This is a funny video I found about consumer products that failed spectacularly. I actually remember about six of the products in the video – Olestra, New Coke, McDonalds’ Arch Deluxe, Apple Maps, lawn darts… okay, make that five. Fifty percent isn’t bad!
It’s funny to see why some of these products failed (except for the idiots who killed someone with lawn darts – that… shouldn’t be funny. But it is, a little.) But really, failure is kind of a good thing.
You see, the older we get the more society wants to condition us to avoid, and even look down on, failure. When we fail at something we risk ridicule or punishment. But failure can be cool too; the cool thing about it is that failure narrows the road to success. For any given task, there are a finite number of ways to fail, and also a finite number of ways to succeed. By failing, we increase the odds that we will succeed if we can just change something that doesn’t work and try again. But fear of failure so often holds us back that life becomes textured with this crippling lack of challenge, a stagnant comfort that keeps us from becoming the very best that we can be. Who wants that? Cup of cold, stagnant comfort, anyone?
When that fear of failure – or even the recognition of potential failure – tries to hold us back from what we want, we should not relent; we should evaluate, adjust, and hit it again. Eventually the scales will tip in our favor, and the tireless Warrior Spirit within will carry the day.
Do you remember vegetable Jell-O or disposable underwear? Did you try any of the products in the video? What was your experience with it? Do you know of any other product flops? Tell us anything you want in the comments!
I didn’t know about Reddit before, and indeed I might be the last person on the Internet to have learned about it. In this month’s Wired magazine there is an entry-thing (check out the issue to see what I mean) about Reddit and how there are “subreddits” that are user-created categories of content, with a few examples. Here is my favorite; I found myself wanting to be part of a pelican mariachi band before I realized that I would have problems fitting in.
Let’s make it short and sweet: I love American history classes because the choices our leaders have made enable me to write stuff like this:
Short Essay: The Battle of the Alamo has reached mythic proportions in popular American History. How did the defenders of the Alamo ultimately open the west for American Expansion in their 13 day battle in February and March of 1836?
“Famous last words” is how we like to describe something that seems like the opening salvo of a losing battle.
It’s ironic, then, that “remember the Alamo!!” is an epithet that might cause us to say that – “famous last words”. That’s probably because the average person doesn’t realize that the Alamo was a battle that we lost; likewise, the average person might not realize that the people who held down the fort in that battle were not at all ready for a fight. One day, they were cleaning their guns like good Texans do, every day (note: a Texan cleans his gun like a person brushes their teeth). Then, someone looks over their wall and says “we’ve got company, guys.”
Unfortunately, “company” had the fort surrounded. Whilst nobody was looking, Spanish troops had marched on the Alamo to prevent Mexicans from being independent. However, it’s obvious that nobody informed Jennifer Lopez de Santa Anna that you don’t mess with Texas. Although he ended up taking the Alamo, which makes perfect sense in light of the fact that it was held by like twenty people, he actually ended up losing the fort to people who couldn’t believe that such a douchebag would drive his own men on a death march across hundreds of miles of desert to attack a fort manned by the cast of Sesame Street. In less than half an hour, Sam Houston’s Texian army took back what was lost, and with Mexican Independence came this rush to organize, which opened the way for American expansion that can only happen when people are so confused about who owns what that they’re willing to drop the issue if you just leave them something. And so it went with Texas, and that’s why you don’t mess with them – like a sleeping bear, you may well be able to sneak past, but just by going near them, you risk getting mauled.
Don’t be that guy.