On a Forgotten Altshuller's Idea
Y. B. Karasik,
Thoughts Guiding Systems Corp.,
When Altshuller developed his subsystem-system-supersystem approach, he applied it to TRIZ itself and
started pondering of what could be a supersystem of TRIZ.
The Theory of Development of Creative Personality (TRTL) is widely regarded nowadays as such a super-system.
But in the late 1970s it was The Theory of Correct Thinking.
In those years Altshuller claimed that teaching people
to think correctly is more important than teaching them to invent. Ultimately, if one knows how to think
correctly, then, according to Altshuller, he also knows how to invent. Theory of Correct Thinking
seemed to him as a super-system of TRIZ in those days.
Unfortunately, he did not advance in this direction and nothing significant was published on the subject.
That is why people continue to think incorrectly, and not ordinary people only, but inventors too. I receive
letters to that effect regularly.
For example, one of the readers wrote: "Despite your effort, TRIZ has nevertheless spread !"
Another reader hissed: "Triz is useful, TRIZ is useful !"
The third declared: "You say 40 Principles are not applicable to Software Engineering ?! Ha !
And we will apply them !"
Another eager to learn TRIZ gentleman asked:
"In some articles you slam Altshuller and Rubin. But in others
I do not understand you: are you against Jews or for them ?"
Yet another reader covertly threatened: "What is your address, sir ?".
And so on.
In this regard I would like to state the following:
- The purpose of the journal is not to impede the spreading of TRIZ around the globe on the whole,
and in North America in particular.
- The authors of the journal never claimed that TRIZ is completely useless. The thing is
when and to what degree it is useful.
In my opinion, it should be the last resort of a problem solver
rather than the first one.
Always try to first solve a problem in a way which is natural to you.
Only if it fails, try TRIZ. There is a slim chance that it will help.
(Notice that all real TRIZ success stories have one leitmotif in common:
"I was trying to solve a problem for a long time to no avail. When I learned TRIZ,
I immediately found a solution !",
which corroborates the idea that TRIZ should be tried last.) There is no TRIZ success stories
when TRIZ was applied first and succeeded (as the authors of the Anti TRIZ-journal have shown on the analysis of
the numerous claims to the contrary).
- It is wrong to cripple the way experienced problem solvers think by forcing the TRIZ thinking on them.
- Theory of Correct Thinking is, of course, important, but Theory of Correct Understanding
is even more so. To my surprise, when the authors of the journal write X, there is always
somebody who reads it as anti-X. For example, the President of MATRIZ (the International TRIZ
Association), once accused me in promoting the view that all physical contradictions can be resolved
by separation either in time or in space, whereas I wrote quite the opposite !
- Always read as is written, and do not try to find the hidden meaning (unless you are sure that
there is one). If you try to be too smart, you will outsmart nobody but yourself.
- In conclusion I hope that nobody will understand this article pervertedly.