Ever sipped on a refreshing Coca-Cola BlāK while eating some frozen beef lasagna by Colgate (yes, the toothpaste brand)? Probably not. Coca-Cola BlāK (a coffee-flavored soda) and Colgate lasagna are just a couple of flops featured in the Museum of Failure, a new exhibit opening at Industry City this St. Patrick’s Day. The new museum features over 130 failed inventions, ideas, and marketing campaigns from some of the most successful companies.
The museum of mishaps was established in Sweden by psychologist and innovation researcher, Dr. Samuel West. Tired of hearing stories of success that seemed to always be the same, he sought to collect more interesting stories of failures. He found that there are many reasons why things fail, whether it be corporate hubris, a design flaw, or an unanticipated public reaction. No matter what the reason, there was something to learn and take inspiration from when an idea went awry.
The culmination of his research led to the founding of the permanent Museum of Failure in Helsingborg and pop-up exhibits across the United States. Products featured span from the 17th century to today and come in all shapes and sizes. Items on display include the much-hyped 1957 Ford Edsel, Donald Trump‘s board game, Harley Davidson cologne that bikers didn’t like, and more. After learning about the failures of others, visitors will have a chance to add their own failures to the collection at the Failure Confessional.
“We need to be better at learning from failure,” said Dr. West, “I want visitors to recognize that failure is an essential aspect of progress and innovation.” The Museum of Failure opens on March 17th and will be open until May 14, 2023.
Next, check out 11 Things You Didn’t Know Where Invented in NYC