How Code Empowers Social Good: The Warby Parker Story

by:INDUSTRIAL-MAN     2019-09-11
Warby Parker is one of the darling of the social enterprise movement.
The brand of glasses is growing rapidly, and there is even a collection of sunglasses designed by Victoria\'s Secret model Karlie Kloss.
They have recently achieved an incredible milestone by giving millions of glasses to those in need through their \"buy one pair for One\" program.
I find myself naturally a huge fan of Warby Parker and increasingly curious about how technology enhances their capabilities and their social mission by using software.
Bring my journey when I talk to Dave GilboaFounder & Co-
Lon Binder, CEO and vice president of technology at Warby Parker, understands how they do this.
Do you think Warby Parker is a technology company?
Dave: We always think we are a brand first, but we think we are a technology company very much.
From the time we started with Warby Parker, we knew we wanted to build a lifestyle brand with technical support.
Technology is the backbone behind everything we do as a company.
Lon: There are a few things to consider as a measure of a technology company.
Although we don\'t sell software, we create a lot of software internally.
A bigger project we have recently completed is to build a platform internally and we will continue to build applications on it.
This really illustrates how complicated Warby Parker is in terms of software.
What is the accelerating growth that Warby Parker is experiencing?
Scaling has always been an interesting challenge at Warby Parker.
The system we build is flexible enough to adapt to vertical and horizontal expansion in terms of customer growth and functional growth.
An important decision is to use Python as our core programming language.
It\'s not unusual that most of the major organizations we talk to are turning to making significant investments in Python.
Our ideas are aligned with support for scale, rapid prototyping, and agility.
Python also gives us a good balance between flexibility, performance, maturity and the big community.
As far as other components are concerned, we use PostgreSQL in the database.
There are many reasons, but one of the best things is that it allows us to be as flexible as possible in pattern design, which allows us to be more adapted to changing business needs with many different engines below, we can take advantage of its very extensive community.
How does software enhance the social awareness of Warby Parker?
Lon: people have a strong desire to do good things, especially in science and technology.
We have an active open source program in which we provide quite a bit of software that we create.
Other things are not very direct to Warby Parker.
As a member of the Blue Engine youth professional group, our team\'s Laurie Drury came up with a good idea to donate some of Warby Parker\'s engineering time to the Blue Engine.
We have completed this project in 2014 and completed a project called BEST for them (
Blue Engine student tracker).
You can find it on our GitHub page and all the other tools and software we have open source.
Source: Warby Parker
The Warby Parker team hacked those entrepreneurs who wanted to start a business, what advice would you give them?
Dave: The most important thing is to recognize that a social mission should be established from day one.
If you\'re working-
Profitable business it must be a profitable sustainable business scale.
We have a lot of people who are passionate about a career, but when you break down the numbers, you realize that the economy is unsustainable for their proposal.
In some cases, for non-
Or just to rethink the economy.
We recognize that the bigger we are as a business, the greater our ultimate impact on the world. Any for-
Profitable business needs to consider this when expanding its scale.
5 years later, where did you see this company?
Dave: given how fast our business is changing, it\'s hard to imagine how far it will be in the future.
We can say for sure that we will be several times as large as we have millions of happy customers today.
In five years, we will have a greater global presence as we continue to expand our supply of products.
Lon: one of the important things for us internally is that technology becomes a promoter of company growth, and given what\'s going on in the organization, it\'s a huge challenge in 5 years.
From an external perspective, it is very important for us to share our experience.
We are experiencing a very unique over-growth experience, which is changing the way glasses are sold in the world, as well as the way e-commerce and retail collaborations are working to provide a better experience for our customers.
I hope that in 5 years, we can not only learn a lot, but also share this knowledge with other companies so that they can use our experience.
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