Oops! We Made a Mistake! Let’s Make a Product Out of It!
It is my hope that by reading about some of these famous mistakes you might learn that mistakes are not always fatal or even a bad thing.
Did you know there are common products you are highly familiar with, that came about by mistake? These are products that came about in trying to invent something completely different.
The Slinky While working on a tension spring, Richard James accidentally let one slip off the table. When it hit the ground, it kept on going. This gave him the idea to make it into a product. The product was developed in the 1940’s but is still available today. James’ wife sold the product in 1998.
Post-It Notes 3M was looking for a strong adhesive and set the research and development department to come up with it. They instead made a very weak adhesive, and one of the developers saw that it would stick to a surface but wouldn’t stay stuck. This gave them the idea to attach it to paper for notes. Hence, the Post-It note was born.
Velcro In the 1940’s, a man and his dog were in the woods hunting. Burrs stuck to his pants and the fur of his dog. This motivated him to studied how these burrs worked under a microscope. He then developed it into a product we all know as Velcro. It is still a viable product to this day.
The United States government needed rubber during World War II, and it was in short supply. General Electric engineers tried to come up with a rubber substitute and instead came up with goo, which they felt they had no need for. An inspiring business person paid them for the rights to the invention and named it Silly Putty. Plastic egg packaging was used since the release of the product was near Easter time.
This product was meant to help people with heart conditions. Instead, they observed in clinical studies that men who took the pill became aroused. As you can well imagine, this product didn’t take much to market and became a success practically overnight.
Play-Doh Play-Doh got its start as a cleaning product for wallpaper. When it didn’t do as well for that purpose, the inventors knew a teacher who complained about the clay her students were using in class. It was not pliable. The inventors suggested she try the Play-Doh, and the kids went crazy for it. An entire industry has been built around this product since then.
If you have been beating yourself up over making mistakes, perhaps it’s time to cut yourself a break. Who knows, you may even discover the next multimillion-dollar product in the process.
Your next lesson will focus on “Changing Your Mindset From Employee To Entrepreneur”