Author: Scott Whitney
For an electrical engineer in the medical device world, Eric Soederberg’s role models aren’t entirely—well—expected. “Oh, Gandhi, probably,” says Soederberg, with a self-effacing laugh. He falls silent for a moment, tousling his auburn hair. “Although, lately I’ve been asking myself, ‘What would Fred Rogers do?’” he adds, drumming his fingers on the table.
How did a gearhead graduate of both WPI and MIT find inspiration in such humanistic heroes? The path may have started decades ago on Boston’s Commonwealth Avenue, where a 20-something Soederberg walked frequently, admiring the memorials and statues that line the historic greenway. One in particular captured his imagination: that of sailor and historian Samuel Eliot Morison, whose statue bears the inscription, “Dream dreams, then write them. Aye, but live them first.”
Thirty years have passed since Soederberg first read those words, and he now stands at the helm of Sunrise Labs, a medical product development company whose innovations are both changing and saving lives. And after years of dreaming his dreams, he’s discovered that the impact he wants to have on the world isn’t limited to the things he makes, but also in how he treats the people with whom he makes them.
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