- Post-It Notes ®
As a patent attorney, Post-It Notes are one of my favorite office tools to help keep me organized. And to think, this simple invention is made up of nothing more than a piece of paper and adhesive, but it has profited billions of dollars.
Would you believe it was a complete accident? In 1968, Dr. Spencer Silver, a chemist, developed a solution before he had a problem. His development of a tacky adhesive was only recognized when a colleague of his, Arthur Fry, needed to make his bookmark stay in place. He used Dr. Silver’s adhesive and was impressed by its ability to hold in place and be removed, without damaging the pages in the book. The rest is history!
Anyone from doctors and lawyers, to stay at home moms and high school students are familiar with the bright yellow sticky note. This goes to show that you don’t need an idea that’s complex or filled with mathematical equations. Solving an everyday problem (before you may realize it’s a problem) can be your ticket to riches!
2. Electronic Digital Computer
The first electronic digital computer was created by a great inventor with a great name, John Vincent Atanasoff. Even though the original electric digital computer is not in use today, it has helped usher in new technological advancement. And it paved the way for our computer technology today.
We now see laptops, desktops, notebook computers, tablets, and even smartphones, all with similar computing components, including advanced features, web browsing capabilities, and high-resolution displays.
I live in Florida, where I’m no stranger to violent hurricanes that can knock over power lines and cut off the electricity for days. Trying to do your work in the dark with no air condition or lights can be a form of torture!
For most of us with office jobs, the invention of electricity helps us efficiently and effectively do our jobs. And even if you’re not in an office, we all have experienced the benefits of electricity.
Before email, there was regular ole mail. It wasn’t the quickest way to get in contact with somebody, but it was the most effective system for transporting letters.
Despite being a useful tool for us in the workplace for over 50 years, the invention of the electronic mail (email) has made it to news stories because of the controversy between who, in fact, invented the email.
The internet has made our lives tremendously easier, and it’s refined how we globally connect with each other! I credit this useful invention as one of the main reasons my patent law firm can operate outside of the office.
Even though we’ve all grown accustomed to the internet, it’s only been around for about 30 years, thanks to computer scientists Vinton Cerf and Bob Kahn.
The creation of Wi-Fi has transformed work as we know it. The wireless connection has found its way outside of offices, and into restaurants like Starbucks and McDonald’s and even airports.
“What’s the Wi-Fi password?” is one of the first questions guests ask when entering my house. Hard to believe it was introduced to us just a little over 20 years ago. Can you imagine doing your job without this invention?
I know many of you will be celebrating Labor Day away from work. Still, I can guarantee that whether you’re on the grill, lounging in the pool, sitting in the sand, or taking it easy on the couch with a beer, you will be using one of these six inventions that make our lives easier!
From my team at The Patent Professor ® and me to you, we hope you have a safe and enjoyable Labor Day Weekend!