Memorable Flops Makeup the Museum of Failure

They say failure is essential in growing, improving, and changing. Failing can be tragic, but it can also be kinda weird and hilarious too.

The Museum of Failure is a pop-up exhibit that focuses on some of the most public commercial blunders of the last few decades.

This includes some very memorable fails, like New Coke, The DMC Delorean, Apple’s Newton, and more.

From bad marketing, to poor product performance, to downright corporate stupidity (Colgate lasagna, anyone?), the fails show us how some things can have the best intentions, but simply not connect.


“Museum of Failure is a collection of failed products and services from around the world. The majority of all innovation projects fail and the museum showcases these failures to provide visitors a fascinating learning experience. Every item provides unique insight into the risky business of innovation.

Innovation and progress require an acceptance of failure. The museum aims to stimulate productive discussion about failure and inspire us to take meaningful risks.”


We’ve gathered some of the most memorable fails below.


The DMC Delorean was a two-seat sports car with gullwing doors and a stainless steel body. Now as a pop culture reference, and a star of the Back to the Future movies, the car was a hit. But in terms of sales, the company sold only 9,000 units, and the heavy, slow, and expensive car caused the entire company to go bankrupt.


Crystal Pepsi was the company’s attempt at making a clear cola, which on the surface sounds kinda interesting, if pointless. The result was not very good, and the company killed off the product, save for a quick renaissance in 2010 in select markets.



Wait, Colgate Lasagna? Yuck!
This seems like a disaster waiting to happen. And, matter of fact, it was. Developed by the toothpaste company to try to break into the food market, somehow this went all the way through development, branding, and distribution before people said no. Strong no.



Coca Cola, one of the most recognizable brands on the planet, decided they would mess with their signature drink, reformulating it to be sweeter, ‘smoother’, and different. It went over badly, with people not just indifferent, but truly angry with Coke for messing with a good thing. The company rebranded New Coke as Coke II, and quietly killed it off a few years later.



Olestra was a supposed food breakthrough in the early 2000s that promised all the taste without the fat. A synthetic fat not absorbed by the body, big food companies began putting it into snack food, and for a brief moment, it seemed like we’d be able to eat junk food without worrying about health.  Of course it was too good to be true, with Olestra causing diarrhea and stomach cramping, causing public outcry, and ultimately, product failure.



Sharp, heavy, metal tipped darts, thrown through the air, while friends and family stand nearby. Sounds like a great idea, no?
Though Lawn Darts were from a different era, they were nevertheless a disaster, with hundreds of people and children being seriously injured by these flying spears.




Apple’s Newton MessagePad was a personal digital assistant, or PDA, launched in 1985, and introduced some breakthrough technology like handwriting recognition. Although Apple invested over $100 million into the project, it was a flop, due to high price and poor performance of its signature feature, which was lampooned on The Simpsons.