How The Founders Of Warby Parker Disrupted The Eyewear Industry By Going Against Their Original Idea

How The Founders Of Warby Parker Disrupted The Eyewear Industry By Going Against Their Original Idea

KAMELIA ANGELOVA AND ROBERT LIBETTI SEP. 25, 2013, 3:47 PM 2,248 1

This is the eighth post of the “Inspired to Strive” series, in which business leaders share their stories of success. “Inspired to Strive” is sponsored by CIT. See more posts in the series »

When Neil Blumenthal and his friends started Warby Parker, they wanted to disrupt the optical industry. But they never expected to do it so quickly. In three years, Warby Parker has built a recognizable brand with over 300 employees managing a successful online business and retail stores and showrooms in New York, Boston, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Despite the fast-changing company dynamics, the four co-founders – Andrew Hunt, Jeffrey Raider, David Gilboa and Blumenthal – came up with ways to keep each other in check, and to make sure they made collective decisions about the direction of the company. We interviewed Blumenthal about the strategies his team used to get exposure and expand the company, and how betting against their original idea about an online-only business has paid off tremendously.

About bambooinnovator
Kee Koon Boon (“KB”) is the co-founder and director of HERO Investment Management which provides specialized fund management and investment advisory services to the ARCHEA Asia HERO Innovators Fund (www.heroinnovator.com), the only Asian SMID-cap tech-focused fund in the industry. KB is an internationally featured investor rooted in the principles of value investing for over a decade as a fund manager and analyst in the Asian capital markets who started his career at a boutique hedge fund in Singapore where he was with the firm since 2002 and was also part of the core investment committee in significantly outperforming the index in the 10-year-plus-old flagship Asian fund. He was also the portfolio manager for Asia-Pacific equities at Korea’s largest mutual fund company. Prior to setting up the H.E.R.O. Innovators Fund, KB was the Chief Investment Officer & CEO of a Singapore Registered Fund Management Company (RFMC) where he is responsible for listed Asian equity investments. KB had taught accounting at the Singapore Management University (SMU) as a faculty member and also pioneered the 15-week course on Accounting Fraud in Asia as an official module at SMU. KB remains grateful and honored to be invited by Singapore’s financial regulator Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) to present to their top management team about implementing a world’s first fact-based forward-looking fraud detection framework to bring about benefits for the capital markets in Singapore and for the public and investment community. KB also served the community in sharing his insights in writing articles about value investing and corporate governance in the media that include Business Times, Straits Times, Jakarta Post, Manual of Ideas, Investopedia, TedXWallStreet. He had also presented in top investment, banking and finance conferences in America, Italy, Sydney, Cape Town, HK, China. He has trained CEOs, entrepreneurs, CFOs, management executives in business strategy & business model innovation in Singapore, HK and China.

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