XBIZ: How did you come up with the idea for the Rockbox Finger, and why did you choose Lovehoney to help you develop the idea?
Tom Nardone: I developed the idea for the Rockbox Finger after selling sex toys for roughly 15 years. I own and operate Vibrators.com where I help curate the selection of toys we sell. I also have Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, so the mechanisms behind the toys are fascinating to me.
I try to focus on a need, especially if it is an unusual one, like women’s desire to squirt. I try to come up with as many ways to solve that problem as possible.
I found that the way people stimulate themselves manually and the way vibrators stimulate people were quite different in their motion. Women tend to move their fingers back and forth or in and out in a rubbing motion, but vibrators just buzz quickly in one spot. I thought there might be a way to make a toy that recreated the motion that people choose themselves.
I also had some experience at a trade show where there was a man who was a self-proclaimed expert on making women squirt. This man sold a video where he instructed you on how to do it. His motion was a furious in and out motion of his fingertips on the G-spot. I thought that a toy could recreate the motion as well. I made a dozen prototypes from a finger-shaped dildo and an electric carving saw. I gave the prototypes to acquaintances and friends in the adult toy business. They were an immediate hit.
I partnered with Lovehoney because I am a huge fan of what they did with the Sqweel and The Rockbox. Both of those toys defied convention but are very pleasurable. Both were successful and well received. I wanted my invention to be the same. I am glad they believed in it.
XBIZ: The Rockbox Finger is set to be very popular - what target market did you have in mind when you designed it?
Nardone: I think the Rockbox Finger is a bit of an “expert level” toy. It provides very intense sensations that sexually aware people will really enjoy. It’s not a quiet toy, and it isn’t gentle, so it probably isn’t a good choice for your first sex toy, but if you are ready for a new sensation, and I think many customers are, the Rockbox Finger will be the perfect toy for them.
XBIZ: What sets the Rockbox Finger apart from other products on the market, and what do you think are the top 3 things customers love about it most?
Nardone: 1. The Rockbox Finger provides a unique type of motion. It moves in a way that no toy on the market moves. It’s a motion that will drive many women to an intense orgasm.
2. The Rockbox Finger is unique. It is more powerful than any comparable toy on the market; this is what makes it an “expert” level toy.
3. The Rockbox Finger is reasonably priced. Lately all of the new toys on the market are being introduced for over $100, even $200, the Rockbox Finger is affordable for everyone.
XBIZ: Can you see the Rockbox collection expanding in the future, and if so what would you like to add to it?
Nardone: I have another idea or two for the Rockbox collection, but I’m not sure I can share at this point. I don’t want to make any promises that I can’t keep. Also, since the Rockbox Finger is so unique, I want to see what people think of it before I release another invention.
XBIZ: You’ve mentioned that your favorite quote is, “To get one great idea you need 100 ideas and a system to determine which one is the best,” by Gurminder Bedi. What inspires your ideas, and how do you decide which ones to pursue?
Nardone: I think many of my ideas are inspired by customer need. If people want something, I want to be the person who delivers it. I try to focus on a need, especially if it is an unusual one, like women’s desire to squirt. I try to come up with as many ways to solve that problem as possible.
I brainstorm first, just writing giant lists of anything that could possibly work, even if it doesn’t quite make sense. Then I take that list and wait. I try to add to it for a good long while. Finally, when the list seems to cover every avenue, I start to analyze the ideas.
After I analyze it, I show some of the ideas to friends to see what they think, then I have a solid idea of what might work. In this case, I was able to build prototypes fairly easily, so I made them. Then I was able to just give the prototypes to friends and see what they really thought. The response was overwhelmingly positive. Even though the toy is unabashedly noisy, it is so effective everyone loved it.
XBIZ: How do you like to wind down when you’re not working – we hear you regularly get involved in the local community through volunteering?
Nardone: I run a volunteer group in Detroit called The Mower Gang. It’s quite fun and we make a great impact on the city by providing children safe places to play. More info at MowerGang.com.