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Neil Blumenthal: 3 Lessons Learned From Building Warby Parker


About this talk

What were the steps that took Warby Parker from an idea to business? Co-CEO Neil Blumenthal shares how Warby Parker started by dramatically simplifying their message to focus on fashion first, price second, and social mission third. They then “shouted the idea from the rooftops” to get as much input as possible.

Next, they took a series of rapid but small steps to iterate until launching with a series of inexpensive, but impactful, marketing tactics like creating a behind the scenes “annual report” that was spread widely around the web. “You build trust by giving it away. Brands can do better than sitting in the Ivory Tower,” says Blumenthal. “If you want to build deep relationships you have to show some warts.”

Neil Blumenthal, Co-Founder & Co-CEO, Warby Parker

Neil Blumenthal loves helping people see. Determined to radically transform the eyewear industry, Neil and three friends launched Warby Parker in February of 2010.

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 Asia, Africa and Latin America. In 2005, Neil was named a Fellow for Emerging Leaders in Public Service at NYU Robert F. Wagner School for Public Service.

Prior to joining VisionSpring, he worked with the International Crisis Group and attended the Institute for International Mediation and Conflict Resolution in The Hague, Netherlands. Neil received his BA from Tufts University and his MBA from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania where he was both a Social Enterprise Fellow and a Leadership Fellow. Neil and his wife, jewelry designer Rachel Leigh, live in NYC.

Comments (3)
  • pregret

    I don’t know how many times I’ve heard people hiring cheap project freelancers and getting crap work done. You pay for what you get.

  • Kevin

    It is really hard for most clients to understand the value of design from an ROI perspective

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  • Stephen Lee

    That was a really good presentation..

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