Don’t let the name fool you — Samuel West’s “Museum of Failure” is an act of celebration.
On June 7, West, a collector and self-described innovation researcher, debuted 51 failed products in a museum exhibition in the Swedish city of Helsingborg, all in the name of honoring the creative process.
Visitors will get reacquainted with familiar names like Betamax and Blockbuster, and perhaps meet lesser-known flops — Twitter Peek, anyone? — all of which West has been collecting for the past year.
“Even the biggest baddest most competent companies fail,” West tells Business Insider. “The trick is to create an organizational culture that accepts failure so that you can fail small … rather than failing big.”
Here’s a taste of the products that are getting a second life on display.
West says it’s been difficult trying to secure the items in his collection, given they’re all discontinued. The project is a labor of love.
Many of the products lasted only a few years. The smartphone and gaming device Nokia N-Gage, for instance, was on sale from 2003 to 2005.
Nokia released the device as a challenger to the Nintendo Game Boy, but critics quickly took issue with its odd design and button layout.
Nokia tried to upgrade with the redesigned N-Gage QD in 2004, but ultimately sold only a few million units before discontinuing the device altogether.
Even further back was the Apple Newton, which ran for a bit longer between 1993 and 1998. The poor handwriting software and high cost contributed to its demise.
The Newton first retailed for $699. Adjusting for inflation, the device would cost $1,178 today.
Hospitals made brief use of it in the mid-1990s, but ultimately Apple struggled to capture market share from the Palm Pilot — another digital assistant of the time.
The one saving grace: Steve Jobs later retooled Apple’s approach to personal computing to create the iPhone and iPad.