What It's Like When A Startup Is Launching A Major New Product

learnvest alexa von tobelLearnVest founder Alexa Von Tobel (far right) with her team at 3 AM.

Photo: LearnVest

Most consumers never know how much work goes into big product releases at tech companies. Even an app that looks slightly altered to the average user can take hours of gruelling work for development teams to release.¬†On the night of September 10th, New York startup LearnVest had its biggest product release ever. More than 30 staffers stayed in the office until 3 AM to roll out LearnVest’s new mobile apps and financial planning software.

“We’re providing planning to a huge audience who’s never had access to financial planners before,” CEO Alexa von Tobel told Business Insider. “This was always my plan for LearnVest. It was in my very first pitch deck.”

After a long night full of pizza, coding and craziness, the tech team got the job done. They helped LearnVest officially transition from a content-only site to a full-fledged financial planning company.

LearnVest’s CTO Hrishi Dixit documented some of the mayhem and took us behind the scenes of the big product launch.

7pm. CEO Alexa von Tobel helps unload the pizza delivery. Patsy's for all!

Members of the product and tech teams chow down on a pizza dinner.

Software developers Sam Valiquette (L) and Amadeus Junqueira (R) are hard at work, while Carolyn Norton enjoys her pizza in the background.

Members of the tech team confer on their progress.

The product team gathers for more pizza in the kitchen.

10pm. Developers Trevor Wilson (back) and Grant Peters (front) tackle some last minute tasks.

Cameron Sim (left), Director of Analytics, and Hrishi Dixit (right), CTO, hard at work.

Mobile developers Will Larche (left) and Eric Schulte (right) get dramatic over the iPhone app.

General Manager, Financial Products, Jeff Green gives hard-working Head of Product Jon Cowley a massage. (Jon is not amused.)

It's midnight now, and the whole LearnVest team still has a few hours of work.

Delirious from lack of sleep, mobile developer Will Larche dons his birthday hat.

Product associates Annie Shapiro and Becky Malkin share some laughs with CEO Alexa von Tobel. Thy're so tired, everything seems funny.

Luckily a late-night visit from Ruggles, Editor-in-Chief Carrie Sloan's miniature labradoodle brings a new burst of energy.

Ruggles takes over the office.

3am Director of Engineering, Kevin Connelly, takes a quick newspaper break (having adopted Will's birthday hat).

Finally, after a near-all nighter, the tech team is able to celebrate the release on September 11. Software developers Sam Valiquette and Amadeus Junqueira, Director of UI/UX Technology Jeremy Brennan, and developers Mike Sitchenko and Grant Peters, toast to the launch with some Lagavulin (after finally catching up on some much-needed sleep).

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