Tuesday, July 31, 2007

1977: 3M introduces Post-it® Notes

In 1968, Dr. Spencer Silver discovered a unique, repositionable adhesive while working as a scientist in 3M's research lab. He circulated information to other 3M scientists, trying to discover a problem that the adhesive could solve.

In 1974, while singing in his church choir, Art Fry, another 3M scientist, tired of losing his place in the hymnal. He dreamed of a bookmark that's lightly adhesive; then he remembered Silver's adhesive, and his dream began to become real.

Fry used a portion of his working hours to develop a solution to his problem, and in 1977, he overcame manufacturing obstacles to produce enough Post-it® Notes to supply 3M's headquarters, and 3M employees were soon hooked.

After test markets show mixed reactions to Post-it® Notes, marketers realized that success depended upon sampling the product. 3M-ers went to Boise, Idaho, to launch a sampling campaign known as the Boise Blitz. After saturating the office supply industry with samples, an astonishing 90 percent of people who tried Post-its said they'd buy them, and the product was approved by management. By 1980, Post-it® Notes were being sold nationwide. Today, they're used throughout the world. (info from 3M, photo from Getty Images)

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