G. S. Altshuller and G. L. Filkovsky have written a thorough article, "The Current State of TRIZ", in 1975. Among other things, the article described milestones in the history of TRIZ, the fundamental changes that have occurred on the way. In light of a high popularity of the 40 principles and the contradiction matrix in most of nowadays TRIZ publications, I decided to check, what was a state of those two back in 1975. Here is the answer, dictated by Altshuller:
"The work on the principles continued for a quarter of century, but the appearance of ARIZ-71 has made both the list and the matrix in fact worthless. ARIZ-71 leads the analysis of a problem to a deeper level, a physical contradiction. A problem usually gets solved on this stage and if it doesnít, it worth to repeat and to deepen the analysis rather than to go back to a shallower technical contradiction."
In other words, G. Altshuller, the author of the principles and of the matrix, has pronounced them dead in 1971! Contrary to most of nowadays articles, these two do not work together with other TRIZ tools but rather were eliminated by these tools:
"During the last few years the system of ARIZ principles has been essentially redesigned."
Today the new TRIZnics try to research a comparative effectiveness of the 40 principles, a frequency of their use, etc. If they knew more of their subject matter, they would be aware that as far back as in 1975 such questions have been asked and answered, by the author of TRIZ:
"The factors defining effectiveness of the principles became clear. Particularly, it turned out that very strong solutions always are a result of using not a single principle but rather a system, or a combination of principles."
"The discovery of the combinations of principles allowed us to revive the information about the elementary principles, which has been accumulated for decades. It seems only surprising now that the conversion to a system of principles was not accomplished earlier, say ten or fifteen years ago."
Well, Altshuller would be much more surprised if he knew that TRIZnics still didnít make this conversion, thirty years later!