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Other Impressions: It is premature to call the Samsung Galaxy Fold a failure

The other hands in the hands of high-level journalists (including Mark Gurman from Bloomberg Technology) broke out almost immediately, so Samsung decided to cancel the test batch and turn on the emergency brakes.

Nobody could argue that the situation with Samsung Electronics Co. is a real nightmare. But is it a failure?

To find out, we called Samuel West, a clinical psychologist living in Helsingborg (Sweden), who has a doctorate in organizational psychology. His research focuses on how companies can develop an innovation-enhancing culture, but is best known as the founder of the Museum of Failure. We spoke briefly when the first problems with Fold were reported and again when Samsung announced unlimited phone releases.

I wanted to know how (and even if) the Galaxy Fold fits into his collection and what we could learn from Samsung's troubles.

When you first read the Samsung Galaxy Fold report, do you feel excited?

Of course, as a curator of the museum, I want to create as many objects as possible. But I did not expect one or the other object to fail. I do not fail.

So don't you feel joy after this story?

Some of these sorrows really did. Samsung is not a small family business that could say, "We have created this truly amazing technology, but we are just a small team – we were very happy to release it, but then everything went to the dog on the tail." It's a huge company. I do not feel sympathy for the "non-receipt" of an inhumanly expensive project.

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Samsung Galaxy Fold

© PA / Scanpix

How do you think what happened?

We want new sexy toys and companies are happy to do them for us, but if it doesn't, it's not successful. Businesses are under enormous pressure to release new products as quickly as possible and outperform competitors. The idea is that launching a product that is not yet mature is bad, full of errors, and so on. t. There is nothing new here.

If companies think about it and say, "Hey, listen if we don't let it happen sooner, the price will be, but if we let go and get together, the price will be much higher." To "merge". When it happened, there are examples of history.


Newton [9-ojo dešimtmečio viduryje pasirodžiusi „Apple“ planšetė] was a complete commercial fiasco. Added Apple Shame. It's a very similar story to Samsung because it was an immature technology [rašysenos atpažinimas]what they missed early and do not meet consumer expectations. These failures make it difficult to recover because you miss your chance and no matter how complex you are later – the latest versions of Newton worked perfectly – people are still judging you, "Aha, here they are."

It kills not only a specific product, but also an interest in technology, which is a much bigger problem. The same thing happened to Google Glass. They looked at the launch of Google Glass in 2013 and said, "Behold, take and carry, they are unrealistic." It was presented as a product to the general consumer, although it was virtually unused and full of errors. It was like an early prototype for which they borrowed $ 1,500.

But people don't say that. Just said aloud: "Trust the era of portable technology!" I think a similar misunderstanding has happened to Fold. Take a wonderful, cool, exciting, potentially very interesting technology and let it work while it's not yet mature – and of course it gets a negative response, and then recovery is very difficult.

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Samsung Galaxy Fold

But what did Samsung do differently?

Despite the obvious, "do the first thing, then just send it to reviewers"?


Consumers will be more inclined to forgive you if you work transparently. Look at Tesla. Their first cars are also not the same. But people were very forgiving because the company openly admitted: it's young, it's interesting, it's expensive, and it'll be full of mistakes … and you're part of it. But to say to an ordinary buyer: pay and will it work smoothly? Here's another game.

What are they doing now?

At some point, even if the phones are not as bad as it is, Samsung will do something about it – transparently, convincingly. Not at all: "Launch is over". It's not convincing. If there is a shortage, indicate it and say that the first reviewers have a lot of early fracture models, and those that are further developed are fine. I think people will buy it.

Is it worthy of your museum?

He will definitely have a place in the category "Launch of Launch".

But not "shameful failure"?

They managed to slow down most of the failure and so they got points. It would have been much worse if you had sent a defective party and consumers would face the same problems. That would be much more damaging.

Did you anticipate it?

I will openly discover that in the case of Fold I have lost sight in some way. When I saw Fold, I thought he was pretty cool. Can be activated. [juokiasi] My career as a consultant will be the end – but I really don't think it would be that bad.

Samsung Galaxy Fold

Samsung Galaxy Fold

And what did you predict?

Saying some of the products, I say immediately, "Going to this, this thing is guaranteed to go to my museum." For example, do you remember Juicero juice extractor? I remember it completely. At that time, I was doing research, collecting my collection, and Juicero got the first New York Times page as the most beautiful thing. I read this article and thought, "Look at me, I was wrong," because I was sure the flops would come out of this juice. But when she was finally released… well, you know the story of Juicero's collapse. When that happened, I thought, "Oh yes! I was right!

Can Fold Fiasco Cause Innovation?

I think the economic incentives for innovation are too tempting for someone to turn their head, but I really hope that companies will not fail. I also hope that they themselves do not say: we can, we have the resources and we will not do it because they will be wrong. This can also happen to them. And if they don't learn it, it will repeat Samsung's mistakes.

Is Samsung going to get something good at all?

Like any other company that launches something new, Samsung deserves a shoulder stroke. You need the courage to do something. Look at Apple. In recent years, they have not forgotten anything.

So if Samsung sees the museum as an honorary mark?

Many of the companies presented in the museum – first I think they go to me, say, "remove our products from our museum" – but they say, "The Museum of Failure is proof that we live in an innovation culture."

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