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There's a "Museum of Failure" in Sweden which highlights 150+ failed products. It's meant to show that innovation requires risk-taking and failure.

Here are 10 gems you may not remember:
ESPN phone (2006)

This ESPN-branded flip phone provided grainy video highlights and 24/7 sports news. It cost $399 or "free" with a $65-$225/month plan.

It lasted <1yr, with Steve Jobs telling ESPN execs "“Your phone is the dumbest f***ing idea I have ever heard.”
Ikea a.i.r. (1980s)

Ikea took "DIY" and "transportable" to new heights with its line of inflatable furniture (a.i.r.).

Valves constantly leaked and needed re-pumping. The line did last almost a decade, though.
TwitterPeek (2009-2010)

A $200 handheld device that *only* ran Twitter. It was a disaster:

◻️You could only see 20 characters at a time
◻️Linked websites were inaccessible
◻️It only refreshed the 10 most recent Tweets
Spray-on Condom (2006-2008)

Step 1: Insert junk into spray apparatus
Step 2: Spray on melted latex
Step 3: Wait 3 minutes for it to dry
Step 4: This is the most insane thing ever seen in my life
Lifesaver Holes (early 1990s)

Honestly, this was kind of a good idea.

Lifesaver launched a product that was supposed to resemble the punched out holes from the OG circular candies. It totally flopped.
Nintendo Power Glove (1989-1990)

This was one of Nintendo's first forays into VR tech. It sold 600k units in the first 6 weeks but didn't actually do anything of note.

The hand-motion tech would later develop into the super successful Nintendo Wii controller, though.
Harley-Davidson Cologne (1996-2005)

Harley has a strong brand and merch makes up ~5% of its sales. In the mid-90s, the motorbike manufacturer got a little ambitious w/ its brand extension strategy: eau de toilette (AKA cologne).

The scent was called -- wait for it -- "Hot Rod".
Apple Pippin (1996-97)

Pre-Steve Jobs return, Apple launched a gaming console. It used Macintosh tech, so was pretty powerful...but way overpriced.

It cost $600 vs. $200 for the N64.

In a year on the market, Apple sold 42k units (N64 sold 300k on the *first* day).
Arch Deluxe (1996)

It's McDonald's largest flop.

Facing pressure from BK, McD made an "adult" burger: patty on potato-flour bun w/ lettuce leaf (not shredded), tomato + fancy mustard.

It failed after $100m in ad spend (the ad copy had children criticizing the "adult" taste).
Colgate Frozen Beef Lasagna (early 1980s)

The Museum of Failure can't confirm whether or not this *actually* existed (Colgate says "no"). If true, one of the more ludicrous product crossovers ever LOL.
Nike Magneto (1995-97)

Nike created a pair of futuristic sunglasses that didn't have temples (the part that goes over your ear).

One big catch: to wear them you had to glue frickin magnets on your face so the shades could clip on.
If you enjoyed that, I write baller business threads like this 1-2x a week.

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Here is the Museum of Failure explaining its philosophy.

Def check the whole website: museumoffailure.com/
Here’s a CNET review of the Twitter Peek, the handheld device that *only* does Twitter (from 2009).

It’s terrible.

🔗 youtu.be/MgSRB5ARsRE

Coloured Ketchup (2000-06)

Heinz made a line of kid-friendly ketchup and did wild food engineering to make different colors work: Blastin Green, Funky Purple, Stellar Blue, Passion Pink, Awesome Orange, Totally Teal.

It had a short run before folding (and is objectively insane)
The best quote on failure and innovation is probably from @JeffBezos in 2016 (after a $170m write down on the Amazon Fire Phone):
Last note on Arch Deluxe.

Mcdonald’s forgot who they were (not fancy burgers). As architect of its business model said below:

trungphan.substack.com/p/mcdonalds-42b-real-estate-empire
Holy crap

Thank you all for reading. It’s only appropriate to end the thread with a resounding corporate success:


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this thread is equal parts educational and entertaining, awesome job Trung!