In general, museums collect, preserve and display a collection of proud and meaningful objects, ranging from works of art to historical relics. However, interestingly, a psychologist, Dr. Samuel West, interprets it differently.
West created the Museum of Failure as an initiative to highlight the importance of failure in an innovation process. Items on display are also failed projects from around the world, but can provide unique insights into risky business innovations.
The beginning of The Museum of Failure stems from West’s interest in the psychology behind failure. This psychologist also bought various failed products which were later displayed in the museum.
There are currently over 159 defective products exposed. One of them is the IKEA inflatable sofa released in 1995. The sofa is made of plastic and is inflated and then covered with fabric. However, thanks to the presence of the sofa, IKEA air reaped a lot of dissatisfaction from customers.
They judged that the sofa was too expensive, easily dusty, and the valve was leaking. Not only that, the sofa is also said to make a “pffft” sound which is unpleasant to hear while seated.
The other failed product considered the craziest was the spray condom which was distributed from 2006 to 2008. Although it was designed as a solution to several problems, spray condoms were considered scary to use. The applicator makes a loud hissing sound and the drying process takes 2-3 minutes.
However, West argues, these products are a representation of a company’s willingness to take risks through innovation. After all, there is no success without failure.
“The Museum of Failure aims to stimulate productive discussion about failure and to inspire people to take meaningful risks,” writes the Museum of Failure on its website.
Interestingly, the chess museum itself is traveling museum, that is, to move from one place to another. Multiple locations for the museum, such as Sweden, Los Angeles, Paris, Shanghai, and Minnesota. Then, now, the Museum of Failure is held in Calgary, Canada.
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