New Museum Celebrates Failure

Museum of Failure opens in Sweden

On June 7, the Museum of Failure opened in Helsingborg, Sweden, under the direction of its curator and founder Samuel West, who is also a clinical psychologist. The Museum of Failure celebrates all of the wackiness of rejected products from decades gone by. 

The Museum's website explains, "Museum of Failure is a collection of interesting innovation failures. The majority of all innovation projects fail and the museum showcases these failures to provide visitors a fascinating learning experience.The collection consists of over seventy failed products and services from around the world. Every item provides unique insight into the risky business of innovation." 

West got the idea for the museum while he was on vacation. "We know that 80 to 90 percent of innovation projects, they fail and you never read about them, you don't see them, people don't talk about," West says. "And if there's anything we can do from these failures, is learn from them." 

The collection includes Apple Newton, Google Glass, Harley Davidson Perfume, Heinz Green Ketchup, Coca-Cola's BlaK coffee beverage, Pepsi's Crystal clear soda and Trump the board game. And, of course, many of the companies featured in the Museum, want nothing to do with it, Wast says. 

The Museum of Failure is open daily from 12:00 to 18:00, and they are very open to large groups. (Some companies are bringing employees, maybe to learn from past mistakes.) Cost is 100 SEK for adults and 50 SEK for youth. The address is Kulturhoteliet, Sodergatan 15. 

The Museum of Failure will stay in its current gallery space at least through early September but it also is part of an art pop-up tour. In the future, it can be experienced at Semcon Design Days, in Gothenburg, Sweden; at unannounced events in New York City in September and Stockholm in October, at Art Basel Miami December 7-10 and at Uludağ Economy Summit in Istanbul next March.