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Altshuller’s Anniversary: The Position of the Copyright Owners

| On 28, May 2006

2006 is the 80th anniversary year of the birth of Genrikh Saulovich Altshuller, the creator of TRIZ – CDI (Development of creative imagination) – TCLS (Theory of Creative Life Strategy) (15.10.1926 – 24.09.1998).

This year, the Official G.S. Altshuller Foundation (whose staff were members of Altshuller’s family and were both witnessing and contributing to the TRIZ movement for several decades) reviews the accomplished work and outlines perspectives for further developments.

1. It is well known that in the period 1956-1986, TRIZ was developing and spreading at high pace. Such tools, concepts and methods as the inventive principles, ARIZ, the course on creative imagination development (CID), the Index of Sci-Fi Ideas and Situations, the laws of technological system evolution, the Life Strategy of a Creative Person (LSCP) were introduced during that period, while ten Altshuller’s books were published (total circulation – over 1 million copies), and some two hundred TRIZ centers were founded. Various public organizations offered seminars on TRIZ. TRIZ schools were established at large industrial firms (e.g., at Uralmash, the Kirov Plant, the Rostov Helicopter Plant, Electrosila, among others), at R&D enterprises (e.g., at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna). Various organizations for advanced professional development offered training in TRIZ. G.S. Altshuller’s bibliography contains over 500 books and articles.

In summary, this period of TRIZ evolution was characterized by:
а) Free exchange of information on theoretical and applied aspects of TRIZ and allied disciplines
b) Cooperation in conducting theoretical and applied research projects
в) Organizing various (both official and otherwise) scientific conferences.

2. By the mid-1980’s, Altshuller’s health started to rapidly deteriorate. As the demolition of the USSR began, many TRIZ theorists and practitioners left the country for good.
3. Association TRIZ was founded by the initiative of some TRIZ specialists (not by Altshuller’s, as it should be noted).
4. The present period of TRIZ development is characterized by the following negative tendencies:

Tendency 1: There are cases when basic works of G.S. Altshuller and of some other TRIZ experts are illicitly translated and circulated (i.e., without obtaining permission from the copyright owners).

Tendency 2: Some works on TRIZ are published and used in a distorted form (often, with “comments” by nonprofessionals), which misleads the readers.

Tendency -3: The quality of new TRIZ developments has plunged, and the information exchange among TRIZ specialists has dramatically declined.

Tendency 4: Very few young TRIZ specialists turn into original theorists.

Tendency -5: Despite the adoption of TRIZ by a number of leading corporations both in Russia and globally, the quality of TRIZ implementations (as well as their quantity) could have been much higher.

Tendency 6: Many new TRIZ specialists (especially outside Russia) are not familiar with G.S. Altshuller’s works.

It is worth mentioning that dissemination of TRIZ outside Russia follows the patterns similar to those in the former USSR. For example, judging by the available publications, the inventive principles appear to be the most widely adopted tool of TRIZ. Other tools, for instance, the laws of technological system evolution, are not being used – not because they are complex (they are not), but because of the triviality of research topics and problems being solved, and because of the fashion.

5. In response to these tendencies and in total accordance with the viewpoints of the first TRIZ developer, the Official G.S. Altshuller Foundation has taken the following steps:
– Prevented trademark registration of the words ТРИЗ and TRIZ (that shameful attempt will become part of the history of TRIZ).
– Created a Web site with materials in 5 languages, http://www.altshuller.ru (in English http://www.altshuller.ru/world/eng/ )
– Released a free e-book “Introduction to TRIZ: The Main Concepts and Approaches,” http://www.altshuller.ru/e-books (in Russian)

6. In anticipation of the upcoming Altshuller’s anniversary, the Official G.S.
Altshuller Foundation declares the following:
a) Further development of TRIZ is impossible without adopting a civilized attitude toward the intellectual property of G.S. Altshuller and other developers of TRIZ. This is not a sufficient but a necessary condition. Violations of intellectual property rights affect all parties: those interested in TRIZ as well as TRIZ consultants and educators do not receive the latest information.
b) The following is required to ensure further development of TRIZ:
– Solid knowledge of the original publications on TRIZ-CDI (Development of creative imagination) -TCLS (Theory of Creative Life Strategy)
– Compliance of new research topics with the demanding criteria formulated by G.S.
Altshuller (see the following chapters in the e-book:
• Conducting new research projects in TRIZ
• How to present the results of new research in TRIZ
• Evaluation of new developments in TRIZ
– Setting high research goals.

7. And the last…
G.S. Altshuller always maintained an ironic attitude toward his own anniversaries and asked no to “arrange any kurultais (parties).” The best celebration of the approaching anniversary would be new, high-quality works in TRIZ, CID, and particularly, in LSCP, as well as new releases of Altshuller’s books and translations of his works into foreign languages. The Official G.S. Altshuller Foundation