Recently I received a letter from a TRIZ promoter in China asking for many new interesting examples on 40 principles, Standards, etc. When I inquired why he is not satisfied with examples already published in numerous TRIZ books and TRIZ-journal, he replied that without many new examples people in his region of China are unable to apply TRIZ successfully. He went on to explain that his colleagues from another region of China faced similar difficulties in applying TRIZ until they invited Russian experts from MATRIZ which brought with them suitcases of new examples. Only after these suitcases were opened and all examples in them were studied the guys managed to solve several problems by TRIZ. "Don't you think that power of TRIZ is rooted in the large number of the inspiring and clarifying examples ?" - he questioned me in conclusion.
I disagreed with him and conjectured that the examples which Russian experts brought simply contained solutions to those or similar problems, which were allegedly solved by TRIZ after studying the examples. A large database of non-trivial examples could be a tool in itself without TRIZ. In this sense the larger the database the better. It could explain why without many new examples problems do not get solved by TRIZ but with tons of new examples TRIZ suddenly starts working.
However I did not expect to hear from a TRIZ believer that strength of TRIZ is rooted in a database of examples. Until now I heard somethiung similar from TRIZ disbelievers only. For instance, 20+ years ago a researcher from one of the Moscow institutes of the Academy of Sciences told me the following:
So, are examples indeed the integral part of TRIZ tools, which need systematic refreshing and replenishment in order to keep the tools sharp ? Is it really the case that without many examples application of TRIZ does not produce results ? I call on readers to express their opinion and share their experience.