Businesses-Big-StageEntrepreneurial energy is phenomenal. You may sometimes think everything has been invented, and there is nothing left. Entrepreneurs can take the most inane object and find ways to create something unique and wonderful. Ideas begin in the recesses of the mind and sometimes burst forth like an oil-well; at other times, they stew and are languorous for a period of time. Simply finding a way to do something better is often the catalyst for a new creation. Entrepreneurship fuels economic growth in the United States as well as developing nations.

Bic Pens

Bic pens have been around since the end of World War II when Frenchman, Marcel Bich, patented a pen that had been invented by Laszlo Biro of Argentina. He improved on the viscosity of the ink and licensed the product from Biro. The hexagonal design was based on the shape of the pencil. These inexpensive, nearly indestructible, pens are found in homes, offices and schools around the world. The company now sells other products as well; they have branched out to include markers, white-out, lighters, shavers and many other products. Bic at one time even experimented with making customized pens as well. History shows us that Bic use to use inner workings of the Bic pens to manufacture the bullet pens made from brass rifle cases as well as new bullets. Others are made from the same kind of cartridge cases that US military snipers use.

Post-it Note Pads

Post-it note pads were accidentally invented when Spencer Silver, an employee at Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M), was trying to invent a new kind of glue. When his product was deemed unusable because it was not strong enough, he began to look for uses for less-potent glue that would stick to surfaces but leave no residue when it was removed. His idea was to apply the surface of a bulletin board with the substance so that paper would stick to it and could be easily repositioned. His colleague, Art Fry, while trying to keep a bookmark from falling out of his hymnal at church, began to modify Silver’s idea by putting the adhesive on the paper rather than on the board. The revised idea was born. After many tries, and more than ten years of market testing, the Post-it note pad is now a staple of homes and offices across the United States, Canada and Europe.

Motherswork

Rebecca Matthias began Motherswork on a shoestring in 1981. During her first pregnancy, she realized how difficult it was to find suitable maternity clothes for the office. She surmised that other women likely had the same problem. When she began selling maternity clothes through a mail-order system, the response was overwhelming. This untapped market went from $3500.00 in sales the first year to a multimillion-dollar company in a 15-year span of time. Motherswork, now Destination Maternity Corporation, has more than 4,000 employees, is publicly traded and had more than $540 million in sales as of September, 2013.