News & Analysis on the Bakery and Snacks Industries
The Museum of Failure
By Niamh Michail
- Last updated on
With over 60 products and services from around the world – including several offerings from the food and drink industry - that came to market yet failed (spectacularly) to catch on, the museum is intended to provide a unique insight into the risky business of innovation.
We caught up with its founder and curator, Dr Samuel West (above), who says he began collecting failed products “for the fun of it” about two years ago. After visiting the Museum of Broken Relationships (yes, look it up - it really does exist) in the Croatian capital of Zagreb, West was inspired to open his own museum.
“After seven years of innovation research I got tired of all the success stories. They are always the same. About 80-90% of all innovation projects fail – regardless of [the domain] yet perhaps for the food industry it is closer to 90% – but these failures never get the attention they deserve.”
But the aim of the collection is not just to have a laugh at the expense of out-of-touch R&D departments of the past.
“Failure […] and acceptance of failure is essential for innovation,” he says. “Organisations need to improve their learning from failure.”