Sunday April 23, 2017

Museum of Failure full of the world's worst innovations

Listen 7:06

Remember the Nokia-N-Gage gaming device?

How about Harley Davidson perfume?

Probably not. They were flops, and didn't last very long on the market.

Now, a new museum in Sweden is set to honour the world's worst innovations.

Samuel West is the curator of the Museum of Failure.

He's also an organizational psychologist and innovation researcher at Lund University in Sweden.

The Museum of Failure opens on June 7, 2017 and will feature quite a range of innovation fails.

Samuel cites "silly, stupid products that shouldn't exist to begin with," like, say, the Twitter phone.

As well as specific products, he includes companies not willing to change their business models, such as Kodak (which sought bankruptcy protection in 2012 because it had failed to adapt to modern digital imaging methods over film).

353 Samuel West

Samuel West

The inspiration for the museum came from Samuel's years spent researching in the field of innovation.

"I kept reading these fantastic innovation success stories, that I kind of got tired of them. They are all the same," Samuel says.

"Everybody knows in the business that at least 80 per cent of all innovation projects fail, but where are all these failures? Why don't we talk about them? Why don't we learn from them?"

Samuel notes that a lot of companies prefer to sweep failure under the carpet.

"Failure is emotionally uncomfortable," he says.

However, Samuel hopes that companies will examine their failures, as well as the ones found in his museum, and try to learn from them.

"You can't have success without failure when it comes to innovation."