Warby Parker is an American company that sells prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses online as well as through showrooms around the United States. Neil Blumenthal, Andrew Hunt, David Giboa, and Jeffrey Raider launched the program with only $2,500 seed investment in 2010. Since Warby Parker launched the number of glasses sold continues to increase as well as the number of employees. Due to its continuous growth Warby Parker opened its first retail store in 2013. The products are all designed in-house and sold directly to customers, which avoids retail markups. They do not sell glasses through third party retailers because this causes for extreme markup prices. Due to the in-house production of the glasses, the products have a low cost, which is very appealing to consumers.
In addition to the low cost, for every pair of Warby Parker glasses bought, a pair is given to someone in need. Instead of using the “one-for-one” method to donate that similar to TOM’s shoes, Warby Parker funds the productions of a pair of eyeglasses for non-profit organization VisionSpring. In July 2013, Warby Parker distributed around 500,000 pairs of eyeglasses to people in need. Warby Parker is a for-profit entity that considers society and the environment in addition to profit in their decision making process. (I used info from Wikipedia. )
This company clearly fits the new understanding of capitalism that Edward mentions in his essay. First, the Principle of Stakeholder Cooperation states, “value is created because stakeholders can jointly satisfy their needs and desires” (Edward 176). Warby Parker seems to satisfy the needs of their stakeholders since they continuously are growing and expanding, which creates more employees. They are being managed for the benefit of those who are less fortunate. Second, The Principle of Complexity states, “human beings are complex creatures capable of acting from many different value” (177). Warby Parker is far from meaningless as it creates a profit, yet uses that to help those in need by donating eyeglasses. Third, The Principle of Continuous Creation “says that business as an institution is a source of the creation of value” (177). The creation of this company in 2010 did not destroy another; rather it created even more value. Not only does it sell trendy eyeglasses, but also it donates eyeglasses to those in need. It is continuously creating value that raises the well-being of others. Lastly, The Principle of Emergent Competition “says that competition emerges from a relatively free society so that stakeholders have options” (177). The competition emerges from the way tension is managed with the cooperation of the stakeholders. Warby Parker is a company that follows all of the principles Edward mentions in his “Business Ethics at the Millennium” essay. Warby Parker demonstrates the morals and values in managing an organization that any stakeholder managing company should attain.\