It's the old addage of "one persons bug is another persons feature."
Ending up with something other than what you intended is considered scientific heresey.
That is why creative people always assess what something can do rather than worry about what it did not do. Innovation is the art of seeing potential where none currently exist. Many fortunes have been made by inspiration and application of others failures. Before you declare anything a failure, you must first understand its full potential.
After all, engineering is a test of your ability to make something from anything.
I'm getting tired of this editorial trend of mistakes being equated to innovation.
It seems to be a coordinated coverup for the ineptitude occupying office and lab chairs while competent people are standing on street corners with tin cups.
Mistakes cost money and are random, unpredictable events, usually caused by carelessness, ignorance, or ineptitude. Mistakes are to be avoided at all cost.
Failure and innovation, on the other hand, are calculated risks.
Only one of the 9 examples in the EDN article was a mistake. The rest were curious people looking into accidental occurrences.
An accident is not a mistake - equating the two terms is.