Associate, Idea Development
This week, we interview Arunima Agarwal, Associate on the Idea Development team at Fahrenheit 212.
What do you do at Fahrenheit 212?
I help our clients uncover consumer needs by studying people, behaviors, brands and culture. As an Idea Development Associate, I have my finger on the pulse of what’s next and ideas that are making people tick. My every day involves looking at the world through the lens of various consumers and devising products they will need in the future.
Where do you feel most creative?
I think I am most creative when my mind is at ease. The best ideas come to me when I am immersing myself in every day activities and unrelated experiences – people-watching in the subway, visiting a museum, random conversations over a glass of wine!
Do you have any rituals for the innovation process?
I begin by reading – books, blogs, articles, stories, anything and everything on a given topic. As I get familiarized with the subject, I start taking note of all thoughts that pop in my mind in Evernote – no filters. It serves as a stream of consciousness I can refer back to at any time. I believe good music and endless browsing can take you places you had never imagined!
Where do you call home?
Well, I have been in NYC for over 3 years now and live here with my husband and my 9 week old puppy! While I am originally from India, it is fascinating how this city is slowly becoming home – something I did not think would happen.
What do you never leave home without?
Subway card, headphones, Kleenex, lipstick and iPhone.
When did you first get into the field of innovation?
Officially? A little more than a year ago, here at Fahrenheit.
In my past life, I was a Design Manager/Strategist and Brand Strategist where I would create stories around various products, but have little control over the product itself. I think innovation helps create exciting, meaningful and viable products and branding makes it emotionally relevant and ties it all together. One is incomplete without the other and at Fahrenheit I finally found both my worlds converging.
What is your go-to reading source?
I love the monthly Fast Company issues – its a perfect curation of happenings in business and innovation.
Also love the Quartz app on my phone that keeps me up to date on current affairs and interesting nuggets in culture while I am on-the-go. And for more desktop reading I resort to Feedly – one app with multiple RSS feeds from leading blogs and websites in all categories.
What is your favorite innovation from the last decade?
It has got to be mobile payment technology. I love that I can walk out of my apartment or the office with just my phone and still have the power to purchase a coffee, a meal or any other immediate necessity.
Do you have any side projects, hobbies, or a previous life you would like to share?
I enjoy dancing and wish I could do more of it. Growing up I learned and practiced six dance forms.
What is your greatest life hack?
This is boring but I would say allocating a set amount of time to every task I have in the day. Right from brushing my teeth to working on projects, if I create mental time slots, it works as a to-do list as well as ensures I complete everything I set out to do in the day. Other than that, if you ever have too much salt in a dish, add some potato!
What are your go-to podcasts?
For my morning commute – Hidden Brain, Freakonomics, Design Matters.
For long drives – On Being, Invisibilia.
What is your favorite place to spend time in New York?
Brooklyn Bridge Park has a special place in my heart.
I have many memories that are inextricably tied to this place right from quiet walks to Smorgasburg.
There is something about the juxtaposition of a dramatic skyline with the sound of water. It makes it a perfect place to dream, think and rethink.
What is your favorite dessert?
Dulce de Leche cake (or any cake really) from Empire Cake in Chelsea.
Creme Brûlée comes in a close second.