acoravos

acoravos

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acoravos

Even though there’s lots of innovation for on-the-go vision testings (http://mobile.visionmonday.com/article/vision-testing-on-the-go/), I think one of the biggest barriers is regulation. I believe lots of states have requirements that block these technologies today.

Some of the underlying assumptions for that regulation reminds me of this Chris Sacca analogy: https://twitter.com/sacca/status/673219805722226688

Also, really neat re: pop-up dental clinic. My dad is a dentist, and I’m definitely going to share that with him.

Thanks for sparking this discussion 🙂

acoravos
On December 15, 2015, acoravos commented on VisionSpring: Providing eyeglasses to millions :

@Eric, great point. I haven’t heard of VisionSpring having challenges with partners competing for recognition — but it has had challenges when partner goals look different from VisionSpring goals and it’s unclear who gets priority. Often the partner “wins” because they have the feet-on-the-ground and resources for execution. Believe this is one of the biggest areas of focus for the partnerships coordinator: picking partners who are solving for the same outcomes.

Also, hope you build that Lebanese entity someday. 🙂

acoravos
On December 15, 2015, acoravos commented on VisionSpring: Providing eyeglasses to millions :

@Sonali — thanks! Completely agree with that argument. 🙂

acoravos
On December 15, 2015, acoravos commented on VisionSpring: Providing eyeglasses to millions :

@Ameya — great question. VisionSpring thinks about this issue on a daily basis. From a product-perspective, It’s a regular conversation at the board — how to we balance “sustainability” with “reach”. For instance, the further down the pyramid VisionSpring goes (e.g., more rural areas) the cost of distribution increases, so we would have to subsidize the glasses at a higher rate, meaning we would ultimately distribute fewer glasses. This tension was one of the sparks that started the “hub and spoke” model.

From a country perspective, we’ve also talked about this with our global partners. Should we have lots of partners in many countries or have only a few big ones were we put a lot of our resource (E.g., BRAC). We’ve taken an approach to focus on a few big ones, and then regularly look at new partnerships each year to see were we’d like to expand.

acoravos
On December 15, 2015, acoravos commented on VisionSpring: Providing eyeglasses to millions :

Nice call out about One Laptop. I’m not familiar with their model. I wonder if they do donations for the laptops or if they have local schools pay a subsidized rate to get the technology for their students. Could see an argument for either method!

Also this TED talk on how kids teach themselves how to use computers is pretty sweet: https://www.ted.com/talks/sugata_mitra_shows_how_kids_teach_themselves?language=en

acoravos

Argh this was painful to read, and it a (cringe-worthy) example of failure. I’m curious, are there any other countries that do this well? Do we have this system only because someone passed it and it’s hard to change the legal rules, or is this “best in class” across the world? Seems like there has to be a better system out there.

Also, can’t remember if I sent this to you. Did you read about Sexual Health Innovations in the NYT? They are collecting the story/details (without the physical evidence) online. They received $400k from Google Ventures to build the company: http://bluejaguars.blogspot.com/2015/11/the-war-on-campus-sexual-assault-goes.html

acoravos
On December 11, 2015, acoravos commented on ICEHOTEL: 8th Wonder of the World? :

@Richard, nice work. I have a hunch that I’d so much enjoy staying in this hotel. I’m impressed by how well-thought out this model is. It makes a lot of sense to place the hotel near the building material source (the river). Also brilliant move to get labor + artisans to compete to work on the project each year. Bet that results in mesmerizing designs … at a lower cost.

The melting reminds me of The Temple at Burning Man (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/04/24/burning-man-temples_n_5045128.html). Each year, people place notes, pictures, poems of things they’ve lost or want to honor at the temple. On the last day of the festival, the temple is burned and turns into ash in a solemn ritual.

acoravos
On December 11, 2015, acoravos commented on VisionSpring: Providing eyeglasses to millions :

@Streit, great insight. Currently, VisionSpring collects donations, and then allocates them as a “subsidy” per pair. So if a pair of glasses costs $5 to distribute, it may have $X in a subsidy. The goal overtime is to create a market so that subsidy goes to zero.

That said, it’s important for VisionSpring to operate in areas where a market does not currently exist for value glasses. Because, if a market already exists, then the subsidy would push out existing players in the market who couldn’t compete with it. Over time, VisionSpring’s goal is to create markets and as they develop and get more entrants, to move out of that market further down the pyramid to places were markets don’t efficiently exist yet.

acoravos
On December 9, 2015, acoravos commented on Warby Parker – making eyewear accessible :

I wrote a reply on Libby’s Warby Parker post that you might also like to read if you’re curious re: WP’s operating model and incorporating optometrists into stores: https://digital.hbs.edu/platform-rctom/submission/warby-parkers-prescription-for-disrupting-four-eyed-fashion/#comment-414

acoravos

Hahaha, I love Warby Parker’s dog campaign. I follow it on Instagram and it’s adorable.

I wrote a reply on Libby’s Warby Parker post that you might also like to read if you’re curious re: WP’s operating model and incorporating optometrists into stores: https://digital.hbs.edu/platform-rctom/submission/warby-parkers-prescription-for-disrupting-four-eyed-fashion/#comment-414

acoravos
On December 9, 2015, acoravos commented on Warby Parker: The Unicorn in Hipster Glasses :

I wrote a reply on Libby’s Warby Parker post that you might also like to read if you’re curious re: WP’s operating model and incorporating optometrists into stores: https://digital.hbs.edu/platform-rctom/submission/warby-parkers-prescription-for-disrupting-four-eyed-fashion/#comment-414

acoravos
On December 9, 2015, acoravos commented on Warby Parker: Affordable Fashion That’s Easy to See :

I wrote a reply on Libby’s Warby Parker post that you might also like to read if you’re curious re: WP’s operating model and incorporating optometrists into stores: https://digital.hbs.edu/platform-rctom/submission/warby-parkers-prescription-for-disrupting-four-eyed-fashion/#comment-414

acoravos

Hey Kate — love this post. I wrote a reply on Libby’s Warby Parker post that you might also like to read re: WP’s operating model and incorporating optometrists into stores: https://digital.hbs.edu/platform-rctom/submission/warby-parkers-prescription-for-disrupting-four-eyed-fashion/#comment-414

acoravos

Gah, can’t edit comments to fix typos. *WP = Warby Parker

acoravos

So glad you picked Warby — they are one of my all time favorite companies.

I agree with you that customers care about fashion and price over social mission, at least when making the final purchase decision. The social mission element is a big plus post-purchase, but for most, its not what drives a purchase like this.

One operating model element that Warby hasn’t been able to master yet is the doctor question. In the US, all eyeglasses require a current prescription, and a customer has to first visit their doctor before ordering WP glasses online. This means that the full-cost of ownership ends up being much higher than the $95. The brick and mortar stores allow WP to bring the optometrist into the purchase cycle. However, as Warby has expanded its retail footprint, it has only placed a optometrist in 1 of their ~20 retail stores, mostly due to the strict regulations they have to work with on a state-by-state basis.

On the other side, nearly 100% of LUX’s retail locations (LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, Sears Optical, Oliver Peoples and Alain Mikli) have a doctor onsite, making the purchase far easier, and in some cases, bringing down the total cost when LUX offers a promotion for a free eye exam.

The fourth largest optical retailer in the US (http://www.visionmonday.com/vm-reports/top-50-retailers/article/key-optical-players-ranked-by-us-sales-in-2014/), is a value player called National Vision (NVI). America’s Best is one of the biggest NVI brands, with over 400 retail locations. All of the America’s Best stores have an optometrist in-store, and customers can by 2-pairs of eye glasses (+ plus a free eye exam) for $69, far cheaper than the Warby Parker model. America’s Best sells both private label and fashion brands like Ray Ban and Fendi. They have mastered the value optical store operating model. NVI as had nearly $1Bn in sales last year, mostly driven from its retail outlets.

I believe Warby is changing the nature of the optical industry, and to scale, I suspect they’ll need to figure out the doctor question as the expand their retail footprint.

I’m rooting for PW, because as they grow VisionSpring grows. Full disclaimer: I wrote my TOM challenge on VisionSpring, so greatly appreciate all that WP does to make the organization have the funding to reach more people. I believe giving someone the gift of sight is a powerful and noble endeavor.