Lisa Fei

Founder of Clarity

Lisa Fei is CEO/Founder of Clarity, the one and only relationship app that’s making the fundamental tools and resources to building happier, meaningful, and lasting relationships accessible to all. There are hundreds of dating apps that match people, but not one actually helps you successfully navigate the complex trajectory of dating and relationships. Clarity’s giving you the vital resources to elevate every facet of your love journey; from the first date to your 50th golden anniversary.

Lisa leads Clarity’s female-led team, which is partnering with more than 50 renowned psychologists, neuroscientists, astrologists, sexologists, dating coaches, therapists, financial experts, stylists, and many others to provide an ever-growing library of 300+ lessons (w/ weekly additions), AND a built-in community (with systems to block hate speech) where users can interact and share their experiences, incognito. It’s a community that provides a safe and discreet place for people to share their good, bad, and ugly stories and exchange advice. Because people love to confide in
each other during hard times, and they often don’t want to share their innermost secrets and experiences with their friends or family in fear of being judged, Clarity allows people to do so in a safe and judgement-free space.

A UC Berkeley graduate with a B.A. in International Relations and Trade; the youngest member to be on the Asian Art Museum’s Advisory Council; and co-chair of the Young Professional Council of Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation for Cancer Research, Lisa has always been incredibly driven and passionate about making a difference. It was during her position as Vice President of Asset Management of San Francisco-based Orchard Hotels group, in which Lisa oversaw a cluster of boutique hotels, that she was motivated to create Clarity. During this time, she gained an extensive understanding of human relationships amongst all cultures and walks of life, which gave her the fodder she needed to build a relationship-based company.

As a millennial with a history of dysfunctional relationships, Lisa built Clarity because she wanted to solve her own problems in love. Upon endless research and speaking to singles and couples around the world, she found that a good majority suffered from similar symptoms all due to their love life, including: depression, substance abuse, unhealthy eating patterns, body dysmorphia, and even suicidal ideation. That’s when she decided to create a solution that would help people build happier, meaningful, and longer-lasting relationships. Clarity is donating a percentage from every subscription to support Compass Family Services, a 501 non-profit organization in San Francisco, California that provides a wide variety of human services to homeless and families that are at-risk of homelessness.

Where did the idea for Clarity come from?

I built this company for myself and people like me. I did a lot of soul searching, talked to tons of people from all walks of life, reflected on the last decade of my life and all my dysfunctional relationships, and realized that there’s a tremendous need and demand for a company like Clarity. If I had a dating or relationship-related question, I’d have to spend a lot of time sifting through endless pages on Google, with the hopes of finding trusted answers and resources.

Now, Clarity is bringing together the world’s leading experts in the industry onto one centralized platform. Clarity – The Relationship App, is essentially the new one-stop shop that gives you everything you need to be successful in your love life.

Before starting Clarity, I built an app that I never ended up launching. Until this day, I still believe it is a great concept, but I realized that I wasn’t truly passionate about it, so I didn’t want to spend the next 3-5+ years of my life on it. Hence, we launched Clarity, which was a great decision. If I’m going to pour my heart and soul into building a platform, it has to be one that will make an immeasurable impact in the happiness and well-being of others.

What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?

I start my mornings with prayer. I begin my workday at 6-7 A.M. with emails, followed by team meetings, lots of brainstorming, and copious amounts of strategy and research. Throughout the day, I work with my product and engineering team, create new content with our experts, oversee our social media team, and work with individual team members until around midnight. Aside from work, I enjoy belly dancing, boxing, as well as high intensity interval sprints on the Embarcadero pier in San Francisco.

How do you bring ideas to life?

Our team is excellent at brainstorming. I’ve instilled a very collaborative environment that breeds creativity and solutions.

What’s one trend that excites you?

I’m excited to see how computer vision and facial recognition develops over time. Now that machines can talk, why shouldn’t they “see”?

I also think that COVID has very quickly and dramatically changed the way we date. The pandemic has caused an increase in appetite for real and meaningful connections versus mere hook-ups. It’s essentially bringing back “old school dating” where people took the time to really get to know someone before jumping into bed.

What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?

I would have to say that I’m very resilient—if I get knocked down, I’m quick to get back up no matter what’s thrown at me. That’s one characteristic that all entrepreneurs must possess.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Oh my goodness, I could write a book! If I have to choose just one piece of advice, it would be this:

Time is the one thing money cannot buy; spend wisely.

Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.

A lot of people think it’s harder than ever to find your soulmate during COVID, but my team and I feel it is the best time ever, especially with the help of our experts at Clarity!

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

I listen and seek knowledge and wisdom, and I don’t shut down other people’s advice. Being a know-it-all doesn’t work, but ultimately, it’s important to make your decisions with your team because this is YOUR company that YOU built. This means that there shouldn’t be anyone else on the planet that believes in your product or knows it better than you do. And if there is, then you’ve got a lot of work to do. It’s also important to remain open-minded, highly agile, and ready to pivot at all times.

What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?

This is a question that I’ll be able to answer 6-12 months from now because I am still in the process of launching and growing it. But I will tell you this: I’m a great listener and I do a ton of research to figure out consumer needs, preferences, behavior, and values. It’s also important to be able to quickly assess each team member’s strengths and weaknesses so you can help them hone in on their strengths and delegate them accordingly.

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

I hired the wrong software developers and UX designers for the first version of our app (what we just released is the second version). This mistake cost me a lot of money and time since I had to rebuild our app from scratch. However, I made sure we did this right the second time and hired a Silicon Valley-based software development team; our head of engineering was a senior software developer from Google and Facebook. I also brought onboard a product manager from Reddit. It’s extremely important for any entrepreneur to have the right team in place.

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

One app on your phone that has all messages in one place, like WeChat for iPhones.

What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?

The best $100 I spent was on a much-needed deep tissue massage. As a startup founder, you carry a lot of stress around each and every day, so it’s imperative to allocate time for self-care.

What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?

We use Trello for project management. It helps keep us organized since we have numerous different projects going on at all times.

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

Mating in Captivity: Unlocking Erotic Intelligence by Esther Perel

What is your favorite quote?

I’m not sure who said it but: “You can be vulnerable and still be powerful. You can have a gentle heart, but still be rock solid at your core. You can be as calm as a breeze, but as fierce as a tiger. The best people embody both sides.”

Key Learnings:

  • Start your mornings with a prayer.
  • Instill a collaborative environment that breeds creativity and solutions.
  • One characteristic that all entrepreneurs must possess is to be able to get knocked down, and be quick to get back up no matter what.
  • Any entrepreneur has to have the right team in place.
  • It is important to remain open-minded, highly agile, and ready to pivot at all times.