If at first you don’t succeed, submit it to the Museum of Failure.
A brand-new gallery dedicated to retail objects that have bombed commercially opened earlier this month in Brooklyn’s Industry City complex.
The Museum of Failure collects “failed products and services from around the world,” according to its website, offering what it calls a “fascinating learning experience” into failed innovation.
“Every item provides unique insight into the risky business of innovation,” continues the site. “The museum aims to stimulate productive discussion about failure and inspire us to take meaningful risks.”
The Museum of Failure showcases more than 159 retail items that didn’t quite take off, including the infamous and much-reviled Google Glass and the ill-fated DeLorean car, which was made famous by the “Back to the Future” franchise.
Other items that made the museum’s not-so-hallowed halls include 1985’s Coke II — also known as New Coke and revisited in Season 3 of the mid-’80s-nostalgic Netflix series “Stranger Things” — as well as the 2003 Nokia N-Gage smartphone, which despite its failure in the US helped jump-start Finland’s mobile gaming industry.
Also in the sideshow of shame: Bic for Her pens, which were released in 2011 and whose only difference from other writing instruments was they were sparkly, bright colors.
The exhibit was curated by Dr. Samuel West, who holds a Ph.D. in organizational psychology and is a licensed psychologist.
The biggest obstacle to innovation, according to West, is the dread of defeat, which served as his inspiration for the traveling exhibit.
“My research is focused on helping organizations to be more innovative. And one of the big obstacles to innovation is the fear of failure,” said West told CBS New York recently. “So I was playing with this idea: How can I communicate the research findings and the importance of accepting failure?”
“It felt very ‘on brand’ for us,” Jim Somoza, managing director of Industry City, said of housing the unusual display. “We take a lot of risks doing a project like this and we have had a lot of tenants that are entrepreneurial who take a lot of risks and who have had their fair share of failures, but that have turned into successes, and it felt right.”
Tickets for the exhibit — set to run through May with a possible extension going into June — are available for purchase on the museum’s website.