Some think that innovation simply happens - that's rarely true. Serendipity can help, but it takes awareness, sponsorship, and grit.
The 3M story about Post-It Notes(R) being simply discovered by a Chemist as a use for a high-tack/low peel adhesive, then used in Church for notes and internally, and becoming a hit is only part of the real story. Dr. Spence Silver at 3M was trying to invent a strong adhesive and ended up with a weak one. He would not let go of the idea that his unique adhesive had some application and held seminars for years to spark internal interest. A colleague, Art Fry, who was in charge new products at the Tape Division and in need of new offerings, heard about it and attended a seminar. He initially created bookmarks that were well received internally but with low demand. Then one day, Fry used a piece of bookmark to write and attach a note to a report and the reviewer did the same - that was the "Eureka!" moment when the sticky notes application was realized.
Still more was needed. Special machinery was required to create the pads and ensure that they remained flat with adhesive on one side. Fry created a prototype machine in his basement when the technical team expressed difficulty. When the Marketing dept. did not see much potential and resisted, Fry and Silver created and distributed pads to senior executives and colleagues(who were directed to call Marketing for replacements). The initial launch in 1977 was a failure. Advertisements didn't work because people who had never seen or used Post-It Notes could not fully appreciate it. Success started when they realized that they had to pass out samples so that people could grasp the concept and application.
So we are talking about years of work, stubbornness on the part of Dr. Spence Silver in refusing to let go of his "failure", some luck in the right player, Art Fry, coming into the picture to sponsor it, and more perseverance and creativity in getting the manufacturing worked out, overcoming Marketing resistance, and recovering from the failure of the initial launch. Some organizations would have taken Silver and Fry's perseverance as a waste of valuable time and resources (especially in light of conventional corporate wisdom) and they could have moved onto to other priorities.
It probably took much trying, experimenting, failure, and perseverance to get breakfast pizza right and selling.
3 tablespoons milk (optional)
1 tablespoon Butter or cooking oil
1 (10-ounce) (11-inch) thin prepared pizza crust
6 (3/4-ounce) slices Cheese (Cheddar, American, Provolone, whatever you like)
4 slices crisply cooked bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces or ham, sausage, whatever toppings you like except kippers (that should be totally illegal)
Heat oven to 450°F. Beat eggs and optional milk in medium bowl until well mixed.
Melt butter in 10-inch nonstick skillet (or use oil / cooking spray); add egg mixture.
Cook, lifting gently and stirring slightly to allow uncooked portions to flow underneath, until set (2 to 3 minutes). Remove from heat; set aside.
Place pizza crust onto large baking sheet; top with 4 slices cheese, cooked eggs and bacon.
Stack remaining 2 slices cheese. Cut cheese into quarters; separate. Place cheese pieces over pizza. Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until cheese is melted.
Cut into 6 wedges. Serve hot.
Post-It Notes is a registered trademark of 3M