Fahrenheit 212 is growing and expanding its reach across North America with the opening of a new location in Los Angeles. We sat down with Alex Stock, Partner and West Coast Lead to get an understanding of his ambitions for the new Los Angeles office.
Tell us about how you got into innovation and your journey to Fahrenheit 212.
I was working at Goldman Sachs for about six years out of business school. During that time my mind was constantly on new trends and new technologies, and I was always trying to figure out new ways to do old things. I was in a business that was running the same way it had for decades. When I left I went from a Wall Street culture to another extreme, and became a start-up entrepreneur overnight. But that experience wasn’t comfortable either. What I learned from that was I really like the idea of taking an insight and turning it into a business. So I immediately started thinking that type of organization would be an excellent place for me to go.
One of the most important aspects of being an innovator at Fahrenheit 212 is using your personal strengths. Can you tell me about your Basadur profile and how it steers and guides your work with others on the team?
I am an implementer, on the Basadur scale, and skew heavily on the implementer side within Fahrenheit. I am not the right person to be in the room with a blank piece of paper. But I am, I’ve found, the right person to bring in the room when you need elevation and someone to respond to something. If you give me something you’re working on I will make it better, I will work hard to make it better. If you give me a tough situation, I will jump in and I will solve it. That’s where I think I’ve added value and found my role in teams.
How would you describe the state of innovation in Los Angeles?
It’s in its infancy. The focus in LA is more on start-up culture and content. So when we talk about innovation -- as the systematic pursuit of new -- you see it a lot in the technology, media, and entertainment business here. But it’s not quite as ubiquitous across other industries as I hope it would be. There is a lot more to do here relative to the culture of New York or San Francisco, which is exciting for us and for our clients.
How does Fahrenheit 212 create value for clients?
We create revenue. That’s the value of commercial strategy and bright idea developers. It’s the entire idea of money and magic. In our purest form, it’s always been about top line growth. And another part of our value is that we’re trying to teach our clients to be innovators themselves. There’s a lot of immersive learning when we collaborate with clients, it’s a big part of the value of working with us. In many cases, we’re trying to create products that go above and beyond the commercial ambition and try to improve the world. You can see that in our Fahrenheit X work. So I think a lot of our work adds value in social ways that are hard to measure but equally as important.
F212 is part of Capgemini, a global technology consulting leader. How would you describe the benefits created for clients from Fahrenheit 212 being a part of the Capgemini Group?
With Capgemini we can go from the first meeting, all the way to putting the product in-market. And that’s not something we could do as a boutique. As a boutique we weren’t able to execute the global scale of products like we are now. In particular, I am excited for our place within Capgemini Invent, where the idea is to bring digital innovation and transformation to our clients.
Tell us about some of the work you are currently doing in LA?
One client we’ve been working with is a restaurant group interested in improving their in store experience. We’ve been doing a lot of design work with them to figure out ways to integrate technology within that experience.
We also have a deep relationship with a large bank based in SF. We’ve been working with their small business customer segment to figure out new services would that drive growth, particularly digital and scalable experiences that change the way they interact with these customers.
What is the most satisfying moment you have experienced at F212?
I have lead teams, a couple times, where our work was so phenomenally impactful, to the client and to our own organization, we promoted the entire team at the conclusion of the project. And those were probably my proudest moments as a Fahrenheiter, because the teams that did that work, deserved it. Those things make me incredibly excited to be here, because at the end of the day, our organization is an innovation teaching hospital. There will be people who come through here that will learn skills, develop their own version of an innovation process, and they’ll leave here and go out into the world and do something incredible.
What are some of the goals the F212 team in LA want to realize in the next year?
When I think of goals, I think of the dream assignments we want to work on, the problems we want to help our clients solve. I think it would be fantastic to help the marijuana industry figure out how to dial in their customer experience. That’s an industry that is in its infancy, but there is a job to be done to figure out what the mainstream customer experience is for legalized marijuana in this country. Then there are more practical goals, we’d love to build the business, build the team. We’d love for LA to be the beacon for west coast innovators that don’t want to move to New York. It would be great to be a hub for creatives, a place to come to, to train, and go out into the world and do great things, long after they leave Fahrenheit.