Meet the Person That Created the Barcode

meet the person that created the barcode

Can you imagine business without the barcode? Ten billion or more times each day, electronic scanners read data encoded in black-and-white codes—barcodes—printed on or affixed to physical goods in a store or a warehouse. Where did the ubiquitous barcode come from?

On The Small Business Radio Show this week, I talked with the creator of the barcode,  Paul V. McEnroe, who is an award-winning engineer who developed multiple state-of-the-art technologies during his long career, including more than two decades in leadership roles at IBM.

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He is best known for his primary role in developing the Universal Product Code (UPC), the barcode used on every product in supermarkets and the retail industry, and the scanners that read them. He has a new book out called “The Barcode”.

This is what I asked Paul:

  • How does it feel to have created something that literally changed the world?
  • Winning the barcode revolution: how the barcode team was able to move from no position in the supermarket and retail industry to become its sole leader
  • Correcting misinformation: how the development of the barcode technology was a team effort
  • What the development of the barcode has taught us about the power of technological innovation
  • How to effectively manage a team to accomplish seemingly impossible goals
  • The barcode’s transformative effect on the retail industry, specifically in terms of automation and efficiency
  • The future of the QR code
  • Why younger generations should focus their work on solving issues that will improve conditions for their fellow men, women, and society, as opposed to just making money
  • Navigating the long-term impacts of a life-changing invention
  • The Future of Retail Systems: the familiar point of sale is only the tip of the iceberg

Listen to the entire interview about the creation of the barcode.

Image: Amazon

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Small Business Radio Show As a small business expert, Barry Moltz gets owners growing again by unlocking their long forgotten potential. With decades of entrepreneurial experience in his own business ventures as well as consulting countless other entrepreneurs, Barry has discovered the formula to get stuck business owners unstuck and marching forward. As a small business expert, Barry applies simple, strategic steps to facilitate change.

One Reaction
  1. Barry: I look forward to hear about the future QR code! Thanks for conducting this interview!

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