Big Bang Release – kaChing is now Wealthfront

Today is the 1-year anniversary of our marketplace. This milestone marks the end of our pivot and our continued dedication to democratizing access to outstanding investment managers. In just 12 months, we’ve attracted over $100M of consumer assets and on boarded close to thirty professional managers.

At 4:00pm ET sharp, while we were ringing the NASDAQ closing bell, we released our new site Wealthfront.com, unveiled all the new features at once and launched many new managers. And all happened with one click on the Deployment Manager (DM). As in Jessica Diamond’s “Money Having Sex” piece, we’ll split the story in four acts.

Foreplay

For the past two months, our team has been hard at work developping the new site. During this time, we continued on our tradition of 30+ deployments a day. The new website has been live behind the scene for all the while. Our infrastucture allows us to tag users with experiements such as DEBUG, REBRANDING or SIGN_UP_FLOW_A. (Check out the one-line split-test post on how these work.)

These experiments are used both for A/B testing and hiding un-released features. Wealthfront employees, for instance, were added little by little to the REBRANDING experiment and were therefore able to use the new site in production to experience the new feel. No need for a maintenance-black-hole staging system! Not to mention that some of our customers were able to be part of a beta release, call us on bugs and help us get the product on the finish line.

Doin’ It

At our traditional stand-up “10:30” meeting this morning, we ran through the last open bugs we had to close, final content edits and the release plan. There were more details about updating our Twitter account or company LinkedIn page and such than actual operational changes.

It's Release Time

At 3:30pm ET, 30 minutes to go, we hooked the projector to a TV and watched the live NASDAQ event. Two last commits went through: change the branding from kaChing to Wealthfront and make www.wealthfront.com public. Twenty-five minutes later, the launch sequence was started on the DM. It is worthwile to note that the backend release was orchestrated by our latest team member, Ian Atha, who has been with the company less than two weeks.

Climax

3, 2, 1… go! Andy and Dan ring the closing bell. The site is live and it’s now time for the real firedrill.

Wealthfront Rings NASDAQ's Closing Bell

Post-Coital Cig

Given that the site had been live for quite some time, we had no production surprises. For example, we had been monitoring all of our customer’s new dashboard pages for errors and slowness.

After running through a post launch checklist, we cracked open some Champagne, and started a barbeque in the middle of Palo Alto in front of our office.

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This has been the biggest release of the year, for which we have prepared for multiple months now. Thanks to constant effort of our team it was also the calmest day of the year! We cheered, ate, drank and enjoyed this huge corporate milestone.