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Redefining Visionaries As Heroes --Waldman

February 2003
Because you will be reading words in mid-February that I wrote at the end of December, you'll know if my passion of the moment came to reality. Did my Philadelphia Eagles get to, and win, the Super Bowl? Is Donovan McNabb, the Eagles talented quarterback, a hero? But wait a minute. We have matured past all that. We now realize that football players and movie stars are not heroes, but just highly talented and entertaining people.

The true heroes are fire fighters, police, soldiers and all those brave individuals who risk their lives to save others and protect our freedoms. And rightly so; September 11 thrust a far more meaningful perspective as to which individuals are truly worthy of our total admiration.

Those who stormed the beaches of Normandy, rush into burning buildings and, like the passengers of Flight 93, take on terrorists deserve a lofty place in our hearts and our thoughts. But although they justifiably occupy the top position, they still leave a little room for those who make a difference in improving the quality of our lives.

Unsung Heroes

Dedicated teachers, crusaders who right an injustice and the mother that scrubbed floors to send her child to college—they all deserve our admiration.

OK, so now that we have our priorities established, it's time to look at another group that have impacted our lives: the inventors, pioneers and visionaries.

This unique and special group that has dramatically changed the way we live has always fascinated me. I have been to the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, Germany, twice and want to go again. I have watched the movie Pirates of Silicon Valley (the story of Steve Jobs and Bill Gates) countless times. On this 100th anniversary of flight, I salute the Wright brothers and can't wait to see and listen to the stories of their pioneering journey.

I love to watch the Biography channel on television when the lives of Edison or Einstein are featured, as opposed to the life of John Wayne. And you know what? How much do we really know about the inventors, pioneers and visionaries in our own industry like Otto Mergenthaler and, yes, even Gutenberg himself? Moreover, what do we know about the contributions of our contemporary industry visionaries like Efi Arazi, John Warnock and Chuck Geschke?

Almost 25 years ago Efi Arazi and his company, Scitex, ushered in a whole new world harnessing the power of the computer to manipulate and color correct images for print. More than a decade before Adobe Photoshop began its reign over image editing, Efi moved our industry into the digital age. I can vividly recall trade show crowds of the early '80s staring in awe at Scitex terminals as the magic of the digital age unfolded before them.

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