BioTRIZ called my attention long time ago because I have great interest in bionics [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bionics]. Therefore, when I heard that they did a TRIZ book my curiosity caused me to buy the book. Of course, I was aware about the mediocrity of TRIZ books but anyway I decided to spend 54.37 euros on the book.
My first impression: disappointment. In the very first pages, you can find the typical propaganda: Buy a DVD!
In next pages, you can find more propaganda:
In the acknowledgements page they explain that the work was partly funded by the European Space Agency (to provide a tool for inventive problem solving in critical situations that may arise in long duration Space missions to the Moon and Mars). Ok, it sounds very important, I like ESA…
After the typical explanations that TRIZ (and the book) is very powerful in solving “unsolvable” problems, they talk about Samsung cases, saying that TRIZ is in all the best companies, etc. Here is my favourite of their propaganda:
We arrive at page 14 where they start introducing the steps of their algorithm. The algorithm seems a confusing variation of the first Altshuller ARIZs:
"Stage 1. Defining a challenge"
My comments: in this stage you must describe the problem in plain language and describe the problem in functional terms. It is similar to Altshuller's ARIZ but expressed in more chaotic way. In addition, they suggest searching for existing solutions elsewhere, similar to step 2.1 in ARIZ-71.
"Stage 2. Ideal Final Result"
My comments: in this stage you must define the IFR. In Altshullerian ARIZ the definition of IFR is a clear process, this is not the case here.
"Stage 3. Context"
My comments: System operator (9 windows), nothing new. Similar to step 1.2 in ARIZ-77.
"Stage 4. Resources"
"Stage 5. Conflicts and contradictions"
"Stage 6. Solution"
My comments: they use the 40 inventive principles, the matrix and a dubious version of separation principles. http://www.biotriz.com/sites/default/files/Expandable%20TRIZ%20Matrix%20BioTRIZ.pdf
"Stage 7. Implementation"
In the book description on Amazon they claim:
"Unlike other books that talk about innovation, our Manual tells you what to do and how to do it in order to achieve the best result faster."
(FALSE. I found the algorithm presented in a very chaotic way. Altshuller's versions are much more clear to follow and easy to understand.)
"Unlike other books on innovation it is … thin and manageable."
(TRUE. Very thin and manageable for 50 euros.)
"It is a lesson with visual appeal, making use of pictures, diagrams…"
(TRUE. The art of the book and presentation is very good…)
"…and striking examples."
(FALSE. The contents and examples are mediocre.)
"This manual can also be helpful for professional trouble-shooters due to its “tick-box” and procedure-like style."
(I doubt that this manual could be useful for someone in solving complicated problems.)
"The Inventor’s Manual does not repeat material that is already published…"
(This is FALSE. Some of the examples used are from Altshuller's books, for example on page 37 they use the same problem that you can find in “And suddenly the inventor appeared – Problem 10 Make the water softer”. The solution is the same, use bubbles. I found other examples from Altshuller's books too.)
"Step-by-step problem diagnostics and templates for defining the Ideal Final Result which you will not find in any book on TRIZ"
(I am not sure what they mean by step by step and templates but I think that they have strange definition of “template”.)
In conclusion, the art of the book is very good but its contents are mediocre and poor. There is nothing new. Maybe for a child it could be an interesting book but not as “Inventor’s manual”. 50 euros for this book is very excessive too, maybe 10 or 15 euros is much fairer.