Genrich Altshuller biography and books

Genrich Altshuller - Toolshero

Genrich Altshuller (Genrich Saulovich Altshuller; 15 October 1926 – 24 September 1998) was a Soviet inventor, engineer, scientist, journalist, and author. He is best known for his TRIZ Method of Problem Solving, a methodology for systematic innovation.

Genrich Altshuller biography

Genrich Altshuller was born in Tashkent, in the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. His family later moved to Baku where he spent most of his childhood.

Since his childhood, Genrich Altshuller has always been working on inventions. He researched methods that could help him invent products that offer solutions to existing problems. He did however never find any related articles or books. In that time, many people believed that inventions derive from a sudden spark of an idea or accidental enlightenment.

Free Toolshero ebook

Inventing was in his nature. While he was in the tenth grade, Altshuller already built a boat having a rocket engine that used carbide for fuel. He additionally graduated high school with honors.

By 1946, Genrich Altshuller designed a method for escaping from an immobilized submarine without diving gear. As a consequence of his invention, he was offered a position at the Russian Navy where he worked in the Innovation Center.

In his position, people regularly asked Altshuller how to solve their problems. He was for this reason more interested in helping people invent their own ideas than inventing his own invention.

The TRIZ Method of Problem Solving Theory

Altshuller continued researching on models for inventing. He argued that if a methodology for inventing does not exist, one should be developed. As a consequence, Genrich Altshuller studies thousands of different patents which later helped him design the TRIZ Method of Problem Solving.

Altshuller made use of his creative ability and did not hesitate to participate in national inventing competitions. However, in 1950, he was arrested and charged with ‘inventor’s sabotage.’ By this time, he already created the concept of the TRIZ Method of Problem Solving, which he also used to defend himself. He was unfortunately held captive and forced to work in the minefield, but Genrich was lucky enough to be surrounded with other scientists, and lawyers.

Altshuller had not attended any college yet by this time, so he decided to listen to lectures from professors who were also held captive. The prisoners taught each other mathematics, foreign languages, and other subjects. He was still dedicated to developing a methodology for inventing, and for this reason, Altshuller kept working on his TRIZ Method of Problem Solving.

He was later released from prison, and in 1956, he published his first paper ‘Psychology of Inventive Creativity.’ Other scientists were surprised by Altshuller’s paper because his view on inventions was in contradiction with those of other scientists.

In 1961, Genrich Altshuller authored ‘How to learn to invent’. In this book, he discusses various methods of TRIZ and criticizes the public opinion about inventors. Since he was sure that his methods about inventions are correct, he requested the largest patent organization in the former Soviet Union for an attempt to prove his theory.

As a result of his dedication, Altshuller was after a few years allowed to provide a seminar on TRIZ in 1968. As a result of the seminar, he attracted people who later established TRIZ education centers.

Genrich Altshuller also published ‘Algorithm of Inventing’ in which he describes fundamentals for systematic inventing. He additionally provided lectures and workshops on TRIZ, and he also founded the International TRIZ Association in 1989 where he served as the first president.

He spent his life researching various patents to understand innovation and creativity. His goal was to help other people systematically invent things to solve problems.

Genrich Altshuller was married to Valentina Zhuravleva with who he also wrote science fiction stories under the name Genrikh Altov. Altshuller’s model is today still used, and multiple educational centers around the globe teach on TRIZ courses.

Numerous books have also been published on this concept, and it seems that the spread of the TRIZ Method of Problem Solving is ongoing.

Join the Toolshero community

Famous quotes by Genrich Altshuller

  1. “The world is endless, the universe inexhaustible, and the human brain will never be threatened with unemployment.”
  2. “Inventing is the resolution of technical contradictions.”
  3. “I became more and more interested in the mechanics of creativity.”

Books and publications

  • 2005. principles: TRIZ keys to innovation Extended Edition. Technical Innovation Center.
  • 2002. 40 principles: TRIZ keys to innovation. Vol. 1. Technical Innovation Center, Inc.
  • 1999. The innovation algorithm. Technical Innovation Center, 2.
  • 1999. Tools of classical TRIZ. Ideation International Inc, 266.
  • 1996. And suddenly the inventor appeared: TRIZ, the theory of inventive problem solving. Technical Innovation Center, Inc.
  • 1990. On the theory of solving inventive problems. Design Methods and Theories, 242, 1216-1222.
  • 1989. Searching for New Ideas. Kishniev: Kartya Moldovenyaska Publishing House.
  • 1986. To find an idea. Introduction to the theory of inventive problem solving.-Novosibirsk: Nauka Publishers.
  • 1986. The history of ARIZ development. Journal of TRIZ, 3.
  • 1985. The profession of searching for new ideas. Kishinev: Kartya Moldovenyaska Publishing House.
  • 1984. Creativity as an Exact Science. New York, NY: Gordon & Breach. ISBN 0-677-21230-5.
  • 1969. Algorithm of invention. Moscowskiy Rabochy, Moscow.
  • 1964. Bases of the Inventive Process. Voroneg: Centralno-Chernozemnoe izdatelstvo.
  • 1960. How Scientific Discoveries Are Made.

How to cite this article:
Zeeman, A. (2018). Genrich Altshuller. Retrieved [insert date] from Toolshero:

Published on: 12/14/2018 | Last update: 03/15/2023

Add a link to this page on your website:
<a href=””>Toolshero: Genrich Altshuller</a>

Did you find this article interesting?

Your rating is more than welcome or share this article via Social media!

Average rating 4.1 / 5. Vote count: 13

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Alexander Zeeman
Article by:

Alexander Zeeman

Alexander Zeeman is Content Manager at ToolsHero where he focuses on Content production, Content management and marketing. He is also an International Business student at Rotterdam Business school. Currently, in his study, working on the development of various management competencies and improving operational business processes.


One response to “Genrich Altshuller biography and books”

  1. Issra says:

    The most useful article I read about Altshuller.

Leave a Reply