3M was formerly known as the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company and the company itself has been around since 1902. Founded in a Lake Superior town in Minnesota, 5 businessmen founded a company to mine mineral for grinding wheel abrasives. While the sandpaper business didn’t exactly kick off, the company encouraged all it’s employees to innovate on their own and then bring their ideas to the table. In 1925, a young lab assistant, Richard Drew, invented masking tape which was the catalyst to all of 3M’s future success.
3M paid their first dividend in 1916 at 6 cents a share and are currently listed in the New York Stock Exchange as none other but 3 M’s, MMM. Over the years, 3M brought revolutionary products to the market such as the world’s first waterproof sandpaper, Scotch Tapes, Post-it Notes, photographic products, medical products, cleaning products, and more!Today, 3M has a revenue of about $30 billion and continues to be a power player in almost every industry they have their hands in.Fun Fact: Almost everything about 3M’s invention of Post-it Notes was accidental. Scientist Spencer Silver stumbled upon this unique adhesive while trying to develop a glue that was permanent!
The trademark yellow color was also an accident! Geoff Nicholson explains that the real reason Post-it notes were yellow was simply because the lab next door to where they were working, “had some scrap yellow paper – that’s why they were yellow; and when we went back and said ‘hey guys, you got any more scrap yellow paper?’ they said ‘you want any more go buy it yourself’, and that’s what we did, and that’s why they were yellow”.