very obvious and that would be likely spikes and variability first. So more to come on that. We distributed a survey to over 2000 of our active members. I think out of 2,000 members, we had, I believe at last count, 380 responses. Highly recommend everyone check this out. Chris posted a lot of information about this survey in threads and in notion, tons of valuable stuff here. We really need to mine this information and learn from it. The newsletter went out to… We now have over 250,000 people on our email list and still maintaining these crazy numbers, like 42% open rate, 10% click through.


Just amazing to see that, so wanted to highlight. As the list is growing, we’re still hitting pretty unbelievable numbers. And then on the community side, some really exciting stuff here. You can see right in the middle, one of our longtime members, Natalie Vanderpump, put together a Seattle meetup with a few other Levels members. This is the first in real life member meetup that I’m aware of. I’m sure there have been others, but this is so exciting. This is just on Natalie’s own initiative. She got together with some other people and they had really fun time talking about, I’m sure metabolic health and all of the things they’re excited… Oops, sorry to jump ahead. All the things they’re excited about. So that really got me, that warmed my heart. And then we’ve got a community strategy memo that’s in draft phase from Cissy. And our first onboarding party is today.


And that will be a cohort style getting started into Levels approach, and we’re going to learn a ton from this. Getting people who are new to Levels all kicking off at the same moment, it’s going to be great. We have some podcast placement contracts in place for the second half of 2022 with Ben Greenfield and Kelly Leveque. Huge news. Both of them have been really amazing affiliates for us and can’t wait to see where that goes. And then our initial analysis for blog site queries. We’re getting a little bit smarter and able or really have resources to dig into what people are searching for in order to better understand their needs. And it seems like there’s a lot of interest early on in finding food item specific content, which is great. Let’s see. Got some good coverage this week from Fit Insider and Martha Stewart Magazine.


We had a couple great memos here. Podcast tour strategy for UK. Growth, budget and forecasted breakdown of capital allocation. I highly recommend reading into some of this. We’ll touch on it later in the meeting. And then some great UGC. We also had a tour with our member ops team at the Truepill Hayward site. And you can see here an exploration of the facility they’re building out. See the Levels area of the facility today. All super exciting stuff. We were invited to the Platinum Longevity Conference for Abundance360. Oh, sorry, did I say Hayward? That was the Brooklyn site for Truepill. Sorry about that. Invited to speak at the Platinum Longevity Conference that Peter Diamandis puts together through Abundance360. That will be later in the fall. And what else do we want to touch on here? I’ve had some great conversations with researchers at UT Austin and spoke with the team behind the multi-molecule wireless charging multiplex enzymatic sensor, the microneedle one that hit the news a few weeks ago. So just really exciting connecting with people who are pushing the hardware forward. I think that is everything here.


With that, I want to welcome Sara Beemer. Sarah is a member at Levels, long time. Has been a real super benefit to us in terms of her making herself available through her learnings and her focus on personal nutrition as a fitness and health enthusiast, accountability coach, personal trainer. Sara, I really appreciate you setting some time aside on Friday morning to hang out with us. We’d love to hear anything you’d like to share in terms of what you’re excited about for Metabolic Health, your personal experience with Levels. Open floor.

Sara Beemer (06:09):

Oh, great. Well thanks for having me. This has been fun. I started with Levels last year. In fact, my sister had started with you guys originally. And what’s funny is now up until this past year, all four of us girls, there’s four of us girls in the family, we’ve all done Levels. You talk about meetups, there’s meetups almost every other weekend talking about Levels with just my sisters. I come from a family where health and fitness has always been the focus just from my parents. Fast forward, I grew up playing sports, but I was always overweight. After I had kids, I wanted to just learn more about my body. That I’ve realized comes from my experience of trying to have kids, surgeries when I was four and five years old for a tumor in my spine that later caused issues and inflammation in my body that made it difficult for us to have kids.


So during that time, it’s slowly been me learning about my body, acupuncture, IVF, all of that to one of my doctors saying you need to lose weight. And then just also building onto that, the working out and then understanding what’s really going on in the body during my workouts, so it’s just been building. I love to work out. I did some fitness competitions in 2019 and just from that, my love has grown. As far as my work, every day I was doing financial consulting for cities and counties and doing overhead studies and stuff like that. But my true passion was health and fitness and I can learn about this and read about it and listen to all of you guys, Robert, everybody, just take it all in. So when I found out about Levels, it was, “Tell me what’s going on inside my body.”


When I was training and working out for these competitions, I go through different phases of either trying to add some more muscle or trying to cut down. So I understood that side with the macros. But once I started reading your information and learning more about this, I was going, “Oh my gosh, I wish I was wearing a CGM back then,” to when my coach at the time said, “You’re going to eat 800 carbs today.” Now I’m going, “Oh my gosh, that is…” I mean even then it was like, that’s horrific. Now understanding, now to see my experience with Levels, I really… Last year before I started Levels, I had started more doing intermittent fasting, more low-carb, which I’ve never really done and fasted workouts. So just to see that is interesting. It’s funny when you talk about testing foods out or trying out the high carbs, now I’m like, “I don’t want to test that out. I don’t want to go that high.”


Now we focus more on the quality of food. I’m a mom of three, so this has really helped me change the way I feed my kids. When I was pregnant, that’s when it started to focus on, “Well, this is what I’m feeding them.” So now fast-forward to last night, we’re pre-mixing… I have my kids cook a lot with me, but we’re pre-mixing the eggs so that in the morning they can use a little waffle maker to make their eggs. Not so much, let’s not focus on the cereal anymore. Or if they are going to have some kind of treat, guess what, they’re going to get some protein before they have that. So it’s just everything.


Like I said, in my previous job, I just went part-time with that. This is now my full-time focus of helping others create a healthy lifestyle with fitness, nutrition. And that’s what I love, just figuring out how to adapt to everybody’s changing life. That’s what I had to do. I used to travel for work and figure out how to eat healthy and work out and all that. So it’s fun. It’s so interesting and I just love hearing all the information, taking it in.

Josh Clemente (10:32):

Well, congrats on making the transition over to full-time, focusing on your passion. That’s always exciting. I just love to hear about the generational impacts that are already starting. Teaching your kids about protein prior to carbohydrates, for example. I think those are the lessons that are going to change one to two generations in the future, they’ll carry forward. So that’s amazing to hear. If you wouldn’t mind, is there any one thing that stands out to you that you would love to see Levels focus on or improve in the next phase of what we’re building?

Sara Beemer (11:03):

Improve. I know I’ve always said, I know you guys have made some changes, but my focus has always been on macros and you guys have ever since then, or even just slowly building up to everybody understanding, “No, you need your protein, you need this and that before you eat.” Because again, on some of the Facebook groups, I see some people say, “Oh, I can’t eat Indian food anymore. It spikes.” It’s like, “No, no, there’s a way to eat it and enjoy it, and the timing.” My thing is I use My Fitness Pal a lot. To go from one app to the next, I don’t know if there was a way to… If you guys did end up tying that in, because I entered my food.


It would be nice to where it’s automatically showing up in Levels and I see my macros and I see what happens. Or the food, I can click on that. That was always a big thing for me, because I noticed I would enter my food into Levels, but I wouldn’t know the exact macros. Or as far as, I just didn’t want to take the time to put that in. I know, again, that’s a whole nother level of different clientele for different things.

Josh Clemente (12:12):

But it’s definitely something we hear frequently and we want to make sure that we meet people where they are. And so having everyone enter macros when they’re just getting started on their health journey and paying closer attention to how their body’s responding, it’s a lot of overhead, but for the people who are already at that point, it’s step backwards, especially to have to use multiple apps to log the information. So hear you loud and clear. There’s an experiment waiting to be done here and I’m sure we’ll get to it sometime soon. It’s good to hear that that’s something that you would find a lot of value in.

Sara Beemer (12:44):


Josh Clemente (12:45):

Well, Sara, thanks again for joining us this morning. We have a full meeting. We’d love to have you stick around if you’re interested in staying on board. Otherwise, thank you for joining from the whole team. We really appreciate hearing directly from you. It’s super meaningful to us.

Sara Beemer (12:58):

Great. Thank you for having me.

Josh Clemente (13:00):

All right, thank you. Have a great Memorial Day weekend. All right, coming ahead, super excited to welcome Hui to the team. Just started this week and kicking off with our first Friday Forum with her joining us. Hui I’m going to hand it over to you, and we’d love to hear some thoughts.

Hui Lu (13:16):

Yeah. Hello everyone. I’m Hui. Super excited to be here. I’m joining the engineering team. I have been following this Friday Forum from outside for so long and so excited to be here in real time. I currently live in San Francisco, Bay Area in northern California. I live with my husband and our seven-year-old son. He’s a first-grader and quite a handful for now. I was born and raised in China. I came to the United States about 30 years ago and I got my Masters of Computer Science in Northeastern University. And my career, you can see from the slide, transition from Google to Slack to Robinhood and then Levels. I spent my first two years as a full stack engineer and then maybe five years or so as a backend engineer. And then for the past three years I have been an engineer manager.


What I’m excited about, of course, first thing joining Levels and finally being able to work on something that I find meaningful and purposeful. I love learning. I’m here to learn all the amazing things about metabolic health, about engineering stuff we are doing here, and also from everyone. I’m sure I’m learning from everyone here. I love writing in my spare time. If you have read my Spotlight article, you’ll find more there. And of course, like everyone else, I love tasty food. I guess a fun story, when I was studying in Northeastern, we used to drive to New York City, it’s an eight-hour round trip, just for the food there. So we’ll do the eight-hour round trip in a day together super, I guess popular Ramen.

Josh Clemente (15:08):

Love that. I’ve done something similar in my day from DC up to New York. I guess it’s about the same round trip. Well everyone, I highly recommend the Spotlight article for Hui as well. It was a great read and we share a love of the three body problem series. It’s always so exciting to have the team grow, especially with amazing people like yourself. Very excited as you get ramped up. Everyone, please make yourselves available to make this process as easy as possible. And I look forward to many challenges and successes ahead.

Hui Lu (15:43):

Yeah, thank you. Looking forward to all that.

Josh Clemente (15:47):

All right, jumping into a quick culture and kudos slide. For those of you that haven’t seen this, we released a memo about the macroeconomic changes. I’m sure everyone’s tracking this at this point, but things have changed at the larger economy scale and we need to pay attention to these sorts of transitions, they do affect how companies are valued, how growth multiples are valued. And so we’ll always stay flexible and dynamic in circumstances like this. So definitely recommend giving us a read. Miz is going to have a little update on how this affects us specifically, but just wanted to highlight that memo specifically. And I also wanted to surface, and Casey recommended a great example, Jenn’s handoff doc. So Jenn is going to be taking a week away and she gave a really great detail breakdown of everything that she’s handling, specifically how she likes to unplug.


There are degrees to which people unplug, and so it’s just really nice to set an expectation. For Jenn, “When I unplug, I’m fully unplugged.” That’s very helpful for people to know. It makes sure that we don’t end up pushing requests out to her that are going to be disruptive. And if so, if you really need, there’s contact information and then who you can talk to for all the projects that are in flight. So this is an amazing example of getting everyone on the same page about when somebody’s going to be taking their quarterly time off. And also I think it’s going to reduce the burden on Jenn when she comes back and gets transitioned back in a week later so she doesn’t have a mountain of unread communications that people were sending out because they thought that she was live. So anyway, really great example. We’ll continue, I’m sure getting better and improving the way that we all kind of take time away, but I think this is a standout example. Thanks Jenn. Okay, Miz.

Miz (17:36):

All right. A few updates to share this morning. First off is that an updated hiring strategy memo has been released and sent out. You can find that in threads and notion. The short story here is we want to make sure we’re hiring and growing the team responsibly and that we know where our head count is going and make sure that we’re preserving runway appropriately and keeping an eye on burn. This pulls together all those different pieces. There’s an overview loom in the memo itself, and you can find that linked in threads. Second piece here on the DRI database. A few quick updates starting with the second one there. The support team is starting to put together their items for responsibility and define ownership. Appreciate the early work there from the support folks. Then on the engineering side, why don’t to shoot some kudos over to Ian, his DRI on Eng documentation, but it’s been nice watching that process take effect and really looking for help in maintainers and structure philosophy in the doc and then how it’s actually coming into practice.


I’ve been enjoying watching that from a distance, but good stuff there on ownership and really driving that forward. Next up, the growth marketing and content team agreed to do a little pilot with Murmur coming out of Brave New Work, the book club there. Murmur is an app that will let us form agreements and put the proposals through a process that then become the nexus of contracts that keeps the teams and company running. Try that out with that team, if it works well, we can spread it to others. But curious to see the learnings there and thank that team for willing to experiment and pilot that.


Then finally, just some awareness using the stage since we’ve got it, fireside in two weeks on Confidence is Earned. It’s a memo that Josh recently wrote that’s an important part of our culture, so definitely check that one out. There’s some interesting discussion in the doc and then we’ll discuss that in the fireside. The Extreme Ownership Book Club is on June 16th. Thanks Braden for owning and organizing that. Then Assemblage, Mike Di has been working on and sending out comms around, but I’ll use this stage, June 22nd to 24th. So that’s coming right up. That’s it.

Josh Clemente (19:36):

Thank you Miz. Specifically on the hiring plan, we’ll touch on this in just a few minutes, but that again, we’re making some updates with what we’ve learned about the macroeconomic changes and I highly recommend everybody, especially if you’re a hiring manager, check that out, read up on it and internalize the strategy that we have to keep as we navigate some uncertainty in the coming months. Okay. Levels shows you how food affects your health. No change there. That’s the main thing. Everyone should be working towards this priority. If you aren’t, raise the question. We’ve got the company objectives and key initiatives projects, which really helped us set the stage for how we are going to achieve this near term goal. And on that topic, Maz.

Maziar Brumand (20:20):

Hi everyone. Hopefully everybody had a chance to listen to the fireside about company objectives and just putting it here for repetition. And as you all know, it is member retention, improving people’s health and new member acquisition. And here’s the logic if you need to refer back to it. And this is all in the spirit of driving product market fit in a responsible way. A quick update on the major initiatives, the key initiatives, JR will talk through his update of the US liftoff, which is very exciting and on track. We are wrapping up the org priorities and design as we’ve completed the OKR project, the product focus, the R&Rs, which Miz has done a lot on and you’ve seen it come through. And then the experimentation framework that JM has kindly taken on. So we’re wrapping up this key initiative and we will do in retrospective and measure the success of this key initiative as we get more into it and we get more data.


We also have kicked off the core metabolic health product discussions and now we have a core team that’s working on it. We’re going to start making progress and updating everybody on that progress, related to all these projects. We’ve instituted the product database workflow, which is effectively the work that goes into this database. So any project that need engineering resources to build, we’ll go through this database where it gets evaluated and prioritized and once it’s approved it moves up here and we will work through the different scoping stages and budgeting stages of PM time and engineering time and then start and completion dates and each of the DRI. So if you have any project that requires engineering time for any of the key initiatives or otherwise, please reach out to me or David and we will figure out how to evaluate it and get it scheduled for build. That’s it for this week. Thanks everyone.

Josh Clemente (22:43):

Thanks Maz. Sorry for the disruption there.

David Flinner (22:49):

All right, awesome. So on the Now front I wanted to give some updates on the experiment. JM has been running analytics for us, thank you JM and we’re seeing a clear lift and engagement versus the legacy dashboard with Now. So that’s really positive for the team. Because of that we rolled out to 100% of new members. We’re still holding back the existing members who have not seen Now, but we’re seeing increases in the amount of time people spend with the app, the number of engagements they go through. So that’s really positive as you know, next slide, setting through the context, from previous weeks I’ve mentioned that we surfaced a lot of value in the individual cards and that came up through our member interviews, gathering feedback on the new experience, but members were feeling a lack of control and confusion.


Although we are seeing more engagement in the app, there is an overall sense of a bit more confusion, less feeling of control because of the push of all the cards that may or may not hit the right relevancy and quality bar. Next slide. So just to catch you up to speed a bit, Alan and I have been spending the last three weeks designing and iterating both with our members and with you to gather feedback on a few iterations on where we might take this to really close the loop on the Now experience and land it well for all of our members. That first round we heard the feedback for feelings of control, a desire for a more dense summary and we presented some prototypes for you internally and externally where we learned that we did have some better control with this new overlay card model, but it was still intrusive with the card quality and the data oriented density that we put into the dashboard was too data oriented. We wanted to shift away from that data heavy nature.


Next slide. Real quick, where we’re landing is really focusing on helping members feel in control of viewing insights and retaining quick access to other paths if they didn’t want to see that insight. So you can see here, this is just, ignore the black and white for now it’s a wire frame, but you can see on the left where we’ll have a hint of that insight card that shows up and you can pull it up and the burden’s on us to make that really relevant. But if you don’t want to see it, you can quickly get out of it and then tap onto your way with everything else that’s in the app. We’ll retain that mostly full screen style when you do pull it up and you can retain the patination to go through the different insights that are there available for you. Next slide.


The second thing we landed on was segmenting the cards based on importance and theme. So reserving the full screen takeover insights for important event-based prompts based on your data that we have high confidence are relevant for you and are actionable. Folding in all of the calendar based comprehension prompts that are like on day one, you want to learn about sensor calibration into the day review, which has been validating quite well with our members. And then less urgent prompts, we’ll reserve those for a less urgent treatment and put them into a notification drawer. Next slide.


And then all of this is setting the stage for the new behavior change that we’ve been working with Maz and Taylor, Brett Allen, the rest of the team to get to the next version of the Levels app that will be focused on behavior change. And that really starts with the focus on insights and not having dense data. So you see on the default home part of Now, whereas in the previous prototype we had a lot of data oriented on, like how long did you sleep, what was your metabolic score? Now we’re reserving much more surface for insights that are tied to your activities and setting the stage for looping with a dedicated widget in the middle or at the top that will be replaced by the goal-based programs we’ll be developing. So that is the update for Now.


Oh, next slide. One more step. Real quick, next steps we are reviewing. We’re going to review the final hypothesis for this before we push it out with JM, who’s the bar raiser for our experimental hypothesis testing. We think that this new card model will give control back to the user and it’s going to lay that framework for comprehension, insight and action that we’ll be working on for the next month or two. And then we’re finalizing the visual spec. As you saw, those are wire frames and for the core pieces of that, the goal is to have that ready for handoff by the start of the next sprint. Everything like all the different card details aren’t going to quite be ready for that, but I think we can get started soon on engineering. That’s it.

Josh Clemente (27:06):

Awesome. I love that hypothesis there. Giving control back to the user. That’s really interesting.

David Flinner (27:12):

Thank you.

Josh Clemente (27:13):

All right. Hiring updates. So Charu and now Jason Shu are both joining us towards the end of this month and then early in June. Super exciting to continue to grow our software engineering team with amazing people. And on that note, related to the macroeconomic changes and the new hiring strategy, some of these roles we may end up temporarily pausing or holding for as we continue to learn more about how the environment is developing. We want to make sure that we’re tightly controlling our burn growth as it relates to our revenue growth. And as we move into liftoff, we’re going to have a lot of really high definition signal on whether or not our models are predictive and which model base case, low case, high case we are trending towards.


So this is all great as we’re continuing of course to be opportunistic and grow the team with great people. We’re not taking down these roles at this point, it’s just that we’ll be paying close attention to our headcount and making sure we don’t overshoot burn until we are really confident in our growth trajectory. So much more on this in the hiring strategy doc and the macroeconomic trends memo. And then as always, if you or someone in your network are interested in the role, please check out All right, the metabolic pearl of the week from Casey Means.

Casey Means (28:34):

Hey team, our metabolic pearl for today is non-alcoholic fatty liver disease or NAFLD for short. NAFLD is a type of liver disease seen in people who actually drink little alcohol but still have a fatty liver. Alcohol can also cause fatty liver and used to be the predominant reason that people would have a fatty liver, but now that has been far surpassed by non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, which is predominantly a processed food and sedentary lifestyle-driven disease, and has now become the most common cause of chronic liver disease in the United States. Fatty liver disease is present in 30 to 40% of US adults and 10% of kids now. 70% of people with Type 2 diabetes have NAFLD and about 80% of the people with NAFLD have overweight or obesity and abnormal cholesterol levels. If the NAFLD progresses, it can drive inflammation in the liver, which is a condition called NASH, which is non-alcoholic steatohepatitis.


And if that goes unchecked, it can lead to end stage liver disease, which is called cirrhosis, which is scarring of the liver, which is irreversible and that is now becoming a leading cause of liver transplantation in the country with 30% of liver transplants being done for the end stage of this disease. Interestingly, the majority of people who have NAFLD actually don’t die of their liver disease. They die of cardiovascular disease, which to me just really highlights the shared metabolic roots of the two diseases, both of which are in large part driven by insulin resistance. So what causes NAFLD? As I just mentioned, insulin resistance is a key driver and that is because in the setting of insulin resistance, fat cells become hypertrophy and they become essentially stuffed full of fat and resistant to insulin. And so what happens is they can leak those free fatty acids out into the bloodstream, which then go to the liver and get taken up and repackaged and stored as triglycerides and other forms of fat.


And this fat inside the liver cells actually blocks insulin signaling and so makes the liver cells insulin resistant, creating a vicious cycle of worsening insulin resistance. Additionally, fructose is uniquely capable at stimulating fat storage in the liver. And this is because one of the breakdown products of fructose is uric acid and uric acid causes basically blockages in fatty acid oxidation or fatty acid burning. And so by blocking the ability of fatty acids to be burned, they cause accumulation of fatty acids. And so this fructose and especially liquid fructose and refined fructose is a really big driver of fatty liver disease.


I wanted to mention a really interesting new paper that just came out on the last month by our advisor, Gerald Schulman at Yale, which showed that there’s actually probably a lot more people with fatty liver than we think because currently we base our diagnosis in part based on imaging findings. And if we see more than 5%, about 5.5% of the liver is fat, we call that fatty liver disease. But what his paper showed was that even at a lower threshold, so between 1.85% and 5.5% liver fat, so lower than what would be considered the disease state currently. We actually start to see big derangement in metabolic biomarkers. So things like uric acid, fasting insulin and LDL all start going up even below 5.5% of liver fat. And so what this says to us is maybe we need to lower the threshold of what percentage of liver fat constitutes fatty liver disease.


Maybe it needs to drop from 5.5 to closer to 1.85. And if we did that, it’s interesting to think how we might have way more people in the category of fatty liver disease if we have somewhat looser parameters for what constitutes fatty liver disease. So what can we do to prevent or reduce our risk of developing it? So this paper does an awesome job of summing it up and basically they say, “In the absence of approved drug therapy, lifestyle interventions are key in the clinical management of NAFLD across the disease spectrum.” So specific things that people can do. Working to achieve a 5% or more weight reduction, which will improve generally their insulin resistance as well, and fatty liver. Mediterranean type diets have been studied and significant reductions in fructose and glucose intake and processed foods is critical. Reducing alcohol intake of course is important since that can compound fatty liver.


We want to increase physical activity to at least 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week and add in resistance training. And then additionally, we want to avoid bad fats like omega-6 fats and trans fats because both those can promote insulin resistance and that fat cell hypertrophy that can lead to the fatty acid leakage that can contribute to fatty liver. So to conclude, basically NAFLD can be thought of as one of these organ specific manifestations of underlying metabolic dysfunction and insulin resistance. It’s one of the branches that stems off the tree of metabolic disease. It’s becoming widely pervasive in adults and it’s now showing up in kids. And while there are genetic elements to this, this is primarily a lifestyle-driven disease and we really need to fundamentally clean up our diets and our lifestyles if we’re going to get on top of this. So if you have any further questions, ping me and let me know. And thanks for being here for our second metabolic pearl.

Josh Clemente (33:03):

Amazing. Love this. Thank you Casey. Okay, we’ll probably get close to getting through everybody. I’m going to work backwards on the list, the opposite of what we did last week and I will start with bottom of my list. If you’re interested, you can click the participant’s button and you’ll see the list that I’m going to work from. Mercy, you’re first. Looks like Mercy’s audio is not plugged in. Zach, you are first.

Zac Henderson (33:42):

Hey, sorry guys. Lots to be excited this week. Kind of like last week. Really excited that our manufacturer stuff is truly moving forward. Can’t wait for liftoff. On the personal front, my mom is in town, so we’re just going to enjoy a nice long weekend with the family at home.

Josh Clemente (34:02):

Awesome. Enjoy. Tony.

Tony Millo (34:07):

Yeah, on the level side, just really excited for all the team growth. Personal side, I’ll be leaving for Cancun in a few days, so really excited about that too.

Josh Clemente (34:19):

Enjoy. Tom.

Tom Griffin (34:25):

Yeah, I think at the highest level I’m just extremely excited for liftoff. I think the next six months are going to be really interesting and I just can’t wait for Levels to interact more directly with the market and we’re just going to learn a ton in terms of growth and finding product market fit, so just getting really excited for that. And then personally, just a lot going on. Was in Mexico for a couple of weeks, got back last week. Now I’m up in Cape Cod, have a bunch of friends visiting here, so summer’s been great.

Josh Clemente (34:58):

Love to hear it. Sunny,

Sunny Negless (35:01):

It’s me already. Honestly, the thing, has a smile on my face at the moment is I was multitasking a little bit and I was finishing up with some tickets and I just got a message from someone who had been on the phone for over 30 minutes and he said, “I saw your email and it fixed everything and it just made my day.” So that’s the kind of work, it’s not a pat in the back for me, but rather this is what we do every day at support. So kudos to the whole team for being a part of that. And let’s see, personally, we got Memorial Day on the deck, so we’re actually going to get out and it’s starting to be warm enough. There’s still some snow on the top of the mountains so you get nice and cool a little. It’s a nice finisher when you get to the top to be chilled and cool out before you have to get back into the sun. So we’re going to hit up some of my favorite trails this weekend.

Josh Clemente (35:44):

Amazing. Enjoy it. Stacie.

Stacie Flinner (35:49):

On the personal front, we are just going to enjoy a beautiful Memorial Day weekend at home and then head to Nantucket to work with one of my favorite hotels.

Josh Clemente (36:01):


Scott Klein (36:05):

Oh man. Hey everybody. I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a hole with liftoff, but I’m excited it’s coming. It’s coming soon. I am hopefully going to catch up on some sleep this weekend and that’s pretty much it. Just heads down for now.

Josh Clemente (36:22):

Nice. Enjoy it. Rob.

Robert Lustig (36:26):

So excited about liftoff. Can’t wait to see the data that comes from it. For those of you who are in Seattle, we’ll be there June eight to 11 for a metabolic health symposium and I think Taylor should come because it’s going to be very relevant. Protect the liver, feed the gut, support the brain. And on a personal note, my daughter came home from Toronto with the boyfriend, so we got to meet him and he lived to tell the tale and I’m not in jail so all is good.

Josh Clemente (37:04):

We’ve been waiting for seven days with bated breath. Good to hear. Haney.

Mike Haney (37:13):

On the Levels side, I just want to say it’s nice to work for a company that is ethical and tries to be. There was some chatter and thread this week about some other companies in the world that are not operating as well. And I’ve also had a chance to work some with Zach lately to make sure that all the copy we produce is on the up and up and adhering to the guidelines that we need to follow. It’s just nice to work for a place that really cares about that at all levels. On the personal side, we’re headed up to LA this weekend. It’s our anniversary, so whole family’s going up there to have some fun.

Josh Clemente (37:44):

Nice, enjoy. Mike Di.

Mike Di Donato (37:51):

Yeah, so definitely liftoff. And then kind of similar to what Haney said, I’m going to plug company culture transparency. Sam and I sat down and talked about it and that macroeconomic environment memo, it really reminded me of a memo that Sam once wrote in the beginning of 2020 about COVID and just being really honest and straightforward. It’s just really refreshing and most companies don’t operate this way. So really grateful there. Personally, Memorial Day weekend down at the beach working, I love being by the water. And then every Memorial Day I am excited because I do a workout called the Murph, so do that on Monday and that’s it.

Josh Clemente (38:38):

I’ll be there with you. Maybe we should do a Murph challenge thread.

Mike Di Donato (38:41):


Josh Clemente (38:43):


Maziar Brumand (38:46):

Hey guys. On the work front I think liftoff by far. So exciting to see that come to life and see hopefully the great growth and feedback from our customers. On another front, just working with the team, Alan, Taylor, Lauren, Brad, and David on the Now 2.0 and what’s coming for the product. It’s been really fun, really exciting, just looking forward to combining the science and the design and behavior change and all it together so we can make it awesome product that can help people. So that’s been super fun. On the personal front, going to spend time with my brother. I haven’t seen him in a few weeks so it should be good. He’ll see the kids and getting to spoil them. That’s it. Thanks guys.

Josh Clemente (39:26):

Love it. Matt?

Matt Flanagan (39:30):

Yeah, Levels wise, going to the Brooklyn site this week and hanging with Jesse, Jeremy and Chris there was awesome. That’s definitely seeing Levels boxed up as the highlight of the week. Personal front, I have a few people stopping by this Memorial Day weekend. Excited to enjoy some of the beach weather too.

Josh Clemente (39:53):

Great. Lauren.

Lauren Kelley-Chew (39:56):

Let’s see, professionally, I just did a whole new Levels episode with a guy who just graduated from medical school, also living with Type 1 diabetes. And he was so passionate about what we’re doing and really advocating for changing the conversation around metabolic health in the clinics. So I thought it was really inspiring to see someone with such an empathetic and holistic view of medicine and really being influenced by the work we’re doing. So that was very inspiring and cool to see. And personally just long, relaxing weekend. Looking forward to not doing too much.

Josh Clemente (40:30):

Nice. Yeah, I can’t wait to hear that episode with the last… I think he reached out initially way back maybe even two years ago or something. Was just always super supportive, which was very reassuring.

Lauren Kelley-Chew (40:41):

Yeah, in fact I think he said he slipped into your DMs, Josh, and then he was really happy to get a response.

Josh Clemente (40:47):

Those are the early days. Everyone got a response back then. Now I’m way behind. Sorry to everyone. I’ll try. Jenn.

Jenn Palandro (40:55):

Yeah, team growth is super exciting. Welcome Hui. And the NYC meetup was easily the highlight of my entire very short Levels career thus far. It was so great to meeting so many people in-person. And this weekend personally I’m just excited to garden and plant flowers from my husband’s mom, so that’ll be really nice.

Josh Clemente (41:15):

Really nice. Ian.

Ian Schumann (41:19):

On the work front, like many people, I’m real psyched about liftoff in particular on the engineering side. It’s been a very tricky project. Well not just on the engineering side, it’s been really tricky overall for everyone involved and it’s just really exciting to see months of work come together and be able to get out in the world and see the results of those in the next few weeks. On the personal front, I got together with Zack for breakfast a couple of days ago on a weekday, a little greasy spoon diner, discovered some shared love of waffles and bacon and civic discourse and we’ll be repeating that soon.

Josh Clemente (42:00):

Thanks sir. It didn’t happen. Where are we? Hui.

Hui Lu (42:06):

Yeah, I guess again, super excited to be here, getting to know everyone. Learning all the new stuff, getting feed by all the knowledge. Like everyone else said, drinking from the fire hose. On personal front, excited for the long weekend. Probably going to try out a new bakery and going to finish the chapter. I was writing before I joined and dropped off because of the new job.

Josh Clemente (42:40):

Awesome. Good luck with the writing, although I’m sure you don’t need it. Hao.

Hao Li (42:44):

Personal front, we got a Highlander last year after trip and we are planning to do some other short road trip this summer, so we are going to test sleeping in the car over the weekend just to find the beach and stay there.

Josh Clemente (43:01):

Amazing, enjoy. Dan.

Dan Summers (43:07):

Yeah, I’m excited to get back down to Austin next week. Personally it’s my birthday this weekend so I’m going to be just relaxing and trying to enjoy it. Another year around the sun.

Josh Clemente (43:21):

Happy birthday in advance. Enjoy it. Cissy.

Cissy Hu (43:26):

Hey everyone, I think from the Levels front really excited about liftoff and all the growth ahead. I did my first thank week last week and really enjoyed it and happy to have our community strategy memo out in the wild. So appreciate all the feedback on the memo so far. And I’m going to push the memo to our general forum soon with a couple updates. So if anyone has feedback, I’m all yours. And after this call, I’m hosting our first onboarding party. We’ll do a little debrief on how it goes and share the recording. Personally, I did my first 60-mile ride last weekend on one of the busiest roads in Yosemite. It’s closed to cars once a year and we found out on Friday, it was closed over the weekend and hustled up to Yosemite. I’ve never done anything beyond 25 miles and it was multiple mountains of climbing, so I’m going to chill for the weekend. But it was epic and I’m really glad I did it. Hd my concerns, but it was very worth it.

Josh Clemente (44:25):

That’s pretty wild. Congrats on finishing. That’s huge. One of my favorite places in the world too. Chris.

Chris Jones (44:34):

On the Levels front, definitely the New York visit for multiple reasons. The Sam’s dinner, the meetup with different teams and also the Truepill visit. I have to apologize for everyone at Sam’s dinner that I ruined the game because I can’t follow instructions. And then on the personal side, also the New York visit. It was gorgeous weather. I made sure to take a little bit of an afternoon off here and there to walk all over the city and was averaging I think 30,000 steps per day. But I also had probably some of the worst metabolic scores I’ve ever had in terms of all the bagels, all the pizza. So I think I gained five pounds on the trip, so glad to be back home.

Josh Clemente (45:21):

It’s okay. That’s what they’re there for. Bagels are to be eaten. Casey.

Casey Means (45:26):

Ooh, I had a podcast episode with Dave this week on un-schooling, which I was just geeking out on and I’m so excited for that to come out. Dave is incredible and so philosophical and articulate and I’m really excited about that episode. And then Cissy’s community memo was incredible. I just love the deep thought and empathy towards our members that goes into that and so excited to see what comes. And then I think the last thing, I was just struck this week on one day a couple crazy things happened that I was just like, “I can’t believe this is the Level’s ecosystem right now. You’re emailing with the former US surgeon General who is super aligned and wants to help and do content with us.” Good Morning America called my cell phone and wanted to know all about Levels. They already did a segment and they wanted to rerun it and wanted to know if we’d launched yet. It’s just like totally Levels is on their radar.


Then we reached out to a few big authors to come on a whole new level and everyone’s saying yes because our distribution is really big now and it’s just like, “This is crazy.” So I think moments like that where it’s Levels is in the big leagues. This is incredible. So just taking a moment to let that sink in and how different it feels from a few years ago.

Josh Clemente (46:39):

100%. It’s amazing. Ben.

Ben Grynol (46:43):

Yes, love it. Levels is in the big leagues. That is the saying. Super stoked on liftoff. It’s just surreal that we’re leading up to this because it’s been such a long time coming. So that was great. Sean’s update was great. Love seeing that process underway. And then on the personal front, we started our soccer season last week and so we play every Thursday and it’s been really fun to be playing again and be outside and be in somewhat of a normal environment again. So that is it on the personal front.

Josh Clemente (47:16):

Nice. All right. It’s me. Excited about everything. There’s so much good stuff. The realtime API is obviously, I mean, that’s been a pipeline dream for literally five years, probably three years of active software development to get to this point. It’s incredible. I haven’t been able to use it yet because my transmitter’s dead, but it’s coming soon and I’m reading about it and hearing Miz say it’s like using Levels for the first time. That was an emotional moment. The IRL meetup with our members. Amazing. I was so struck by that. It’s a small group, but this is the start of something big. Liftoff coming soon and just being on track. A couple of the new memos are just fantastic. I want to highlight Zach, like the two memos he wrote recently, which are in draft, they’re legal. They’re deep into the regulatory and the legal side of our business, but they’re so approachable, so tactical, just amazing work. It’s hard to write something like that so concisely.


Lastly, I just want to highlight, similar to what Casey was saying, this week I had a call with the UCSD team that produced a really cool little sensor that measures two molecules simultaneously. You might have seen the paper, we had some chat about it on threads, reached out to them on LinkedIn, they responded immediately. I’ve been having a 100% success rate with reaching out to people called on LinkedIn lately, which was not the case two years ago. But I talked to this team and they said after we published that and announced that we were starting the company, we got reached out to. The outreach was over 1,000 people and they said the only call we’ve taken since that was published is this one because we are not going to say no to talking to Levels. That’s the sort of thing that’s happening that is just really interesting and amazing. Anyway, 12:01 I overshot our time, sorry about that. Everybody have an awesome Memorial Day weekend. Thanks for all the crazy good work and cannot wait to ramp into liftoff when we get back. See you.