In episode II of Chris Dixon’s Founder Stories interview with Warby Parker’s co-founders, David Gilboa and Neil Blumenthal, the trio discuss topics spanning Warby Parker’s social responsibility efforts to the state of e-commerce.
Off the bat, Gilboa tells Dixon that Warby Parker strives to be an environmentally friendly organization focused on giving back to the community. In addition to being “100% carbon neutral” Gilboa highlights Warby Parker’s “Buy a Pair, Give a Pair” initiative where Warby Parker donates a set of glasses for every set it sells.
Speaking to setting up shop in Manhattan, Gilboa (who previously lived in San Francisco) says, “I was sort of brainwashed into thinking that if you wanted to launch a startup, particularly anything Internet based, you had to do it in the Bay area.” His views have since changed and Gilboa is now in lockstep with co-founder Blumenthal who says, “New York was the right place to be because we are a fashion brand, and New York is the fashion capital of the world.”
As other New York e-commerce brands like Birchbox and Fab gain popularity, Galboa is bullish on Warby Parker’s future. He tells Dixon, “When we started looking at the eyewear industry, less than 1 percent of eyeglasses were sold online, but we are huge believers in the fact that eyeglasses are going to follow all these other consumer product categories and more and more of that spend is going to go online.”
Before the interview wraps, Gilboa take a moment to offer advice to budding entrepreneurs. Make sure to watch the entire interview to hear everything the pair has to say.
Past episodes of Founder Stories featuring leaders from Reddit, KickStarter, Tumblr, TripAdvisor, ZocDoc, Charity: Water and may other startups are here.
Warby Parker was founded with a rebellious spirit and a lofty objective: to create boutique-quality, classically crafted eyewear at a revolutionary price point.
David Gilboa is one of the founders of Warby Parker. Like a Viking from his Swedish homeland, Dave spends his free time seeking adventure. His two most recent conquests include trekking across Antarctica and becoming the fastest person to ever run a marathon in a flamingo costume. He aspires to one day summit Everest while wearing his trusty monocle.
Neil Blumenthal loves helping people see. Determined to radically transform the eyewear industry, Neil and three friends launched Warby Parker in February of 2010. Warby Parker is a transformative fashion brand offering designer eyewear at a revolutionary price while leading the way for socially-conscious businesses. Neil had been the Director of VisionSpring, a non-profit social enterprise that trains low-income women to start their own business selling affordable eyeglasses to individuals living on less than $4 per day in South...
Chris Dixon is a Partner at and co-founder of Founder Collective. He is also a contributing writer for TechCrunch. He previously was the CEO and Co-founder of SiteAdvisor, which was acquired by McAfee, and Hunch, which was acquired by eBay. In addition to his work with Founder’s Collective, Chris is a personal investor in early-stage technology companies, including Skype, TrialPay, DocVerse, Invite Media, Gerson Lehrman Group, ScanScout, OMGPOP, BillShrink, Oddcast, Panjiva, Knewton, and a handful of other startups that...