George and Mary-Lynn

Make a Note: Paying Attention Pays Bigg

By Bigg Success Staff
07-21-08

Bigg Success in Business

sharing_successOne of the greatest product success stories of all time has to be 3M’s Post-It Notes. You may or may not be familiar with the story of their development. In case you’re not, the year was 1968. Dr. Spencer Silver discovered the “secret sauce” – the special adhesive that makes Post-It Notes … well, Post-It Notes.

There was just one problem – Dr. Silver talked about it to anyone who would listen, but no one could figure out how to use it. 

That was until six years later … 

Art Fry sang in the choir at his church. He also worked at 3M. He used a bookmark in his hymnal so he could quickly find the next song. There was just one problem – the bookmark kept falling out.

He remembered Dr. Silver’s special adhesive. He tried it out. Sure enough, the lightly- glued note gripped well, but it didn’t tear the page when it was removed. It was the perfect solution!

So what’s the point, you ask?

Dr. Silver wasn’t looking for the glue that makes Post-It Notes possible. The product idea never entered his mind. However, when he discovered the glue, he was alert enough to realize how unique it was. So he started spreading the word.

Art Fry didn’t make the initial discovery. However, he did pay attention. He remembered Dr. Silver talking about his discovery. Now he had a problem for which it was the solution! By being alert to what was going on around him, he was part of the team that created the product we know as Post-It Notes!

What’s happening around you? 

Source
3M’s Post-It Note History 

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