“The taboo of the industry is going to continue to push many talented people away.”
Each year, Forbes Magazine publishes a list titled “30 under 30” which includes a total of 600 young businesspeople who have already achieved great things in their respective fields of activity. One of the entrepreneurs on the 2018 list is Alex Fine, who, as co-founder and CEO of Dame Products, was included in the Retail & E-commerce segment. EAN promptly seized the opportunity to ask Alex about the secret of her success – and about all the things Dame Products has in store for us in 2018.
600 personalities and entrepreneurs under 30 have been chosen for this list. Could you tell us why you have been chosen for this list?
Alex Fine: I was chosen for the list because Dame Products has produced products that have brought value to the world. We are doing things differently and redefining a whole category of products for many people. But mostly… I got on the list because I asked my PR to help me get on it 🙂
What is the secret of your success?
Oh gosh, guys! First off, there are a lot of reasons outside of my control that have helped me be successful, like being born in America to a wealthy family. I also met Janet, my co-founder, very serendipitously, and she is a major aspect of our success. I guess though, I would say that my secret sauce is being honest. I work hard to see things as clearly and simply as possible. I spend time questioning my biases and thinking about how we could be better.
You are one of the few people on this list who work in the erotic industry. Do you think there are too few young founders and entrepreneurs working in this field?
I don’t know. I would love to see the stats on age of founders by industry… there will always be a smaller percentage of founders who are young but I’m not the only one in the erotic field.
Is the erotic industry an attractive field for young people right now? What would have to change, to attract (even) more talents to work in this industry?
The taboo of the industry is going to continue to push many talented people away. They don’t personally think that the industry is sinful, but they are worried that it might prevent them from getting a second job thereafter.
The goal of Dame Products is to “design well-engineered sex toys to heighten intimacy and to openly empower the sexual experiences of womankind”. How important is it – especially for a young company – to have a mission and a goal beyond selling as many products as possible?
It is important for all companies. Yes, millennials are much more conscious of their desire to work at purpose-drive companies, but studies have continuously shown that profit is not the most effective motivator.
Dame Products recently released Eva II, an improved version of your first product. What did you improve and why?
Eva II fits better than Eva I. 18% smaller and 10% lighter, the vibrator stays put for longer than its previous version. It is also fully waterproof, wirelessly charges and has improved vibration strength.
We worked primarily on fit because that was the number one reason consumers purchased the product and what drove their experience. When Eva works, people LOVE it; when Eva doesn’t stay in place as well, people don’t love it as much. So our goal is to continuously improve fit.
You are on the Forbes list for 2018. That raises the question: What we can expect from you and Dame Products this year?
We have our heads down and are working hard to produce as much product as possible, continue to grow efficiently and of course – our favourite part- make more products!
We also believe that Dame (and honestly this whole industry) is in a particularly special place to help close the growing gender divide. The ways we can help each other, see each other’s perspective.
What advice do you have for young entrepreneurs, designers or inventors, who want to be successful – in the erotic industry or elsewhere?
Have clear intention. What are you trying to do? Why? And by when? Validate your concept and track your time. Be honest with yourself. Show up for yourself. Don’t forget to celebrate your achievements. Also, being an asshole is never good business.