San Francisco Bay Area TRIZ society

Problem Solving Innovators Club | Practical Dialectics

Meetings in Palo Alto every two weeks

This is a club for people who are interested in invention and innovation technologies, problem solving, dialectics, systems science, evolution of systems, TRIZ. We will research and learn creative methods of problem solving and construction of systems, systems thinking, and thinking out of the box. Engineers, creatives, investors, philosophers, patent lawyers, warriors, politicians, all others who meet crucial challenging problems can find it useful.

Hi, my name is Igor Polkovnikov (Igor Polk). I am publishing this webpage in an attempt to find TRIZ practitioners in San Francisco Bay Area (in California, CA). I want to establish communication with people who are trained at a TRIZ school (TRIZnik) or just have heard about it. The idea is to establish a local community of TRIZ people, exchange materials and ideas, and discuss the topics we love.

I have attended TRIZ school at Minsk in about 1980-1983.

Please, e-mail me at

TRIZ is an international abbreviation of "Theory of Inventive Problem Solving", science established by G. Altshuller. TRIZ is an independent part of system science dealing with qualitative development of systems, their design, transformation, utilization. It has huge heuristic values and numerous practical methods to solve complex problems in all areas. These methods were thoroughly tested on thousands of cases. Also TRIZ pays a lot of attention to psychological conditioning of a problem solver. Please, contact me to find out more about what is TRIZ.

My TRIZ books: Junctions. On How Worlds are Connected | Kindle

My main website | My resume with the list of publications | My dance technique book | My guitar book

What is TRIZ

It is a breakthrough in systems science. It is the "practical dialectics". It is not a philosophy or academic science. It unifies the knowledge about the most fundamental properties (system properties) of the surrounding world with human perception of them and activation of innovative mind in order "to think out of the box", and gives the most practical advice how to use this knowledge.

Local Triz News, my TRIZ blog

2019-06-22 It is more than a year now! Problem Solving Innovators Club is up and running twice a month. Join to become a trained problem solver.  

Problem Solving Innovators Club is established. This is a club for people who are interested in invention and innovation technologies, problem solving, dialectics, systems science, evolution of systems, TRIZ. We will research and learn creative methods of problem solving and construction of systems, systems thinking, and thinking out of the box. Engineers, creatives, investors, philosophers, patent lawyers, warriors, politicians, all others who meet crucial challenging problems can find it useful.

Agenda of the first meeting:

  1. Presentation of the "Junctions. On How Worlds are Connected" book by Igor Polk, what it is about and what is inventive problem solving. Are there productive methods to help? A list of 51 inventive methods will be handed;
  2. Problem solving session;
  3. Organization will be discussed.

Key words: innovation, Collaboration Between Creative Minds, Situational Awareness, Creativity, Venture Capital, Problem Solving, Inventors and Product Developers, Artificial Gneral Intelligence, Innovation and Invention)

May 12, 2018 Returned back from TRIZCON2018 at Purdue university. Success with my presentations: "Mathematics and Dialectics of Dance" and "David and Goliath: what inventive principles are involved". Great meeting with such important people!  
Apr 26, 2018 "Junctions" is printed on Amazon, see the links above  
Feb 20, 2018 First preprint of my new book, and the first book on TRIZ with the subtitle "An Interpretation of Genrich Altshuller's Systematic Principles". This moves the 40 principles to new heights! Will be published soon.  
Feb 02, 2018 I am going to TRIZCON2018. Two articles are accepted: on a biblical topic, and on dance and TRIZ. I am asked to make a presentation on software engineering.  
Jan 26, 2017

Igor is going to make a presentation and "a problem solving session" for people interested how to solve inventive problems. It is fun, but the application is very serious: finding good solution to inventive problems is extremely important for business success. It is going to be on January 26 at one innovation company near Great America ( GWC's RobotX Space in Santa Clara ). Parking is available at the location.

Here is more information about it and tickets ($5 or $10, I am not sure):


Practicum in inventive problem solving: Introduction to modern non-subjective theory of ideation

During this interactive session, several inventive problems will be presented for your enjoyment. In the process of solving them, principles of system problem solving will be introduced so you can apply them, learn them, and carry them with you to your own battles. The principles are a few of many proposed by the modern theory of inventive problem solving - TRIZ. The theory has tremendous heuristic and creative power, and has proponents worldwide. Join the conversation and develop your problem-solving skills!

  • What is TRIZ? After analyzing roughly one million patents, the TRIZ theory of systematic innovation has been founded. The theory includes:
  • Nine laws of technical system evolution - systems following these laws succeed
  • System of approaches to problem solving, seventy-seven "standards," including methods of creation, destruction, detection, and empowering of systems
  • Forty strong principles of system problem solving
  • "Algorithm" of powerful thinking to solve contradictory problems consisting of forty steps in nine parts
  • Methods of removing the psychological programming imposed by culture or environment on the brain of an inventor: "How to think out of the box"
  • Large collections of real-life educational problems for illustration and education; these are not mathematical problems - these are real life problems solved by inventors
  • The theory developed the way how knowledge should be presented to be effectively consumed while solving complex and inter-disciplinary problems
Oct 26, 2014 List of TRIZ literature in my posession;  
September 29, 2014 A proposal for
" Advancing the Science of Imagination: Toward an “Imagination Quotient” "
July 17, 2014 5th International Conference on Systematic Innovation, San Jose. My paper  
Jan 4, 2014 I have heard that TRIZ is very popular in Samsung here.  
May 9-11, 2011   TRIZ- The Theory of Inventive Problem Solving, a workshop in San Francisco by Jack Hipple, Innovation-TRIZ, link  

Triz links

TRIZ Developers Summit 2014

Zinovy Royzen (Seattle) | Akhilesh Gulati (LA) ||
Altshuller Institute for TRIZ Studies
TRIZ Journal
PQP group

Yuri E. Iserlis
TRIZ Experts

A Minsk School Program


Altshuller, Genrich (2005). 40 Principles:Extended Edition . translated by Lev Shulyak - this is the main website.. It does not work always...

Triz people around

Jack Standeven ( Oregon ) | Ellen Domb ( LA ) | TRIZ workshops in LA |

Triz people afar

Козырева Нелли Арнольдовна | José M. Vicente Gomila | Jack Hipple, Innovation-TRIZ | Kai Rindelhardt |

Tags, synonyms (Whenever we meet anything of these, there is CONTRADICTION, and it can be SOLVED!)

Opposite (if A than B, C in opposite case (Galois))
интересы порой диаметрально противоположны
"no win" - "no win" situation
Zugzwang ("compulsion to move") " any possible move will worsen their position "
competing resources and priorities
Pros and cons
Advantages and disadvantages
"Diamond dependiency"
Converse, conversely


Psychological Inertia

System Thinking

Laws of System Development

Systems containing opposite properties are used to solve contradictory requirements.

General Systems Theory

CI, including Creative Problem Solving Tools - this is a new name for TRIZ, which probably suites better the global intellectual space and innovation groups.


Definitions of Contradiction

a. The act of contradicting.
b. The state of being contradicted.
2. A denial.
3. Inconsistency; discrepancy.
4. Something that contains contradictory elements.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition copyright ©2000 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Updated in 2009. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
1. the act of going against; opposition; denial
2. a declaration of the opposite or contrary
3. a statement that is at variance with itself (often in the phrase a contradiction in terms)
4. conflict or inconsistency, as between events, qualities, etc.
5. a person or thing containing conflicting qualities
6. (Philosophy / Logic) Logic a statement that is false under all circumstances; necessary falsehood
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003
1. opposition between two conflicting forces or ideas
oppositeness, opposition - the relation between opposed entities
dialectic - a contradiction of ideas that serves as the determining factor in their interaction; "this situation created the inner dialectic of American history"
2. (logic) a statement that is necessarily false; "the statement `he is brave and he is not brave' is a contradiction"
contradiction in terms
logic - the branch of philosophy that analyzes inference
antinomy - a contradiction between two statements that seem equally reasonable
paradox - (logic) a statement that contradicts itself; "`I always lie' is a paradox because if it is true it must be false"
falsehood, untruth, falsity - a false statement
3. the speech act of contradicting someone; "he spoke as if he thought his claims were immune to contradiction"
negation - the speech act of negating
self-contradiction - contradicting yourself
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2008 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
1. conflict, inconsistency, contravention, incongruity, confutation They see no contradiction in using violence to bring about a religious state.
2. negation, opposite, denial, antithesis What he does is a contradiction of what he says.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
- An assertion of the contrary;
- Direct opposition; Absolute logical incompatibility, as of a statement that a thing is and is not in the same way and at the same time;
- inconsistency
- Self-contradictory;
Inclined to contradict or cavil;
- To assert the contrary of; - deny the truth of; - impugn;
- To resist; oppose; go counter to;
- To be contrary or opposed to; go counter to; To oppose in words; gainsay;
- To distinguish by a contrast of opposite qualities.
Webster's Collegiate Dictionary, 1932

Thoughts and Conversations


- why it is largely ignored in the West?

It is ignored, yes, and there are objective reasons for that, I'll tell you. The main thing is that TRIZ is expressed in the language of dialectics which is very foreign for the western mind. It teaches things which broaden the mind, which is very contrary to what here is thought is good. It contradicts the whole custom of this society. It is made in Russia, but everything about Russia is a target of negative propaganda for generations here, and therefore the subject of suspicion.

TRIZ is an extremely powerful science, not just method. It is well developed, but the best literature is available only in russian, though there are plenty of english books.
TRIZ promoters are not influential enough to be heard in this society.
The main problem of TRIZ promotion everywhere, including russia where it is more known, is that it was developed outside of the academic society, though it has credible network of researchers and supporters;
TRIZ was developed on the factual basis of simple engineering: mostly mechanics, some chemistry: just regular engineering. It has almost no examples from more modern areas like computer science, electronics, and so on.. It needs to be developed further. The great mind to cover these areas has not be attracted to TRIZ yet. That puts some people off, since they are not able to see the general, abstract value applied to their narrow area of expertise.
There is abundance of other methods which claim to be "methods of inventive thinking". They are all very weak. I guess people who were exposed to them are put off and think that TRIZ is yet another "brainstorming", which is a mistake.

- How it can be applied in the world of rapid technological change?

It can be applied, and it is applied to the great success " in the world of rapid technological change " which always has been, not just now. Many companies use it officially, for example Samsung.

Here are some areas of application:
- personal development: to develop real-world problem solving skills, critical mind, broaden the view, teaching how to "think out of the box";
- to solve complex technological and even scientific problems;
- TRIZ has some criteria how to evaluate what solutions are better, what patents are preferable (from technological point of view);
- to develop brain-storming culture and organization within a company;
- to develop AI which can solve so called "inventive" problems ( that is what is a real AI in my view ); (This is my area of interest within AI;) That might include what I would call "uniform knowledge representation";
- it has great scientific potential as a very large extension of "systems science".

- Who must learn TRIZ in the first place?

1). Patent lawyers. In my view, they can not claim to be proficient if they do not know TRIZ well;
2). People who make strategical decisions; Those who's mistake has a high cost;
3). Researchers, inventors who work in interdisciplinary areas, who have to cross the knowledge borders; And the most powerful inventions rise from several areas;
4). Everyone else.

If TRIZ were to become the language of engineering in the company, the success would be inevitable.



Классический ТРИЗ ориентируется на задачи которые нигде не решены. Таких задач очень много и будет ещё больше. С другой стороны ТРИЗ даёт методологию организации изобретательских знаний так чтобы любое найденное решение могло быть предоставлено любому кому это полезно. И это правильно. Но эта задача ещё тоже не решена. Гугл плохо с этим справляется.

Classical TRIZ is oriented on problem which are solved nowere. There many of such problems and there will be even more. On another hand, TRIZ provides methodology of inventinve knowledge organization so that any new found solution can be provided to anyone who needs it. And this is rightful. But this problem is not solve yet either. Google poorly handles it.



In search of "Hopkins Effect" correct English translation, which seems absent from wikipedia. It is menitioned with AC 452055 in TRIZ literature.
Here it is visible on the Figure 8.5 right diagram: "ferromagnetic susceptibility as the material approaches its Curie temperature ". Here,, on slide 8, I have finally found the correct name: Hopkinson peak ( as well as another effect "Morin transition" )... updating russian wiki...



Sergei Kozlovski wrote: "Опыт личных контактов автора говорит о том, что для воспитанников западной культуры существует высокий барьер в восприятии основных положений ТРИЗ-ТРТС. Умение непосредственно оперировать противоречиями для типичного инженера-американца чем-то сродни искусству восточной медитации и заклинанию змей. Другими словами, ТРИЗ-ТРТС находится вне инженерии или науки для типичного человека Запада. И этот барьер нелегко преодолеть, как и все барьеры между разными культурами."

"My personal contact experience tells me that for the pupil of the western culture there is a high barrier on perception of the foundation of TRIZ. Skill of immediate operations with contradictions for a typical engineer-american is similar to the art of oriental meditation and snake charming. In other words TRIZ is beyond engineering and science for an typical man of the West. And this barrier is difficult to overcome as all barriers among different cultures."

I wonder why? Why the most powerful method of analysis and logic - through contractions, developed by ancient philosophers like Socrates and Aristotle, dialectics, a method which is a cornerstone of mathematics and invaluable in science ( "the experimental results contradict our theory", "the result of the two experiments contradict each other") is beyond comprehension of an average american? Is there flaw in education? Why?

* * *

TRIZ is incredible because it brings method of contractions, the most powerful method of analysis and logic to problem solving.


Getting acquainted with the current state of affairs, I have found that TRIZ have made a huge step forward since I learned it. Wow ! I impatiently waiting our coming discussions !


What does it mean "to be a master". Whatever master do, he "just knows what to do" without any visible thinking effort. Void ! It comes out of void, would say an ancient japanese warrior. For example, a tango dance master, improvising, with any partner, creates the dance right there, on the floor. It comes out if him: new figures, unusual surprising movements, rhythmical play, circulating in all directions. A guitarist looking into notes, just knows how to play them. He does not calculate where each note is and how to pick it up "how do I remember? I do not know, I just do it.". A problem solvers, therefore, should solve his problems without any visible effort. He "sees" the solution, the best one, as soon as the problem is formulated. An ideal problem solver, you may ask? Hah, I like that, but unlike IFR, ideal "problem solvers" exist in areas surrounding us. Few of them are genius. All that comes from diligent practice: you learn to use and then forget. It comes from desire to do things better and more efficiently, from hard work and open mind. Anyone who beats the road will archive a milestone. No one who is not moving will come anywhere.


Main TRIZ achievements, in my view:

Other useful links

ASME ( America Society of Mechanical Engineers ) | - fairy tails and other articles (Rus)

Links to the latest knowledge news: | |
Issues in Science and Technology |


FCA - Functional Cost Analysis

TRIZ methodology developed its own version of Value Analysis or Value Engineering. It includes means of creative solutions and proposes to express problems in terms of contradictions, i.e. what is good about a function + what is bad about it, i.e. in TRIZ terms.

Here some links related to Value Analysis:

Lawrence D. Miles Foundation;
The Canadian Society of Value Analysis; - they have many free brochures for download.
Value Engineering (Wiki);

Invention Examples ;;; - Membranes of opposite qualities. Recall numerous other examples of such "membranes".; - water bridges. Wow!;