All right, team. Welcome to Friday Forum, October 1st, 2021, the first day of the last quarter of 2021, final push into the end of the year. So strong performance so far, three quarters in and really hard push for the last one. So let’s make it count. Every week seems to be a big week. This week is no less of a week than all of them. So starting things off, Casey was showcased alongside other thought leaders in the world at the code conference. It was really amazing to see what happened from a UGC perspective. So on Instagram and Twitter, people started taking these insights that Casey was sharing around metabolic health and what Levels is doing to be a part of that, how there is a major epidemic in the world. And it really felt like the movement where people were spreading the awareness of what we’re working on.
So props to Casey for that. She also had, top right corner, you can see she had a moment to really geek out with one of her longtime heroes, Sam Harris, so that was pretty cool. The podcast continues to scale up with listeners and traction. So Casey and Sarah’s episode is the first to reach a thousand plus listens and it did it in less than a week, which is incredible. So if you look at the graph in the middle of the slide, a whole new level, you can see there is some major exponential growth going on there, which is pretty cool. We’ll continue to see that as we have more people like Rob and Sarah and all these thought leaders on and put out more content week over week. The ops team continues to crush it and really come through with world class member support. 90% of the emails we responded to in less than an hour, which was a new record this week.
So hat tip to the entire ops team. As well the ops team is starting to work with the text analytics vendor thematic to get deeper analysis for gleaning insights from inbound emails. So Chris is leading that initiative and it’s going to be really cool to see what type of insights and data we can really mine from that. Partner content is contributing to the movement. So organic IG posts from Ben Greenfield and Kelly Leveck. Ben was just applying a sensor and Kelly was sharing a clip from the podcast that we did with her last week. Sorry it dropped this week. But between the two of them, they each shared these videos and they got over 70,000 views or impressions, which was incredible to see. New partners, affiliates and VIPs joined this week. Few notable ones, Dr. James DiNicolantonio, who’s the author of the Salt Fix.
Mark has Brown Lee who is one of the biggest creators and YouTubers in the world. He’s got over 2.7 billion views on his channel, 14.8 million subs, which is incredible. And then Dr. Phil Golia, who is a celebrity nutritionist, most notably worked on the actors in the Marvel movie and works with the Kardashians. Lastly, exploration in the B2B sports category continues to be strong. The Chicago Cubs dietician is all in on Levels and trying to spread the love throughout the organization. And then there are ongoing conversations with the Equinox and Cross Fit head offices. So very cool. Other notable highlights. So Casey had a couple podcasts drop this week. Everyday Wellness, What The Funk, which is a comedy podcast, also recorded for the Genius Life, which is a tier one show. And then David recorded for Product Love, which was very cool. We’ve got bottom right corner, you can see Rodney representing that is YouTube thumbnail.
So we’re trying out an experiment to use different thumbnails on YouTube to really show, I guess, put a better brand foot forward as far as the content that we put out. So it’s a bit of an experiment and we’re going to see how videos perform benchmarked against ones that don’t have any thumbnails. Growth strategy doc that was updated this week. A bit more along the vision and the things that we’ve been talking about it as a company. A debrief for the military pilot that was done. And let’s see the last thing on here. So very cool, Sam will be very happy to hear this. This content piece right here, UGC, is somebody who you can’t see what it says, but they said Levels shows you the way food affects your health. So the mission is spreading and the week over week tie-in is very cool.
So that is it. Highlights for the week and onto our special guest. So this week we have Rahul. Rahul Vohra, whom everybody is familiar with. We’re all very avid users of Superhuman. Rahul, a bit of background, founded Reportive which exited to LinkedIn prior to Superhuman. He’s also an investor in Todd and Raul’s Angel Fund. So he has a fund with Todd Goldberg and they invest in seed stage companies and a few series A rounds. He also studied Compsci at the University of Cambridge and, just like many of the Levels team members, is a huge car nut. So turn it over to Rahul. It would be very cool to hear about thoughts on velocity, product market fit and just the way that the superhuman team undertakes some of the development to really create a product based on flow state. So hand it over to Rahul.
Rahul Vohra (00:05:23):
Fantastic. Thank you so much. Can folks hear me?
Rahul Vohra (00:05:29):
Wonderful. Okay, so that is a lot to cover in five minutes. I’m going to do my best in a whistle stop tour. So first, some reflections on products market fits. And actually let me just put a resource here. Oh, wonderful. I love people loving Superhuman in the chat. So I’m just going to put a resource here in the chats in case you have not yet seen it. This is the superhuman product market fit engine, probably outside of my companies and my fund, the thing I’m best known for, and this really is a result of an obsession I’ve had with figuring out what products market fits is and how do you drive it. It turns out that products market fits is the number one reason why startups succeed and the lack of products market fits is the number one reason why startups have failed and there’s a lot more nuance beyond that.
Rahul Vohra (00:06:20):
But the question I became obsessed with was, can you define it more concretely than that? Can you measure it? Because if you can measure it, and obviously your company is an embodiment of this idea, if you can measure something, you can optimize something. And it turns out that you can measure products market fits and you can optimize it. And that is the topic of the engine. Some reflections after running it for a lot of years now, it’s Superhuman and with many of the portfolio companies I’ve invested in, is that there’s no silver bullet. I think I said this in that article, I’ve said this in every talk I’ve given on the topic, but maybe some people walk away from that with the idea that, “Cool. All you have to do is implement this survey, ask the users what they want, do all the segmentation. And if you haven’t read the article, it’s quite involved but it makes a ton of sense. I’d highly recommend you go and read it and then we’re done.”
Rahul Vohra (00:07:13):
But actually nothing could be further from the truth. When you do the products market fit engine, it really is designed to be something that you keep on running over a long period of time. If it’s works, and it will work, you’ll start growing rapidly in a segment, but then what will happen is you’ll want to grow even faster. And so you’ll start moving to adjacent segments or maybe less intentful audiences. Their metrics, their scores, the products market fit score may well come in lower. I think Andrew Chen calls this the law of shitty metrics or rather it’s another lens on the same law, but that’s okay. What we’re here to do is to constantly bring that metric back up. And so what we did at Superhuman, if you’re familiar with the article, is we started with a really low products market fit score.
Rahul Vohra (00:08:00):
I think it was maybe 20, 22% at the time when we came up with this methodology. Systematically increased it up to the high sixties and since then it has oscillated between about 50 and 60. Perfectly reasonable, perfectly normal. The reason it will come down is because you are becoming successful and you are encountering new types of people and it’s our job to keep on pushing it back up. So that’s some quick thoughts on products market fits. I’m happy to spend more time with anyone who is working closely on the endeavor. It’s a passion area of mine, it’s something I care a lot about. The other things I think I was asked to touch upon our product developments and velocity. So quickly on product developments. Broadly speaking, I see two types of team. Number one, there’s the type of team that leans very heavily into vision.
Rahul Vohra (00:08:55):
And number two, there’s the type of team that leans very heavily into feedback. Let’s address all the customer feedback they’re getting. If you are too far in either extreme, I do believe that you won’t be a successful startup. The teams that lean to heavily into vision will never increase the percentage of the population or the large number of people that would be very disappointed without their products, people who really love their products. And that’s a conclusion which is fairly obvious if you work the products market fit engine all the way through. On the other hand, the teams that solely systematically address objections that people have to using the product, they’ll eventually be overtaken by competitors because somebody else will take the thing that they do that’s magical, the thing that no one was asking for, in the case of Superhuman that’s speed, no one was asking for fast, but someone could take that thing and do it even better.
Rahul Vohra (00:09:53):
So what’s incumbents, I think, upon anyone who is doing products or developments or running a startup, is to find the right balance between leaning into vision and systematically addressing adoption. And the way that we do this Superhuman is of course we use the products market fits engine, but we go into each quarter and more recently, as our planning cycles have got longer into each year, saying, “Okay, we’re going to spend roughly half our time doubling down on what people love. For us that’s going to be like a speed and keyboard shortcuts and aesthetics and half our time systematically addressing objections.” And that’s where a standard voice of the customer product management, customer success program can fit in. But if you just do one or the other, it’s not likely to go well. So that’s my thoughts on product development. And then lastly on velocity. It can be tempting as a company is doing well, which you all are, to start to do lots of things.
Rahul Vohra (00:10:50):
This is usually a mistake. It is almost always better to do fewer things, but to focus on them and to do them to the best of your abilities because startups are really a game of dominoes. And the strategy of a startup is to figure out how to sequence the dominoes, which one to tip over first and how they keep on knocking over larger and larger dominoes. And there’s a domino video that went viral, I don’t know, 10, 15 years ago that ends up showing, you can start with just the tiniest little of dominoes, maybe it doesn’t weigh more than 10 grams, but can ultimately end up knocking over slabs of stone that probably weigh a ton or more. And that’s what you’re looking for. You’re looking for that momentum.
Rahul Vohra (00:11:31):
And the key to unlocking it is to picking your battles, doing as few things as you can get away with, doing those things at a world-class level. So those are my thoughts on products market fits, on product developments and velocity. I’m happy to hang around if you want answer any questions. Also happy to work more closely with anyone who wants to go deeper on any of these topics.
Very cool. Well, we really, really appreciate all the insight. I know the first round article has been circulated amongst the team many times, so we refer to it often. If anyone hasn’t had a chance to listen to our good friends over at Acquired, there are a couple episodes that they did with Raul that are very cool where he goes deeper into everything around product dev and fundraising. And it’s very cool to hear your thoughts and hear your thought process. So appreciate you being here and being such a supporter of what we’re doing.
Rahul Vohra (00:12:23):
You’re welcome to stick around. You don’t have to feel like you have to stay, but if you want to… Yeah.
Rahul Vohra (00:12:30):
Okay, well what I’ll do is I’ll just put my email and my Twitter DMs, which are open, in the chat. Anyone feel free to get in touch. I wish you the best of luck. I’m happy to come back and help at any point. Keep on rocking.
Perfect. Thanks Rahul. Appreciate it.
Rahul Vohra (00:12:45):
All right. Company priorities as of October 2021. So nothing has changed here as far as what we’re focused on. To reiterate membership model, so migrating subscriptions and product, the guided journey, which is a holistic effort amongst the team. Scott is digging in deep on that and leading the initiative. Social experiments. So everything that Alan and Kanal and the team is working on pertaining to, getting deeper on social within the product. And then other initiatives supporting 10 K members is an engine ops infra area that we’re digging into. Table stakes design, table stakes data privacy, supplemental testing and the nutritionist marketplace. So very good work there. Culture kudos. So three notable ones. Big congratulations to Josh and Kate. Today is their wedding day and we truly hope that Josh does not see this video if he is living the cultural values of Levels. We hope he doesn’t see it until mid-October when he is back, but we’ll be thinking about the two of you and big, big congratulations on that.
Hough is on his cross country road trip and last weekend Hough, Justin, Sam and I all had a chance to meet up, which was very cool. And so he ended up stopping in Toronto and who else to meet up with than Campbell Barron himself. So it’s cool to see how this Levels IRL meet up in this ecosystem is coming together. From an ownership standpoint, so hat tip to Braden. We’re starting to outsource some of the transactional work that we do to the Athena team. So using EAs where we can and Braden proactively found something that was transactional that he had in his area of responsibility and outsourced and then close the loop with the team.
Not only did he do that and really take ownership of it, but he proactively said, “Hey, here are some other things that I know there is overlap between what I’m working on and you’re working on. Happy to take those on.” So it’s just anytime we can help each other out as a team, use sociality, anytime we can do that, it really makes a difference. So, Braden, we always appreciate your willingness to go that extra mile. Onto Product and Eng.
On membership. Shinu took over engineering to wrap up phase one, which is getting very, very close. What that’s going to look like when it goes live, hopefully sometime next week, is very similar to our checkout flow that we have now. There’ll be an extra page that talks about membership as a separate thing that you buy and then the following page will be similar to our subscription page that we have now. So people who are signing up for the first time will be able to get on a subscription path right away and have sensors sent like every month, every other month, et cetera.
This is very exciting and we’ll hopefully see something next week. The images on the right side are just a conceptual sketch from Alan, but every slide is better with an Alan design on it. So I put that on there. And then finally on blood work. One last slide please, Ben? We’re moving forward. Murillo has hit the ground running on the engineering side. There’s been great… We had a meeting with them earlier this week to talk about that integration and it moves forward. We should hopefully have a phase two out in the next couple of weeks, which will be terrific. And that is all for me. Thank you guys.
That’s great. Thanks Jim. And plus one, anytime there is Allen influence on a slide or some type of image, it always ups the game, so that’s awesome to see. Onto John.
Yes, tagging V one, great progress this week. We work on defining the way we want to store structured data into our database. So we added a new column in the database and changed all the APIs to score that. On the mobile front, as you can see in the animation on the right, we created a custom flex input that allows us to have a different treatment when an attack is found. Behind the scenes, the same structure that we define in the backend is populated on the fly while the use… Where the user typing. There are some limitations with the text input regarding the styles we can apply to the text when a tag is found. So for now we are displaying them in similar to the Twitter hashtags that is just using a different color. I will coordinate with online to make this look better. And finally for the next week we will try to display hard credit suggestions in the app, so that is it.
Very cool. Thank you, John. And thank you team. It’s going to be very cool to see this come to life. Onto scoring. So Murillo is out this week, but we’ve got a video here.
So for additive scoring, have a quick update this week. Mostly just the changes based on your feedback have been first out. Most notably we’re back now from a zero to 100 score. And yeah, thanks for everyone who tried this out. And yeah, thanks to David who helped uncover really gnarly [inaudible 00:18:23], just lowering everyone’s scores. That has also been fixed. The PR is out. So yeah, so we’re about ready to start pushing this out to members and getting their feedback. That’s it for edit scoring this week. Thank you.
There we go. We should be good. Perfect. That’s the last video. Think Kanal is next with social.
Yep, not too many updates on social. We’ve been mostly building and we’ve got comments coming in soon and that’s really the crux of a lot of social activity on the app, actually having members interfacing with other members on the app. So it’s something we’re really looking forward to. So we can expect that next week. And besides that, we’ve been collecting a bunch of feedback and talking to some of the members who’ve been using the new community glucose view and some have liked it so much they’ve actually asked that some other members that they know, that are using the app, also be added. So that was exciting to see. Beyond that check out more ad Levels not linked at slash social. And that’s all for me. Thanks.
Perfect. Thanks, Kanal. Onto Tom with nutritionist Marketplace, which is very close.
Yes, this is on track to be released to a couple 100 members by the end of next week, which is very exciting. So notably this week Gabriel did a ton of work. Deployed, tested back end changes and then also several app builds internally. So it’s really fun to get in there and actually interact with it and see what it looks like, which you can see in that video there on the right. And then a lot of just testing and feedback from David, Allen and I. So next week changing some copy and editing some profiles and it’s more testing and then we’ll release, likely, in the back hack of the week. That’s it.
Awesome. We’re so close on this one and it’s been cool to see it come together on time and it’s being shipped very quick, so great work team on all the work going into it. Next slide. Steph on table stakes design.
Yeah, so Justin is technically the responsible owner for this, but he’s been out this week so I get to steal his thunder a bit. So this week, what the main things I worked on were iconography, color system and cart. And so for iconography we’ve removed all the P and G files and now relying solely on the material icons library for both the V2 charts and all the icons on the zones list. And so now you like the exercise one and then the food one and then the notes and then anomaly as well.
Color system is now up to date with surface colors, type colors for text and scoring colors. Card styling got a ton more consistent this week. And so along with the icons, just updated padding and margins and the zone badges are now in the upper right hand corner and smaller. And with the zone badges, I worked with Allen this week as well to implement some new logic around… That strenuous exercise icon is gone from the exercise icon itself and instead we’re rendering the pink heart icon for multi-activity zones that do have strenuous exercise and then white heart icons for exercise only zones.
And so it’s just a little bit more clear and we give a little bit more context to the user for why they might not receive a score for a certain zone. And then the most exciting part has just been code cleanup in the sense of we got to purge thousands of lines of code this week around removing all the V1 legacy charts for data charts that are no longer in use and also just moving towards reusing a lot of components between the screens and so specifically for zones relying on reusable components and then we’re not just doing one off implementations and that’ll ensure correct views as well as correct behavior with opacity and highlights and whatnot. Shout out to Alan for all the dialogue this week and all the great specifications. Next week I’m going to continue to work on card updates and then jump into models and buttons. And to learn more you can go to the table stakes design link and that’s it.
Awesome, this is coming along nicely. It’s great to hear even things like purging a lot of the lines that are no longer necessary so it’s not just sitting there and bloating our minds with cognitive loads. So very cool team. Onto Scott. Clear eyes, full heart guided journey.
Hit this slide buddy. All right, clear eyes, full heart. This is going to be a clear eyes week. We’re kind of od toggling back and forth. I didn’t make much progress this week candidly, so I’m not going to bore you with just filler content, but go to the next slide. One of the things I did want to say was that we got some really good clarity this week around this tool called Post hog. So we, here at two four, had only had access to kind of things in the database. So if you took an action in the app, for example, a food log, that would be represented as one little row in the database. And so we could do a little bit of analytics around how many unique users were creating food logs, et cetera. But what we didn’t have access to was things like, who’s even visiting the catalog or who’s maybe looking at a challenge, the details screen of a challenge.
These are things that don’t create side effects, they don’t create a data trail inside of our database. And so we previously did not have access to this. But this week I felt like we got really good clarity on, I guess, what I would call a default posture for how we’re going to use post hog. So this is not going to be our end all, be-all business intelligence tool, but what we did get some clarity on is, “Hey, we want to make sure that we have a really good insight into how our customers are using our app.” We are a company that deals a lot with data and insights into how your body is functioning on the internal side. So I think we’re bringing a similar level of granularity and detail to understand how our customers are using while still being able to respect things like their privacy, still letting them be able to opt out.
And on the data side, still caring about things like personal health information and personally identifiable information, not ever getting into post ho. So we’re going to have really, really good granular detail on a large anonymous set of data and from product land that’s fantastic because that means we just get to make better decisions. I’ll give you one example. Another sort of thing we stumbled upon from Helena. We found out that around 45% of our users had submitted a food log but had never put any text in that food log. So as we think about new things like tagging coming on board, these are good data points for us to have because it just shows that we need to go a little bit further to indicate what is the value of even putting stuff inside of a food log. Why would you even put the ingredients or the text?
And so if we’re not illuminating that sort of thing and it’s just sort of magically happening with auto tagging in the backend, people might not actually discover that. So these data points are good to have access to. So that’s just one example from this week of stuff that we’re hopefully going to have easier access to by virtual post hog. So that’s it for me.
Great to hear. And now Helena is going to take a deep dive into data.
Very sorry if I stole one of your data points there.
No, no it’s good. I’m glad that you brought that up. Yeah, so for the first data science update, I’m going to dive right in. So I think an important question to ask when we think about our mission and our goals as a company is, “Okay, who are our members and what are they hoping to gain from using Levels?” So if you see this sort of map at the US, this map is kind of misleading and I debated putting it in here, but I think, as we ramp up data science and statistics, it’s important to be mindful of how we present information and how we pull data in general and how we measure up to other wearable companies with this. So from this graph, it looks like a lot of our members come from California or New York, but actually 63% of our total members are not from either of those states, which is pretty cool because we might expect the exact opposite.
We might expect all of our members to basically come from California, which they don’t. So then we of look at, okay, the bottom graph is average aid within each primary interest that the user put on their consult form coded by sex. So from a research perspective this is quite interesting because the average age for women is higher in pretty much all of these categories with improved sleep having the largest disparity between men and women, it seems that the average age of men who want to improve sleep is noticeably younger than the average age of women. And I wonder why that is and what lifestyle wise might make this so. So I see a ton of potential content and research around demographic characteristics and if anything this is proof that maybe we should start collecting just a little bit more information about our members and who they are so that we can start to cater the experience a little bit more intentionally.
And then if we look at age of our members in general, I thought this was very interesting. So the overall age of our members, the average age is 43. We are 53% women. That’s data coming from January of this year to September 1st of this year. And I thought this graph was pretty interesting too because there’s a higher density of men in the age 30 to 40 range than women. So the average age of men, which is 41, is lower than that of women, that’s 45. And another thing I think is really cool is that we actually have a 90 year old man and an 83 year old woman actively using Levels. And so I think that we should start to really think about what is our target age range. We’re all about education, so I wonder how are we doing on targeting a younger audience?
Should we start to have some conversations about how we’re doing within certain groups of people? For example, I wonder if we should reach out to one of our oldest members and see, get a feel for why they chose to join Levels and reach out to our youngest members. I’m hypothesizing that we don’t have as many young people because price, but maybe there’s something almost intimidating even about the way our patch looks or the way our app looks or the functionality of the app that is also influencing things like age and you can go to the next slide.
So then after understanding, “Okay, who are our users? What do they want to gain from this experience? we can take a look at how we’re doing. So just to reiterate on what a lot of us already know, we’ve been adding around a thousand members per month so far this year. So that’s from January to about September 1st, 21.9% of members have not applied or connected their first sensor. So it looks like we’re losing around 20% of people after just sensor delivered. They get their sensor and then 20% of people every month are just not putting it on. So that sort of begs the question, “Okay, how long do our members wait after they received their first sensor to put it on?” And they wait an average of 20 days. However, in May you could see from the purple graph on the right there, our new members waited an average of 41 days to put on their first sensor from the day they received it to the day they put it on.
I don’t know what happened in May, but we did see a larger influx of members in that month. So it would be useful to track the answer to questions like, why did we get this influx? Who are our members? What brought them here? And then how are we doing, et cetera. The next step from there, and I’ve started to do this but I don’t want to take up too much time, is tracking member engagement in the app. As far as logging is concerned, we’re doing pretty good. 96% of our members with glucose data have either logged a food note or taken a photo of food. That doesn’t necessarily mean they’ve done this consistently every day. I need to run those members and see how we’re doing there. But I’m curious to see how things like the tagging project will influence the consistency of note logging and hopefully that will be a part of the next update. So thanks and that’s it for this week.
That’s awesome. Thanks Helena. Very cool to see all the data finally start to be visualized where, instead of having anecdotes about members’ age or gender demographic, we can actually see the differences. So thank you for all the work there. Alan with design.
Hey, everybody. Cool. So let’s actually… Let’s jump to the next slide and first of all, thank you so much, Helena. That was really interesting. A 93 year old, I’m really impressed. So this week there was four primary focus areas. There was a small jam that I did just on observability and the future of the dashboard as real time comes to be. It was a small thing turned into a slightly monetized effort. A lot of work on onboarding, getting the day review in good shape so that we can actually get to start building it. And then of course some triage for design related to the dashboard. So next slide, please. So yes, the dashboard launched last week with a view intended primarily for a full 24 hour day review. And so it was missing some aspects of the dashboard that we wanted and that’s okay, it’s a good intermediate state, want to ship quickly.
But of course it did raise a bunch of issues with relating to how logs relate to the line, some accessibility issues related to that little gradient, what do we do with pending data? And so I spent a fair bit of time looking at that and figuring out how we can get an experience that more closely maps to what users are expecting on that line. So things like dealing with pending data, line treatments for logs, we all like the dots on the line that were removed for the 24 hour view. We were intending to have a time selector but perhaps we bring it back. I think what we need to do is try to way to balance that sort of accessibility but also seeing the correlation of data there with respect to logs. And then adding logs directly on the line. That’s a big hit. Intended to get to that.
And so this sort of forced that question a little bit earlier. Next slide. The day review. So yeah, we’re in pretty good shape to, I think, move. I differ to Scott on this, but I think getting pretty close to getting to a place where we can start actually building the day review. And one of the key parts of that is getting better data. And so within the day review there’s going to be this opportunity to, before we reveal your metabolic score and our suggestions for the day, giving you a chance to sort of recap yesterday, did you miss any logs? We’ll allow you to scrub on the line, add a missing log and then we’ll reveal your score and give you some suggestions for the day.
Next slide. Onboarding. So right now onboarding is… Hasn’t been touched in a while and there’s also going to be this future state where perhaps the medical consult, all these disparate experiences that are required to get you purchasing Levels or getting you into the experience, perhaps that happens all within the app. So we start looking at onboarding. There’s a lot of overlap here with the guided journey as sort of Scott handling. I’ve noted we need to know a little bit more about you. So just some basic biometrics, how much do you weigh, how tall are you, evolving, how we ask about gender. Right now it’s a binary, we want to be able to create space for alternatives there. And then bringing things like the medical consult in. So hopefully the app in the future will be sort of your one stop shop for getting started with Levels.
Next slide. And then the prettier slide. I love gradients. So looking a little bit about how we might potentially, in the future, evolve the dashboard. And this is just experimentation, but I think what we’re talking about here is finding a way to almost have a heads up display for your data. And so in the world where it’s not just glucose, potentially it’s multi ana lay and we’ve got ketones and cortisol and potentially other signals, how can we be more relevant to you in the moment while also supporting that trace need so you can see change over time and so on.
So here we’ve got a couple different treatments for more of a widget type model. You’ve got the score there, you’ve got some suggestions, your food logs. A user can customize it and drag it around and change it to what’s most relevant for them. And the third one, we’ve got an example of maybe we see your spiking and we give you a task like a 15 minute walk. So they’ve got eight minutes left till they’re done their walk to prevent that spike. Or perhaps we’re tracking things like fasting. So on the far right here, perhaps we’re integrated with another app or we have our own fasting experience and that person’s got key tones at the top and they’ve got sort of a fasting timer for themselves. They’re doing a 24 hour fast. So this is the kind of stuff that we’re starting to look at a little bit more closely. And that’s it for design this week.
That’s great. Thanks Alan. Very cool vision based work with all of these images that you’re putting together and concepts and then everything you’re doing around the guided journey. So it’s cool to see that come together. Onto hiring updates. So handed over to Scott if you want to talk a little bit about…
I’m going to kick it off here.
Yeah, so quick update on the product hiring front. So, as you know, in the last couple months we’ve been exploring, as the company’s been growing, how we might hire for all the new operational complexities we’re encountering. Needs to come up with better ways to improve the product development process, road mapping, communicating, all these things. And we were looking externally for this. We put together a whole bunch of needs and as we were doing that we kind of to solve that one of the perfect candidates for this already existed within the company. So I’m thrilled to announce that Scott will be stepping into product as our new head of product, effective today. I’m super excited about this. He has a lot of experience in his past roles as a founder and product owner at companies, at our stage, in this our stage plus. So he has a lot of… A depth of experience in coming up with these systems to help take our product development process to the next level.
And yeah, it’s going to free up a lot of my time to focus in on the emerging product areas, the things that are on the horizon as we think about the company becoming more of an observability company, what is Levels, what does Levels mean in those contexts? I’ll be having more time to focus on these emerging product areas and then really doubling down in the responsible individuals model. So I’ve been starting to help out people like Braden and the rest of the team up level on products and hopefully we can have anyone who’s interested in products get any feedback they need to up level and become a responsible individual. More of my time doing that and on hiring as well. So yeah. Scott, any thoughts on your end?
Sure. I mean first off I just want to say thanks. I mean I think that when I’ve thought about taking on a role, I think there’s a big concern coming into a company and taking on more responsibility. There’s a big sense of wonder of, “Hey, if I’m going to step into a new role, do I have a team around me that’s going to help support me in that and really be there to show up to build around?” So the answer there was obviously a yes. I never had any doubts around wanting to be that function for the company. So I think too, there’s a big sense of, I think I just joined at the right time. I got very lucky and I think that it really speaks to how much people have short toes here, right? No one’s really territorial, there’s no egos going on. It’s been a really easy conversation around us wanting to slot into things that we’ve done before, things that we feel like we can be good at and things that we just want to spend our time doing.
And I think that’s absolutely the best place that you can be in terms of org structure and people moving around. So I’m excited about this. I think I’m going to need everybody’s help. I mean I think this is not a role where I expect to come in and just have all the right answers. I’m going to be leaning on everybody else to help, as a group, come collectively to what the next version of Levels is that we want to build. So hopefully my experience from the past is going to be a good guide here, but I think that where there’s gaps or where we want to make it different for Levels than it was in the past for me, then hopefully we can all do that little journey together. So I’m excited.
Very cool. Thank you, Scott. And we are thrilled that you’ll be leading product. That’s great. No changes to support specialist role. Lots of great candidates in the pipeline. Chris continues to vet the candidates coming in and be blown away by the pool of talent software engine role is still open. So if anybody is watching this and knows great engineers, feel free to reach out to Andrew, Sam, Scott, David, anyone. So would love to hear from you. Onto Chris Jones with Memory Insights.
Chris Jones (00:39:54):
Awesome. Thanks, Ben. So it may come to surprise to everyone that this slide has not been approved by Alan. So I know I thought about for a second, I’m like, “It’s close.” Couple updates we already talked about a little bit. The text analytics. I had shown some earlier pilots from some of the pilots we were doing. The exciting thing is we decided to move forward with somatic, contracts are signed, we now have data uploaded through yesterday for both NPS and CSAT data. So those are going to be the two primary areas of focus and you can expect to start seeing regular analysis on that within at least the monthly operational decks, because at the weekly we don’t have enough volume to really be trends. There’s just not enough comments at a weekly clip. So it’ll be part of the monthly operation decks going forward.
Chris Jones (00:40:41):
So super excited about that. Related to some of the data that Helena and team showed, Mike D and I are working on, how do we start reaching out to the people that did order but we don’t see their glucose data? And I’d say how it’s a combination of both research and support. So when people get stuck on step A, not only the, “Hey, can you tell us, let us know where you got in the program?” and we just blindly take the data but we’re actually surfacing up the support content right behind it. Tetsy helped them in the next step. So for me it’s going to be an interesting of merging both hats of research and support within one delivery mechanism to kind of help them in their journey and be helpful and still gaining a lot of knowledge around why are they getting stuck and where are they having problems.
Chris Jones (00:41:24):
On the support. We already talked about the 90% emails, which is awesome. The other area on kind of the content side is, since we launched the helpfulness score, which is the survey at the end of all of our support articles, to date we are at 90% helpful, which is awesome. So great job to the content team. This past week it was as high as 96. So that means that people are reading the content and they’re having a good experience. And the ones that don’t score high are the ones that we would expect things like, “This won’t work” or the one where, “We’re not available” or “We’re not in their country” or when sensor accuracy. So the low performers are the ones that we actually would expect low scores on because we’re kind of delivering bad news.
Chris Jones (00:42:08):
And then Jesse just completed a workflow analysis as we looked at where are we using automation within Help Scout to make… So we can handle more questions with less staff and be more efficient. What are we using? What do we need to add? What do we need to make modifications for? And just kind of more of an analysis. So thanks Jesse and the team for contributing on that. And we routinely worked with True Pill on all of the changes for the Dexcom IRB and making improvements on their SLA front. And that’s it from member experience.
Awesome. Thanks, Chris. I think we are getting tighter on time so we’ll pick up time where we can, but the shares will likely go into the after form section. So onto growth for the week. So weekly recognized revenue at one, 19. Surpassed our goal of 75. Monthly. We ended the month at six, 11, so strong there. Eight, one in cash. No changes to debt and 42 months of runway. Monthly. Quick recap. So six, 11 and five, 99 K in cash. Strong month. It’s always good to look year over year. So we’ve had some strong growth from a recognized revenue standpoint in September of 20. We are at one, 42 K and now we’re at six, 11. So that’s 332% year over year growth. As far as subscription revenue. Very big jump there. 16 K in September of 20 and two, 30 K in September of 21. So 13, 74% year over year growth. On two growth theme of the week, which is project debt.
So what is project debt? Well it’s very analogous to tech debt, which many of us are familiar with. The more projects that we take on and hat tips, Seth Golden. He did a podcast about this so I think he actually coined the term one or two weeks ago. But project debt is the more projects that we take on as a team, the more that we do individually, the more that we have this urge or the sense that we should do a second iteration of a project. It’s pretty easy when a project isn’t successful to say, “Hey, let’s not do another iteration.” What’s really hard is when we have many projects that are successful and we have to consciously say, “Hey, the opportunity cost of not experimenting with a new project, let’s say the community challenge is a good one where not experimenting with a new project versus doing another iteration of that becomes a direct trade off.”
So who has a lot of project debt? No one else than this guy, the cat and the hat. This guy carries so much project debt, it’s crazy. And we might as well do a quick run through because I love this book. So here he is. We’re the team. The little kids staring at him are the team and they’re like, “Man, what are you doing?” So, “Put me down,” said the fish. “This is no fun at all. Put me down,” said the fish. “I do not wish to fall.”
“Have no fear,” said the cat. “I will not let you fall. I will hold you up high as I stand on a ball with a book on one hand and a cup on my hat. But that is not all I can do,” said the cat. “Look at me, look at me, look at me. Now it is fun to have fun, but you have to know how. I can hold up the cup and the milk and the cake.
I can hold up these books and the fish on the rake. I can hold the toy ship and the little toy man and look, with my tail I can hold a red fan. I can fan with the fan as I hop on the ball, but that is not all. Oh no, that is not all.” That’s what the cat said. Then he fell on his head. He came down with a bump from up there on the ball and Sally and I, we saw all the things fall. And our fish came down too. He fell into a pot. He said, “Do I like this? Oh, no. I do not. This is not a good game,” said our fish as he lit. “No, I do not like it. Not one little bit.”
So the takeaway is we should feel obliged to really assess our project debt as we take on more and more of these projects as responsible individuals and hold ourselves accountable to it. So that is growth for the week. Onto Tom.
Tough act to follow there. So promo code performance for September. Just quickly, so these are color coded here on the left side. Gray, green and blue. So gray are email conversion mechanisms which generated 23% of revenue this month. So double opt, which is when people sign up for the wait list and they read their email carefully, they get a link to purchase. The newsletter refers to a test that Heinie ran, which put a link in the newsletter. So great to see that these are driving significant revenue. We haven’t really needed to rely on them or optimize them, but no doubt they’re going to be growth levers that we can pull on in the future.
And then user referrals. So these drive anywhere from four to 7% reliably month over month. And again also we think this is a pretty good sign given that this is buried within the app and we have a relatively small number of monthly subscribers, but this is going to be an area that we’re going to focus on in the future for sure.
And then lastly, the partner codes. Nothing major to call out here other than, I guess, Hymen continues to perform extremely strongly. That podcast dropped almost two months ago in the beginning of August and continued throughout September to do 20 to 30 conversions per week, which is stronger than any other type of podcast or promotion we’ve seen to date. I think that’s it on this slide.
Cool. All right, so speaking of project debt, I might have to talk about relationship debt at some point. This was a debrief that I ran on a small military engagement over the summer. Overall it was reasonably successful in that the military is really positive about Levels in CGM and is spreading the word and they want to do more work with us. And the main goal here was learning, I would say. We know that we don’t want to pursue military as a market right now, but when we embark on these enterprise experiments, it’s really to better understand these markets and even understand just what it takes to learn more about them and run a pilot like this one.
So I would say the takeaways are that interacting with the government is quite difficult and time consuming and there are many hoops to jump through and constraints, which is something that we knew going in, but good to validate. And there was relatively low engagement overall. So only seven of the 15 participants, these are Army special ops people actually use the Levels app. It’s difficult to know why because, as is often the case with the military, we don’t have direct interaction with the people using the app or going through third parties. But the bottom line is that there’s a lot of handholding that is required. Any type of friction, even just the two apps as an example, is kind of a deal breaker for a population like this. So we probably won’t be focusing on military in the near term, but good to learn more about some of these markets that will have potential later on. That’s it.
Perfect. Thanks, Tommy. Onto, I believe, Stacy. Are you presenting code?
All right. At the beginning of this week it was a blast joining Casey in LA to attend code conference. Code is Kara Swisher’s conference. Tech who’s who from all around the world convened to talk about the new exciting things that are happening in the digital space. So you can see center top, actually, Elon joined on Tuesday to present. We were… Casey and I were seated about 20 feet from him and we’re able to tweet out a few things from his talk. These are super A-listers in this space and so it’s an incredible honor for Levels to be invited and then of course for Casey to be given a place on stage to share about our mission. So Wednesday morning she was on stage with Whoop and with our friend Joel Holder to discuss all things metabolic health and human performance as they relate to wearables. She did an incredible job.
We got a bunch of really flattering conversations going on Twitter around this, featuring her. And I think one of the coolest things that was, aside from the main stage event, was Casey was talking to Kara Swisher one night and her brother Jeff walks up and Kara goes, “Oh, no. I was hoping you two wouldn’t meet.” Jeff hates Levels and Kara walks away. And so over the course of the next 45 minutes, Casey and Jeff are talking and apparently had a 180 on his opinion of wearables and Levels. And then the next day Jeff tweets out this, “I had the absolute pleasure of meeting and talking to one of the most dynamic individuals I have met in a while, dr. Casey Means, about metabolic health, CGM and a whole range of issues involving healthcare and delivery. One of the great benefits of code con.”
So Casey… Meeting Casey was a highlight of his experience. He’s the brother to the founder of the conference and has access to everyone and we love that he highlighted that experience with her. Another amazing highlight was running into Jennifer Daniels, who heads up the emoji subcommittee, gave this incredible presentation and actually happens to be married to our very own, Alec Plane. So she was incredible. Her presentation had everyone starstruck and thinking about the deeper implications of emojis and it was so fun to meet her. She’s pictured there at the bottom, the photo of me, Casey and Jennifer. And so yeah, incredible week and honor and we got some really great social coverage out of it that helped amplify our message. So there you go.
I just have to jump in and give Stacy some huge kudos. Stacy was incredible as always. She was just absolutely driving incredible assets, creating beautiful images throughout the conference, seating social with lots of amazing quotes that got great and was awesome moral support. So super, super appreciative of Stacy being there. And yeah, I think this conference was a huge success and really glad we were able to participate.
Amazing. Well, thank you to both of you for all the great work. And it’s so cool to see everything from, I guess, the outside now come together and be presented at forum. So thanks for all the work there. Onto Haney.
Yeah, so I’ll run through content quickly. A couple good pieces up this week. The Kelly Leveck one is another example of taking a podcast episode and editing it down into a Q and A. There’s some good stuff there. And the tortilla wrap is kind of our return to some of our swap type pieces. You’ll see a lot more of those coming. I also wanted to call out kind of in the middle here, one of the Instagram posts. So I’m sure most folks on this call follow Levels on Instagram, but just want to highlight the really awesome work that Stacy’s doing and a contractor we’re using named Chris Irvin, is doing. We’ve really upped our Instagram game in terms of delivering, not just promotion for the articles, but actual content from the articles onto Instagram. And I think the engagements really increased and this is something we’re going to put a lot more effort into.
One of the big things, I’ll just highlight one thing here in the what else slide. One of the things we want to do for a long time is to bring on some additional, not just experts to do reviews, we have a good database of those going, but actual paid top editors who are going to help. And a lot of the work that Casey’s been shouldering in terms of really getting deep into reviewing the articles with me and helping me really produce them, making sure they’re accurate, making sure we’re taking a real holistic look at things. And with her help and her network, we brought on three folks this week who are now going to be working with us to help top edit all of our articles. So this is really an important first step in terms of scaling our content operation and being able to do a lot more.
The stat I just want to mention at the bottom. You might remember about a week ago we ran a newsletter test where we tried sending out just a single article, the Eggs article. So those are the stats from that. We had a very good open rate. That’s high for us. Close to thirties, pretty good. Three and a half CTR is probably our lowest ever. I suspect that’s because we kind of gave away the TLDR in the newsletter itself. And we did that really intentionally. We wanted folks to mostly just get the information that we were trying to deliver with that article. If they click through, fine. We’ll test this again in lots of different ways and try different amounts of delivering how much content we put in an email. But the fact that we got opens is pretty good, even for a subject that we love but is covered a lot in the health type press. So that people wanted our take on it, I think is encouraging. And just one more slide.
We also launched this week, something we’ve been meaning to do forever, which is to put better graphics into our posts. As you guys know, our posts are an awful lot of texts and I have tried a couple of different times using some of my old tricks from the print days to get infographics and things like that in there. And the efforts have kind of failed. I just haven’t quite dialed it in. And a big kudos here to Sam for just sort being scrappy, reaching out to a designer named Jeff Chan, who done some work for us and did some work in his first interview piece and just said, “Hey, come up with something. Just try something with very little interaction from us.”
And Jeff produced some really nice graphics, both taking charts and making them look very Levels, so they’re not just screen grabs out of studies, but also nice templates for putting pull quotes in the stories. So you’ll see these in, I think we’ve got them in the Sarah Gottfried piece. We’ve got them in the Kelly Leveck piece. You’ll see these kinds of graphics are popping up a lot more in the posts and I think this is going to really help just make our posts more engaging, help people get through them, hopefully make them more shareable. So super excited about that. That’s it for content.
Love it. Thanks Haney. That’s great. Very cool to see this all come together. We are onto share. So we’re right on the wire as far as time, but we’ll dive into shares for the team and we’ll just go over. So Scott, if you want to kick things off.
Cool. Work wise, we are just talking to some unbelievable candidates. I know we had one acceptance on the engineering side this week, maybe not starting for a little while, but I’m just like, I’m very impressed by the amount of people that are now seeking out Levels. I talked to a very, very senior person at Apple right now and so I just like, we’re attracting a lot of attention and I think people are starting to take us very seriously as an early bet if they otherwise need a little bit more stability in their life. On a personal basis, I don’t even know, just catching up this week. I don’t know what I’m doing, so.
Awesome. Very cool. Steph.
So I have… Oh, wait. Can you mute yours? I have very exciting personal and professional overlap news. I’m actually here with Helena right now and some people… Okay, I’ll just keep you in the frame. Some people have heard tidbits about this, but we booked an Airbnb together in San Diego for the month and it has been so much fun to, one, learn from this data science extraordinaire. But yeah, it’s just been so much fun to hang out and spend time in San Diego together and be really productive at work. And so it’s been a thrill. We have a couch if anyone wants to come visit, but yeah, it’s just been such a joy. Yeah, we’re only one weekend, but it’s been just absolutely incredible to get to co-work together every day. So yeah, anyone is welcome to come hang out with us here.
Amazing. Well, Sam now has competition for the digital nomad lifestyle. Alan?
Wow, that’s an awesome update. So professionally, I’m very excited about potentially moving towards a really optimistic sort of talent palate. So this is a sort of in the weeds, but I love making these gradient meshes. So been playing with that in my off hours. Not the focus of my time, but can’t help but do it when I’m procrastinating and personally my wife, as you know at Code, I’m excited for her to come back. It’s been solo parenting here, so she comes back on Sunday and then that’d be very good.
Very cool. I’m sure that will be a lot of help needed and necessary. I think Mike D is out, but Mr. Jones?
On the Levels front, I would say super excited about the participation we had with Code. I thought was incredible event. As many of you know, I’m a big follower of Cara, so I also know Jeff. So way to go, Casey. I’m about to listen to the podcast on pivot of the biggest moments of Code right after this meeting to get her takeaway of what she liked. On the personal front, as you can hear in the background, our puppy has got his last round of shots, so he’s now A okay to go play with other pups in the field. So we are excited to actually get him off, meet some new friends. So, that’s it.
Amazing. Well keep us posted with any hot takes about Levels in that podcast. Hough is out. Kanal?
On the Levels front, just so excited to see all the cool stuff. Sometimes I read some of the content pieces and I’m blown away at how freaking good they are, so Haney, you’re like killing it. Besides that, spent a little bit of time in the Catskills with my girlfriend for her birthday and just got back from that. So just going to have a relaxing weekend come up.
Very cool. Level’s front. Just amazed and a big hat tip to Casey. She is absolutely crushing it. She has the busiest October coming up. She’s doing podcasts for a whole new level. She’s doing podcast recordings for other people. She’s appearing at Code and all of this content is being created and it’s one of those things where you just go like, “I’m not sure how you’re managing this, but it is truly amazing.” So hat tip to Casey, very stoked on the Levels front there. Personal front. It was so cool to meet up with how and spend time with Justin and Sam last weekend and just sort of vibe in on that still. So it’s exciting to see that Steph and Helena are getting time together too. That’s it. Haney?
Yeah, I’ll pick up on that. Personal and professional this week. I’m going to have lunch today with Steph and Helena. We were trying to arrange a surprise Haney popup head in the background, but I could not make it work there. So we’re going to do lunch today. And next weekend we’re headed to Seattle. We had to cancel Hawaii trip, but we’re going Seattle instead. So I’m looking forward to meeting up with Scott, hopefully Morgan will be there as well. That’s it for me.
Amazing. Pictures all around. Pictures all around, please. John?
Levels wise, I really like version 1.3. Huge change, all these new colors, UI elements all across the app. Congrats to Scott for stepping into this new role. Well deserved. And personally a duck we rescued four months ago, just found a family, so excited about that and about having a new spot open for a new rescue.
Awesome. The Levels dog family is growing. Jesse?
Yeah, pretty unbelievable updates this week on the level side. I just want to give a shout out to Braden for all the consistent initiative that you take. It’s really inspiring and it’s great to work with you. And here on Houston, it’s raining and if it doesn’t stop soon, I’m about to take a very wet run for lunch.
Nice. That sounds very Gog an esque. Tommy?
Levels wise, definitely watching Casey just crush it at Code was extremely exciting for me. And then also just seeing the wizardry of our engineering and product and design teams up close and personal over the last couple of weeks, working on the nutritionist marketplace, that was… We were doing concept brainstorms like two weeks ago and then today I’m in the app and using the feature and it’s amazing how quickly we can move. And then personally booked a lot of travel this week, so just have a lot of weekends away coming up in Cape Cod and Boston and Portland and Seattle and a bunch of other places over the next couple of months.
Yeah, so I think professionally this week seen the responsible individual updates just gets me so excited, just the amazing initiative and collaboration that’s happening across all these projects is just totally electrifying to see and the progress is just amazing. So just so fun. Also, Helena, your update on data, I hope we get more of those. Those are amazing. Just to see the breakdown of what’s happening under the hood. And then I’m also just super amped about the stuff that’s happening with content and scaling that Mike is really leading, bringing on the top editors who are going to be able to really do the top down, higher level medical editing, bringing on Revel agency to do some content writing for us, getting the graphics done. It’s just all of these things are going to just take the content level to the next level. And it’s just so cool to see Mike bringing on these awesome trusted partners to help us with that. So super excited.
Personally, I’m heading to New York today. I’m going to be there for three months. I can’t wait to see the Levels team on Monday night. And I am hosting my best friend from my whole life, my best friend, her bachelorette party this weekend. And I think it’s the first bachelorette party I’m ever going to and hosting and I am really, really excited. So hopefully I’ll survive.
Amazing. Well have lots of fun. Again, pictures. Any IRL pictures, share them away, Gabe?
Yeah, so much new exciting stuff in the app. Really enjoyed working on the nutritionist Marketplace project with Alan, Dave and Tom. Personally, going to the last regular season White Sox game this weekend, which I’m looking forward to as long as it doesn’t get rained off, which is looking likely.
Nice. Very cool. I believe everyone else is out except Helena. Close it on out.
Hey, Sam’s actually right. No, he’s not. So yeah. But yeah, super excited to be in San Diego. I’m actually heading back to New York tomorrow for a few days to surprise my dad for his birthday and I’ll also be at the Levels sort of shoot that we’re doing and meetups. I’m excited to meet some more people in person. And then on a Level side, I’m so excited that I’ve been able to dig through the data and get some concrete idea of who our members are. Huge shout out to Scott because he’s been a huge source of support and help as I sort of dig through our database. Yeah.
Amazing. Well, thank you everyone. Strong week as always. Enjoy the weekend. We’ll stop the share now. We’ll stop recording and then we can go into our breakout room. So.