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Wealthfront lpse-20101116

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  • Big market “As of October 2007, there are 8,015 mutual funds that belong to the Investment Company Institute (ICI), a national trade association of investment companies in the United States, with combined assets of $12.356 trillion” (from Wikipedia)

    Business model
    Cut of management fees
    Margin on trading commissions
  • Our goal is to connect investors with outstanding investment managers.

    Retail customers (net worth less than $1M) are underserved. The only actively managed investment vehicles available are mutual funds.

    Schwab created Schawb One Source which is THE marketplace for mutual funds.

    We want to create the equivalent for individually managed accounts, essentially bringing wealth management to retail.

    Our foundational values are transparency and aligning interests. You can know everything about the investment manager you are entrusting. His portfolio holdings, his past transaction history, his rational, philosophy. And we use all this data to objectively vet managers. We are creating a platform for win-win situations.

    In 6 months, we’ve attracted over $11M and are growing very fast.

    We’re an SEC regulated company, en route to being FINRA regulated as a broker/dealer.
  • our context is extreme uncertainty
    if we can reduce the time to learn which way to go, we can increase our odds of success before we run out of money
  • eric ries’ graphic













  • stuff on the shelves = waste
  • if you wait two weeks to deploy, there’s so much that can go wrong
    so if you’re testing the failure cases all the time you are much safer
  • bucket: heavy, imprecise, can spill
    hose: precise, controllable, flexible
  • Culture: takes a lot of discipline to achieve CD, it’s about realizing we are human and do mistakes, risk mitigation everywhere

    Continuous integration: engineers must be aware of test success or failures, important to have physical reminders “build monitor”


  • Culture: takes a lot of discipline to achieve CD, it’s about realizing we are human and do mistakes, risk mitigation everywhere

    Continuous integration: engineers must be aware of test success or failures, important to have physical reminders “build monitor”


  • Culture: takes a lot of discipline to achieve CD, it’s about realizing we are human and do mistakes, risk mitigation everywhere

    Continuous integration: engineers must be aware of test success or failures, important to have physical reminders “build monitor”


  • Culture: takes a lot of discipline to achieve CD, it’s about realizing we are human and do mistakes, risk mitigation everywhere

    Continuous integration: engineers must be aware of test success or failures, important to have physical reminders “build monitor”


  • the continuous deployment philosophy (eric ries)

  • every new engineer pushes to production their first day
    no deep training, the tests give


  • This wasn’t a good day for us. You can see two rollbacks in the bottom right hand corner.

    We missed issues in testing which got out to production. Because of our investment in production infrastructure, we had those issues for about 45 seconds total, before our code automatically rolled back our bad code.

    I can also say that because of our process, we won’t have either of those issues again.

    What could have been a very bad day, became mediocre at worst. And the things we learned will make us more stable going forward.
  • our continuous deployment system is hooked into the build system
    so in our commit message we can say: if the build passes then commit service UM


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