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Review: Systematic Innovation Newsletter by CREAX

| On 07, Jul 2005

Reviewed by: Ralph Czerepinski, Marco Aurelio de Carvahlo
editor@triz-journal.com

Details: Free, on-line. Past issues are linked together. Go to http://www.creax.com to subscribe, or to http://www.creax.com/newsletter to see one issue.

Since the beginning of 2005, those of us fortunate to be on Simon Dewulf’s mailing list have been receiving the CREAX Newsletter. This is a refreshing way of tying today’s technological advances to their underlying TRIZ components. Each of the evaluated CREAX newsletters included descriptions of four innovations from different areas.

Because the products and systems that are reviewed are drawn from new products and services, they are new and interesting. They come with links to the original webpage for readers who are interested in the actual items, but they have enough description for the reader who just wants a quick TRIZ example. Most are presented as illustrations of evolutionary trends. The illustrations are colorful, and the TRIZ evolutionary trends are presented with a brief general description, and small cartoons illustrating three steps of the trend.

Each edition contains four examples from widely differing fields, sometimes even presented with a touch of humor. I couldn’t help but laugh at the babysuit/floor sweeper illustration of resource utilization in the April’05 edition:
http://www.creax.com/mailing/2005_04/newsletter.htm
For the most part, these are presented in the form of a press-release paragraph with picture, and with minimal self-advertising from CREAX. Many of these are reader submitted, and CREAX invites this contribution from readers.

Historically, collecting cardfiles with innovative ideas coming from different areas has been a strategy used by many creative people, and particularly by TRIZ developers and practitioners. Altshuller himself used cardfiles and incentivized their use by his students. In this sense, CREAX newsletters add value by providing subscribers with interesting examples of innovations. The subscriber might, however, disagree with the analogies established between innovations and TRIZ / Systematic Innovation concepts and tools.

Yet, the examples will still be useful—when I disagree with someone else’s analysis, it makes me review my analysis and assumptions, and can be a good learning experience.

In short, the CREAX newsletter is a very refreshing way to keep my personal TRIZ battery charged, and it reminds me to look at all new innovations with a TRIZ mind-set.