Working with a great team to organize the 3M: Made by YOU event earlier this summer, I knew it was going to be a great success and fun experience. With 3M’s culture and creativity, how could it not be? And it was – I was very impressed by the amount of DIY projects and participation by my fellow 3Mers. When Art Fry, co-inventor of the Post-it Note – basically a celebrity at 3M – heard about the event, he invited the organizers to sit down with him.
I hope you can tell by my illustration how interesting I found the whole experience. Art explained to us the importance of having a passion for creating. He told us about getting the Post-it project up and running, tinkering on his own time until he had a prototype machine that made the first stack of notes. We also heard about the products that were born in a 3M makerspace called the ProFab Lab, which was housed in an old dairy building nearby. This was a tinkering space where employees would bring in machines that “did something different” and would simply start playing with them. It seems fair to say that it pays to play – and it pays big.
One of my favorite pieces of advice Art offered at the meeting was: “Make helpful, honest products.” I’d say the Post-it Note qualifies.