The Revolution Blog

Why everyone should love to fail

Thursday, Apr 27, 2023

Let’s start with a few of our favorite quotes about failure:

“It’s right to be wrong. Start being wrong and suddenly anything is possible.” “The person who doesn’t make mistakes is unlikely to make anything.” “Fail. Fail again. Fail better.”

OK, you get the picture. We love failure. Failure—for lack of a better word—is good. Failure is right. Failure is necessary. It’s especially useful in the lean manufacturing process because it helps you get better faster. Afterall, to bring us the iPhone, you could say that Steve Jobs first had to bring us the Newton, right?

That’s why we’ll be taking a road trip to Brooklyn’s new Museum of Failure exhibition (open through mid-May) to get a history of the retail products and services that bombed spectacularly around the world. It’s a great reminder to keep pushing, problem-solving and innovating.

Among the more than 150 commercial flops from around the world that will send you into nostalgia overload:

  • Google Glass, which was supposed to start an augmented reality revolution, but was wildly mocked for its “geeky appearance, limited functionality” and potential privacy violations
  • The DeLorean car from “Back to the Future”
  • Olestra, the banned no-calorie fat substitute that gave everyone GI issues
  • Coke II, also called New Coke, which was half the calories and apparently half the taste
  • Crystal Pepsi, the see-through cola
  • The Ford Edsel, which didn’t exactly scream quality and reliability
  • CNN+, the streaming service that lasted 3 weeks
  • Sony Betamax (wait a second, we loved ours!)
  • The Apple Newton, which suffered from sticker shock and poor handwriting recognition
  • Adidas SpringBlade running shoes, which fell apart
  • Jarts missile game, the lawn darts that injured kids

And a few other items you may or may not remember:

  • The Hula Chair, designed to work your abs while you work
  • Hot Chicken Wing Oreos (no explanation needed)

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