The Museum of Failure Delivers
We’ve all had ideas fail miserably, and seldom do we get to celebrate its ruin. Why not acknowledge that that spatula-turned-massager was a complete piece of crap? At the Museum of Failure, no flop is too big to be put on display and be viewed by millions. Feels good to have the whole world recognize your mess-ups, right? Well, 80% to 90% of all innovations sink. Known for displaying such foolish creations such as a baby exercise machine, to a Trump Monopoly game that, according to the museum’s curator, is “a boring version of monopoly simplified so stupid people can play it,” as well as a product known as Heinz Green Ketchup, that percentage certainly seems right.
Still less terrible than putting it on a hotdog.
The Museum of Failure first began in 2017 in Helsingborg, Sweden, but has since morphed into a touring exhibition all across the world, and it's been a success, ironically. Its mission, courtesy of its website, is “to stimulate productive discussion about failure and inspire us to take meaningful risks.”
Incredibly forgiving to how far defeat can go, Samuel West, the curator of the space, argues that screw-ups are a great motivator for innovation. A licensed psychologist, West assures that “Each failure is uniquely spectacular while success is nauseatingly repetitive.” But hey, if your idea is going to bomb, you may as well learn why it didn’t work. And how do you do that? By, as West says, “seeing those fails.”
So next time your invention for a tubular low-calorie snack goes south, maybe analyze your audience a bit more carefully.