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The Post-It Approach

by Mia M. Jackson

Art Fry, Creator of Post-It Notes

Art Fry wanted to keep his place in his hymnal while singing in his church choir. Wrestling with a bookmark that kept moving, he recalled a presentation he’d seen for the adhesive product developed by 3M© colleague Dr. Spencer Silver seven (7) years earlier in 1968. Aha! Add the hymnal to the random yellow paper that was available as they tried out the new idea and you have the “Post-It.™” It would take a few more years and misfires before they settled on the right name and strategy. But his simple need then changed how the world leaves messages for coworkers, kids and friends.

We’ve all had that Fry-like  “Aha!” moment where we realize something that we’ve seen, read or heard recently can solve a problem for us. The issue may not be world peace or bullying, but it still resonates with others looking for similar resolution.  For seven long years, Dr. Spencer had something that he believed to be useful, practical. He presented it to audiences, before the days of PowerPoint, who may or may not have seen its effectiveness. Finally, however, someone else took the idea to a new page in the story.

Something about Dr. Silver’s new glue stuck with Mr. Fry long enough for him to connect the dots. Maybe it was “Your glue helps me sing Nearer My God to Thee,” (my grandmother’s favorite hymn.) Had the two not been determined and certain that the product was viable, we wouldn’t have had that infamous scene in Sex in the City when Berger breaks up with Carrie on the post-it note on the mirror. Or we wouldn’t be able to ask a colleague to see you ASAP!!! with a note to the monitor. Yes, there’s something to be said for sticking to it.

So for the entrepreneurs, designers, dreamers and product warriors, let’s try the Post-It Approach today:

  1. If you have a product or service that you believe in, be tenacious.
  2. Get your presentation in order and speak to everyone in the audience, not just the money folks. You don’t know who has the answer.
  3. Be open to someone who sees your product or service differently – and possibly better – than you do.
  4. Repackage it, rename it, resell it – until it sticks!


Tomorrow… from the 3M perspective.

One comment on “The Post-It Approach

  1. Dr Pamela Ellis

    Mia, thanks for this post. It’s a good pick-me-up for continuing the week!

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This entry was posted on 09/01/2011 by in All About the Business and tagged , , , , , , , , , , .
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