If you are seeing this article more clearly thanks to those softgel contacts you pop in your eyes each morning then you owe a wink of gratitude to chemist Otto Wichterle (1913 - 1998) who created the first soft contact lenses.

If you sweeten your favorite caffeinated beverages with sugar cubes then it’s Jakub Krystof Rad’s (1799 - 1871) invention of a specialized sugar press that made it possible to mold those sweet crystals into practical cubes.  

Ever had a dream and wondered what it was all about? Sigmund Freud (1856 - 1939), hailed as the father of psychoanalysis, championed much of what we know and believe about the meaning of dreams.  

Do you take medicine, eat vegetables from a garden or ever wonder why flowers are certain colors? If so, then you’ve been influenced by the work of scientist and monk Johann Gregor Mendel (1822 - 1884), widely considered the creator of the field of modern genetics.

Have you ever tried to calculate the distance from an approaching storm by counting the seconds after a lightning strike until the rumble of thunder is heard? You can thank physicist Ernst Mach (1838 - 1916) who discovered the speed at which sound travels.

And if you’ve ever been delighted by a product or service then you’ve felt the influence of Tomas Bata (1876 - 1932 ) who founded one of the world’s largest multinational footwear companies by the same name. A business leader and early innovator, Bata employed “quality management” techniques half a century before any others and was the first in history to use quality as a vehicle for lowering cost while simultaneously creating customer delight — a precursor to Value Innovation and Blue Ocean Strategy.

 

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