Take note!

Published on May 18th, 2012
Take note!

Have you ever made a mistake? Don’t worry – everybody has. But sometimes, that mistake can turn into a billion-dollar product that gets sold around the world. Don’t believe us? Ask 3M scientist Dr Spencer Silver…

One day, Dr Silver’s created a glue that didn’t stick. Sounds pretty useless, and Dr Silver thought so too, so he put it up on the laboratory shelf and forgot all about his silly mistake.

That could have been the end of the story, except for the imagination and creativity of one of Dr Silver’s fellow scientists. Six years after Dr Silver’s failed experiment, Dr Art Fry was singing in his church choir and feeling frustrated because his bookmarks – small slips of paper – kept falling out of his hymn book.

“If only my bookmarks were a bit sticky,” thought Dr Fry… “Sticky enough to adhere to the page, but not so sticky that they’d tear the page as you moved them to another place.”

Then he remembered Dr Silver’s mistake… and in that moment, the Post-it® Note was born.  The solution had been created by Dr. Silver, but the problem it was solving only came to Dr Fry all those years later.

The moral of this story? Don’t give up on an idea, and never underestimate your own mistakes… one day, they could change your life.