This week, we interview Eric Chung, Innovation Consultant at Fahrenheit 212.
What do you do at Fahrenheit 212?
As an Innovation Consultant I’m responsible for leading the charge on consumers and ideas. I’m always trying to find nuances no one else has realized about consumers, or curating a portfolio of ideas that are right for our clients and solve needs consumers truly have. I love diving in with our Commercial Strategy team to crack innovation strategies, and love it even more when they’re coming up with ideas too. The best ideas get created when multiple perspectives are chiming in, and because everyone here is so creative, it happens on every project.
Where do you feel most creative?
Ideas come to me randomly, like while I’m out on a run. But riffing with other people and building on each other’s thoughts also gets my creative energy going.
Do you have any rituals for the innovation process?
I’m definitely a “method innovator.” My favorite part of the ideation process is trying to put myself in the consumer’s shoes. If I’m trying to create a really convenient food, I’ll go buy a book on one-handed cooking for new parents and make one-handed foods everyday for a week.
Where do you call home?
Lower Manhattan has been home my entire life. I like to visit different cities all the time and studied abroad for a brief semester, but there’s so much going on here that I don’t know if any other place could feel like home.
What do you never leave home without?
My bike share pass, I bike everywhere whether its in the cold, rain, or snow. My account says I’ve made about 1,400 bike trips so far and we’ve only had a bike share in New York for two and a half years!
When did you first get into the field of innovation?
I’ve been fascinated by brands and new products since I was a kid. I could spend hours browsing aisles at a supermarket just to see what’s new. I took a new product development class in college that got me really excited about innovation. It made consumer insights and the business concepts I learned in school tangible for the first time. I jumped straight in after that. My first job was at Nielsen in their Innovation Analytics practice.
What innovation are you most proud of?
On my first Fahrenheit project, I helped invent a product that a magazine recently described as “ushering in a new culture of manhood,” so that’s pretty cool.
What is your go-to reading source?
I get my news from a never-ending list of blogs so my go-to is Feedly, which compiles all my RSS feeds into one.
What is your favorite innovation from the last decade?
It’s a little past a decade now but Napster, hands down. It completely changed the way we think about ownership and community, and paved the way for a whole host of other innovations we use today.
Do you have any side projects, hobbies, or a previous life you would like to share?
I’m always interested in something new but the constants for years have been snowboarding, fitness, running and eating in new cities. My current obsessions are kickboxing and trying to be one of those guys that win big and appear on a daily fantasy sports commercial.