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How the World Came to be with Post-It Notes

Sticky notes they may be, but many of us refer to them as Post-Its. This, however, is unsurprising, considering that its inventor, 3M, had chosen to brand it as such. Now, imagine a world without Post-Its. Possibly chaotic, right? If your imagination can’t stretch that far, you need only to learn about the history of Post-Its to understand how the world came to be with this sticky gift.

The Formula
The invention of sticky notes began with the formula responsible for making it sticky. This formula was the brainchild of 3M scientist Dr. Spencer Silver back in 1968. Of course, it was not as useful if it was going to be sold alone.

The Use
And then came along another 3M professional. Art Fry’s epiphany came, and aptly so, while he was in the church and singing with the choir. He had a perennial dilemma with his bookmark, which fell out of his songbook perpetually and was consequently a source of distraction.

This problem led him to consider the idea of having “repositionable” notes. Thanks to the bootlegging policy of 3M, Fry was able to devote a certain part of his working day in finding a solution for his problem. In a few years, Fry will be able to come up with 3M’s Post-it Notes.

The Launch
3M focused on launching their newest product to four primary market segments. But because there was nothing even remotely similar to their invention and the absence of samples to develop product interest, the initial launch of Post-it Notes in 1977 was not greatly successful.

A Second Try
Thankfully, 3M didn’t give up. In 1978, the company made a second attempt in introducing their product to the market, but this time, they began giving away samples – lots and lots of them! – in Boise, Idaho.

Their gamble paid off. Customer feedback showed that over ninety percent of those who tried the product were willing to purchase the product given the chance. Two years later and Post-it Notes were available nationwide.

Sticky Note Trivia
The history of sticky notes is dotted with a number of fun trivia points, some of which shared here.

All Post-it Notes had been, will be, and are sold to the market are recyclable.

Take your pick among a variety of Post-it Notes with 62 different shades, 25 shapes, and 8 standard sizes.

A 1998 workplace study revealed that the average professional receives 11 messages in Post-it Notes each day.

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