Starting with $120,000 - their entire life savings, Warby Parker has emerged as a fashion giant, selling over a million pairs of designer eyeglasses. More than that, it's made the world a better place, donating an equal number of eyeglasses to needy people in the developing world while maintaining a net zero carbon footprint -- and earning a substantial profit for its investors. I sat down with co-founders Neil Blumenthal and David Gilboa in their New York headquarters and talked to them about start-ups, risk-taking, collaboration, creativity, and entrepreneurialism.
"Simply put, we saw an industry that was broken," they told me, adding that "Focus is key for any startup. Strategy is as much about what you don't do as much as what you do. Any startup has limited resources so you need to focus on the areas where you have a unique advantage and can do better than any other company." But Warby Parker doesn't just do the same old thing better. It's redefined the whole industry -- and is expanding the idea of what a company can and should do.
Rana Florida is the author of the best-selling book Upgrade, Taking Your Work and Life from Ordinary to Extraordinary.