Mark Payne

Co-Founder, President and Head of Idea Development, Fahrenheit 212


"The thrill of realizing an idea hasn’t been done before gives me goose bumps every time."

As the co-founder, President and Head of Idea Development of Fahrenheit 212, a New York-based innovation consultancy, Mark Payne draws on his twenty plus years’ experience in the creation of revolutionary new products, new brands and new businesses, with a global perspective born of having lived and worked across Asia-Pacific, Europe and North America, and a skill set fusing creative abandon and strategic discipline.

His pursuit of a better way to invent has shaped Fahrenheit 212's unique "Money & Magic" philosophy, business model and idea development practices, and helped create big innovation ideas for many of the world's great companies, including Samsung, Procter & Gamble, The Coca-Cola Company, Nestle, Starwood Hotels, Best Buy, Lowe's, Campbell's Soup, Citibank, Pepsico, Hershey's, Charles Schwab and American Express.

Mark’s perspectives on innovation’s past, present and future have appeared in leading publications including Fast Company, Fortune, Esquire, BusinessWeek and Crane’s, and been shared through speaking engagements around the world. Mark is a member of Mensa and holds a BA cum laude in economics and psychology from Middlebury College and the London School of Economics. He lives in Woodstock, New York with his amazing family.

Favorite Inventors:

There’s Steve Jobs of course. But I’m most inspired by inventors who amazed in different areas. Benjamin Franklin invented the lightning rod, a better wood stove, a musical instrument called the glass armonica (which Mozart used!), a simple odometer for measuring distances, and bi-focal eyeglasses. You could say that with Franklin, lightning struck more than once! I’m also inspired by Roald Dahl. He’s most famous for inventing worlds with his words in stories like Charlie and The Chocolate Factory and James and the Giant Peach, but, when his son was injured in an accident, Dahl invented a medical valve that saved many lives and is still used today!

Favorite Inventions:

Today’s inventors stand on the shoulders of giants – clever people who came before, with big leaps we don’t notice anymore. I can’t live without my iPhone, but it wouldn’t exist if written language, wireless communication, the web, digital photography, the battery and the touch screen hadn’t come before, or even the pants pockets that carry it. If Les Paul hadn’t invented the electric guitar that’s sweetly crunching through my iPod as I write this, would anyone have even cared when the iPod came along? As for my favorite inventions: the written word, the wheel, the electric guitar, and room service. There’s old and new genius everywhere you look.

Why Do You Think Math & Science are so AWESOME

Science is awesome for what it lets us do, but, even more than that, for the way it makes us think. Science is a grand invitation to ask big questions, to take the spirit of curiosity we’re all born with to a new level to wonder why (and why not), to challenge limitations that don’t seem right, to explore without fear, and to solve problems that once seemed unsolvable. As my ten-year-old son tells me, science amazes and surprises, with unexpected magic, and perhaps an occasional explosion! Math, meanwhile, helps us make things real. Math doesn’t lie. It’s a beautiful code that gives scale and truth to the things we wonder about.

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