Lonely Planet Writer

Sweden's Museum of Failure has been a resounding success

A Swedish man’s idea to open a museum celebrating failure has captured the hearts of millions of people around the world.

Samuel West opened the Museum of Failure as a pop-up.
Samuel West opened the Museum of Failure as a pop-up. Image by Courtesy of Sofie Lindberg

Samuel West is a clinical psychologist who is tired of hearing about success stories. He believes that in order to be successful, one first needs to fail. He told Lonely Planet News: “we are living in a success-obsessed culture. But failure is what we learn from and it is failure that helps us to develop.” He decided to create a museum that showcases some of the most famous flops in the world, and it has been a huge success.

Fat free Pringles, A Donald Trump board game, Coke II and Heinz Green Ketchup
Fat free Pringles, A Donald Trump board game, Coke II and Heinz Green Ketchup. Image by Courtesy of Sofie Lindberg

Did you know there was an Apple games console? Or a Coke-Coffee mixture? Or a Palm-Pilot exclusively for tweeting? These and so much more will be on display in the museum.

For Samuel, failure is a natural part of innovation and there are two types of failures that are being exhibited in the museum. One is just an absolutely ridiculous idea that someone thought would be a success, such as when a certain toothpaste company decided to try their hand at making microwavable lasagne dinners or when Pringles released fat-free chips that had laxative effects. Other failures are symbolic failures and occur when mankind evolves past the need for the item, like Blockbuster video rentals or VCRs.

Even Apple took a while to perfect their image.
Even Apple took a while to perfect their image. Image by Courtesy of Sofie Lindberg

When asked how Samuel is reacting to his new-found viral fame, he said “I don’t have a social life but I get free kebabs from the shop next door. They saw me on Al Jazeera and now think I’m famous.” The pop-up museum opened in the Swedish city of Helsingborg in June. It was meant to exhibit there until the end of September but due to popular demand, the city has offered to find permanent residence for the museum.

You can find out more about this museum here.