Remember back when we were all listening to our Zunes, drinking a Crystal Pepsi munching a McDonald’s Arch Deluxe, smoking our RJ Reynolds Premier, and playing a series of deeply inadequate games on the Apple Pippin?
Of course not. These are products that swan-dived from the highest board; failures so legendary they have their own appendix in business-school textbooks. They’re proof that even with a multi-million dollar marketing budget, you still can’t buy someone who’ll see that the emperor’s new soft drink tastes like cat piss.
Now, a new museum in Helsingborg, Sweden, is devoting itself to creating a quite literal catalogue of these errors. But far from pointing and laughing, Dr Samuel West, the organisational psychologist behind it, sees the Museum of Failure as something salutary: “Innovation requires failure. Learning is the only process that turns failure into success.”