Archive for May, 2014

Warby + Google

From the burgeoning Smartwatch category with offerings from upstart independents like Pebble, or stalwarts like Samsung, to sound technology companies like Harman and Beats working behind the scenes to embed speaker technology into everything from coats to cardigans, wearable technology is everywhere and changing the way we view the most familiar objects of our every day lives.

Now, with the introduction Google Glass. a pair of glasses is not just a pair of glasses anymore. With Google Glass, Larry Page is showing us that the technology of tomorrow won’t only be wickedly cool, but wearably chic. Just like Jobs did with the Ipod, Page shows us with Google Glass how the future holds a tomorrow where technology is more agent of fashion than function.

Warby Parker, the media darling eyewear startup founded by four college friends from Brown looking to disrupt the optical apparel industry, has also used eyeglasses as an incubation vehicle for tomorrow’s innovation. And instead of giving birth to a new hotbed of innovation founded upon industry fusion, they forged an entirely new cottage industry, able to be housed within a traditional industry, solely because of their appetite for creative destruction and disruption.

By disrupting a formerly untouchable industry ruled by the few and not the many, Warby Parker showed us how mighty the power of unbridled collaborative creativity can be in today’s sharing economy. They created a business model built on the principles of sharing and disruption, showing us that just like sustainability before it, experiential offerings built to harness and facilitate sharing, will go quickly from being new principles merely to comply with, to fundamentals required for profitability.
Just as Google launched a new industry derived from its glasses with “wearables,” Warby opened our eyes (pun intended) to a whole new way of business based on collaborative sharing, innovation and purpose. Warby, through a pair of eyeglasses, just like Google, has served to provide us both a roadmap, as well as role model, to the future. A

So if you thought eyeglasses were just the new “it” accessory, think again, because they are so much more. Eye wear is the embodiment of today’s “it” innovation.