May 18, International Museum Day. The weird, fascinating Museum of Failures

The Museum of Failures celebrates corporate cock-ups – from Colgate Lasagna to Bic pink and purple “for her” pens.

Colgate refused to provide the museum with its frozen beef lasagne meals so artist’s representation only

The idea for the Museum of Failures came to Dr. Samuel West while visiting The Museum of Broken Relationships.

(This is a real museum in Croatia.)

The museum displays mementos from failed romances.

This was Dr. West’s Eureka moment.

“This is a crazy museum, a spectacular idea,” West told The Washington Post. “I just lost it. I was like, ‘I’m doing this.’ ”

The goal of the Museum of Failures, he said, is to show that innovation requires failure.

Far from pointing and laughing at flops, he says:

“Innovation requires failure. Learning is the only process that turns failure into success.”

So what are some of the monumental cock-ups  learning opportunities on display?

TwitterPeek was a hand-held device that let you look at Twitter.  That’s it.  Best part?  It didn’t even do that right.  The display was too small to show an entire Tweet.


The Nokia N-Gage was a dream of bad design. You had to take it apart to change games, of which there were about two decent ones.  You even had to remove the battery!

As of May 1, Dr. West is looking for an Irish item for his exhibition: Guinness Light.  The campaign catchphrase: “They said it couldn’t be done” turned out to be fateful.

Guinness launch ‘Guinness Light’, a new, lighter version of its world famous stout. 26/06/1979

The motorcycle company Harley-Davidson released its own line of perfumes and colognes in 1996. They were called “Hot Road” and contained woody notes with hints of tobacco.

Who doesn’t want to smell like gasoline, sweat, and regret?

In 2012, Bic for Her, the pink and purple pens “for women” started showing up in the office supply aisle.

For womens special pen needs


Yes, he made a Monopoly-style board game once. The object: Bluff opponents into spending foolishly while you buy low and sweep up big profits. It bombed.

Maybe someone should re-release this?


But perhaps the most unsettling is the Rejuvenique facial mask, which delivered mild electric shocks to the wearer’s face.

The electricity would contract the facial muscles in an effort to lift and tone.

The Museum of Failure, if it doesn’t fail, will open June 7 in Helsingborg, Sweden.


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