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Unusual Inventions - the Post it Note

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by Startacus Admin

In the coming week or two, we launch the collaborative section on the Startacus site. So we thought it only fair to give a timely nod to perhaps one of the best collaborative offline tools invented - the post it note.

Where would we be without post it notes?

Probably scribbling on pieces of paper I would imagine. However, the lowly post it note, the antithesis of the paperless office, can be used to allow ‘collaborative thinking and doing’ to be recorded and (more history of post it noteimportantly) stuck and displayed at a second’s notice. Brainstorming and thinking outside of the box as a team, would certainly be less attractive without the post it note me thinks! But what is its’ story? Well....it so happens that the invention is a collaborative tale too...

The story goes that back in the 60’s, Dr Spencer Silver, a chemist at 3M in the States, had invented (by mistake) a low stick adhesive. For 5 years the Doctor pushed this new adhesive to little avail - the thinking was that a not-that-strong glue would not really stick with the glue buying public.

Anyhow, a colleague of Silver, Art Fry, who had attended one of the Doctor’s Seminars, realised the potential of the not-that-sticky adhesive, as a solution to keeping his bookmark placed in his hymn book. Bingo - the ethos of the post-it note was born.

A few trials later and a name change from press n’ peel, the post-it note went on general sale.

For those of us who cannot get our heads around the idea of a paperless office, and love a little scribble or doodle, the post it note is our offline memory and collaborative saviour, so we say a big high five to Dr Spencer Silver and Art Fry for having the tenacity to keep at it.

If Startacus’ collaborative space is half as successful we will be very very happy.


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Published on: 28th October 2012

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