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.