Compared to private admissions consultant, my expectations were low for applicant lab at first. But the tool and Maria proved me wrong very soon. The process to develop the essays completely works (i got interviews to HBS and Columbia with the stories I had built using Applicant Lab). Whether you are starting from scratch or have a story on mind, I believe Applicant Lab will be extremely helpful in crafting the essays. It is like having a framework that keeps you on track while clarifying and calibrating your fuzzy thoughts and emotions.
In addition, Maria is a very impressive person. I found her videos (both for essays and interviews) to be extremely extremely helpful. She is also super responsive to emails and quick questions. I have also did a mock interview with her which was right on spot. She got many questions right for HBS!
Now looking back, I would have purchased Applicant Lab again and again for sure. If you are having second thoughts (which I had), please please remember that you end up spending so much money to random things during the application process and Applicant Lab will be one of your wisest purchases.