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Holiday TRIZ

| On 19, Jul 2008

Ellen Domb

It is holiday/vacation time for our northern hemisphere readers and authors, and that can be a great opportunity for TRIZ learning and practice.  


Many of our columns on how to learn TRIZ emphasize the need to practice, and to combine the right-brain “fun” approaches to creativity with the left-brain disciplined approach to multiply your creativity skills.  Don’t wait for “important” problems–if you practice continually, you’ll be much better able to use your skills when the important problems happen.


World-wide gasoline prices are changing holiday habits.   I saw a news story on TV yesterday about people saying “I want to go on a trip (for all the usual tourism and education reasons) but I don’t want to go on a trip (because of the cost of travel.)”   TRIZ practice–this is a very good example of a physical (inherent) contradiction.   And we solve these problems using the separation principles, right?  


The news report went on to describe “Stay-cations”  instead of vacations.  People stay home, but learn about other places and cultures via library and internet (separating the learning from the travel)  or stay home but hike local trails and explore  local parks for outdoors experiences (separating the exercise and experience from travel) and even checking into local hotels (separating the service and luxury experience from the travel.)  


A variant was getting other people to pay for travel–volunteer to host a student from another country, so your family can learn about that country’s culture without traveling there.   Another example was volunteering to do charitable work away from home–frequently you will pay for your own travel, but the host organization will provide housing and you will learn much more about the culture by working there and living with people than you would by tourism.


Of course, many of us continue to travel no matter what the cost of fuel.   I had a great example last week of increasing ideality and decreasing ideality.   In a very inexpensive hotel, connecting to the internet took less than 20 seconds (I had to answer one question and check a box) and was free.   In an expensive hotel the internet costs $9.95 per day extra, and took more than 5 minutes to connect, going through a whole series of menus.   The hotel knows that business travelers object to the fees, so, since I’m a frequent traveler, they gave me a coupon good for either one free night of internet OR a free movie.  But to get my free internet, I had to go to the hotel desk and turn in the coupon–more time and aggravation!   Since we know that the higher level of ideality will ultimately be the better system, we know that the expensive hotel will lose in the long run.


Practice TRIZ all the time–holiday or everyday.   Send us your examples to help other people practice TRIZ too.