Associate, Commercial Strategy
This week, we interview Joe Tanner, Associate on the Commercial Strategy team at Fahrenheit 212.
What do you do at Fahrenheit 212?
As an Associate on our Strategy team, I’m responsible for driving the commercial side of innovation projects and supporting the development of innovation strategies. Some days that means diving deep into a company’s finances, others it means sizing up new markets, others it means getting to the bottom of how an organisation actually works. The exciting moments throughout everything we do are those times when you come across a shiny little insight that you realise can blow a whole problem open, or when you suddenly see something from a whole new point of view. That’s why I love working with the team we have here, there’s always that desire and that potential to turn a problem on its head.
Where do you feel most creative?
I really need to work with other people to feel creative. There’s something about working in a team with other people, bouncing and debating ideas, that gets my brain moving faster than it otherwise would. It’s actually quite an addictive feeling.
Do you have any rituals for the innovation process?
My only ritual is not having a ritual, to be honest. I prefer to work slightly differently every time, testing out new things and experimenting a bit. Maybe I’ll find a silver bullet one day, but not yet.
Where do you call home?
South-west London is where I live, home to the world’s largest collection of Victorian terraced houses, mid-range supermarkets and soul-less chain pubs. But I’d say my spiritual home is Sydney in Australia, where the confluence of sun, sea and sand produce the optimal conditions for human habitation.
What do you never leave home without?
Headphones. Always headphones. I’m a total music addict and try to listen to one new album every day. That means putting in some serious hours underneath a set of headphones.
When did you first get into the field of innovation?
My career started in market research, and almost by accident we landed an innovation project on instant noodles. We spent weeks doing undercover research in supermarkets, hanging out in Chinatown, eating some super weird Taiwanese snacks and fiddling around with ways to make noodles even better. About half way through it all I thought to myself “I can’t believe I’m getting paid to do this” so started trying to work out how I could get paid to do it every day.
What innovation are you most proud of?
I’m really proud of our latest venture in the energy sector – The Energy Loop (Check it out, theenergyloop.co.uk). It’s a brand new business that will make it super easy for people to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. I love it because it’s not only great for customers and for businesses, but it has the potential to do great things for our wider society too.
What is your go-to reading source?
Quartz does most of my news-filtering for me, and then I use Pocket to shelve articles from all over the place to read later.
What is your favorite innovation from the last decade?
When were those dusters you put on your cat’s feet invented? Not within the last decade? Ok well then I’d have to say Spotify’s discovery engine. I used to invest hours and hours finding new music, only to find a few winners every week. Now I can find so much more great stuff in half the time, and it’s so much easier for new bands to get heard by a receptive audience. Win-win.
Do you have any side projects, hobbies, or a previous life you would like to share?
Is this the moment for a shameless plug for TagSnaps.co.uk? Tagsnaps is a side-business I run with a friend that prints photos from Instagram instantly. We didn’t like seeing the same old photo booth at every party we went to, all the photos look the same no matter where you are. So we used instagram’s API to turn the whole event into a potential photo booth. People get cool prints of the photos they actually want, events get a massive boost in social media reach, and we now get invited to some pretty cool parties!
What is your favorite dessert?
Creme brûlée, call it my french roots finally showing through.