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A repository of problem solving principles to serve as inspiration for ideators

Darko Savic
Darko Savic May 24, 2022
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An open repository of principles by which problems have been solved before. They are to be used as inspiration/tools for ideators.
  • The principles by which problems have been solved are to an ideator what power tools are to an engineer.
  • To an ideator, a list of problem solving principles is like a hardware store to an engineer.
  • Different people have different problems on their minds. Running into the right principles at the right time can help things fall into place and lead to the right idea.
  • Browsing through lists of ideas tends to spark one's own idea generation. The reader might be subconsciously extracting principles and testing them against the problems that s/he presently entertains.
How it works
A repository of principles by which problems have been solved. This could be built as an independent platform, a database, or even just a huge webpage that lists all the principles as one-liners. It would probably make the most sense as a feature/section of brainstorming.com.
People would reduce ideas to principles by extracting the essence/mechanisms by which each solves the respective problem. For example:
  • A practice where people hide something throughout their area so that ...
  • Spray substance A on something. When it comes into contact with B, a reaction takes place that ...
  • A secondary use of real estate that is already used for something else
  • An online platform where two different types of people gather to complement each other's shortcomings/needs.
  • etc.
The principle leaves out the use case scenario, but mentions the method. They are classified by tags/fields. Anyone can submit them for inclusion in the database.
The proposed idea has some similarities with TRIZ and was most likely inspired by it.
TRIZ (theory of inventive problem solving) is a systematic approach for understanding and solving problems. It was created around 1946 by the soviet inventor Genrich Altshuller. Among other things, Altschuller extracted 40 principles by which problems are usually solved.

I've looked at TRIZ several times in the past but never got lucky using it. Maybe becasue the 40 principles are strictly metalurgy/engineering oriented. I will keep trying.
How my idea differs from TRIZ:
  • It's not a system for solving problems. It serves strictly for inspirational purposes - like browsing a library of solutions. There is no suggestion of what people should/could try to use.
  • It's useful in all fields where creativity is needed
  • The principles are not reduced down to where they become sterile for inspiration. They are poorly reduced on purpose, which leaves more "meat on the bones" to spark inspiration.
  • The principles are continously added by people which makes them recent/fresh.
Creative contributions

Mention real-life examples of the use of each principle

Shubhankar Kulkarni
Shubhankar Kulkarni May 25, 2022
Each one-liner could come with a real-life example of the usage of the idea. Maybe link a video to it. This will give the reader a better idea of the approach.
Some of the principles are also useful when used in the metaphorical or philosophical sense of the words. For example, the principle "go from linear to rotatory motion" is clear in the literal sense. However, it also suggests the use of a cyclic (repetitive) approach than a straightforward approach. Also, "rotatory" can mean "assessment and development again and again" and "linear" can mean "forthputting". Separate examples for each of these "meanings" of the principles could further help the readers.
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Add the principle as an extra field with each idea posted on Brainstorming

Darko Savic
Darko Savic May 25, 2022
What if each idea posted on this platform came with an extra optional field where the principle is described?
The principle could be described by the idea creator or even anyone - subject to confirmation by a moderator to prevent the field from being used wrong.
Diverse principles could then easily be extracted and put in lists for people to read and draw inspiration from.
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Miloš Stanković
Miloš Stanković2 years ago
It might be too complex for new users to be tasked with defining their principle too. It's a step that wouldn't be so intuitive to get right. I think it should be a moderator task to label it. Additional feature:
The platform could also have a button next to the principle field that would lead you to a random challenge or a random idea and have you apply that principle to that problem.
If you manage to do it (the creative contribution is liked X times or by the moderator or the post creator) the creative contribution gets a different background colour. Yellow, or green. It also gets a "principle" icon like the "bounty winner" in the challenges. Using this method to get a creative contribution should also be badge worthy.
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