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
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.
studying 200,000 patents, Altshuller concluded
that there about 1,500 technical contradictions
that can be resolved relatively easily by
applying fundamental principles.
can wait a hundred years for enlightenment,
or you can solve the problem in 15 minutes
with these principles,” he said.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!”.
Russian TRIZ Association was established in
1989 with Altshuller as President.