Review of March 2003 issue of TRIZ-journal
Altshuller taught that TRIZ is not a universal theory of creativity.
That it is even not applicable to all areas of engineering. For example,
he urged to conduct analysis of patents in electrical, electronic, and computer engineering
in order to discover new inventive principles relevant to these fields
(because 40 princliples were discovered while analysing patents mostly in mechanical,
electro-mechanical, civil, and to a degree chemical engineering). He taught that only after
creating many special theories of creativity, relevant to specific fields, one can start
pondering about their unification in a general theory of creativity.
The latter never happened. Moreover, multitudes of new TRIZniks ignore Alshuller's advice and
stubbornly try to apply 40 principles in areas where they are not applicable. The so called
TRIZ-journal features one of such TRIZnik lately. He is Gennady Retseptor. With the astonishing ignorance
Retseptor writes:"It was found that 40 principles are applicable not only for every technical field
including architecture, computer software, microelectronics, food poduction, but also for non-technical
spheres - biology, agriculture, business, management, marketing, social-relation, pedagogy, etc" .
Being a computer scientist and a software engineer, I can assure Mr. Retseptor that 40 principles are not applicable
to software engineering. Moreover, it was supposed to be a topic of my Ph.D. research at Moscow State University
to find relevant principles. If the principles were of any use in software engineering,
then there would have been no need in the research.
All so called "examples" of 40 principles from software engineering, microelectronics, quality management, etc.
presented in the TRIZ-journal by different authors have as much sense as
the following examples from painting:
40 Principles in Painting
Principle 1: Segmentation.
- Divide a painting brush into independent parts: brush and handle;
- Increase the degree of fragmentation of a painting brush by dividing the brush into separate fibers;
- Paint by every fiber separately.
- Paint by brush and then by handle.
- Paint by separate parts of your body.
- Cut your painting to the pieces !
Principle 2: Taking out.
- Paint outdoor;
- External selection committee; (a modification of the Retseptor's example, sorry)
- Painter outside and picture inside;
- Intel outside;
- Motorola outside;
- AMD inside (how come ? everything should be outside - it is "taking out" principle ! Something is wrong here.)
- Throw your painting into the garbage can !
Principle 3: Local quality.
Surprisigngly enough, most of G. Retseptors' examples, are still valid here:
- "Vital few and trivial many" concept (J.M. Juran)(borrowed verbatim from G. Retseptor, sorry);
- Paint for specific market niches;
- Customize painting, packaging, labeling, etc;
- Unequal paint allocation;
- Individual budgets for different painters;
- Benefit best customers.
- Sell just a portion of your painting !
Principle 4: Asymmetry.
- Paint by asymmetric brushes;
- Make your painting asymmetric;
- Order your painting to a squint-eyed painter.
- Use asymmetry for mismatching (Poka-Pokedavo) (this example is borrowed from Retseptor, sorry)
- Cut your painting to asymmetric pieces !
- Throw your painting into an asymmetric garbage can !
The complete list of examples as well as examples on 40 principles in music composition, therapy, dieting, sex, diving, etc.
will be published in our journal as separate articles soon.
If G. Retseptor does not like the comparison, let him think about in what respect his examples are any different.
The rest of the issue of the TRIZ-journal falls into the following categories:
- News: from Nicaragua , that TRIZ finally arrived here (the bananas' prices are expected to drop);
from Austria , that EU gave money on developing
materials encouraging innovation and that the leaders of the project are going to use the TRIZ materials for writing
their "own" materials (theft never ends!).
- SuField demagogy by Thomas W. Ruhe , where there is a lot of Su and Field but nothing of SuField.
- Old hat (sorry, a new re-arrangement of the old stuff) by Pentti Soderlin  ("Whatever way, my friends, you sit,
to be musicians you are not fit" - Krilov).
- TRIZ could help in solving the past problems by Ellen Dumb 
(but for some reason does not help in solving the current ones, though).
- Something by Darrell Mann  that we were too tired to read.
R E F E R E N C E S :
- Gennady Retseptor, "40 Inventive Principles in Quality Management", The TRIZ-journal, March 2003.
- Hugo Sanchez, "Proyecto TRIZ in Nicaragua", the TRIZ-journal, March 2003.
- "SUPPORT - Sustainable Innovation Tools Project", The TRIZ-journal, March 2003.
- Thomas W. Ruhe, "Anticipating Failures with Substance-Field Inversion - A TRIZ Methods Case Study", The TRIZ-journal,
- Pentti Soderlin, "Thoughts on Substance-Field Models and 76 Standards - Do we need all of the Standards? ", The TRIZ-journal,
- Ellen Dumb, Ph.D., "Titanic TRIZ: A Universal Case Study", The TRIZ-journal, March 2003.
- Darrell Mann, "Ideality and 'Self-X' - Part 2:
Meals, Wheels, and Carpet Slippers - Technical Case Studies",
The TRIZ-journal, March 2003.