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STUCK ON STICKY-NOTES

I love post-it notes! I use them everywhere: at work, at home, even in my car. They are stuck on my desk at work, and on my computer both at home and at work. Coloured reminders are on my dresser mirror and on my kitchen counter. I leave myself a post-it note on the steering wheel in my car. I never forget anything - as long as I have my post-its! I have several different colours because after a while one becomes "color blind" to the notes and you need the shock of a different coloured post-it to ensure your focused attention.

These wonderful little life-savers almost didn’t make it on the market. No manufacturer believed there would be a demand for them – no one but their inventor, that is. The only reason we have them today is because Art Fry never gave up on an idea he believed in. Fry was a chemist at 3M and he originally became interested in creating a sticky bookmark for his church hymnal. He was frustrated because his bookmark kept falling out of his book during services.  He began to experiment with a unique adhesive created by another 3M scientists, Spencer Silver.  Soon, he had invented the perfect sticky-note – one that left no residue, did not damage the book and easily came off the page. That book mark evolved to a post-it note and Fry was ready to take his invention to his bosses.

However, 3M almost didn't produce the little sticky notes at all.  The decision makers at 3M did not believe people would buy them or that they had any kind of future. Fry so believed in his little sticky-notes that he began to hand them out to his colleagues at #3M and challenged them to try out his invention. He knew that if people used them and saw how useful his post-it notes were, he could convince 3M to manufacture them. Sure enough, people loved them. His colleagues at 3M kept coming back for more. In fact, they liked them so much that 3M decided to produce them, however the first marketing attempt failed! Even then, Art Fry did not give up. He was eventually able to convince 3M to give it one more try. In 1979, after a successful marketing campaign, “Post-it notes” hit the market. And the rest is history - post-its became a phenomenal success. By 1982, no office or home was complete without them. Today they come in a variety of colours and in many different shapes.

If Art Fry had not believed in himself and in his invention, the world would not have post-it notes today. Fry’s story proves how empowering it is to believe in yourself, even if others don’t agree. But more importantly (at least, to me), Fry ensured that I had a way in which to organize my life and to remind myself of the important things that need to get done – one post-it note at a time. 

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Wednesday October 28, 2020