Fahrenheit 212’s people are the best and brightest innovators in the world. We hail from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and industries, but are connected by a shared passion to make things better and to make better things. Voices of Fahrenheit is a series that shares perspectives from the individuals behind the innovations at Fahrenheit 212 to give you a glimpse into their days and what makes them tick.
This week, we interview Janet T. Planet, Head of Idea Development at Fahrenheit 212.
Who are you and what do you do?
I’m an Innovation Director and practice lead for our Idea Development team.
Where do you feel most creative?
Aside from the Fahrenheit 212 office in New York, in my studio. I live in an artist community in Los Angeles called The Brewery with heaps of creative neighbors who inspire me.
Do you have any rituals for the innovation process?
When it comes to solving particularly complex innovation problems, I’m a fan of working on big pieces of paper and using lots of colors. The tactility and the color help me shape my thoughts.
Where do you call home?
I’m originally from Canada, which I love whole heartedly, but Los Angeles is definitely my spiritual home.
What do you never leave home without?
Hearing protection. I hear extraordinarily well - which is both a blessing and curse (AKA a “blurse”) - so I always travel with industrial-strength hearing protection in my handbag.
What is the first thing you do every morning? The last thing at the end of every day?
I meditate and stretch - and then most days, I do a little bit of drawing to get my brain revved up for a day of creativity.
When did you first get into the field of innovation?
I was a fashion entrepreneur early in my career so that was my first taste of the field. But I officially started innovating in 2004 when I was invited to be part of a secret innovation incubator for the WONKA brand, with Brian Owens (now CMO of Red Bull NA). I always say I went to the Brian Owens school of innovation in fact. He taught me how to ask the right questions, to embrace constraints as enablers of creativity and he got me thinking about two-sided innovation. That’s why joining Fahrenheit 212, and using Fahrenheit’s two-sided problem solving approach, felt like coming home to me.
What is your favorite innovation from the last decade?
Tesla’s Solar Roof innovation is near and dear to my heart living in California. Those huge, ugly panels that were the status quo for so long can finally be replaced by new elegant Tesla tiles that look no different than normal roof tiles. I’m very excited to install these on my house soon.
What product, service, or industry do you think is most ripe for innovation?
Shopping malls. We’re seeing stats predicting that ~25% of malls will close in the next 5 years. It’s an innovate or die kind of moment for mall owners. In an age where people are hungry for experiences, malls are well positioned to reimagine themselves as ‘experience centers’ versus strictly being vessels for retailers. Now, who wants our help?
What are some of your interests outside of innovation?
Fashion design and textile creation are two of my great loves. Making things with my hands grounds me in a way that nothing else can. I also love planning large-scale immersive story experiences for my nearest and dearest. The last one was for 235 people who flew in from 15 countries for the weekend to participate.
What is your go-to reading source?
I’m an AUDIBLE person. I love being able to listen to non-fiction books while I hike or run.
What is your greatest life hack?
Sleeping on red-eye flights from west coast to east coast. It saves me a full day of travel and allows me to make the most of life on either end.
What is your must-read book?
Jitterbug Perfume by Tom Robbins. It just puts me right. I think I’ve read is 20 times now.
What is your favorite app?
Waze. I honestly don’t know how Los Angelenos survived before this app was created!
What is your favorite quotation?
“Do what you love. It’s gonna lead you where you wanna go.” -Wayne White