The Museum of Failure

Do you remember Harley-Davidson perfume? Bic For Her? TwitterPeek? Probably not, as they were all immediate flameouts. Crystal Pepsi and Zune were better known, but mainly known as failures. They are all exhibits at the new Museum of Failure in Helsingborg, Sweden. The museum, scheduled to open this June, was founded by organizational psychologist Dr. Samuel West. He didn't archive these business ventures to make fun of them, but to learn from them.

“Innovation requires failure. Learning is the only process that turns failure into success.”

In that sense, his is a museum about psychological flaws made visible. Bic’s “For Her” pens, for instance (elevator pitch: “A range of pens with floral patterns on them”), took a useful idea (“market segmentation”) and over-extended it to an embarrassing degree.

Often, the mistake is in taking two useful things to create a useless thing. The jaw-droppingly dismal TwitterPeek took 2009’s emerging Twitter-mania, and a thirst for handhelds such as the Blackberry - and created a machine that could do nothing but look at Twitter. Despite its monomania, it still couldn’t display an entire Tweet in on a single screen.

All these products would have benefitted from having a devil's advocate around to question their very existence. Read more about the Museum of Failure and its exhibits at the Guardian. -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Samuel West)


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