Roger Hardy


Momentum – I get excited and create a vision for it. Then, I get others onboard and make it happen. As a leader, I am only the catalyst to the team that delivers great results.

Roger Hardy is the current CEO and Chairman of Hardy Capital.
A serial entrepreneur, Roger Hardy is the Co-Founder and former CEO of Coastal Contacts Inc. Under his direction, the company became the leading online eyewear retailer in just a few short years, a triumphant achievement for the entire team. In 2014, Coastal Contacts Inc was acquired by Essilor.
Hardy’s entrepreneurial success has taught him the value and power of the consumer, specifically that disruption succeeds because it makes consumers better.
Within young companies, Roger Hardy believes teams succeed when there is a culture of ownership. At Coastal Contacts Inc, 85 percent of shareholders were employees. This created a culture where people owned their work—because they had a personal stake in it.
As a technology enthusiast, Roger Hardy loves studying the interplay of human and machine—and imagining the potential for magic to be created from that interaction. That’s why he’s intent on investing in companies that are utilizing innovative ideas and technologies to transform consumer spaces, like fintech, insurance, optical, and real estate markets.
At Hardy Capital, Roger brings a wealth of entrepreneurial experience and expertise. Hardy has won numerous business awards over the years, including Business in Vancouver’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2002 and the EY Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2006 (Business-to-Consumer). He aims to leverage his knowledge and skills to empower fast-growing startups to achieve market-leading positions.
Currently, Roger has invested in fast growing categories like Artificial Intelligence ( AI) I, Fin-tech, Gig economy, meal delivery and bill payments companies. Roger is also excited about his adventure into the wine industry. He’s assisting with consumer strategy for Liquidity Wines and is very excited about the company’s potential for growth.
Born in Toronto, Ontario, Roger Hardy’s passion for skiing and snowmobiling led him to the West Coast. Seeing Vancouver’s rise as a tech hub, he decided to make the city his home.
When Roger Hardy isn’t busy helping bright young companies and minds succeed at Hardy Capital, he’s spending time with his family. He has four children, three daughters, and one son, that he enjoys taking to sports and school activities. He also runs the Hardy Family Foundation, a charity organization aimed at giving back to communities in Canada and around the globe.

What are you working on right now?

I completed the Ironman over the weekend so am currently recovering physically from that. The physicality of the event has recharged my cognitive focus to stay sharp and keep my business head in the online eyewear game. I embrace physical and mental challenges.

Where did the idea for come from?

I was working for a contact lens company at the time but I had worked in logistics transportation previously where my job to look at supply chains, finding where there were choke points, making things easier for customers, taking steps out of shipping and receiving, and reducing costs so I had a glimpse of the business. I also had a logistics background and when I worked in marketing for a contact lens company, I looked at the business and thought it seemed broken in so many ways. My takeaway from these jobs was to keep things simple- complexity adds chaos.

An eye doctor’s office was a quasi-shipping and receiving, quasi-jewelry store and a quasi-medical place. It didn’t jive with any parts of other scalable businesses that I had seen. It seemed broken that a person sitting at a desk trying to book an eye exam was also opening a box of contacts and doing returns. The service model didn’t serve customers that well, and I think the other piece was the cost. It seemed to me that costs were just too high in the whole eyewear category and the key business components were very disjointed.

How do you make money? provides customers with an extensive, in stock selection of prescription eyewear, contact lenses and sunglasses. We own and operate the most technologically advanced lab in North America so we can manufacture to get great quality glasses directly to consumers.

What does your typical day look like?

My days are full; I arrive at the office before 8am, attend meetings throughout the day with the team and attend our marketing meetings. I am constantly answering emails and checking on customer comments. I need to keep my energies and vision focused on the future but this requires continual assessments about where we are now.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Momentum – I get excited and create a vision for it. Then, I get others onboard and make it happen. As a leader, I am only the catalyst to the team that delivers great results.

What’s one trend that really excites you?

I believe is in the midst of three secular trends: internet shopping is growing, healthcare costs are skyrocketing and the population is aging. Many companies and organizations are now looking for ways to lower healthcare costs and moving online while we have been doing this for 13 years saving Americans millions of dollars on eyewear. We are very well poised to grow our business while meeting urgent and pressing global needs.

What was the worst job you ever had and what did you learn from it?

I have learned from every one of my jobs. McDonald’s was my first job and it was a great opportunity although I made $3.50/hour at the time. I had my first glimpse of the importance of great teamwork and the impact of a positive work environment on both the customer and the staff.

If you were to start again, what would you do differently?

Grow faster earlier. Invest more from the beginning to assist with quicker growth. Scaling up a business involves risks, you have to be willing to take them and trust your instincts.

As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?

Set your goals and get the team aligned; work hard every day and amazing things will happen. Don’t get distracted by side issues- keep the goals and mission top of mind and have the team deliver results every day.

What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?

I see every failure as an opportunity to learn a lesson. When you’re learning a lesson, you can’t view it as a failure. It keeps me and the team humble.

What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?

Anyone who could connect to a pharmacy benefits manager would reap massive rewards.

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and how would you go about it?

We’re an eyewear company so we’d like to make sure everyone can see. We created our charitable arm, Change the View, so we provide eye care to those who are unable to access it by their own means. Change the View donates glasses, sunglasses and Vitamin A to those in need. We have helped over 340,000 people worldwide and this is just a beginning.

Tell us something about you that very few people know?

I was a backup dancer in J Rand, Flo Rida and T-Pain’s latest music video that is coming out soon.

What are your three favorite online tools or resources and what do you love about them?

Facebook – It keeps me connected to my family and friends.
Apple TV – I would hate to know what my family spends in a lifetime on Apple TV but they just make it so easy.
Blackberry 10 – It reminds me how important speed is in business. Blackberry 10 is best smartphone in the market but came out three years too late.

What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?

Anything by Geoffrey Moore because he inspires, describes, and defines relevant management strategies.

Three people we should follow on Twitter and why?

Life doesn’t happen at 140 characters so I follow influencers in other forums.

When was the last time you laughed out loud? What caused it?

I have a family that makes me laugh every day. I am a lucky guy.

Who is your hero, and why?

My wife. She is amazing at making our family happy. She is successful and organized so I can fully focus at work as our home life runs so smoothly.

Can you tell us what has been for you the most rewarding part of your entrepreneurial journey?

The most rewarding part is that I get to work with a great group of people. We’ve experienced lots of excitement and in a growing business, there’s lot of thrilling times and there’s lots of challenging times. Like every business, we experiment; some work and some don’t but we learn lots of lessons. Working with a great group of people and challenging ourselves to be better is really the most rewarding part. I don’t feel like I ever work, we have a fun group here and my work is very meaningful to me.

Who is my business hero?

Christine Day – What she has accomplished at Lululemon is truly amazing. She is an incredible CEO and has had an interesting year- great growth and challenges. She has handled both the accolades and headaches with great grace and skill.


Roger Hardy on LinkedIn: on Google+: on Twitter: @coastaldotcom

Hardy Capital:
Roger Hardy on Crunchbase: person/roger-hardy
Roger Hardy on Twitter: rogervhardy