What Was This New Adhesive?
In 1970 Spencer Silver, a chemist at 3M, was trying
to develop a strong glue. But his new adhesive
was super-weak instead of super-strong. It stuck
to objects but could be easily peeled off.
No one knew what to do with it, but Silver didnt
discard his new glue.
What happened after Fry realized this new adhesive
could make a great bookmark?
The next day at work, I prepared some samples
of the bookmark. My colleagues started using their
bookmark samples as notes and soon were at my
desk saying that they were instant addicts and
demanding more samples. As the circle of addiction
quickly spread within our product development
laboratory, I came to the very exciting and satisfying
realization that those little, self-attaching
notes were a very useful product.
We realized that what we had was not just
a bookmark, but a new way to communicate or organize
The Post-it® Note was born.
This of course was just the beginning of
the innovation process. Samples had to be tested
for every [possible] application we could think
of. We had many tough problems to solve in manufacturing,
quality, packaging, and sales. It took a lot of
us to solve those problems, and we all feel good
about what we did.
My satisfaction has always been in making
things that people really need, but cannot make
for themselves. When those things [are still]
used after I am gone, it will be as if part of
me will live on forever.
Greatbatch, Cardiac Pacemaker Inventor ›