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Watch: The new Museum of Failure pays homage to some of the worst products ever designed

The collection includes products from giants like Apple, Google and Nokia.

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Imagine a face-electrocuting beauty mask or a perfume that smells like a motorcycle. You wouldn’t exactly expect these products to sell like hot cakes. They didn’t. And now they are part of the exclusive collection at the “Museum of Failure”, opening on June 7, in Helsingborg, Sweden.

The Museum of Failure is true to its name, as it exhibits a fine selection of failed products and services from around the world. The website explains: “Every item provides unique insight into the risky business of innovation.” By this, Dr Samuel West, its founder, means products which failed to achieve their outcome or were just...bad.

West, who is an organisational psychologist, started building this museum because he felt failures are undervalued and don’t get the attention they deserve, even though they are essential to innovation. His aim is to show people that even giant corporations can fail at times, and new organisations or individuals shouldn’t be apprehensive about learning something new or failing; instead, they should learn from it.

The products vary from the amusing to the outright ridiculous: Bic’s sexist “lady-pen”; Coca-Cola’s coffee-flavoured Coca Cola Blak; TwitterPeek, a device to access only Twitter; Colgate’s range of frozen lasagnas; Harley Davidson’s Hot Road perfume which smells like a motorcycle on the road; and the most outrageous of the lot – the Rejuvenique facial mask that gives mild electric shocks to the face on the pretext of removing wrinkles and toning the skin.

And do not miss the precious “Donald Trump’s board game”. “Trump deserves a very special mention here. If I were to include more of his products such as steak, natural spring water or lamps, my museum would likely double its inventory very soon,” West told Forbes.

He added in another interview: “Despite his mistakes he [Trump] has still become President, so maybe we don’t need to be afraid of failure.”

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Watch Ruchir's journey: A story that captures the impact of accessible technology

Accessible technology has the potential to change lives.

“Technology can be a great leveller”, affirms Ruchir Falodia, Social Media Manager, TATA CLiQ. Out of the many qualities that define Ruchir as a person, one that stands out is that he is an autodidact – a self-taught coder and lover of technology.

Ruchir’s story is one that humanises technology - it has always played the role of a supportive friend who would look beyond his visual impairment. A top ranker through school and college, Ruchir would scan course books and convert them to a format which could be read out to him (in the absence of e-books for school). He also developed a lot of his work ethos on the philosophy of Open Source software, having contributed to various open source projects. The access provided by Open Source, where users could take a source code, modify it and distribute their own versions of the program, attracted him because of the even footing it gave everyone.

That is why I like being in programming. Nobody cares if you are in a wheelchair. Whatever be your physical disability, you are equal with every other developer. If your code works, good. If it doesn’t, you’ll be told so.

— Ruchir.

Motivated by the objectivity that technology provided, Ruchir made it his career. Despite having earned degree in computer engineering and an MBA, friends and family feared his visual impairment would prove difficult to overcome in a work setting. But Ruchir, who doesn’t like quotas or the ‘special’ tag he is often labelled with, used technology to prove that differently abled persons can work on an equal footing.

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Ruchir, then, migrated to Mumbai for the next phase in his career. It was in the Maximum City that his belief in technology being the great leveller was reinforced. “The city’s infrastructure is a challenging one, Uber helped me navigate the city” says Ruchir. By using the VoiceOver features, Ruchir could call an Uber wherever he was and move around easily. He reached out to Uber to see if together they could spread the message of accessible technology. This partnership resulted in a video that captures the essence of Ruchir’s story: The World in Voices.

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It was important for Ruchir to get rid of the sympathetic lens through which others saw him. His story serves as a message of reassurance to other differently abled persons and abolishes some of the fears, doubts and prejudices present in families, friends, employers or colleagues.

To know more about Ruchir’s journey, see here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Uber and not by the Scroll editorial team.