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Fascinating facts about the invention of
Post-it Notes by Arthur Fry and Spencer Silver in 1974.
POST-ITŪ NOTES
Everyone knows what Post-itŪ  notes are: They are those great little self-stick notepapers.  Most people have Post-itŪ  Notes.   Most people use them.  Most people love them.  But Post-itŪ  Notes were not a planned product. 
No one got the idea and then stayed up nights to invent it.  A man named Spencer Silver was working in the 3M research laboratories in 1970 trying to find a strong adhesive.  Silver developed a new adhesive, but it was even weaker than what 3M already manufactured.  It stuck to objects, but could easily be lifted off.   It was super weak instead of super strong. 
No one knew what to do with the stuff, but Silver didn't discard it.  Then one Sunday four years later, another 3M scientist named Arthur Fry was singing in the church's choir.  He used markers to keep his place in the hymnal, but they kept falling out of the book.  Remembering Silver's adhesive, Fry used some to coat his markers.  Success!  With the weak adhesive, the markers stayed in place, yet lifted off without damaging the pages.  3M began distributing Post-it Ū Notes nationwide in 1980 -- ten years after Silver developed the super weak adhesive.  Today they are one of the most popular office products available.

TO LEARN MORE

RELATED INFORMATION:
A Century of Innovation at 3M   from The Great Idea Finder
History of Office Equipment
   from The Great Idea Finder

ON THE BOOKSHELF:
Mistakes That Worked
by Charlotte Foltz Jones, John O'Brien (Illustrator) / Paperback - 48 pages / Doubleday (1994)
Recounting the fascinating stories behind the accidental inventions of forty familiar objects and products.
Innovation: Breakthrough Thinking at 3M (Limited Availability)

Rosabeth Moss Kanter / Hardcover - 209 pages / Harper Business (1997)
While many managers still view creativity and originality in the workplace with suspicion and apprehension, some of today's top corporations are parlaying these same traits into notable long-term success.
Creating Breakthroughs at 3M
by Eric Von Hippel (Author), Stefan Thomke (Author), Mary Sonnack (Author) / [DOWNLOAD: PDF] eBook 442K 9 digital pages / Harvard Business School Press (January 14, 2002)

The authors explain the process and how the 3M project team successfully navigated through it. In the end, the team proposed three major new product lines and a change in the division's strategy that has led to the development of breakthrough products.
Strategic Stories: How 3M Is Rewriting Business Planning
by Gordon Shaw (Author), Robert Brown (Author), Philip Bromiley (Author) / Download eBook(PDF) 405K 6 digital pages / Harvard Business School Press (January 14, 2002)

When people can locate themselves in the story, their sense of commitment and involvement is enhanced. By conveying a powerful impression of the process of winning, narrative plans can mobilize an entire organization.
Why Didn't I Think of That? Think the Unthinkable and Achieve Creative Greatness
by Charles W. McCoy Jr. / Hardcover: 256 pages / Prentice Hall Press (January 15, 2002)

Aims to empower by teaching readers how to think more clearly, creatively, and comprehensively. His eight chapters deal with perception, concentration, high-level thinking, a systematic approach, imagination, intuition, empathy, and anticipation.

Rapid Problem Solving With Post-It Notes
by David Straker / Paperback: 160 pages / Fisher Books (August 1997)

Solve problems, create solutions and find answers fast—all with the help of Post-itŪ Notes. Tens of millions of Post-itŪ Notes users can now learn how to do far more with these great little tools.


ON THE WEB:
Art Fry and the invention of Post-itŪ Notes
The 3M dedication to innovation is always a team effort. Innovators learn that it's better to ask for forgiveness than for permission.
(URL: www.3m.com/about3m/pioneers/fry.jhtml)

Art Fry, Post-It Notes Inventor
From Invention At Play. Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History.
(URL: invention.smithsonian.org/centerpieces/iap/inventors_fry.html)
The Invention Dimension - Invention of the Week

Featured Art Fry and Spencer Silver for the invention of Post-itŪ notes.
(URL: web.mit.edu/invent/iow/frysilver.html)
Post-it Photograph
A new way to use Post-it notes.

(URL: www.umbrella.net/Webpages/norm/postit.html)

WHERE TO FIND:
Post-it Flag Highlighter with 50 Red Flags per Pen PLUS 2 Refills
Office Supplies / by Post-It / B0000AQO81 / Less than $5.00
Post-it Flags combined with yellow felt highlighter provide a convenient, ultra portable way to always have flags at your finger tips.


DID YOU KNOW:

  • In 1977, test-markets failed to show consumer interest. However in 1980, 3M implemented a massive consumer sampling strategy, and the Post-itŪ note took off.
  • Today Post-it Notes are one of the five top-selling office products in the United States, and Dr. Silver's "flubber" is now the basis for more than 200 products.
  • With over $100 million dollars in revenue since its discovery, Post-Its have to be one of the most useful tools to mankind
Post-itŪ Notes is a registered trademark of 3M.  All rights reserved.
Reference Sources in BOLD Type This page revised May 30, 2006.
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