3M -- On April 6, 1980, a remarkable new technology arrived in stationery stores around the States. It was simple and environmentally-friendly. It needed no semi-annual upgrades. It worked better than advertised. It was the Post-it Note. We celebrate 25 years of progress by observing the Post-It Note in the college classroom.
From Rake Magazine:
Two and a half decades later, as the little yellow notes celebrate their silver anniversary, it’s easy to forget what a recent innovation they are. Thanks to their material simplicity, they seem more closely related to workplace antiquities like the stapler and the hole-punch than integrated chips. Instead, they’re an exemplary product of their time. Foreshadowing the web, they offered an easy way to link one piece of information to another in a precisely contextual way.
Foreshadowing email, they made informal, asynchronous communication with your co-workers a major part of modern office life.
In the wake of the Post-it Note’s huge commercial success and enduring popularity, its development is often cited as a classic example of business innovation. Most of the time, though, the tale is synopsized, elided, reduced to a few efficient paragraphs. On the face of it, this is fitting for a product that helped usher in the era of PowerPoint presentations and instant messaging.
But the story of 3M engineer Art Fry’s invention is a grand chronicle of post-industrial American enterprise. It encompasses skeptical bosses, last-ditch marketing campaigns, and that old Hollywood crowd-pleaser, “inherently tacky elastomeric copolymer microspheres.” It deserves a more in-depth telling than it typically gets.
Rake Magazine -- "Twenty-Five Years of Post-It Notes"