Tuesday, October 2, 2012

How Post-its were born by mistake

It was 1968, and Dr Spencer Silver was seated at his laboratory, trying to create a super-strong adhesive. One like no other. Instead, he came up with the complete opposite: an adhesive so weak it could easily be removed and reused. Dr Silver had failed.

What would I have done in this situation?
A. Embarrassingly cover-up my failure and continue my search for the great adhesive
B. Laugh about my failure: maybe write another 'Why oh Why?' blog-post
C. Try to stop my bawling for enough time to send a resignation e-mail to my boss

Dr Silver didn't, however, choose to deal with this using any of the three approaches. For the next five years, he promoted his little non-sticky secret, until the great day for all of us came when a colleague decided to use them in the form of Post-its.

The next time you don't get the result you want, think about Post-its.


22 comments:

  1. I invented sticky-note's; Nicole Richie invented post-it's. :p

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    1. Hmm...what's the story behind this? :P

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    2. Nothing really. I just want to say something here :p LOL

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  2. YESHH! I know this story. I'm so proud to know this story. I don't know why, but it's like, when you post all these fascinating posts about interesting things, I feel like I don't know anything... and then I read this.

    Yes.

    Anyhow, thank you so much for that link to the Sri Lankan girl's blog - I appreciate it truly, you've picked up my exact taste (: Thank you, thank you, and cookies *sends a virtual box*

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  3. So many wonderful inventions have come to us by way of accidents or mistakes. It's a lesson we can all learn from. (I know I'm not the only one addicted to Post-its.)

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  4. What would happen if? Great post--I think there is a story about Xerox paper as well.

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  5. That's an awesome story. You never know what mistakes will catch on. :)

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  6. Neat story... I like the idea that even failures can be success's. Next time I use a post-it note, I will be looking at it in a new light.

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  7. I'm a HUGE fan of the whole 3M Post-it collection!
    Thanks SO much for the mistake, Dr Spencer Silver!

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  8. I read this before but it's nice to read about again. Great moral - there's always something positive in every situation, even in sticky ones! :D

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  9. Cool story! This reminded me a post o was gonna do about spoons.
    Learnt something new today, thanks.

    By the way, if its not too much hassle could you enabke mobile viewing for your blog? I read blogs on my phone and reading the web view can be a bit difficult. You dont have to if you dont want to.

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    Replies
    1. Done, thank you for the suggestion (Interested in knowing the story behind spoons)

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    2. Thank you! And thank you for sharing such an inspirational story.

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  10. Will mail this to my boss....many times I give him reports which are way different from what he wants

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  11. These are life savers at the office! Love the Post It Notes. :)

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  12. I have always wondered if Dr. Silver benefited financially from this great invention! I sure hope so.

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  13. Hi, sweetie!Have you seen the movie Romy & Michelle's High School Reunion? It was way way back in the nineties and you must have been a toddler then. Anyway, these 2 unsuccessful misfits went to their high school reunion ten years later and pretended to be doing well and showed up in an expensive car, and tried to impress their former high school mates by claiming they invented post-it notes.

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    Replies
    1. Hahah no I haven't, sounds like a fun movie to see!

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