Celebrating 25 Years: 25 Interesting Facts About LEAD

This year, LEAD is celebrating a very successful quarter century of imaging development. Below is a summary of our kickoff #LEAD25 campaign, 25 interesting tweets about LEAD Technologies:

  • LEAD was founded by Moe Daher and Rich Little in July 1990, when Moe moved to Charlotte over the 4th of July weekend.
  • Rich met Moe at MLS Imaging Systems in Sarasota FL – which had created an early forerunner to today’s online real estate search apps.
  • Moe is the engineer and Rich is the business guy, although Moe also has a pretty good eye for business, and law, and medicine.
  • Angel investors Arthur Evans & Jim Alexander joined the team. LEAD is spelled w/ capital letters b/c – Little Evans Alexander Daher.
  • In LEAD’s early days, we kept the lights on by building & selling IBM Clone PCs.  Today we joke “we could have been Michael Dell.”
  • The first LEADTOOLS product to ship was a compression board along with a DOS Library.  If you don’t know what DOS is, look it up.
  • The compression board could import a TGA file (Targa format) and save as JPEG or LEAD CMP.  4 functions then vs 100K+ today.
  • Moe created and patented the compressed file format LEAD CMP.  CMP was/is about 50% the size of a JPEG file with the same quality.
  • First year revenues were $70,000.  Looking back we wonder how we ever made it.
  • In the early years LEAD focused almost exclusively on product development and did not turn an annual profit until 1995.
  • The boy in babe.cmp, an image file that was shipped with LEADTOOLS for years, is Rich’s oldest son Will.  Will is now 24.
  • The girl who sings “Shimmy Shimmy Cocoa Pop” that shipped in the Multimedia toolkit, is Moe’s oldest daughter Jordan.  She is now 23.
  • If you have a copy of babe.cmp or the cocoa pop mpg file, tweet it.  First 10 people to do so will receive a $100 Amazon gift card.
  • Early big name customers like HP, Intel, Microsoft, & Corel were huge for LEAD.  Corel shipped LEAD’s JPEG & CMP in CorelDraw4.
  • In addition to powering FrontPage & Home Publisher, Microsoft’s Visual Studio v4.2 included a version of LEADTOOLS – great exposure.
  • LEAD’s early US resellers included Programmers Shop, Computer Shopper & Programmers Paradise. Programmers Paradise is now TechXtend.
  • Unirent EDV Systemtechnik GmbH in Germany was LEAD’s first international reseller.  Unirent continues to sell LEADTOOLS today.
  • LEAD has reseller relationships of 20 or more years with great partners in Germany, Japan, the UK, Spain and South Korea.
  • LEAD advertised in early leading tech magazines including Dr Dobbs, Windows Systems Journal, VBPJ, among many others.
  • In the early 2000s, LEAD created a highly successful division called Medicor Imaging.
  • One employee’s name was “Hu” (Who). We had a lot of fun with “Hu wrote that”, & “where’s Hu”? Abbott & Costello would have loved him.
  • Javed Ahsan is LEAD’s longest tenured employee having started in 1993. Javed has become LEAD’s resident DICOM guru.
  • Jordan Shields joined LEAD in 1995.  Jordan is a shareholder, Director, Officer and key member of the senior management team.
  • Javed and Jordan are part of a group of 14 employees who have been at LEAD for 18 years or longer.
  • Today we have nearly 100 employees & ship LEADTOOLS v19. Thanks to our customers, partners & employees for making 25 years possible.


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