The Museum of Failure is a museum that features a collection of failed products and services. The touring exhibition provides visitors with a learning experience about the critical role of failure in innovation and encourages organizations to become better at learning from failure. Samuel West's 2016 visit to the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb, Croatia, inspired the concept of the museum. Museum founder and curator Samuel West reportedly registered a domain name for the museum and later realized he had misspelled the word museum. The Swedish Innovation Authority (Vinnova) partially funded the museum. The exhibition opened on June 7, 2017, in Helsingborg, Sweden. The exhibit reopened at Dunkers Kulturhus on June 2, 2018, before closing in January 2019. A temporary exhibit opened in Los Angeles, California, in December 2017. The Los Angeles museum was on Hollywood Boulevard in the Hollywood & Highland Center. The exhibit opened in January - March 2019 at Shanghai, No.1 Center (上海第一百货).  And in December 2019 a smaller version opened in Paris, France at the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie along with other interesting failure-related exhibitions for the "Festival of Failures" (Les Foirés festival des flops, des bides, des ratés et des inutiles).
According to West, the goal of the museum is to help people recognize "we need to accept failure if we want progress", and to emphasize to companies to learn more from their failures without resorting to "cliches".
The growing collection consists of over 150 failed products and services worldwide. Every item provides insight into the risky business of innovation. Some examples of the items on display: Apple Newton, Bic for Her, Google Glass, N-Gage, lobotomy instruments, Harley-Davidson Cologne, Kodak DC-40, Sony Betamax, Lego Fiber Optics, the My Friend Cayla talking doll, and Paolo Macchiarini's infamous plastic trachea.
In 2017, one of the products on display at the museum, the Colgate lasagna, went viral on social media. Although initially believed to be genuine, some sources reported that the museum had fabricated the products existence. In May 2020, the museum made most of the collection of artifacts available for viewing on its website. As Covid-19 virus restrictions closed most museums around the globe, many have offered free virtual tours.
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No, not at all. The whole aim of the museum is to help people recognize that we need to accept failure if we want progress. And by that I mean any kind of progress, not just consumer products and new devices. The main point is that we have to accept failure, because it usually takes several iterations before we get things right—most experiments fail. And then the second point—which I try to make money off of, with varying degrees of success—is to emphasize that companies in particular have to be better at learning from their failures. A corollary is that it is not cool just to "fail fast"—as they like to say in Silicon Valley. Or to "move fast and break things," or any of those clichés. Yes, it's okay to fail, but you have to learn something from the experience. Those are the goals of the museum, anyway.
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