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Video transcript

my name's Dave Gilboa co-founder and co-ceo of Warby Parker I'm the L Blumenthal co-founder and co-ceo for V Parker we started Warby Parker because we saw a huge opportunity to solve a real problem we loved glasses and we've been wearing glasses for a long time that couldn't understand why they're so expensive and when we looked into it saw this massive industry that really hadn't had any innovation we also wanted to create an organization that did something good in the world and so I think everything that we do really stems from those two goals to disrupt this industry that we thought was broken and then also prove that for-profit businesses can have a positive impact in the world and there was that fateful moment where you forgot a pair of glasses in an airplane I happen to be traveling I left a pair of glasses on a plane and they had cost me $700 and I was about to be a full-time student in Business School and when my whole first semester without owning a pair of glasses because I thought it was ridiculous how expensive they were I just bought a new iPhone that cost me $200 and did all these things that people can imagine five years earlier meanwhile the technology behind a pair of glasses was invented eight hundred years ago and it just didn't make sense why they were so expensive we really came at this as consumers and people that would go and buy glasses you realize that there are crazy markups in this industry and it just doesn't make sense and at that point you start to figure out okay what do I need to do here well we need to design the frames we can do that ourselves we need to figure out where to produce that while we had some manufacturing relationships we could leverage and then we also need a place to sell it so we thought that the internet was this great medium where we could interact directly with customers so we wanted to figure out a way to compact that value chain and transfer a bunch of money to customers we kept hearing from people that you know if you could sell glasses online someone would already be doing it we entered the Wharton business man competition and I think we needed to the semi-finals it was exciting but alas we didn't win yeah first we took it very personally and emotionally but then realized that our time was better spent actually creating the operations of the business than perfecting our PowerPoint pitch and also I think put a little chip on our shoulder and that was just some extra little motivation yeah we had seen firsthand as consumers that this industry was broken and came up with a better way to do it and just fundamentally believe that we could create our own brand people were more and more willing to buy products online whether it's Blue Nile getting people comfortable buying things as expensive as engagement rings Zappos convincing people that they can buy shoes online even if they need to try them on we really thought it was a unique opportunity in time where consumers were ready to actually buy glasses online and if we could create a great brand and a great experience they'd actually be willing to do though