Robert McMath – a marketing professional – intended to accumulate a reference library of consumer products.
The course of action was
Starting in the 1960s he started to purchase and preserve a sample of every new item he could find. The collection soon outgrew his office and he moved it into a converted granary, where it continued to grow rapidly.
What McMath did not take into account was that most products fail – so that his collection was overwhelmingly made up of products that did not survive the test of the marketplace.
The lesson learned
The insight that ‘most products fail’ proved to be the making of McMath’s career. The collection itself – now owned and operated by GfK Custom Research North America – is now regularly visited by consumer product manufacturing executives eager to avoid mistakes they or their competitors have made in the past.
Source: The Guardian, 16 June 2012