A company executive, William McKnight, told Drew to stop messing around and get back to his regular job, which he did, but Drew kept doing tape experiments on his own time. But his first version of masking tape only had adhesive on the edges. When the painters used it, it fell off. The name, so to speak, stuck.
It would be used for the larger range of tapes from 3M as the company would later be known. Drew received a patent for his masking tape in That same year, Drew came out with his waterproof transparent tape after months of work. Drew and his team went on to invent adhesive-coating machines and a new, colorless adhesive.
People used Scotch tape for everything from mending ripped clothing to capping milk bottles to fixing the shells of broken chicken eggs. At a time when many companies were going under, tape sales helped 3M grow into the multibillion-dollar business it is today.
Through Drew, McKnight came to understand that letting researchers experiment freely could lead to innovation. He developed a policy known as the 15 percent rule, which allows engineers to spend 15 percent of their work hours on passion projects. Give people the room they need.
The 15 percent rule has deeply influenced Silicon Valley culture—Google and Hewlett Packard are among the companies that give their employees free time to experiment. The Scotch tape story is now a classic business school lesson, a parable of the value of instinct and serendipity, which Drew once called , "the gift of finding something valuable in something not even sought out.
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After his tape successes, Drew was tapped to lead a Products Fabrication Laboratory for 3M, where he was given free rein to develop new ideas. He and his team would file 30 patents, for inventions from face masks to reflective sheeting for road signs.
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History Archaeology. We know you demand attention to every detail. We know you strive to do the next job better than the last. General purpose grade, medium-high adhesion colored masking tape that is approved for arts and crafts against LHAMA requirements. Contractor grade, poly-coated cloth duct tape, available in a variety of colors, for general repair and applications. At Shurtape, we make relentlessly reliable tape for those with the highest, most exacting standards.
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