September 26, 2022

The grandmother of invention

I finished this book over the weekend.   I thoroughly recommend it.

If I had to sum it up: “Whatever your problem, there’s a very good chance it’s been solved before, several times, both by other people and in nature.   Necessity may be the mother of invention, but research is the grandmother.”

As usual, it’s given me more threads to follow – for example, a Russian called Genrcih Altshuller codified a Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) back in the 1940s.   But I bet you’ve never heard of him.

And I learned that the most interesting problems are contradictions, such as “How do I ensure a consistent Customer Experience without losing the opportunity to delight?”; and that really inventive solutions resolve them.