Name something that is easy-to-use, convenient, attractive, and most of all, useful. For me, the first thing that came to mind is something we are probably all familiar with – post-it notes! I absolutely love “post-its”, as they are really useful for me to write extra notes during lessons and also to write reminders. I also like to use them to write notes to my friends and family!
Have you ever wondered how post-it notes came about? Well, they were actually invented by accident. (Imagine if the accident didn’t happen, we would have missed out on an amazing invention! So on a random sidenote: accidents may not be all bad!) In 1968, Dr. Spencer Silver, a scientist at 3M in the US, was attempting to develop a super-strong adhesive, but instead accidentally created a “low-tack”, reusable, pressure-sensitive adhesive. He promoted his “solution without a problem” within 3M both informally and through seminars but failed to gain acceptance until in 1974, when a colleague, who had attended one of his seminars, came up with the idea of using the adhesive to anchor his bookmark in his hymnbook. This colleague then utilized 3M’s officially sanctioned “permitted bootlegging” policy to develop the idea. In addition, even the original notes’ yellow colour was chosen by accident! This is due to the lab next-door to the Post-it team having only yellow scrap paper to use.
In 1977, 3M launched the product under the name “Press ‘n Peel” in stores in four cities but with disappointing results. The next year, 3M instead issued free samples directly to consumers in Boise, Idaho, and their efforts paid off with 94 percent indicating they would buy the product. In 1980, “Press ‘n Peel” was renamed “Post-it Notes” and re-introduced in US stores. The very next year, they were launched in Canada and Europe. In 2003, 3M created “Post-it Brand Super Sticky Notes” with stronger glue that adheres better to vertical and non-smooth surfaces.
I strongly feel that the invention of post-it notes has benefitted our lives greatly. For students, how many times have you used post-it notes for note-taking during lessons or for messages to your friends? For adults, how often do you use post-it notes to remind yourself about things such as work-related things? I’m sure most of you may have “many times” and “very often” as your answers! Personally, they were a big help to me whenever I didn’t have anywhere to scribble down important reminders and whenever I ran out of space to write in my notes.
Overall, post-it notes are not only visually-appealing, they are also very easy to use, useful and convenient for writing short notes! And with that, go get yourself some post-its if you haven’t! They will definitely be a big help and a colourful addition to your lives!
By Daphne Yow
With reference to: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post-it_note