The Sebir That Bred Post-It Notes

In 1968, a chemist at 3M Dr Spencer Silver was attempting to develop a super-strong adhesive but instead, he accidentally created a 'temporary' adhesive. In concert with a colleague, Art Fry, he noticed that the unique low-tack adhesive allowed paper notes to be attached and removed at will without leaving marks or residue

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Improve the ease of attaching and removing paper notes


Attaching paper notes to things was awkward and time-consuming


The ease of attaching and removing paper notes was now possible through the creating of an adhesive that bonded on a temporary basis only A paper note could be added to and removed from a host service because the adhesive on one of its sides was reusable

Breeding Comment

Drawing a broader parallel from a specific observation or experience and then visualizing a narrower application in a quite different setting is the secret behind idea breeding. Dr Spencer Silver and Art Fry associated more broadly from the capability of a weak adhesive to bond temporarily to a surface and, in so doing, was able to breed a reusable adhesive that enables paper notes to be temporarily attached and removed

See the Breeding Mountain

Historic Impact

Paying attention when something doesn't work as intended can be beneficial. As a result of the exploits of Dr Spencer Silver and Art Fry, the now ubiquitous Post-It Notes debuted in American stores on 6 April 1980

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