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This article was published on February 20, 2013

    Inside Warby Parker: Co-CEO Neil Blumenthal talks transforming the optical industry and doing good

    Inside Warby Parker: Co-CEO Neil Blumenthal talks transforming the optical industry and doing good
    Harrison Weber
    Story by

    Harrison Weber

    Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email. Harrison Weber is TNW's Features Editor in NYC. Part writer, part designer. Stay in touch: Twitter @harrisonweber, Google+ and Email.

    Today at Social Media Week headquarters in NYC, Warby Parker co-CEO Neil Blumenthal spoke about his company’s formation and how it set out to transform the optical industry (worth $22 billion in US).

    In doing so, Warby Parker took eyewear online — it had been curiously absent from the e-commerce world — and heavily cut inflated prices down to $95 for a pair of glasses.

    As you’ll see in the video below, Blumenthal elaborates that the “tech behind glasses hasn’t changed much in hundreds of years.” Then why, he asks, should a pair of glasses cost the same as the latest iPhone?

    Blumenthal also shared that Warby Parker has plans to produce more of its own content as it transforms into a lifestyle brand, but that the company has no intention to compete with media outlets. This is noteworthy, as growing startups like Birchbox appear to be inching towards that direction.

    For more Social Media Week 2013, check out this discussion with Alexis Ohanian and Eli Pariser on defending the open Internet.