Paradoxes of Principle 27

Genady Filkovsky:

Just saw your editorial. One could see it not as a counter-example, but rather as an example for TRIZ, particularly, for the Principle 27, "An inexpensive, short living instead of an expensive, long one". I see it as an example for similarity between TRIZ and Freudism, Marxism, Religion, Astrology: there cannot be a counter-example to them, they explain everything.

Yevgeny Karasik:

If the bearing that lasts for 3 months would cost $2, it would be inexpensive shorliving. But for $65 such a shortliving is pretty expensive.

Back in Baku I once worked with the former director of the Baku Radio Plant. He used to regularly tell us stories from his practice when he was a big boss. One of them was the story that radios manufactured in Baku were being sold to the US. Why do they buy them ? - we asked. He told that in the US they cost $3-4. People going to picknicks buy them instead of bringing expensive radios which can be damaged if a fight brakes out at a picknic, or which can be damaged by water (if boats are involved), etc.

This is a good example on principle 27.

Genady Filkovsky:

You are right. However, this comparison made me to look anew at the principle 27 and to realize that it is an ANTI-TRIZ principle. It just trades one contradiction, i.e. long but expensive, by another, i.e. inexpensive but short. Shouldn't a real TRIZ principle be, "Inexpensive longliving instead of an expensive longliving, or an inexpensive shortliving, or an expensive shortliving"?

Yevgeny Karasik:

I do not think so. The description "inexpensive shortliving instead of expensive longliving" is OK. It has to only be augmented by the relationship:

longevity/cost = constant.

Then the good for nothing bearings for $65 woul not fall into the principle 27 category.

Genady Filkovsky:

Yes, I understand. I am not talking now only about the 3-months/$65 bearing. I mean, wouldn't a real TRIZ solution be a $2 bearing that lasts 8 years rather than either 3-months/$2 or 8-years/$130 ones?

Yevgeny Karasik:

If we augment Principle 27 by the relationship longevity/cost = constant, then the TRIZ solution would be $130 x (3months/8years) = $3.75

But the economical solution would be somewhat higher. Say, $4-5. But $65 is already the criminal solution.

The criminal code (at least in Canada) imposes a limit to the interest rate on a loan. Charging an interest beyond this limit considered to be a crime. (It is called "the criminal interest rate" in the code.)

Unfortunately, there is no definition of "the criminal profit" in the code.

Genady Filkovsky:

I think the relashionship longevity/cost = constant is inconsistent with TRIZ: if there is a technical contradiction between longevity and cost, a TRIZ solution should overcome the contradiction, while keeping the above relashionship would be a tradeoff between the two contradictory parameters, i.e. improving one on account of the other. The principle 27 suggests exactly this: to improve cost on account of longevity. I see it as an example of inconsistency between parts of TRIZ.

Plus, I don't understand, why there is no an opposite principle, i.e. why not to improve longevity on account of cost? Isn't it because TRIZ was developed for the f..ed up Soviet economy? We know that the claim that TRIZ was developed based on world wide patent search is a myth: Altshuller never had an access to such data, it was all based on the Soviet Bulletin of Inventions and Discoveries.

Yevgeny Karasik:

I also think that Principle 27 is inconsistent with TRIZ but for another reason. Upon second thought, I came to a conclusion that the relationship longevity/cost = constant cannot hold. For one that cost reflects not only the quality of a product but also the transportation cost, the storage cost, the admin cost, etc. All of them do not depend on the quality of a product. We can assume that for a product of the same size and weight they are constant. Then

Cost = A x Quality + B


(Quality/Cost) = 1/A(1 - B/Cost).

Hence, when we move from an expensive longevity to an inexpensive shortliving, we actually decrease Quality/Cost ratio because B/Cost increases. Hence we decrease the degree of ideality because Quality/Cost is exactly it. Hence when applying Principle 27, one decreases the ideality of a system !

Thus, not the formula Longevity/Cost = constant (or Quality/Cost = constant, which is the same because Longevity = K x Quality) is inconsistent with TRIZ. The Principle 27 itself is inconsistent with TRIZ for two reasons:

As for the formula Longevity/Cost = constant, it is simply cannot hold for economical reasons as outlined above. The formula Cost = A x Quality + B is more consistent with economy. But when B/Cost is small, the approximation Longevity/Cost = const is also OK.

By the way, the ratio Cost/B is the degree of ideality of these auxiliary systems: transportation, storage, admin, etc. Indeed, they cost B and their useful function is to deliver Cost (in the form of our end product). Thus, their ideality is Cost/B. And this ratio has to be big. Hence, B/Cost has to be small. Ideally, it has to be zero. Then the relationship Longevity/Cost = const will hold.