September 25, 2020

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


Josh Clemente (00:00):

Cool. All right. We’re going to kick off and dive in. Ben Bikman was going to join us today, but I think unfortunately, he had another conflict come up. So he’ll be joining next week. And of course, we’d love to have you any and all of these meetings.

Ben Bikman (00:15):


Josh Clemente (00:16):

So, happy to have you join.

Ben Bikman (00:17):


Josh Clemente (00:18):

So, here we go. September 25th, I think this is the last Friday Forum in September. That is correct, which is wild. The year is rapidly coming to a close. I saw a meme the other day that was like January, February, quarantine, Christmas. And that’s pretty accurate. Okay. Jumping right into the recent achievements. Another awesome week.

Josh Clemente (00:45):

So in terms of fundraising, I’ll have Sam add some more detail on this on the next slide. But basically, we’re now in the due diligence process, closing out terms with our lead on the seed raise. This is a pretty confidential process. Typically, there’s a lot of back and forth, making sure that we provide the information needed.

Josh Clemente (01:00):

So until we reach formal closure, we’re going to keep that on the download. But just know that things are moving ahead. It’s very exciting. And we may here and there, need a little additional information for the due diligence process. But all great things. Let’s see. The at Levels handles, these are huge. So Sam was able to acquire at Levels, rather than the unlock Levels placeholder that we’ve had on both Instagram and Twitter.

Josh Clemente (01:28):

And we have a coordinated attack campaign to take over here in the next few weeks. And I’m quite confident with this progress that we will have Given the state of the internet and how everyone in the entire world is on there, it’s really hard to get single word handles like this, even on social platforms. And it’s even harder to get the domain name. So this is going to be another step in the direction of just total dominance for search and just generally being legit. Great work there, Sam.

Josh Clemente (01:59):

Automated filler requests are live. They are functioning. We are currently incorporating the automated notification emails, so that that can happen in tandem. So basically, when we get a prescription for a patient, the filler request will be automatically sent out. And then emails like the you’re approved and here’s how to get started emails will be automatically sent along with them.

Josh Clemente (02:20):

And so that will round out the process and allow us to be very consistent with our throughput, and then also be reactive in case someone needs help or wants to change an address. They can just reply to those emails. So this is exciting. This is all basically, spooling up the standby list clearing project that we have in order to make space for the inbound from our promotions that are coming early October with Ben Greenfield and Bulletproof Media.

Josh Clemente (02:47):

So essentially, we expect a large influx. It’s hard to predict these things effectively, but Ben Greenfield is going to post about us in his newsletter. And we’re going to have a few podcast ads and appearances with Bulletproof, basically in preparation for the Biohacking Conference. The first of those was actually mentioned that went out yesterday, I believe, from Dave Asprey mentioning Levels as part of the Virtual Biohacking Conference.

Josh Clemente (03:12):

So they’re already starting to spool us up and pull us into the conversation. And so we’re working to clear our entire standby list by October 13th. And at that point, we should be ready to start filling orders for Greenfield and Bulletproof customers, which is going to be awesome. Let’s see. We had some cool conversations this week with Salesforce and Health Mart.

Josh Clemente (03:34):

Health Mart is part of McKesson. They’re the employee wellness program. Basically, both of these companies are very interested in wellness pilot programs featuring Levels. We’re also going to have a conversation this week with UnitedHealth Group, which is a massive insurer. And so basically, there’s a lot of organic interest here.

Josh Clemente (03:51):

And by the way, Dom, thank you for making that connection with UnitedHealth Group. But basically, the conversations are really interesting in that these are large companies who are being proactive about thinking about prediabetes, diabetes risk, and how to just have a wellness opportunity that keeps their employees taking metabolic health and putting it front and center.

Josh Clemente (04:10):

So I didn’t personally anticipate this being something interesting to these companies until we had very compelling data that had been published already. But it seems like it’s so obvious already to anyone who looks at health, that metabolic health is a key area of focus if you’re trying to keep your employees healthy and happy.

Josh Clemente (04:27):

So I think this is going to be very promising. And obviously, this B2B sort of self-insured employee approach and wellness program approach is something that we have down the road. We’re not prioritizing this at the highest level. We’re still direct-to-consumer and focusing on consumer sales, but it’s great to see that these companies are open-minded.

Josh Clemente (04:47):

A couple other interesting things to note here. We’ve got Michael Arrington, CEO of TechCrunch, or Founder of TechCrunch, who is currently using the program. You see a really amazing, just organic testimonial right below that. Colter [Schluter 00:04:58], who was in one of the Wearable Challenges, basically lost 25 pounds by monitoring his glucose.

Josh Clemente (05:04):

We have another one of those in here, somebody lost 10 pounds in just two weeks, monitoring glucose and maintaining glycemic control. Really cool to see that stuff cropping up. We had an awesome conversation with Julie Foucher, who’s a CrossFit world champ and medical doctor. Her husband, Danny is also involved in CrossFit and is a medical doctor himself. So they’re both interested in potentially joining our Advisory Team.

Josh Clemente (05:26):

We talked to Men’s Health, they’re interested in doing a full feature, Life Itself, which is a new conference which is similar to TEDMED. It will be in partnership with CNN. Sanjay Gupta and Marc Hodosh are running that. They’ve actually invited Casey most likely, someone from the Levels team to present at that Life Itself Conference, which is debuting next year. That’s huge.

Josh Clemente (05:47):

This is going to be an amazing conference. I read through a lot of the details on it. And there’s going to be some of the biggest names out there in health, they’re going to be at this conference. We’ve got Dr. Mark Hyman, who authored the Food Fix, and he’s very involved with the Cleveland Clinic and their cardiology program. He’s using the program, as well as several other people in his department.

Josh Clemente (06:08):

TB12, had an awesome conversation with them this week. They’re super interested in continuing their collaboration efforts with us. I keep hitting that button. We had a great call with Kelly Close, who’s the Founder of diaTribe, which is I think one of the best sources of information for blood sugar monitoring, metabolic control, specifically for the diabetes community, but also prediabetes now.

Josh Clemente (06:30):

Let’s see. Sound Ventures, this is Ashton Kutcher’s VC, had a great call with them this week. We’re going to keep that conversation going as well. And our wait list broke 34,000. So we had a huge spike. You can see the spike in July, had a lot of organic attention then. And we’re back on our normal trajectory again. Other than that, good call with Zero.

Josh Clemente (06:52):

Zero is the fasting app, which is run by Kevin Rose, or Founded by Kevin Rose and a few others. And they’re super stoked about what we’re doing. The goal of their app is to improve metabolic control. And so basically, they see us as the objective data that can show benefit to the fasting that people are doing in their app. And so those conversations are ongoing and I’m excited to collaborate with them.

Josh Clemente (07:18):

Peter Attia is also very involved with Zero. Any questions on any of this? Okay. DeAnna Price, she’s a gold medalist in the hammer toss. She just had some really great videos she threw up on Instagram, installing the sensor. And it’s cool to have an Olympian currently using the program. Okay. Weekly beta trends. So I threw up a new slide here as well. You can see the beta trends.

Josh Clemente (07:45):

The week starts September 21st in this report. Obviously, that doesn’t sync up perfectly with these meetings. So since the last forum, we’ve placed 121 orders and we shipped 120 of those. We’ll be ramping this up to about 250 a week by October 1st. So essentially 2Xing. We’re close to 3Xing our throughput for that standby list clearing process.

Josh Clemente (08:08):

And then I wanted to throw up, maybe to stir a little competition, throw out the partner codes and the leading revenue generating codes. So Kevin Rose is blowing everyone out of the water still. You can see the top five, Sam is up there as well. He’s not even an influencer. So we need to continue to improve our competition here.

Josh Clemente (08:29):

We have a lot of great partner codes out there and these are just phenomenal. It’s a great way to track interest. And obviously, two of the top five are podcasts right now, which is just showing that the educational content is really resonating with people. And it helps people understand why they should care about metabolism and glucose monitoring. Any questions on beta trends? All right, Sam.

Sam Corcos (08:59):

Yeah, so these are pretty quick. So about 2.8 in cash. We’re now pushing people basically through the end of December. So as Josh said, we’re going to try to accelerate those so we can make sure that people get access in a timely manner. We’re, as Josh mentioned, in the process of diligence. So Miz is taking lead on a lot of the documentation we need to get signed.

Sam Corcos (09:23):

So, some of these confidentiality agreements and all of that. So if you get emails from Miz to sign some stuff, go ahead and do that. These things can take four to six weeks to close, so I’ll keep everyone in the loop as things progress there. Next slide. Last week, over the weekend after our last forum, we had a big jump in sales.

Sam Corcos (09:50):

We’ve had basically, three record weeks. Things continue to move on that front. Next one. We’re still in the process of solving for revenue recognition on the backend side. I think we’re pretty close to it. We just need to update some of the queries, but you can see that we’re well on track for our revenue goals for the next few months.

Josh Clemente (10:17):

All right. Any questions on the business financial stuff? That’s a nice growth curve there on the revenue. This is something we track, by the way. We’re still obviously in development. We’re in an invitation only phase. It’s hard to say that revenue is the top line metric that we care about if we’re only inviting people through URL.

Josh Clemente (10:39):

So this is something again, that we want to pay attention to. We’re building a business that is on a firm financial footing, but I think we’re going to see some increasing attention here as we head to market and start to grow. Right now, just for everyone’s awareness, product development is still key.

Josh Clemente (10:58):

We’re not solely focused on financial return. It’s still understanding the customer, still understanding the feature set that we need to build. Things like the insight cards and hearing how that’s resonating are really super important. So everyone, please maintain the focus on customer feedback and product development.

Josh Clemente (11:17):

Recruiting, we’re still looking for those two main roles. It’s become clear that we are probably going to be splitting these two roles into a variety of different skillsets inside. So most likely, a head of editorial for the content, plus a digital marketing role. Marketing and growth, we’re probably going to have to have brand focus and quant metrics focus.

Josh Clemente (11:40):

This is the insight we’ve been getting from a lot of people in our network. So, still have the feelers out there. We’re going to take as long as it takes to get the right person in each of these and to grow out a team underneath them. So please continue to send along contacts that you think might be a great fit. And I really appreciate everyone who’s sent along and/helped us with feedback on how we’re going about recruiting for these.

Josh Clemente (12:08):

Customer Engagement this week, another great week. I love seeing people who are like, “What do I have to do to get in there?” The FOMO is real. It’s very exciting. I don’t take pleasure in not being able to get the product to people, but it’s just great to hear that people are like, they’re willing to give us the money. It’s not price that’s a concern. It’s not invasiveness of the sensor. It’s they want this data and they want it immediately.

Josh Clemente (12:33):

Sam had a really great anecdote here of his exceptional response to instant ramen. And this is the type of thing I think we should, as a group, lean in on this. Share your personal testimonials. These are real. We’re using the product. We’re real people, we have real metabolisms. So don’t feel like you just have to share among the group inside our CGM club. Go ahead and post on Twitter. Get some engagement going people. Love seeing this stuff and learning from it.

Sam Corcos (12:57):

Yeah. That post, which was sort of impromptu, I hadn’t had instant ramen since college and I was curious how much damage I was doing to myself all those years. That post got almost 2,000 engagements. So not views, but engagements. People really took to it. So doing those sort of real-time experiments seems to be something we should experiment with.

Josh Clemente (13:21):

Definitely. Yeah. And then Oliver Roup over here, I think he’s VP of Product at Instacart. But just seeing that sort of testimonial, “Cannot get over how addictive this product is,” he’s basically saying that the healthy choice of getting this vegetable and egg scrambled rather than probably a burger and fries or something, is addictive.

Sam Corcos (13:41):


Josh Clemente (13:42):

That is huge. This is what we’re going for. We’re going for positive behavior change and having people choosing those decisions that they otherwise wouldn’t, because they have better information in real-time. So, just awesome. Instagram, we still have some awesome user-generated content coming through. We have a couple of power users who are just cranking out content day after day, which is really great.

Josh Clemente (14:03):

And it’s awesome because the turnover, it’s like a month. So you get to follow someone’s journey for about a month as they create a bunch of content. And then there’s this natural turnover where someone else with a different background comes up and starts producing content. And so it’s really fun to follow along. If you don’t have Instagram, this might be the one reason to get it. You can see here, DeAnna Price. We’ve got these great testimonials of people applying.

Josh Clemente (14:25):

You can see it’s a real example of someone applying the sensor. And there’s some sort of apprehension and concern, and then they snap it on and they say, “Oh, that wasn’t so bad at all.” And that’s the type of thing that is really helpful for getting people over the hump of maybe a little concern about a medical device, and some fear of what looks like a scary needle, but it’s actually just totally painless for most people. Okay. Content updates.

Casey Means (14:52):

Awesome. So just some updates from content advisory, social and press. So just running through from the top. So podcasts, Tom is going to talk a lot more about this in the next couple slides, but the train’s been moving. Well, I have 17 podcasts scheduled for the next five to six weeks. So it’s going to be a really, really busy month, but really exciting.

Casey Means (15:16):

In terms of PR, we’re bringing on a top tier PR firm. We are highly considering a candidate who ran, whoops, press for their launch. And so we are in conversation with them. And they’re going to be helping us get ready for our launch publicity. Continuing to also get help from PR assistants through Edelman and stand together and publicize. So a lot of different cylinders firing on PR.

Casey Means (15:45):

We’ve had some nice conversations about potential engagement with conferences. So as Josh mentioned, we have the opportunity to speak at the Life Itself Conference, which is trying to be the new TEDMED. TEDMED has been on hiatus for a while. And so its creator, Marc Hodosh is working with Sanjay Gupta and CNN to put together just this really world-class new conference for next year.

Casey Means (16:08):

And he is in the program, using the product and has verbally invited us to be a part of that conference, which is great. Also, the conference that Dom is a host and organizer of, the Metabolic Health Summit, there may be an opportunity for us to speak there as well, which would be really fantastic. The top thinkers in metabolic health speak at that conference, so that would be a very exciting opportunity.

Casey Means (16:35):

On the advisory standpoint, Josh has mentioned a bit about this, but we are just laying the groundwork and in close communication with a number of different people on our list of targets for advisory. We are talking with David Perlmutter. Sara Gottfried is in the program. We had a great call with Mark Hyman’s team.

Casey Means (16:51):

His CEO of his company, the Mark Hyman Business Enterprise, Dhru Purohit, he is in the program. Mark Hyman is in the program and they wanted additional members of their team to be a part of it. As Josh mentioned, he chatted with Dr. Julie Foucher, on the right here. I put some of their Instagram handles here. Mark Hyman has a million Instagram followers, which is a lot for a doctor. And Julie Foucher has 500,000. So these are really influential people.

Casey Means (17:21):

We also have a connection solidified with Dr. Eric Topol. And as we’ve mentioned before, Dr. Rhonda Patrick is excited about our product. So, really exciting connections. And I think we’re just going to continue building out this incredible advisory team. We’re also looking into bringing on top tier endocrinologists to the advisory board and are making some connections there as well.

Casey Means (17:43):

Turn to the blog. A couple new posts up on the blog this week. On the social front, so Megha, Stacey and Mercy are making amazing progress on getting our social footprint really amped up. On the far right, you can see some mocks that our designer, Eugene has put together for some really slick-looking social posts.

Casey Means (18:08):

So when we have a really fantastic tweet or a press mention, these formalized feed post templates that we can fit those into, so we can share those while not losing our brand identity. And then below that, you can see some mock ups for cool social templates for showing comparisons and other interesting educational content. So I think it’s going to look amazing in our feed.

Casey Means (18:36):

From a research standpoint, lots of great cylinders firing. We are nailing down an initial protocol with Ben Bikman’s team. So actually getting down to the nitty gritty of a protocol that his lab would run, and then having great continued conversations with Dom. So thank you so much, Dom for that. That’s it for me, I think. On to Tom to talk more about podcasts and partnerships.

Thomas Griffin (19:03):

Awesome. Thanks, Casey. Yeah. So as mentioned, we had a pretty amazing week on the podcast front. We had a few that were released, a couple recorded, and then eight additional new shows that were secured. Notably, we got in touch with, had conversations with four tier one shows that were really high on our list.

Thomas Griffin (19:26):

Wellness Mama, hosted by Katie Wells, we’ve locked in a show with her, as well as just a full marketing partnership. And she’s very influential. We’ve heard from a couple of other like-minded brands that she’s on par with Ben Greenfield and Bulletproof. So we’re going to have to think carefully about how and when to incorporate her into the next few months, but really exciting.

Thomas Griffin (19:48):

She’s like 100 most influential health and fitness people on a few different lists, so we’re really excited about that. Those two on the bottom, I think are both the work of Dom on this call. So again, just shout out to Dom for being incredibly helpful. Dom, you’re on our Medical Advisory Board, but if we had a sales and Marketing Advisory Board, I think we’d put you on that as well. So thanks again.

Dominic D’Agostino (20:11):

No doubt.

Thomas Griffin (20:13):

Next slide. Yeah. So to recap, our goal with some of these top tier really influential shows is to turn them into full stack marketing partnerships that will be driving revenue for us on a monthly basis. And in Q4, it’s going to be really exciting because we’re going to start to actually measure conversions from some of these high profile partners.

Thomas Griffin (20:36):

We’re going to be starting to more formally promote us. So starting next Friday, actually, the first of these promotions is going to happen. So this is going to be a section of Ben Greenfield’s weekly newsletter that is going to be featuring Levels. And it’s been all hands on deck preparing for that. So, thanks to everyone working across marketing and operations.

Thomas Griffin (20:56):

We’ve got a landing page set up, subject to some text edits. Levels is a lot of things, but it’s not the best software platform for running an internet business. So we’re going to update that. And then beyond that, just an awesome pipeline. We’ve got Bulletproof activations, podcast ads, social posts, blogs, in the pipeline for October, November, December.

Thomas Griffin (21:20):

And then honestly, about 10 to 15 other affiliates, the top three in terms of projected revenue generation are listed on this page. So, it’s going to be exciting over the next couple of months. Next slide. Yes. So we’re starting to kick off some more concrete projects with a couple of like-minded consumer health and fitness brands.

Thomas Griffin (21:45):

And I think this is going to help us determine a playbook for working with these different types of product companies. At a high level, I see a few different buckets of opportunities. There’s pure marketing activations, there’s case study and research projects we can do with these companies. And then there’s deeper product integrations.

Thomas Griffin (22:07):

And these two brands are interested in all three of those with us. So we’re in conversation. Notably, we’re going to be kicking off a case study soon with Eight Sleep, where they’re going out to their customer base and they’re going to recruit 25 to 50 of their current customers to use Levels. And then we’re going to look at that dataset and see what kind of insights, as well as just user stories that we can draw from the dataset.

Thomas Griffin (22:33):

So it’s not randomized, double blinded, peer-reviewed research. But there’s a lot of exciting stuff that we can do with some of these brand partnerships in the future. That’s it for me. Lots of them in the pipeline. Yeah, more updates next week. I’m saving a couple of good ones for next week.

Josh Clemente (22:51):


Casey Means (22:52):

This is badass. This is awesome.

Josh Clemente (22:55):

Yeah, thank you. Any questions on brand, content, podcast? Cool. All right. Mike?

Michael DiDonato (23:05):

Killer update there, Tom. So it was another great week for customer engagement and feedback. A couple things I want to highlight. I think I was talking to David on our call this week. I think we can revisit the getting started page and some of the copy.

Michael DiDonato (23:23):

I had a few people this week get stuck. And I think arguably, the getting started portion is one of the most important parts of the user journey. So I think we can brainstorm and help make it a little bit easier on the user end. And then the second one, around program cards.

Michael DiDonato (23:47):

Starting to get some small feedback. It’s becoming positive. And I just want to quickly shout out Chen Lu for setting up the user feed, so that we can have more visibility. And we can actually get some detailed product feedback with our users when we’re engaging, whether it’s via email or on a call.

Michael DiDonato (24:10):

The final thing I just want to highlight, as you can see, the screenshot on the right. I’ll let everyone read it for themselves. It’s a pretty powerful exchange that I had with a user. Long story short, he got started and he had reached out and said that he just noticed that he hadn’t been feeling well, and he had some elevated levels.

Michael DiDonato (24:36):

And as we do with everybody, we encourage anyone who has specific concerns to talk with their primary care provider. And it turns out that he found out that he had some metabolic dysfunction. And there is opportunities, obviously, we all know to improve the product and the experience.

Michael DiDonato (24:55):

But given the goal and the mission of the company, to give everyone access to their own biological data and allow them to take control over their health and make a dent in this health crisis that is metabolic dysfunction, it’s just pretty cool to see it coming together so early.

Josh Clemente (25:14):

Yeah, this was a pretty severe situation. So this is not a lightweight concern for this person. It was really significant. And he was in a bad place and he wouldn’t have known it. And he gave us, Levels, credit for alerting him to the fact that this was happening. And I think he had to stay at the hospital overnight or something.

Josh Clemente (25:34):

So the point is that this is just a really rewarding, I think, example of how this technology and better access to real-time information can avoid a circumstance where weeks or months of totally rampant inflammation and hyperglycemia can really damage someone unnecessarily because they just don’t know. So, pretty wild. Any other questions on customer success, feedback? Cool. Thanks, Mike. David?

David Flinner (26:14):

All right. Lots of good stuff, as always. Last week, I also included that the metabolic score was in the calendar picker. But this week, it’s launching for iOS. So, woo-hoo for that. When you tap the month picker, you’ll now see all of your day’s metabolic scores right there. So, great to get that out.

David Flinner (26:33):

And then one of the highlights and cool example of our very fast teamwork for a couple of new cards that we’re releasing this week, one is helping customers understand that it’s okay to get the sensor wet. You can go for a swim, you can shower. And also, understanding what low glucose, just how would you interpret low glucose readings?

David Flinner (26:52):

And these two cards came from the ops team, from Mike and Miz, and they were highlighting that a whole bunch of customers were asking questions about this. And so it was a great opportunity for us to reduce friction, leveraging the new insights framework that launched. And so Xinlu was able to quickly put together some code that did automatic low glucose event detection.

David Flinner (27:13):

So now, the very first time a customer has a direct read of 60 or under, they’re going to see that red scary screen. Now, on Levels, they’ll see another card that helps them understand and put into context what a low glucose reading might be, the various different things that it might be from, from reactive hypoglycemia to nighttime lows, to all sorts of things.

David Flinner (27:33):

And then pairing that with studies that help put the context around what this means for a nondiabetic individual. So, great work on that team. And internally, we have released on the back end, the internal program tracking that Hao’s been working really hard on. So congrats, Hao on that.

David Flinner (27:52):

The next step is we’re going to have to wire that up to some user-facing features, like maybe automatic Slack alerts to Mike when a customer’s sensor stops working. So we can reach out practically. It would be a good example of that. And then I’m excited to announce that later today, the team internally will be able to test out automatic strenuous exercise detection.

David Flinner (28:13):

Jhon has finished the heart rate import feature for Google Fit and Apple Health. So now, you’ll be able to automatically pull in your heart rate data. And the first feature you can use with that is automatic detection and strenuous exercise. So you’ll never have to toggle that little toggle again.

Josh Clemente (28:30):


David Flinner (28:30):

If you have other ideas for how you want to see heart rate to be used, let me know. I think Jhon’s going to start working on automatic sleep import then, after this feature. And then for dawn effects, we’re doing some data analysis right now. I think the code is complete, but we’re doing some data analysis to make sure that our detection is correct.

David Flinner (28:48):

And we’re not going to surface cards inappropriately and confuse customers. That’s in progress. And then, lots of great work also underway from the things that we’ve been working on for the last few weeks, automatic event and anomaly detection. And we’re almost finished with persisting zones. So, kudos to the team for all the great progress there. I think that’s all I wanted to call out for today. And questions? Awesome.

Josh Clemente (29:24):

Exciting stuff. I got my first card this week and it was great. I think it was presented just super nice. Just right in flow.

David Flinner (29:33):

What was the card?

Josh Clemente (29:35):

It was low glucose, which it’s just very cool because that is … I’ll let Mike speak to this specifically, but I think it’s probably the number one cause of questions in the entire program, is why is my glucose low? Should I drink maple syrup immediately or what?

David Flinner (29:52):


Josh Clemente (29:55):

Yeah, this is going to be huge. Thanks, everybody for a great week. And we’re on to the individual contributions. So I did not remix this list. That’s all right. We’re going to start with Sam.

Sam Corcos (30:06):

Yeah, I’m excited. Might be the same thing I said last week, but I’m really excited that we’re bringing on more ops support, in that we’re going to be able to start accelerating these things.

Sam Corcos (30:18):

We’re pushing people all the way through December at this point, which it’s getting a little ridiculous. So I’m just really excited that we’re going to be able to start increasing our bandwidth and get access to people more quickly.

Josh Clemente (30:33):

For Sure. Hao?

Hao Li (30:36):

Personally, well, we got rid of the smoke, but we got storm now. So I will stay inside this weekend to terminate some Ethernet cables I wired the last time we finished our basement. It’ll be fun, or not.

Josh Clemente (30:56):

That’s going to be a blast. Dom?

Dominic D’Agostino (30:59):

Oh. Excited about a lot of things on the research front, especially. So we had a three-hour meeting with our research team, right before this call, and then a meeting with another medical doctor from USF after this call. And organizing everything, getting the IRB, getting things in place, so we can submit the IRB.

Dominic D’Agostino (31:22):

And there’s a lot of enthusiasm in the lab to help out on this project, but I get to pick and choose some really good talent to assist with the research front. So, very excited about that.

Josh Clemente (31:36):

Love it. Love it. Tom?

Thomas Griffin (31:40):

Yeah. So I think one of my highlights was yesterday, while I was driving up to Massachusetts from New York, I got a call from Mike Barwis, who is a likely future partner of ours. He’s a professional sports, strength, and conditioning coach. He runs performance and medical for a couple of professional sports teams, and works with a lot of all-star caliber athletes across a lot of sports.

Thomas Griffin (32:04):

And Mike is just so jazzed about working with us. And we had this really funny conversation where we were talking about potential videos and photos to shoot with athletes wearing Levels. And I said, “It’d be really interesting to figure out what type of visuals that we want to get,” because it’s hard to show Levels in action. And Mike was like, “Don’t you worry about a thing. I’ve got tons of ideas.”

Thomas Griffin (32:26):

And he went through this literally 10 minute-script of how we’re going to show on-screen athletes using the product, applying it, scanning it before, during, and after workouts, pre workout shakes, post workout shakes, coaches having Levels on. And he was just unbelievably fired up and has a real vision for what this is going to look like. So, that was extremely energizing. Josh, we can’t hear you.

Josh Clemente (32:54):

Oh. Getting athletes wearing this thing, I think it’s just a huge step. It’s not about athletes, per se. We apply to everyone across the metabolic spectrum, but that is key to making this aspirational and goal-oriented in lifestyle.

Josh Clemente (33:10):

It’s like when you see an athlete who is at the top of their game wearing something, that removes it from the oh, this is for sick people stigma and places it in the world of lifestyle and goal setting. Everyone likes to chase a goal and achieve it.

Josh Clemente (33:25):

So the more athletes and the more thought leaders in specific spaces that we can get using this and providing organic testimonials, I think the faster we’re going to see uptake in the mainstream market. Miz?

Mike Mizrahi (33:39):

Yeah. On the professional side, my sister is an oral surgeon in New Jersey and also does some cosmetics, and saw Levels in the wild on Instagram through a different cosmetics doctor that she works with. So, cool to see it moving into some different circles. I think we’ve got the tech bubbles.

Mike Mizrahi (33:59):

We’ve got the athletic bubbles. It’s interesting to start to see it move outside of bubbles that I’m directly exposed to and have other people see it through that. So, that’s exciting. And then on the personal side, going to Santa Cruz this weekend with nieces and nephews and in-laws. So, some family time, which should be fun.

Josh Clemente (34:18):

Nice. Megha?

Megha Doshi (34:22):

On the professional side, like many of you, super excited by some of the partnerships. I want to give a special shout out to Tom, who has just been a really great asset for me as I’ve been getting on boarded and just getting familiar with all our documents and points of view. So Tom, thank you so much for helping me feel super included.

Megha Doshi (34:40):

I’m really excited about some of the brand partnerships we’re thinking about and pursuing. Also, excited to I think we’re finally at a stage where we’ve gotten approvals on assets and copy and stuff, so we can move on some of the posts we want to do on Instagram. And on a personal level, I want to bake something this weekend, which I haven’t done in like two years. That’s about it.

Josh Clemente (35:08):

Awesome. Jhon?

Jhon Cruz (35:12):

Yeah, I will be taking the next week off. I will be at home, but it’s going to be a good opportunity to spend more time with my family, to explore some good local places here, and to recharge some energy. So, that’s exciting.

Josh Clemente (35:30):

Awesome. Got to get those quarterly weeks off. Gabriel?

Gabriel (35:35):

So professionally, I’m excited about the heart rate import stuff that Jhon’s been working on. I’m thinking of getting some monitoring hardware so I can test it out myself. And personally, I’m going to go stand up paddleboarding tomorrow, because it’s going to be at the last day that’s warm enough to do it here. Never done that before, so excited to try it.

Josh Clemente (35:54):

Nice. Keep your core tight, otherwise, your back is going to be screaming tomorrow, or the next day. Yeah. For me, two things. I’m personally excited about starting my road trip tomorrow. My girlfriend and I are heading to the Mountain West, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana. It’s going to be a multi week process and I’m very excited for this. I haven’t really branched out in several months now.

Josh Clemente (36:18):

I’m also excited about my introduction to the AeroPress coffee brewing method. Andrew has spoken of this before and I was digging around in cabinets at my girlfriend’s place and found an AeroPress. There it is. This thing was designed by the engineers that developed the Aerobie Disc, if you know that round, hollow disc frisbee. And it’s an engineering marvel, and it makes delicious coffee. So I really enjoy using it. Professionally, I’m really excited about this partnerships thing.

Josh Clemente (36:49):

And just the operational, I think that it’s lighting a fire under some decisions that we’ve been putting on the back burner for some time, things like chat and how we treat SMS and how we’re consolidating communications. And obviously, having Miz on board has been just totally huge to have that central point of focus. But also, it’s causing us to make some moves that we have been unsure of timing for. So it’s great to see the wheels turning. Mercy?

Mercy (37:18):

Professionally, it’s exciting to start moving over from front a little bit. I talked with Miz yesterday and watched a bunch of videos on Help Scout. And that seems like it’s going to be a much better system than Zendesk in front. So, that’ll be exciting.

Mercy (37:33):

Personally, my sister is about to have a baby any day now. So I’m going to go out there and make sure that they are fully prepared, because she doesn’t really seem like it. So we’ll see what happens next week, if there’s a new baby or not. Yeah.

Josh Clemente (37:48):

True. That’s also a personal thing I should talk about. Thanks for covering that one for me. Mike?

Michael DiDonato (37:59):

Definitely, the conversation, the screenshot that I shared on the slide, it was a really powerful one for me just to see. The days are long and the weeks are fast, but messages like that really give you perspective and understanding of how important the work that we’re all doing.

Michael DiDonato (38:18):

And then the other thing is just, grateful to work with everyone on our team. And specifically, want to call out Dom and Molly and Ben. It’s really powerful when we’re having conversations with customers or general outreach, to say people like Dom and Ben and Molly, they’re all a part of our team and leading our research efforts.

Josh Clemente (38:41):

Totally. Casey?

Casey Means (38:47):

Yeah. So on the professional side, super excited about the research conversations with Dom and Ben. I’m super grateful for their generosity of time and talking through a lot of these ideas. I feel like my brain is just buzzing about these opportunities. And to get to talk with such brilliant people regularly is just like, I have to pinch myself. It’s just so exciting. Between our team and our advisors, it’s pretty amazing the caliber of people to be surrounded by.

Casey Means (39:12):

So was also extremely excited that Mark Hyman is in the program. He is one of the people who originally got interested in functional medicine. And his book, The UltraMind Solution is amazing. And it’s like a really good overview about optimizing brain health, but also about functional medicine. So, highly recommend it, UltraMind Solution. But I read that like five years ago, and so getting to actually see him pop up on the console list kind of was crazy.

Casey Means (39:41):

Personal side, the fall foliage is crazy. It’s so beautiful. I’m in Northern Pennsylvania. I feel like the leaves started changing like 48 hours ago and I’m freaking out. I am also on vacation next week and so I’m going to be doing some camping in the Catskills. And I’m just going to be freaking out the entire time about the leaves, so I’m so excited.

Josh Clemente (40:01):

Nice. All right. Evan?

Evan Richard (40:05):

Yeah. So a combination personal and professional is that I got a new laptop and I finally was able to restore my old laptop onto it. And it’s so much better. The typing works. If I press the E key, it will do one E instead of zero or three Es. And that’s been huge.

Evan Richard (40:21):

I had no idea how much mental space I was spending editing back and forth. And then leaf peeping news, I will probably be going to Reno next week for better access to the Eastern Sierras to also leaf peep. So yes, leaf peeping. The three categories, personal, professional, and leaf peeping.

Josh Clemente (40:37):

Yeah, that’s always good. What computer do you go with?

Evan Richard (40:41):

A slightly newer MacBook Air. And basically, it has a keyboard that has instead of 1.2 millimeter travel, 2.0 millimeter travel. And that 0.8 millimeters, I hate to say actually makes a difference.

Josh Clemente (40:53):

Yeah, I’m sensitive to it as well.

Sam Corcos (40:56):

Yep, I’m going to have to do the same thing. Because at this point, my T, my M, and my N keys work only spontaneously.

Evan Richard (41:03):


Sam Corcos (41:03):

Or sporadically.

Evan Richard (41:04):

It’s all my vowels, actually. E is just the worst. And you need vowels.

Sam Corcos (41:09):

That’s true.

Josh Clemente (41:10):

Facts. Okay. Quick topic. The virtual meetup stuff, thanks to everyone who replied to the form that I sent out a few weeks ago about the virtual meetup. I’ll be sending out details, including some date selections. Sorry for the delay on this, but we’ve been trying to make the best choice for everyone in terms of whether to do, well, timing and location, and concepts as well.

Josh Clemente (41:35):

So more to come. We haven’t forgotten. It will likely be November, given that there’s been a bit of a delay. So, that’s the goal. And that’s all I’ve got for that today. And now to Jeremy for story of the day. Do you need me to stop sharing my screen?

Jeremy Phelps (41:55):

Yeah, I’ve got slides.

Josh Clemente (41:58):


Jeremy Phelps (41:58):

It makes me look prepared. Okay. Okay. So, Gabriel will like the name of my talk. This is, your bum’s out the window. Sorry, Gabriel. If you want to say it right, please feel free.

Gabriel (42:30):

That would be, your bum’s out the window.

Jeremy Phelps (42:30):

See? That’s way better. Idioms are weird. As some of you know, I have a little bit of a fascination with language, especially other languages. This one is mostly English. So I guess to start, we should start with a definition. What is an idiom? You can read here, it’s an expression whose meaning is not predictable from the usual meanings of its constituent elements.

Jeremy Phelps (43:02):

If you’re feeling fancy, you could also call this a colloquialism. Although that word is too many syllables, so I don’t use it. These are super, super common in English and other languages as well. But since most of us speak English, some examples of these things are like, hair of the dog, spilling the beans, to tell a secret, or get your ducks in a row, or walking on eggshells around someone, or throwing the baby out with the bathwater.

Jeremy Phelps (43:30):

Those of you who learned English as a second language are probably incredibly confused by this, because they’re all nonsense if you stop and think about what you’re actually saying. One of my personal favorites in English, of course, is let the cat out of the bag. When I first decided to do this topic, my goal was to research all of these and figure out where they came from.

Jeremy Phelps (43:57):

The trouble is that some of them are pretty old, and no one really knows. This is the only one that I was able to find a little bit of information on. It comes from the 15th century. There are a couple of theories, none of which Snopes like, so please, please take that with a grain of salt. One is that there was a whip, like cat of nine tails, which was used as punishment on Royal Navy vessels, so you would whip someone who had misbehaved.

Jeremy Phelps (44:26):

So when someone would take the cat of nine tails out of the bag, that person would have been caught. Also, one of the most common explanations for this is a pig in a poke scam. I don’t know when this was, but if someone would buy a young suckling pig and it would come with a bag. And since pigs were much more expensive than cats, people would put cats in the bags and sell it as a pig. And then you would get home and then the cat would be out of the bag, and the deception would be known.

Jeremy Phelps (45:01):

One of my other favorites, of course, if you are from the South or have family from the South, bless your heart. So if you are not from the South, basically what this means is that you are a colossal idiot and I wish someone would launch you into the sun. There are other uses as well, but this one is my particular favorite. And the name of our talk, of course, I’m not even going to say it.

Jeremy Phelps (45:28):

What this one means is that you are talking absolute nonsense, hence the name of the talk, because all of these are nonsense. There’s a famous one from Colombia, which is [foreign language 00:45:44], which literally means, don’t give papaya. Okay. What’s wrong with papayas? It means you should not put yourself in a position to be taken advantage of. So if you’re walking down the street with dollar bills hanging out your back pocket, someone would probably tell you, [foreign language 00:46:02].

Jeremy Phelps (46:06):

I found one in Mandarin. You know what? I’m not going to say this one either. I will let one of the other people who actually speak this language say it. This one means, why don’t you fly to the sky? Which also doesn’t really make sense. What it really means is, who do you think you are? If you do something that’s kind of presumptuous or out of place, someone might say, why don’t you fly to the sky?

Jeremy Phelps (46:40):

In Japanese, this one, I’m a big fan of, [foreign language 00:46:44], which means even monkeys fall from trees. And that, what it really means is everyone makes mistakes. I think about this one all the time because I personally am a person who makes a lot of mistakes, and so I need to remind myself of this all the time.

Jeremy Phelps (47:04):

One of my Danish friends gave me this one, [foreign language 00:47:07]. I don’t speak Danish, but that means no cow on the ice. The Danish ones are all really good, by the way, Google Danish idioms. It means the coast is clear. There’s no problem here. Everything’s fine. Which I mean, sure. There’s a lot of things that … No cow on the ice? Great. Why would a cow be on the ice? I have no idea.

Jeremy Phelps (47:34):

I’ve got some bonus ones here, too. In Spanish, you say [foreign language 00:47:38], which is like, up to your eyeballs. In Bulgaria, my lighthouse hurts. Means someone doesn’t care. And much more boring, Quebecois, saying get ready for an intense situation. Some of the others that I found in Greek, saying you ate my ears means you’re being too loud, or someone’s talking too much.

Jeremy Phelps (48:06):

Black day and spidery means to have a bad day. It’s raining chair legs, in Greek is it’s raining cats and dogs, or it’s raining hard. And a good one in Czech. Instead of it’s all Greek to me, they say it’s a Spanish village to me. And I will be happy of course, to share all of the native readings of this, because I’m not going to butcher languages that I don’t speak.

Jeremy Phelps (48:39):

So I will admit that I know very little about this. So I’m happy to answer any questions that people have, or if people would like to share their favorites. I always love hearing these. Share them now. Come on by the language learning channel on Slack and share your favorites.

Josh Clemente (49:02):

Well, that was lovely. That was off the wall, didn’t see that one coming. But I think the only one that makes sense to me is the raining chair legs, because I imagine that’s like when somebody lives above you and they’re moving around in their chair, and it’s hammering the floor or ceiling, I guess. Maybe that’s where that came from. That’s my only theory on the source.

Jeremy Phelps (49:23):


Josh Clemente (49:25):

Nice. Thanks for putting that together. Any other questions on idioms, language learning?

Sam Corcos (49:32):

When I was in Brazil, there were a lot of protests and everyone was holding these signs. And I asked somebody what the sign said. He says, “The sign says, ‘I will not pay for your duck.'” And I was like, “Okay.” He was like, “Oh, sorry, that’s an idiom. It means we’re opposed to corruption.” I was like, “Okay. Great.” So it’s like …

Josh Clemente (49:56):

I love it. Duck is delicious. All right. Well, yeah. Any last questions? We’re open here at the end. If not, I’m pretty proud of the pace there. We got through everything, even with a growing group. So thanks everyone for keeping it moving, adding some great content to the slides today.

Josh Clemente (50:16):

And then also, just crushing it this week as usual. Dom, thank you for showing up. Next week, we’ve got Ben Bikman joining. Dom, please if you’d like, we’ll be here. And yeah, awesome seeing everybody. Have a great Friday and a great weekend.