The Museum of Failure
You know that your business culture has been shaped by start-ups when there’s creation of a Museum of Failure. The challenge of course is choosing which of the thousands of failed consumer products deserve a showcase in this Swedish repository.
Founded by psychologist Dr. Samuel West, he’s aiming to turn around our views of failure as an essential by-product of the innovation process, produced as a function of several possible activities which any experienced international marketer and business will know well: poor implementation, brand extensions taken too far, corporate cultures that subdue idea generation, poor market research and most obviously a terrible idea in the first place.
Much like the stages of grief, the failure journey shares similar stages: denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. And the businesses that plan to fail fast and often are those whose rapid prototyping lead to blockbuster commercial successes. A few examples in the Museum demonstrate the importance of failure as a means to serving innovation’s ends:
- Apple Newton
- Bic for Her
- Google Glass
- Nokia N-gage
- Harley-Davidson Perfume
- Kodak Digital Camera
- Sony Betamax
- Lego Fiber Optics
The lesson for business leaders is to harness the lessons from failure quickly by creating a culture that positions it as a necessary event. Those that are learning organisations are the ones that win.
(Picture Credit: The Museum of Failure, Rejuvenique Electric Shock facial mask)