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     In 1956, the first paper written by Altshuller and Shapiro, “Psychology of Inventive Creativity,” was published in the journal Voprosi of Psihologi [Problems of Psychology]. For scientists who study the creativity process it was as if a bomb had exploded. Until that time, Soviet and foreign psychologists believed it a fact that inventions were born through accidental enlightenment – the sudden spark of an idea.

     After analyzing a fund of worldwide patents, Altshuller offered a different method based on the results of human inventive activity. Invention derives from a problem analysis revealing a contradiction.

     After studying 200,000 patents, Altshuller concluded that there about 1,500 technical contradictions that can be resolved relatively easily by applying fundamental principles.

     “You can wait a hundred years for enlightenment, or you can solve the problem in 15 minutes with these principles,” he said.

     What would Altshuller’s opponents say if they knew that the obscure “H. Altov” [Altshuller’s pen name] was making a living writing science fiction stories utilizing TRIZ concepts? Altov wrote his fictions utilizing his inventive ideas. In 1961 Altshuller wrote his first book How to Learn to Invent. In this small book he laughs at the popular opinion that one must be born an inventor. He criticizes the trial and error method used to make discoveries. Fifty thousand readers, each paying only 25 kopecks [25 cents], learned the first 20 inventive methods of TRIZ.

     In 1959, trying to get acceptance of his theory, Altshuller wrote a letter to the highest patent organization in the former Soviet Union – VOIR [All Union Society of Inventors and Innovators]. He asked for a chance to prove his theory. Nine years later, after writing hundred of letters, he finally got his answer. His requested seminar on inventive methodology would be held in Dsintary, Georgia, not later than December of 1968.

     It was the first ever seminar on TRIZ. There for the first time he met people who had considered themselves his students. Alexander Selioutski from Petrosavodsk, Volulav Mitrofanov from Leningrad, Isaak Buchman from Riga, and others. These young engineers – nad later many others – would open TRIZ schools in their cities. Hundreds of people that went through Altshuller’s schools asked him to come and conduct seminars in different towns of the Soviet Union.

     In 1969 Altshuller published a new book: Algorithm of Inventing. In this book he gave his readers and students 40 Principles, and the first algorithm to solve complex inventive problems.

     Voluslav Mitrofanov, the founder of Leningrad University of Technical Creativity, told a story about Robert Anglin, a prominent inventor from Leningrad. Once, Anglin – who has over 40 inventions developed through the agony of trial and error creativity – came to a TRIZ seminar. He was very quiet during the TRIZ training session. After everyone had left, he was still sitting at the table, covering his head with his hands. “How much time was wasted!” he was saying. “How much time… If I only knew TRIZ earlier!”.

     The Russian TRIZ Association was established in 1989 with Altshuller as President.

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