Do you have an idea for a new product? A new business? The thing that you keep telling friends, relatives, anyone that will listen? I was touring NBC studios in NYC and on one of the monitors they were playing the SNL sketch “Scotch® Boutique,” the owners of a trendy new store sell nothing but Scotch® Tape.
The humor of the sketch hit me: a simple product that became so common, so dependable and so necessary that it would find its place in every school, business and household in the modern world. "Where's the Scotch Tape?" is the cry that has been heard millions of times around the world. But was this idea good enough to justify opening a store that sells nothing but Scotch Tape? Funny.
Fast forward to today. Every day, thousands of new ideas turn into mobile apps. Every day, new businesses are born, stores are opened, patents are filed. Websites are turned up, blogs (like this one) are posted, and videos go viral.
100 million –Number of .com domain names at the end of 2012.
14.1 million –Number of .net domain names at the end of 2012.
9.7 million –Number of .org domain names at the end of 2012.
6.7 million –Number of .info domain names at the end of 2012.
2.2 million –Number of .biz domain names at the end of 2012.
I love being in business, and I love helping entrepreneurs who innovate, invent, re-invent, design and create the world around us. Ideas creating new ideas. Ideas that change the way that we live, work and play. Somewhere in those millions of new websites will be the next Amazon, Facebook, or University of Phoenix. And that is very cool indeed. If you like this blog, print it out and Scotch® Tape it to your wall. After all, "Push Pins" will leave a mark.
Gee, I wonder if www.PushPin.com is taken?
Tape Innovation Timeline
Richard Drew, a young 3M engineer, invents Scotch® Cellulose Tape. Later to be renamed Cellophane Tape, it is an attractive, moisture-proof way for grocers and bakers to seal packages. The tape helps people “make do” during the Great Depression—they made simple repairs to household items.
Scotch® Brand introduces the first heavy-duty, countertop tape dispenser. It’s made from cast iron and weighs almost 7 pounds.
Scotch® Brand welcomes the "snail,"—its iconic, handheld tape dispenser. The first version is made from stamped sheet metal, and a molded plastic model is added one year later.
During World War II, almost all tape production is diverted to the war effort. 3M develops and manufactures more that 100 different types of tape to help solve war production problems such as sealing, identifying parts, holding materials, protecting and insulating. Scotch® Double-Sided Tape, coated with adhesive on both sides, joins the transparent tape family during this time.
The famous plaid design is introduced. The war now over, Scotch® Brand focuses on distributing the clad-in-plaid tape to homes, schools and businesses.
Scotty McTape debuts in TV commercials. By 1955, 67% of American households have television sets, and Scotch® Cellophane Tape is a major advertiser on the new medium. Scotty McTape serves as the brand mascot for over two decades.
3M invents Scotch® Magic™ Tape. The innovative matte-finish tape is virtually invisible on light-colored paper and envelopes. Unlike glossy tapes, it can be written on with pen, pencil or marker. At about the same time, Scotch® Cellophane Tape is renamed Transparent Tape.
Saturday Night Live pokes fun. In the sketch “Scotch® Boutique,” the owners of a trendy new store sell nothing but Scotch® Tape.
Scotch® Removable Tape joins the Transparent Tape family. This new product features a unique adhesive that holds paper securely, yet is easy to remove or reposition. Later, in 1996, a removable double-sided tape will be launched.
Consumers vote Scotch® Brand Tape the most indispensable household product. In a national Roper opinion poll, 46% of respondents say they’re stuck on Scotch® Transparent Tape. Other top products include no-iron fabrics, aluminum foil, pantyhose and T-shirts. Home computers come in last—only 2% say they couldn't do without one.
The Scotch® Pop-Up Tape Dispenser is introduced. Precut, 2-inch pieces of tape "pop up" from the dispenser, which can be worn on the wrist or hand. The invention adds speed and convenience to gift wrapping, crafting and school projects.
Scotch® Transparent Tape is named a "Humble Masterpiece" by the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The exhibit features over a hundred simple items, including Scotch® Transparent Tape, that are used every day. "While modest in size and price,” the curator says, “These objects are indispensable masterpieces of design deserving of our admiration.”
Scotch® Brand celebrates 75 years of transparent tapes. The classic "snail" dispenser receives its first major makeover in 60 years. The new Contour Dispenser is sleek, stylish and comes a variety of shades.
Scotch® Brand stays on the cutting edge for crafters. Making beautiful scrapbooks is easy with new Scotch® Brand innovations like Tape Runner and Vellum Tape.
The total amount of Scotch® Transparent Tape sold to homes and offices in the United States each year would go around the Earth 165 times.
There are more than 400 varieties of tapes sold under the Scotch® and 3M™ brands.
How Scotch® Transparent Tape is made
1) Film backing is created
2) Pressure-sensitive adhesive added to film
3) Backing and adhesive combined into a jumbo roll of tape
4) Roll cut into smaller rolls or strips
The first use for Scotch® Transparent Tape was as a moisture-proof seal for cellophane wrap used by bakers, grocers and meat packers.