Andrew Karp

Andrew Karp, Group Editor, Lenses & Technology

Andrew has reported on many facets of the optical industry for Vision Monday and 20/20 Magazine since 1987. He specializes in covering the latest developments in ophthalmic dispensing, spectacle lenses and treatments, lens processing technology, optical laboratories and wearable technology. Andrew edits VMail Technology, a weekly e-newsletter that spotlights new products, software and online applications for labs and dispensers. He helps plan and produce Vision Monday’s annual Global Leadership Summit. Contact Andrew at akarp@jobson.com.

Confessions of an Optical Pack Rat

By Andrew Karp
Friday, November 22, 2019 8:00 AM I don’t think of myself as a pack rat. But somehow I’ve managed to accumulate a lot of stuff. My desk drawers and file cabinet, and even some closets at my house contain a curious assortment of promotional giveaway items and swag I’ve received at the countless optical industry meetings and events I’ve attended over the years. I’ve actually gotten rid of a lot of it while preparing for an office move last year. My brass Orcolite coaster went into the trash.

Specialized Optometry

By By Marge Axelrad, Andrew Karp, Mark Tosh and Brian Dunleavy
Monday, November 11, 2019 12:30 AM NEW YORK—We are living in an age of specialization. Today we can get virtually anything we want from a business whose only business is delivering a certain type of product or service, whether it’s a vegan restaurant or Victoria’s Secret. Optometry, like many medical professions, is being reshaped by the specialization trend. Modern living has changed the way we use our eyes, and many optometrists, particularly those in private practice, have responded by developing specialties to address specific patient needs. Some specialties, such as pediatrics and low vision, have been long established in optometry, while others, like dry eye management and neuro-optometry are more recent additions. Yet all seem to be benefitting from the advent of new technologies and treatment methods which are bringing exciting changes to vision care.

In a Jazz Frame of Mind

By Andrew Karp
Friday, October 25, 2019 7:00 AM Eyewear design has always been influenced by popular music and musicians, and that love affair continues to yield fun and exciting results for eyeglass wearers. Take rock ‘n’ roll, for example. Fans can emulate rockers like Buddy Holly and John Lennon who wore now-iconic frames that evoke not only their music, but an entire era. Brands such as John Varvatos and Chrome Hearts offer rock-inspired looks. And Elton John is synonymous with distinctive, and often outrageously styled glasses.

Smart Money

By Andrew Karp and Brian Dunleavy
Monday, September 16, 2019 12:30 AM NEW YORK—The optical lab business, at its most elemental, has always been a numbers game. Running a lab, though, is a complex undertaking that involves more than simply dollars and cents. It also about the number of prescription jobs per day it can produce, and the percentage of those jobs that are rejected because they don’t meet quality control standards. It’s about maintaining a job average that’s calculated based upon production yields and the average price per job. It’s about the cost of capital equipment, consumables, overhead, labor and dozens of other budget line items.

Where Labs Invest

By Andrew Karp and Brian Dunleavy
Monday, September 16, 2019 12:29 AM

Investment Trends

By Andrew Karp and Brian Dunleavy
Monday, September 16, 2019 12:27 AM

Self-Driving Cars and Moral Decisions

By Andrew Karp
Tuesday, September 10, 2019 8:00 AM In a recent posting on Robotics Business Review, Giles Kirkland noted that although fully autonomous cars are still only in development, “potential users are starting to think about how an artificial brain will make life and death choices in case of an accident.” 

Kirkland observes that if a collision was about to occur, we only have a split second to react (and rarely make a conscious choice at all). But in case these decisions can be made, people do not have the same opinion. Based on gender, age and professional background, our views on the morality of self-driving cars differ. 

Accessible Products Hotline Launches

By Andrew Karp
Tuesday, September 3, 2019 8:09 AM

Analyzing the Back-to-School Spend

By Andrew Karp
Tuesday, September 3, 2019 8:00 AM As children across the U.S. head back to school, it’s instructive to look at the results of an annual survey released this summer by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights and Analytics, which predicted that families will spend less this year than last year on back to school expenses. Total spending for K–12 schools and college combined is projected to reach $80.7 billion, down from last year’s projected $82.8 billion, according to an analysis of the survey data by Coresight Research. The decline in the overall number is due largely to a decreased number of households with children in elementary through high school. Those households that do have children in school, however, plan to spend more on average in 2019 than last year.

Just in Time for Labor Day: The Outlook for Optical’s Union Workers

By Andrew Karp
Friday, August 30, 2019 8:00 AM Like many of you, I’m kicking back and enjoying some downtime on this Labor Day weekend. We can thank labor unions for creating this annual three-day holiday, which pays tribute to the contributions and accomplishments of American workers and has been a federal holiday since 1894. Organized labor in the U.S. has suffered major setbacks over the past few decades, but unions still remain a powerful force in many industries, as well as in the public sector. Yet among the millions of people employed in the optical industry, relatively few are union members. 

Millennials and the Agile Workplace

By Andrew Karp
Tuesday, August 27, 2019 8:00 AM Asure, a company that makes workplace management software, has studied Millennials and their expectations of employers and work environments. They emphasize the importance that Millennials place in “workplace agility,” a concept that links digital solutions, physical space and company culture to employee output. They note that Millennials expect flex policies including: 

• Flexible start and end times with scheduled breaks
• Part-year work & compressed work weeks (i.e. working four 10-hour days, rather than five 8-hour days)
• Part-time work & job sharing
• Phased retirement
• Telework, alternative work sites and autonomy