LA's Museum of Failure celebrates commercial flops from years past

Museum of Failure
Museum of Failure 02:03

LOS ANGELES -- Everyone knows America loves a winner, but there's one place where they always raise a glass to the loser.

Remember Google Glass, or Rejuvenique? What about the Hawaii Hula Chair? You can see them all at the Museum of Failure at the A+D Architecture and Design Museum in Los Angeles, thanks to Martin Biallas, who brought the idea over to the U.S. from Sweden.

The museum showcases major flops by big name brands like Olestra-laced Pringles, or Ford's "revolutionary" Edsel. 

"The steering wheel where they tried to center all the pieces, all the controls into the steering wheel -- people just got confused," Biallas said.

Psychologist and innovation researcher Samuel West curated the museum, so CBS News tracked him down on vacation. "There's a saying that failure is a better teacher than success," West said. "I truly believe that. We have so much more to learn from failure."

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Colgate Beef Lasagna is in the Museum of Failure in Los Angeles, California CBS News

One example: Colgate learned that its lasagna wasn't nearly as fresh an idea as its toothpaste. Bic bombed with its "her line," but now sells more than 30 million products a day by sticking to the basics.

"I hope people leave the museum with a re-evaluation of what failure means for progress," said West.

It's a message that visitors hear loud and clear, with one parent saying they want their child to know it's OK to fail. That brings up the biggest irony of all: the museum dedicated to failure appears to be a huge success.

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    Jamie Yuccas is a CBS News correspondent based in Los Angeles.