I want to tell you about my new found love for Warby Parker, not just for their awesome looking eyeglasses or how they so quickly managed to disrupt the eyewear industry. I’m in awe of how they conduct their business, for their innovation in everything they do including their buy one give one model.
In Fast Company’s most innovative companies of 2015, Warby Parker was listed number one, even before Apple, that says a lot about a company that started just five years ago. I was therefore excited when I learnt that the co-founder and CEO of Warby Parker, Neil Blumenthal had a course on skillshare on “Build a Social Mission-Driven Brand“. It was great to learn directly from someone who has built such an outstanding brand and was instrumental in structuring Warby Parker’s innovative buy one give one business model. The company does not directly distribute eyewear to the poor as like Toms Shoes instead funds the training of low-income entrepreneurs who in turn sell glasses to their communities at affordable prices. Warby Parker to date has distributed over a million pairs of glasses to people in need.
Neil once worked with the nonprofit Vision Spring, that trains low-income men and women to sell eyewear to the poor. Warby Parker’s responsible giving program is founded on Neil’s learnings from his work at the nonprofit.
Neil’s skillshare course is really informative, I found the module on Social Impact and Your Brand As A story very interesting and probably the most important one too. It’s a must watch given that the company is truly outstanding in those two areas.