And Suddenly the Inventor Appeared

An inventive solution must improve a single part or characteristic of a system without impairing other parts or characteristics of the system or adjacent systems.

Solving an inventive problem involves solving a contradiction

A technical contradiction relates to the whole system or to several parts of the system vs. a physical contradiction related to only one part of the system

Try to find statements where something both should be and shouldn’t be

Engineers from beginning of 20th century saw world today, most machines would be familiar but scaled up or working differently. (P34)

At some point just scaling up doesn’t make sense at which point you need to join two systems to create a new system

Evolution of ships: paddles→ more paddles→ paddles + sails→ sails + paddles→ Sails→ more masts/sails→ sails + steam→ steam + sails→ steam (p35)

System A + System B = System AB which has new properties that neither A nor B had. ::Emergent behavior happens when a system has properties that none of its subsystems have::

Word traps often happen when trying to solve problems. They get you into the mindset of what a thing was intended for or a specific discipline. ^2 ::Einstellung Effect and Explain it like I’m Five::

You can avoid word traps by replacing special terms with simple words^3

Using ash and clinker through the same pipe to protect the pipe itself is an example of combining two systems into a new one. This is also an example of (p37)

Animals are more than just a collection of cells - an amoeba cannot say “the era of cells continues!” Forest for the trees, systems for the cells. (P38)

Every technical system has a super system and one or more subsystem. Changes in a system effects systems above and below them in the hierarchy.

Each system has an “interest” and solutions should not harm the interest of sub or super systems. (P39)

Systems at the beginning of their development actually do not perform their given function well (p40)

  • First steamboat had huge inefficient paddlewheel and engine

Every system goes through four stages of development (p41)

  1. Bringing together other systems to make the system (wings, engine, etc. for the airplane)
  2. Improvement of the parts (Airplane begins to look like the modern version)
  3. Dynamization of the system (Moving airfoils, swivel engines)
  4. Self-development of the system (Self-adaptive systems) ^4

The stages of development are important because if you need to improve a system you can’t skip steps

Field Theory

Fields act on substances

Six basic “fields” ^5

  1. Gravitational
  2. Electromagnetic
  3. Strong nuclear
  4. Weak nuclear
  5. Mechanical
  6. Thermal
    We can really only control 2, 5,6

Sometimes you can add a substance to another substance in order to change how it is affected by a field (a generalization of method #11) If you can’t add a substance sometimes you can change the state of the substance (for example charging a liquid.)

S field diagrams:

  • Wavy arrow: unsatisfied action
  • Double arrow: has to make a transition to another system
  • Broken arrow: has to introduce an action
  • Fields acting on substances go above substance line
  • Fields coming from substances go below line

S Field Anaylis

  1. In order to solve a problem that has a partial S-Field the S-field must be completed
  2. If there is a worthless S-Field, Introducing S_3 between S1 and S2 to improve the situation. S3 can be a modification of S1 or S2
  3. You can modify an S field by

    1. Changing F1, S1 or S2
    2. Removing
    3. Introducing a second field
      Ideally you want S3 to be a modification of S1 or S2
  4. When a system reaches its own limits it joins another system and a new more complex system emerges (p65)

  5. Sometimes combining a system with another system is impossible, in which case you break up the existing systems and recombine parts into different systems.
  6. If neither of those options are open, you can start to look at the system as made up of many subsystems - ie. A spring is a system of atoms→ this is where Method 15 comes from
  7. Systems that seem to have used up all their resources of development can either join to other systems or transition to microstructure
    (These still fit within the four stages of development framework)

Describing an effect in an inventive manner (P68)
“The substance will expand when heat is applied, therefore this phenomenon could be used in all cases when we need to control very small and precise movements” ^5

Dry water(p73)

Effects can be stated in the frame of science or in the frame of inventive use. (P74)

Effect A can be used for purpose B entails describing the effect in an inventive manner

Ideal Final result (IFR)


  • TRIZ Methods
  • Do it inversely
    • Instead of pouring a liquid into a solid, form the solid around a frozen liquid, etc
  • Change the state of a physical property
    • Changing a state enables you to do things with a material that you couldn’t otherwise
  • Do it in advance
    • Putting a saw in a cast to be able saw your way out
  • Do a little less
    • It may be possible to do an action partially that both enables the intended goal and solves the contradiction - ie. Scouring a pipe to be broken later instead of cutting it
  • Matreshka
    • It may be possible to put one subsystem inside of another subsystem - ie. Steel balls in wheels
  • Conflicting requirements are separated in time and space
  • Replace special terms with simple words
  • Incorporating similar or different objects into one system
    • Measure single weevil temperature by putting a bunch of weevils in a cup
  • Fragmentation and/or consolidation
    • Instead of drilling lots of little holes through a chunk of glass, bundle together a bunch of glass rods
  • Dynamization -
    • Making fixed things adjustable
  • Add Magnetic powder to the substance and apply a magnetic field
  • S-Field Analysis
  • Self-service - pulling steel balls into the corner of a pipe so that they protect the pipe from other steel balls
  • Heat-expansion. This is an example of #15 below
  • Transition from Macrostructures to microstructures
  • Effects of the corona discharge - glow around high voltage objects depends upon gas pressure, voltage, and shape of object
  • Curie point of ferromagnetic materials - ferromagnetic materials demagnetize at specific temperatures
  • Combination of different effect - polarized light+changing polarization based on crystal angle + heat expansion = thermometer
  • Geometric effect of the Moebius Ribbon - double surface area
  • Geometric effect of the rotating hyperboloid - something made out of all right parts and straight lines that can change shape easily by torsioning




Can you apply TRIZ to bitland?
Can you apply TRIZ to people land?
What happened to Dry water?
Is it possible to use Klein bottles in the same way as a Möbius strip?


^2:Related to the Einstellung Effect
^3:Explain it like I’m Five and Reality is Shaped by the Words we Use
^4: Computers are the thing that gets us to level 4 of a system - what other self-adaptive systems are there now as opossed to 1994.
The hierarchy of development explains why things “look” almost the same since the 1960’s and also suggest how we make things look different. Need to bring together entirely different systems.
^5: Note that the fields are fundamental forces + macroscopic instantiations of them


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