How to find what to work on

Y. B. Karasik,
Thoughts Guiding Systems Corp.,
Ottawa, Canada.

This article is not about how to set up new noble life goals, which is part of Altshuller's theory of development of creative personality (TRTL). This article is about methods of finding and setting up new rewarding technological objectives, not life goals of a human. TRIZ and its offshoots have nothing to do with the former.

TRIZ is very limited in scope. Its aim is developing methods of problem solving. It does not even develop methods of problem finding. Meanwhile innovation is not limited neither to problem solving nor to problem finding nor to a combination thereof. There are other ways to innovate:

  1. find new applications to a solution or technology;
  2. find applications to a side effect of a technology;
  3. etc.

Item #2 requires explanation. Suppose that you work on achieving something. And it turns out that you cannot achieve it the way you tried because something unforseen happens. Then finding useful applications to this unforseen outcome could be a new rewarding objective.

For example, one tried to obtain thin sheets of lithium. He failed to accomplish this as the lithium sheet got oxidized momentarily. In parallel to repeating the procedure in the oxygen free atmosphere, he set up a goal of finding a rewarding application to the rapid lithium oxidation. As a result a method of obtaining the ideal layer of oxidized lithium was developed.

The ways listed above are just examples of how to set up new rewarding technological objectives. There are other ways. They have to be collected and taught.

There could be some overlap between these methods and the methods of setting up life goals. For example Altshuller adviced Shapiro in the late 1940s to start working on the developing the theory of space navigation. It is a technological goal achieving of which could take the whole life. Thus, it is also a life goal.

TRTL does not offer any methods of finding the new noble life goals. Thus, due to some overlap, developing the Theory of Finding New Rewarding Technological Objectives (TFNRTO) could contribute to TRTL too.