Can You Learn From Failures?

June 29, 2017

Samuel West certainly thinks so. He’s the guy behind the “Museum of Failure,” a new museum located in Helsingborg, Sweden. And what do you think is showcased in this museum? You guessed it: products that have failed. According to Mr. West, his museum is not a depressing display of things that didn’t work, but rather a celebration of the innovative process.

Here at Xyza, we couldn’t agree more! Some of the greatest successes came from failures. J.K. Rowling was turned down many times before a publisher finally agreed to publish her first Harry Potter book. Michael Jordan, one of the greatest basketball players of all time, admitted that he had failed to score the winning basket in many important games. And Thomas Edison, the great inventor, well, he failed thousands of times before he successfully invented the lightbulb.

So what are some of the failed products that are displayed at the Museum of Failure? Coke BlaK: a beverage that combined the tastes of coke and coffee—that didn’t sit well with the soda lover or the coffee lover.

Coca Cola Blak by Enrique Dans via @Flickr CC By 2.0

TwitterPeek: a device that only accessed Twitter—people didn’t find it useful.

CC0, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?curid=30701985

How about a facial mask that sends electric shocks to a person’s face to make her skin look better. Ouch!

The museum has only been open since June, but it’s already hosting sold-out events like a tasting of failed drinks and a concert of failed music.

So the next time you’re in Helsingborg, Sweden, you might just want to swing by the Museum of Failure for some inspiration. After all, learning is the only way to turn failure into success.