Are you sitting at a desk right now?Or maybe you are standing in the kitchen waiting for your coffee to brew...
I'd guess there is a little yellow (or pink or orange or blue) piece of paper sitting somewhere on that desk or perhaps stuck on the refrigerator!
Hello, Post-it Notes. What an invention.
A few weeks ago, we asked our community to submit questions they had for us - and a quite a few of you asked about improvements to product. Were they patentable, etc.?
Wow. Great question. There is a LOT to unpack, so on one of the next Fun Fact Friday email's, we will talk a little more about that specifically. (If you're not already subscribed to our email list, please do so by signing up for a FREE GIFT on right side of this page and you will automatically be enrolled!)
However, the question prompted us to think about the Post-it note and the thought, "How can you improve on paper?"
Granted, there is no patent on "paper" (perhaps on paper-making methods) so this new invention revolutionized the way paper was used.
In the late 1970's, Dr. Spencer Silver worked for 3M and was trying to develop an adhesive that was tough/strong. However, he ended up creating a formulation of "microspheres which retain their stickiness but with a 'removability characteristic'" - meaning they would stick, but also be easily removed!
He struggled to find a use for this formulation for years, till one day, his colleague, Arthur Fry came to him with an idea (Spencer had told everyone at the company about his formula and how it worked - hoping to find a use).
Well, Arthur sang every Wednesday with his church choir and used scraps of paper to hold his place in the hymnals. However, by Sunday morning they had fallen out. He thought "wouldn't it be great if these were STICKY!" and remembered Spencer's invention.
Talk about divine inspiration!
The two collaborated, used some scrap CANARY YELLOW paper from the lab next door and started leaving little notes for each other to communicate.
That successfully spread throughout 3M until it was put on the market as "Press 'n Peel". However, it didn't really take off until they re-branded in the mid-80's as the "Post-it"!
**NOTE: We must mention here that both men worked for 3M and therefore all their inventions were assigned to the company, and interestingly, only Arthur Fry is listed on the patent as the inventor. I assume this is because he is the one who technically had the idea to put the two together (paper + stick).
Today, there are over 1,000 Post-it products sold all over the world and it is one of their most popular and recognized brands.
What an improvement - one that you never thought you needed and now can't seem to live without.
Cheers to collaboration and creative thinking.
Keep on using your God-given imagination to come up with those new ideas!