Wednesday, October 14, 2009


TRIZ Japan Symposium early report--Darrell Mann honored

The "TRIZ Home Page in Japan" has been updated tonight
(dated Oct. 12) in English and in Japanese pages.

[1] Report:

"The Fifth TRIZ Symposium in Japan, 2009" was held
with 137 participants (including 19 from overseas).

Held by the Japan TRIZ Society, NPO.
On Sept. 10 though Sept. 12, 2009; at NWEC (Saitama)
A report HTML page has been made for the links to:

Outline, Flyer, Agenda outlline, Agenda sheet (1 page),
Agenda table (6 pages), Abstracts (from Japan),
Abstracts (from Overseas), Proceedings,
and Previous Symposia.

Some more details will be posted in the Official Web
site of the Japan TRIZ Society .

[2] Announcement:

An Award Was Presented to Mr. Darrell L. Mann (PQR Group partner and long-time colleague and co-author with Ellen Domb) for His Contributions to TRIZ and Systematic Innovation by the "TRIZ Home Page in Japan" Foundation

"TRIZ Home Page in Japan" (Editor: Toru Nakagawa) has
recently established the "TRIZ Home Page in Japan"
Foundation, for the purpose of further penetration and
development of TRIZ in Japan and in the World.

As the first initiative, an Award was presented to
Mr. Darrell L. Mann for his contributions and services
over many years in the field of TRIZ and Systematic

His contributions through the research, writing,
development, and training were highly appreciated
and thanked.

[3] TRIZ Anime:

TRIZ Tales Animation in Japanese: TETRIS Project for
TRIZ Education at Schools

Original story: Genrich Altshuller,
Story: Getano Cascini (Italy),
Pictures: Harry Flosser (Germany),
Japanese translation: Katsuya Miyanishi and Toru Nakagawa

TETRIS Project is financially supported by the Euroean
Commission's Life Long Learning Program 'Leonardo da Vinch',
and aims at building materials to teach TRIZ at schools.

They made animation movies of "TRIZ Tales" on the basis
of Altshuller's stories in "And Suddenly the Inventor

Being invited by the project, we have translated the
movies' texts into Japanese. Miyanishi's colloquial
wordings fit nicely to the pictures.

The Japanese version is now available in the TETRIS
Project's Web site. The present page provides the
introduction written by Nakagawa.

Best wishes, Toru Nakagawa
Professor, Faculty of Informatics, Osaka Gakuin University
2-36-1 Kishibe-Minami, Suita-shi, Osaka 564-8511, Japan

Tuesday, October 06, 2009


Business Innovation Conference Report

This week I'm at the Business Innovation Conference near Chicago. I'm sending reports to Real Innovation and the TRIZ Journal so I won't duplicate the reports here. Kudos to organizer Praveen Gupta for terrific keynote speakers who really did deliver KEY messages that set the theme, got the audience to go from passive audience to active participants, and established a framework for the other speakers. Other conference organizers pay attention and benchmark this! As both a keynoter and frequent speaker, this vastly increases the value of the conference.

Friday, October 02, 2009


HBR Understands Resources

The October 2009 issue of the Harvard Business Review has a very nice article on what TRIZ calls the use of resources: "The Power of Unwitting Workers." An important part of teaching about the use of resources is explaining that resources are not just things. Energy of any sort, from the system or from the environment, is a resource. Information from the system or the environment,or information generated as a byproduct of a function of the system are all resources. And the obvious resources in the system--the parts of the system, waste materials generated when building the system, etc.

The HBR article has 3 example of using the customer's energy to power the system:
1. The revolving door at a railroad station in the Netherlands turns a generator to power the lights in the train station
2. Cars in the parking lot at a supermarket in England run over a system of plates. Deflection of the plates engages a flywheel, which runs a generator, producing electricity, AND the system of plates slows the car down, so energy is not wasted on braking by friction.
3. Power-generating floors in the Tokyo Station of the Japan Railway Company use piezoelectric devices to generate electricity--it is not yet at the economically useful level, but shows great promise.

In these cases the customer knows he/she is doing the work, and the company is getting "green" public relations as well as power.

The information examples are more subtle: the customer is aware of doing work for one purpose, but not that the company is getting other benefits.
1. About 10% of the questions on the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude Test, used for college admissions in many regions) are not really part of the test. The scores aren't used for the test-taker's evaluation. Those questions are used for calibration and for developing future tests.
The test-takers act as unpaid information providers.
2. When you use a website with "CAPTCHA" security (they ask you to type in your interpretation of a messy-looking set of letters or numbers) they are not only deciding that you are a human being, and therefore entitled to use that site, they are getting you to help decipher phrases that have caused problems for optical scanners that are putting old books into databases. Last year CAPTCHA users helped trascribe almost 150,000 books.

These information examples are reminiscent of the one I used in my talk at the
Computer-Aided Innovation conference (Harbin, China, August 2009). There has been a recent simplification of the method used to measure the speed of vehicles on highways, which is a great example of patterns of evolution, trimming, and use of resources.
A. 1950's Vehicles run over a hose stretched across the road. The pulse of air pressure is recorded to measure the vehicle passage and the time between pulses measures speed.
B. 1970's Both light and sound signals are bounced off the vehicles, and technology borrowed from military radar and sonar systems are used to measure the speed of the vehicles.
C. 2000's Drivers use cell phones while driving. The signals move from tower to tower with the cell, and from cell to cell as the vehicles move. The speed of transfer is the speed that vehicles are moving on the highway. In other words, the drivers give the highway operators the information as a by-product of using the phone. The need for a measuring system goes away (absorbed into the supersystem, in TRIZ-talk). Next phase has already begun--there are cars that receive the date directly into their navigation systems, and integrate it with the GPS, to suggest alternate routes around congested regions.

Do you have a great resource story? Share it with us using the comment feature!

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