TRIZ as a means of terrorizing talent

When we worked on TRIZ in the 1970s it did not enter our minds that we were creating a weapon against selves. The weapon which mediocre will use against talent.

The first time I had an experience of this weapon turned against me was when I came up with the idea of optical algorithms. The road to this idea was long and winding and had nothing to do with TRIZ. Nevertheless, the envious TRIZniks started immediately belittling the idea. They started hissing: "It is nothing new, it is a TRIZ pattern of evolution: from electronics to optics, hence from electronic algorithms to optical algorithms".

Never mind that this "hence" did not exist in TRIZ. Never mind that there was no such a notion as "electronic algorithms". Never even mind that "optical algorithms" was rather an exotic label than a correct term reflecting the essence of the idea. If one combined word "optical" with word "algorithm", then it could not be new ! Because "algorithms" are associated with electronic computers (which execute them) and there is a trend from "electronics" to "optics" !

Simple logic, you see ! Akin to that conductor = semi-conductor + semi-conductor !

TRIZ gave a boost to ignorant and demagogues. Because it is mostly about analogical and allegoric thinking aggravated by poor understanding of the subject about which this thinking goes.

TRIZ expanded and enhanced the means of analogical/allegoric thinking rather than made problem solving an exact science. And the means of analogical/allegoric thinking is a two-edged sword. It does not convert not problem solvers into problem solvers (contrary to Altshuller beliefs). It rather increases the capabilities of the both groups. The problem solvers become better problem solvers (because more analogies become available which they know how to utilize). And not problem solvers become more demagogical (because again more analogies are available which they never knew to utilize for problem solving but rather for demagogy).

Here is an example of such a TRIZ demagogy taken from the article by Boris Zlotin and Alla Zusman: "What genius can accomplish with the help of talent, intuition, and sheer luck, an ordinary person can accomplish and even over-accomplish with the help of TRIZ." Besides being false for the afore-mentioned reasons, it is a dangerous statement. It openly appeals to the management to expel talent. Talent is always problematic for the management. It is usually unruly. There is even a correlation between the degree of talent and the degree of unruliness. The afore-mentioned demagogy pitches an attractive way for the management to resolve this contradiction: unruly talent should be substituted by obedient mediocrity armed with TRIZ !

Some authors went even further. I read an article in a magazine (do not remember its title, though), which pitched Invention Machine software as a means of equalizing experienced engineers with inexperienced ones. The author even attacked experienced engineers and accused them in resisting to penetration of TRIZ and the software into companies out of the fear that they would lose competition to the inexperienced young engineers armed with TRIZ and the Invention Machine Software and thereby become obsolete. It would be interesting to know how many good old engineers lost their jobs due to introduction of TRIZ in their organizations and what damage was thereby done to the companies.

If TRIZ success stories in real problem solving are still unpersuasive and debatable, then its success in organizing mobs of the talentless intriguers and demagogues against talent is doubtless.