Warby Parker: The Toms Shoes and Zappos of Eyeglasses

Ever wonder why the cost of eyeglasses is so high?  Neil Blumenthal and Dave Gilboa wondered the same thing while brainstorming business ideas during the 1st year of their MBA program at the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School.  The answer is that the industry is dominated by a few giants worldwide that create the illusion of competition through various owned optical companies such as LensCrafters, Pearle Vision and Sunglass Hut.  By the time a customer rings a pair of eyeglasses up at the cash register, the eyeglasses have been marked up 15% for designer licensing fees and another 2-3 times the cost by the retail outlet.

Frustrated and intrigued by the opportunity to disrupt the eyewear industry, Blumenthal and Gilboa launched Warby Parker, an online designer frames and eyeglasses startup that focuses on trendy fashion at affordable prices, free shipping and returns, virtual dressing room leveraging augmented reality and providing eyeglasses to people in need across the globe.

Read more at Businessweek >>

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About The Author

Philip Nowak is the founder of Firmology, technology focused news and insight for small businesses and online startups. He honed his entrepreneurial chops while working for his family's Chicago-based window manufacturing business. Philip graduated from Indiana University with a BA in Economics.