Senior Associate, Idea Development
This week, we interview Laura Cannon, Senior Associate on the Idea Development team at Fahrenheit 212.
What do you do at Fahrenheit 212?
I am a Senior Associate on the Idea Development team.
Where do you feel most creative?
I’m not picky – it can happen at any time, in any place.
Do you have any rituals for the innovation process?
I keep my eyes and ears open. I often absorb things I don’t even notice could be important. And one day, they all slot together and something reveals itself.
Also, I have done some of my best work on the fire escape at the back of my house, sitting in the sun with a beer.
Where do you call home?
West London. Or, in my parents’ garden on a sunny day, by the seaside, with Dad offering me something to eat/drink every 15 minutes. With my brother (Woody, chocolate lab) and sister (Emma, human) by my side.
What do you never leave home without?
Headphones. Please. And a tiny notepad.
When did you first get into the field of innovation?
I think… when I tried to sell perfume made of water, glitter and flowers from my Grandma’s garden to my family. I was 8. It went well. I think I undervalued the product though, selling it for less than £1.
What innovation are you most proud of?
I worked on a project at Barclays (where I was working at the time) that I am most proud of, and most gutted about.
The challenge was around ‘disruptor banking.’ We came up with a solution, prototyped it, created lots of the substance around it, took it pretty senior within the company, and let company politics stand in the way of its launch. Having said that, the experience helped me realise I could see insights, and act on them. I made something that has got me a long way, started conversations with people I never knew I’d meet… so it was a million percent worthwhile.
What is your go-to reading source?
Anything that feeds itself to me via social media. Sometimes it’s BuzzFeed, sometimes it’s hardcore financial journalism. I kind of trust my network to do the filtering for me.
What is your favorite innovation from the last decade?
Templated web design, such as Squarespace.
Do you have any side projects, hobbies, or a previous life you would like to share?
There’ll be more… there always is.
What is your greatest life hack?
Run a tiny bit of the way to work, to fit exercise into the day and minimise commuting time.
What are your go-to podcasts?
Monocle, The Entrepreneurs.
What is your must-read book?
I have an endless list of books to read. If someone wanted advice, I’d send them straight to the Harry Potter series. It made my childhood so much more magical.
What is your favorite place to spend time in London?
On a boat, on the Thames.