Dave Gilboa , I am always humbled by how far you guys got with such an innovating approach to eye wear.

For the question itself, most people will give you the run of the mill answers. Ability to start with little to no capital, less overhead, etc etc. Here are 3 things I believe in after being in digital retail for 15 years now (Yikes to me!)

  • Countless times to re-invent yourself. Most business’s, if they need to do a pivot it usually takes a lot of physical work. A store, for instance, that sells audio equipment has a storefront, name etc that all synonymous with car audio. Tomorrow they want to sell baby bedding. Ok, thats a massive overhaul. For a digital company in commerce, you can do a much quicker pivot and start from scratch. No location to revamp, just a new site and new staff potentially who are product or subject matter experts. Neither is easy, but digital allows you to have nearly an unlimited amount of times at a significantly lower cost.
  • New SaaS business’s naturally form from pains. In e-commerce, you rely on a lot of support from 3rd party software. Marketing software like Rejoiner or bluecore, accounting software like quick books, or order processing software etc are all needed. You get to inherently try all of these and you always see an angle to make them better. That’s you doing ongoing testing, R&D (sadly on your own dime) and learning. You learn the ebbs and flows trends in that software’s market, as your the one demanding new features etc. and getting all the announcements, that’s eventually, you figure you can do it better yourself. Cha-ching a new idea was born and you have a ton of authority in it because you are now a subject matter expert from using it.
  • Friends and followers can be segmented to be perfect. I say friends, as a lot of time if you treat your customers like you would a friend, they will be loyal to you like a friend. Your not bound to a physical location where you are hoping the bulk of the people you are trying to attract are your target market – and you get some info about them or their cohort (median income etc., anything you can get from local statistic reports). For digital, you have google sadly but powerfully collecting all of our data as well as Facebook on the fly. You want to target people who are 18–25 years old, that like puppies, enjoy playing the Weeknd Saturday mornings in Toronto? Sure, you can find all those people – at once. And you can market to them. Where else can you do that?

There are plenty more, but there is an amazing intrinsic value to being a digital e-commerce business which lies in ability to scale fast, with less in the bank and focus more on customer satisfaction than worrying if your GC is ripping you off while building your floor plan.