The Fundamental Drawback of TRIZ
and
How Thoughts Guiding Systems Corporation's Software Eliminates It.

From time to time Altshuller was asked whether TRIZ had side effects or not. Some people worried that learning TRIZ spoiled their thinking. These are legitimate concerns. Everything that is not 100% effective has side effects and sometimes is harmful rather than useful. And TRIZ is far from being 100% effective.

While it was simple, learning TRIZ probably was not especially harmful. But when the number and complexity of rules and steps multiplied, learning TRIZ could have started to significantly affect the way a person thinks.

Altshuller claimed that he who does not know TRIZ solves problems by trials and errors, which is the worst procedure possible. Hence learning TRIZ cannot make such a thinking worse. It can only improve it.

Unfortunately, Altshuller erred. His vision of trials and errors was absolutely naive. He believed that a problem solver sees all possible trials and that the only problem is how to choose the right one to try. According to him, when a problem is simple there are a few possible trials which can be quickly tested one by one. But when a problem is difficult there are millions of possible trials, all of which are, of course, visible (i.e. either all possible options are given/known or a method of their generating is given/known) but the only question is which of them to try.

This might be true for playing chess and other games where the set of all possible combinations is indeed given in principle. But not for solving engineering and scientific problems.

Surprisingly as it might appear, the idea that inventors and scientists invent trials rather than go over the given ones never crossed his mind. And knowledge of TRIZ may well interfere with the way people invent trials and thereby spoil their natural way of thinking.

Instead of trials which are natural to a person, TRIZ suggests trials of its own: 40 Principles, 76 Standard solutions, numerous patterns of evolution, etc. It would not be bad if these trials could guarantee success. But since they don't, knowledge of TRIZ may create the very same inertia of thinking which it was supposed to fight.

Thus, we have a contradiction: an engineer has to know TRIZ because it is a set of good and sometimes useful heuristics, and has not to know TRIZ because any not 100% useful knowledge creates psychological inertia which may detract him from the right way to the solution should it deviate from the TRIZ schemes.

Thoughts Guiding System Corporation found a way to resolve this contradiction. The user of its software is not required to know TRIZ in order to successfully use it. Thereby the freedom of thinking is preserved. Moreover, the user is not encouraged to learn TRIZ to succesfully use the Thoughts Guiding Systems Corporation's software.

This is an important quality which distinguishes the Thoughts Guiding Systems' software from the software of its competitors. As is well known, to productively use TechOptimizer or other software from Invention Machine Corp., one has to know TRIZ. The same holds for Ideation's software. But for productive use of the Root Cause Finder the knowledge of TRIZ is not encouraged. The same holds for other products of TGSC.

How this is achieved is proprietary information. Suffice it to say that TGSC gave TRIZ the right role. Namely, problem solvers should not learn TRIZ in order to not constrain their creativity. But developers of problem solving software should know it.

Buy the right software that does not spoil your unique way of thinking and does not require you to know more than you already know !