Opening on June 7th, 2017 in downtown Helsingborg, Sweden is a very unique museum dedicated to interesting innovation failures: The Museum of Failure.
This new institution’s premiere collection will consist of over 60 failed products and services from around the world. Every item provides unique insight into the risky business of innovation.
As recently published in The New York Times, Samuel West from the Museum of Failure introduced some of the exhibits in a video posted earlier this month on the YouTube channel of a Scandinavian talk show host.
“The purpose of the museum is to show that innovation requires failure,” Dr. West said. “If you are afraid of failure, then we can’t innovate.”
He started the museum “to encourage organizations to be better at learning from failures — not just ignoring them and pretending they never happened.”
Dr. West held up a Bic for Her pen, still in its package. “Of course women can’t use pens for men; big failure,” he said sarcastically.
“All the literature is obsessively focused on success, but 80 to 90 percent of innovations actually fail,” he said. “Why don’t these failures get the attention they actually deserve?”
“I really hope that you see that these mega-brands that everybody respects, they screw up,” Dr. West said. “I hope that makes you feel less apprehensive about learning something new. If you’re developing a new skill, trying to learn a new language or create something new, you’re going to fail. Don’t be ashamed of it. Let’s learn from these failures, instead of ignoring them.”
Valuable lessons indeed!
Here at Workville, we’re surrounded by successful startups and entrepreneurs all of whom have their own stories of previous failures. But let’s make a distinction here. Almost all successful startups working in the best NYC coworking spaces like Workville will tell you the same thing: there are no failures, just lessons learned.