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Leonardo Del Vecchio (Luxottica)

 

We all know how expensive eyewear
can be. There are so many brands selling sunglasses, which means that there is a
lot of competition in the sunglasses market. There is Chanel, Prada, Giorgio Armani,
Burberry, Versace, Dolce and Gabbana, Persol, Oakley, Ralph Lauren and the
bestseller Ray-Ban.

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With all of these brands, competing
for the customers you would expect them to set the best possible prices with
minimum profits. Right? However, unfortunately for us the customers a single
company called Luxottica. Luxottica owns Ray-Ban, Persol,
and Oakley. Luxottica also makes
sunglasses for all of the brands mentioned above and many more and thus
controlling over 80% of the world’s major eyewear brands. Luxottica Group has dominated this industry (for
both prescription as well as sunglasses) for many years now. This also explains
the recent rise in competition such as Warby
Parker who keep their capital costs relatively low by working with
Chinese based manufacturing partners.

A man called Leonardo Del Vecchio,
the pioneer of the fashion eyewear industry and founder of Luxottica. In the
past eyewear apart for sunglasses used to be considered lame and the people who
wore glasses were more often than not, looked down upon. However, in recent
years fashion powerhouses has set them as a trend and made glasses popular and mainstream
like never before, which also contributed to a massive new flood of customers. Leonardo,
who at the time already has an established company and has a large equity of
the eyewear industry, he saw an opportunity, worked with luxurious brands,
capitalized and today runs a monopoly.

Sunglasses from Luxottica are
usually sold for 10 to 20 times the price it costs to make them, it is also
quite easy to produce, and the material are inexpensive. In fact, the
monopoly of Luxottica over the sunglasses market is so strong people some
people are willing to go as far as to buy hideous looking sunglasses and the
price can vary from 500$ to absurd amounts such as 15000$.

Since Luxottica also owns about 7000
retail outlets, they have the flexibility to set the prices as high as possible,
but at a price where the customers are still willing to buy their products. Luxottica
also owns and operates LensCrafters, Sears Optical, Target Optical, Pearle
Vision, Sunglass Hut, Ilori, OPSM, Bright Eyes and other chains in the United
States, along with yet more chains throughout Asia, Europe, Africa, India, the
Antipodes and the Middle East.

Oakley, before Luxottica acquired it tried selling their sunglasses cheaper.
This angered Luxottica; they kicked Oakley out of their retail outlets and
within a day Oakley shares crashed. Luxottica then acquired Oakley and
maintained the artificial prices.

Ray-Ban being so expensive has to do with high
demand, good branding, and Luxottica’s monopoly on the eyewear market. Their price does not signalize superior
quality in any way. Ray Bans became popular because JFK and Tom Cruise
wore them in several movies. However, the brand was not always exclusive since
the glasses were originally available almost everywhere. Before Luxottica
bought Ray Ban in 1999, you were able to buy a pair at a gas station for 29$.
After Luxottica bought Ray Ban, they
withdrew Ray Bans from the market completely. This created a higher
demand. Now that Luxottica made the brand more exclusive, they are able to
charge a higher price.

Next time to be a little cautious the next time you buy those expensive sunglasses.
Moral of the story: “The correct price of a product is what a customer
is willing to pay.”

 

Mark Zuckerberg (Facebook)

Mark Zuckerberg, one of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs. If you have been living under a rock
these past years and have never heard of Mark Zuckerberg before, here is an
introduction to the youngest billionaire in the world and former Harvard
student.

Mark Zuckerberg, the
founder of Facebook was born on May 14, 1984 in New York.

Mark
Zuckerberg has been successful throughout his whole life. Even in High School,
the young entrepreneur prodigy showed had had what it took to become great by
hard work and dedication. That hard work he put in school, later on earned him
a spot at Harvard University. A school notorious for the success stories of
many students and many dreams come true.

During his
sophomore year at Harvard, he created a website called Facemash.  A website where students could vote and rate each
other anonymously based on appearance. The site was immensely popular, but had
to close down due to breaking the school policies, mainly because some students
did not appreciate pictures of themselves being sharing without their consent.

After the
site down had shut down, Zuckerberg realized the potential, a site where people
could connect together had. He evolved, expanded on his previous project and
made a site where Harvard students could register a profile and connect with
each other. With the help of his friends and investors that ‘The Facebook’ was
launched. The user base grew at an exponentially fast rate, and within the next
year, it had spread and got mainstream attention in the United States.

Facebook
grew into an online social media and social networking service. Facebook today
has over 2 billion users and 1.37 billion people on average log onto Facebook
daily and are considered daily active users. However, not everything has been
smooth sailing, both Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg has gotten in a lot of
controversy and criticism. Both have been sued numerous times, accused of
collecting huge amount of data from the users’, eavesdropping phones to target
appropriate ads, tax evasion and censoring information etc.

 

Elon Musk (SpaceX & Tesla)

 

If you are a car, space or science enthusiast, you have probably heard
the name Elon Musk mentioned countless times. The entrepreneur and billionaire
is a fierce competitor in the technological world, people sometimes refer and
compare him as the “Iron Man” because of the similarities they share. He has
invested in many promising technological projects for the sake of our future
instead of personal financial gain and that has led to international media
attention and praise from people all over the world.

One of his most recent announcement has led to even more praise as he
revealed plans to make internet accessible worldwide by sending thousands of
satellites to orbit around the earth. You are now probably wondering where he
is from and how did he become so rich and beloved by the public. However, the
road has not been easy for Elon, far from it in fact.

He entered fields that no one with the mindset of earning money would
ever dare to think of and he knew it could easily end up not working out, but
he wanted to work with things he was interested in and passionate about; which
was space travel, the internet and renewable energy sources. Elon Musk believes
that everyone can achieve great things as long as you have a passion and gain
happiness from it, work hard and never give up. Which he did.

 

Elon Reeve Musk (born June 28, 1971) is a
South African-born American executive, investor, engineer, and inventor. As a child,
Elon Musk was smart and developed an early interest in programming, same
pattern as Mark Zuckerberg. He later on decided to move to Canada, to study and got a Canadian citizenship
thanks to his mother. After his studies in Canada, Musk decided to move to
America where dreams come true.  At age
24, he started a company named Zip2, which he sold to Compaq for 307 million
dollars. Musk started a new project, which would become the notorious PayPal. EBay
bought PayPal for 1.5 billion dollars and instead of living life, traveling or
buying a private island Elon Musk took all the money he made and invested it
all in two companies who were at the time on the brink of bankruptcy. Elon Musk
believed they could change the world and the future for the better; he bought
SpaceX and Tesla Motors.

 

SpaceX is a
private company who designs, manufactures and launches advanced rockets and
spacecraft at the same time reducing the price tag. The company was founded in
2002 to revolutionize space technology, with the ultimate goal of enabling people
to live on other planets.

 

A group of
engineers who wanted to prove that people did not need to compromise to drive
electric – that electric vehicles can be better, quicker and more fun to drive
than gasoline cars founded Tesla in 2003. Today, Tesla builds not only
all-electric vehicles but also infinitely scalable clean energy generation and
storage products. Tesla believes the faster the world stops relying on fossil
fuels and moves towards a zero-emission future, the better.

 

Today both
these companies are huge and successful, but I has not always been that way. It
has been a long and rocky road for Elon Musk to get where he is now. At the
early stages of SpaceX and Tesla, Musk faced numerous challenges whom resulted
in failure after failure; he did not give up and look where he stands today
being the CEO of two major corporations with a combined worth of around 70
billion dollars. While those companies are, where Elon Musk puts most of his
focus on. Musk has started experimenting with new technological innovations
during the recent years and acquired Hyperloop One & Solar City. Hyperloop
being a new way of transportation and Solar City focusing on utilizing the
power of the sun to our benefit.

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