The gray business opportunity under the haze, 3M company sold 100 million masks a year
Abstract: In the Forbes global innovation company evaluation, 3M company ranked third, behind Apple and Google. In modern society, 50% of the world’s people are exposed to their products every day. 3M’s own statement is: Get up every day, you will be able to see 3M products within 3 meters.
As long as you have experienced smog, you must have worn a mask. As long as you have worn a mask, you must know 3M.
3M masks are not small commodities from Yiwu, nor is 3M a hardware grocery store. It is a century-old company from the United States, with branches in more than 60 countries and regions, nearly 90,000 employees worldwide, and a Fortune 500 company with an annual turnover of more than US$30 billion.
In the Forbes global innovation company evaluation, 3M ranked third, behind Apple and Google. In modern society, 50% of the world’s people are exposed to their products every day. 3M’s own statement is: Get up every day, you will be able to see 3M products within 3 meters.
The sudden outbreak of smog in China in recent years has made 3M known to Chinese people. From a small workshop to a commercial giant, how does 3M maintain its vitality after 115 years?
70,000 products , The King of Explosives, Relying on Small Inventions to Become a Century-old Enterprise
If you want to become a company that has survived for 115 years, the secret is to stay creative.
In 1902, the American gold rush came to an end. Five young people from Minnesota decided to jointly invest in a mining company, intending to mine the rich corundum ore in the area to make grinding wheels.
The five entrepreneurial partners of 3M
The company was named Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co. Since the initials are all M, it is referred to as 3M.
After two years, they did not dig out the corundum suitable for grinding wheels, but got a lot of useless anorthite. As a result, 3M’s business was in danger and owed a lot of foreign debts.
In 1907, assistant bookkeeper William McKnight joined 3M. After seeing the company’s poor financial situation, he proposed to the manager the idea of ??reducing costs and was appreciated.
Under the leadership of William McKnight, 3M established its first laboratory in 1914 and launched its first exclusive product-abrasive cloth, which was upgraded to wet and dry sandpaper a few years later. It became the first major product in the history of 3M Company, and its reputation has been greatly since then.
In 1925, a 3M company employee named Richard Drew saw that car repair workers were troubled by the tape to block spray paint, so he studied on his own and invented a barrier tape. After that, based on this, he invented a well-known worldwide product-“cellophane + viscose” cellophane tape.
The scotch tape that has influenced for nearly a century
After that, 3M has developed more new products, such as the reflective film for highway signs invented in the 1940s, audio tapes invented in the 1950s and Video tape, dry silver film from the 60s, carbonless paper, projection system, etc.
In the early 1980s, another disruptive product from 3M came out, which was post-it. This thing with almost no technical content has become an epoch-making brand.
The prototype of post-it notes popular in the streets and alleys of milk tea shops.
In more than 100 years, 3M has developed 3 new products every two days on average, with more than 6000 varieties, including seamless hooks and sticky notes , Credit card, scouring pad and mop, etc.
“Create everything except God.” Some people say that 3M has been pursuing the next explosive product, “If you don’t constantly change your products, if there is no explosive product, the company will die.”
3M A bunch of small inventions
“15% rule”, inaction and making mistakes have become cultural symbols
3M has a famous “15% rule” which was proposed by William McKnight in 1948.
He stipulates that R&D personnel can spend 15% of their working time each week to research the things they are interested in. This is unbelievable in the era of “everyone is screwing the screws on the industrial assembly line”.
Regardless of whether these studies directly benefit the company. William McKnight has a famous remark: “Don’t kill any new ideas casually, but encourage experimental graffiti. If you erect walls around people, all you get is sheep.”
As a tradition For enterprises, 3M’s management innovations have made many Internet companies directly follow suit. For example, Google has upgraded the 15% rule, allowing Google engineers to spend 20% of their working time on their own projects.
3M’s definition of innovation is this. Innovation is not just a new idea, but an idea that can produce practical results.