FAST COMPANY: How important is adaptation?
ALEXA VON TOBEL: So what's most important in staying adaptable? It's actually being adaptable. If there's a brilliant idea, quickly fostering it. I think it's really important that our culture has this real momentum around if it's a not a great idea, let it go. Failure is OK. We're not going to be scared of it. I think that that keeps us adaptable, because as great ideas come down the pike, let's quickly expedite them, let's put them in process, let's put them in motion. I think when bad ideas come down the pike, quickly killing them. I think that's an ongoing cycle and it comes from the culture, from our team leaders, to me, to my board, to making sure that we really are honest about letting good ideas soar and bad ideas quickly die.
How important is adaptation?
Alexa von Tobel is the founder and CEO of LearnVest.com, the leading personal finance and lifestyle website for women. Alexa developed the idea for LearnVest in 2006, during her senior year at Harvard College, when she realized she, and most of her peers, had never had any formal education on how to effectively manage their finances. Thus, the LearnVest mission was born – to make trusted personal financial information accessible to millions of women across the country.
Originally from Florida, Alexa received an A.B. in Psychology at Harvard College. Upon graduation, she worked as a trader at Morgan Stanley on their Proprietary Trading Desk before leaving to be the Head of Business Development at Drop.io, a venture backed start-up in NYC. She enrolled in Harvard Business School in the fall of 2008 only to take a leave of absence shortly after to launch LearnVest. To date, LearnVest raised over $25MM in venture funding led by Accel Partners, the venture firm responsible for backing Facebook, Groupon and more.
Since launching LearnVest in 2009 at TechCrunch50, Alexa has been widely quoted as a personal finance expert and entrepreneur in top tier business and consumer publications including: New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, BusinessWeek, Shape, Fast Company, Marie Claire, InStyle, The Huffington Post, Mashable, TechCrunch, VentureBeat and many more. In addition, Alexa has appeared on several major local and national television shows including The Today Show, CNN, The Rachael Ray Show, Anderson, The Nate Berkus Show, Fox Business News, CNN, ABC News, Bloomberg News, and The Gayle King Show, among many others. Alexa was also named to a new digital advisory board called Women@NBCU, which was put together by NBCUniversal’s female-targeted ad network, marketing and research initiative.
Alexa has held speaking engagements at TedxWallStreet, Harvard Business School, Columbia Business School, Princeton, Yale, at SXSW and at Maria Shriver’s Women’s Conference.