This Day in Business History: Warby Parker is Founded

February 15, 2010:

February is an auspicious month for the company Warby Parker. In February 2008, 4 MBA students at the Wharton School of Business started developing their business plan to start an online eyewear company.  According to Neil Blumenthal, one of the students (the others are Dave Gilboa, Andy Hunt, and Jeff Raider), the idea was sealed over Yuenglings at a local bar. When one of the students expressed skepticism that they would never be able to convince people they should buy their classes online, they decided that they would allow customers to try on five pairs of frames at home for free before buying any. This idea really resonated and the rest is “business” history – well sort of.  

Two years after Warby Parker was hatched, GQ contacted Blumenthal about  writing a story on the company; but there was a hitch: Warby Parker wasn’t a company yet. The website was weeks away from launching and the co-founders had not yet finished there MBAs. While they hoped to push the launch date out a bit further, GQ’s February 15, 2010 date for when the article would hit the newsstand changed their plans. On that same date, went live. Within 48 hours of GQ dubbing the company “the Netflix of eyewear,” the site was so flooded with orders for $95 glasses that they had to temporarily suspend the home try-on program.  

Read more about how Warby Parker got started.