Tech Exec John Imah Explains Why the Future is Fossil
Even the best minds need a little something extra to get them through the day.
It’s a digital kind of world, and we’re just trying to live in it, but Silicon Valley-based tech executive John Imah is one of the few geniuses chosen to create it - and we just want to know his secrets. The Dallas native realized his passion for technology and its development at a tender age. “I was five years old, [when] my parents bought our first household computer,” Imah recalls. “They had it upstairs, and I was so infatuated by it. So, when they went downstairs to where they had their bedroom, I got a screwdriver and I took the whole thing apart.”
Imah explains how furious his parents were at the sight of their brand new computer on the floor in pieces. His parents gave him time to think about his actions by going to a movie for the afternoon, but not before demanding he find a way to fix it! Scared and confused, a five-year-old Imah didn’t know what to do.
“I was crying,” says Imah, but he was a precocious and determined kid, and after an hour (or three), the child prodigy assembled his first computer.
At the age of 15, Imah built and negotiated the private sale of his first start-up. Now, he is an executive jet-setting between Tokyo, Singapore, China, New York, and, of course, his current homebase in California. Flying between time zones and boardrooms can get exhausting, and make life hard to track. The mastermind behind some of your favorite social media and gaming apps admits that scrolling through his phone for updates in the news or about his day every few minutes is time consuming, but digital accessories like the smartwatches in Fossil’s new Gen 5 collection keep him focused and on track.
Thankfully, the no-minute-to-lose businessman was able to block out time in his schedule to chill with Complex inside an all-white Brooklyn mansion and share his story. Chatting on the sun-drenched second-floor balcony, overseeing BK’s famed Fort Greene neighborhood, Imah opened our eyes to the advancement of technology, improvements that need to be made, and how Fossil’s latest smartwatch is equipped with the smart capabilities everyone wants—especially tech execs.
“You start to realize when you get busy, time is the most important thing,” Imah says unconsciously checking his watch. “If the [Gen 5] watch can save me 30 seconds to an hour each day—from checking my emails or texts, or looking at my pulse rate—that's great. [That way] I can dedicate the rest of that time somewhere else that may need it.”
When Imah is in between meetings, planning his next move, he turns up a little hip-hop or classical music to map out his day. The tech exec uses the Google Assistant on his Fossil smartwatch to prepare for the day, asking questions like, “What is my schedule is for tomorrow? What’s going on in the news? What’s the weather?”
Being on the go can cause anyone to be away from home for any length of time, and it’s easy to forget your keys in the house or leave the lights on in the living room in the process. Though Imah is often living out of a suitcase, he doesn’t stress. He can easily use the Gen 5 smartwatch to lock his doors and turn off the lights with a simple, “Ok, Google…” and command away. And as a devout dog lover, the Gen 5 comes in handy for the technologically-gifted millionaire—and others like him—when he doesn’t want his Maltese, Shot, left in the dark. No matter where he is in the world, he can tell his Google Assistant to turn on the lights back home.
As a former leader of companies like Facebook and Amazon, every minute counts. So Fossil’s Gen 5 smartwatch collection doesn’t just tell Imah the time, it helps him create it.
“The thing about smartwatches [is] … you have to set it up [for] you. From events you put in, the notes [you create], and the notifications [you set]. You basically set it around your life, and if you put that time and effort into basically constructing it in a way that represents you, it becomes a part of you.”
The techpreneur understands the importance of representation as he often consults a string of A-list clients on how to use the latest digital devices, and ways to transform them into something personal.
Fossil’s new line of smartwatches, which includes the Julianna and the Carlyle, weren’t developed to become just another accessory or trend to add to your day, they’re about helping create new, more efficient habits—in style. While Imah is addicted to the watches’ functionality and future-like capabilities, its distinct fashion-forward designs are what grab his attention. Whether he’s dressed to impress for a high-level meeting or has a cushy dinner on the docket, Fossil’s Gen 5 series has six different styles to match any occasion. They’re also good for the days Imah is moving around in chill mode, rocking one of his 330 pairs of must-have sneakers.
Rocking a genuine black leather jacket over a fresh grey suit, the man with a mind for the future explains, “One thing that excites me about [Fossil] is the fact that they're able to look at where the world's going, in terms of technology, and add their own touch on top of it. It takes a brand like Fossil to really come in and work with companies like Google, and see technology become mainstream.”
When Imah isn’t plane-hopping while strategizing the future of technology, he’s counting down to the moment he can sit back and relax in an Uber or Lyft and enjoy the ride home. Then, at the end of the day, when notifications are silenced and “do not disturb” is cued, many, like Imah, are ready to kick back, relax, turn up the music to decompress, and ready for another day.
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