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10/28/10

Disorder, Disbelief and Dissonance: 3D innovation

No, this is not a vocabulary contest for 3 words starting with “dis”. The thought came to me when I was leafing thru Capt KK John’s material on SIT (Systematic Inventive Thinking). There are only 5 principles in the SIT method, a welcome change from the 40 principles of TRIZ. Now, I was thinking further about this and thought, one could condense this down to the 3Ds.

Disorder: If one is used to a certain order, can you change it? Reversal being one of them. Take a desktop for example. The order is very clear. The keyboard has to be in front, mouse on the right side (for 5% of the planet, on the left side), monitor in front, power source and other connections at the back. Change the order a little bit, monitor at the back (Point of sales guys usually have a monitor turned away from themselves), mouse above me, keyboard on my right. One could come with cute ideas for this configuration. Nothing is sacrosanct about order, in fact, thermodynamics tells us that it takes us more energy and effort to keep things in order. (look at my desk and you’ll know ;-)). I keep messing with the order in my car. I have the gear on, while depressing the clutch and then starting the engine. It works just fine!

Disbelief: I feel that when one stops believing in something they just take out or transform this something. I no longer believe that physical gadgets do any good to me, so I have gotten rid of them. I feel that laptops are more a heavy paperweight than utility machines, so my travel hardly involves a laptop. If you stop believing that a component is necessary in your module, your instant reaction is to get rid of that component (comment it out, bro!). What does a company do when they no longer believe that a unit is helping them?

Dissonance: This is the state where opposing states of the same object exist at the same time. If you are still remember your high school chemistry, there is a principle called Pauli’s exclusion principle, which states that electrons with opposite spins are the most preferred configuration. So, if you disagree with someone or you hold opposing views about something, that’s probably what Nature wants you to have. Classic cases where dissonance is action are:

  1. Pencil with an eraser
  2. Keyboard with backspace

Ok, now, that you are aware of these principles, how do you use them?

Ask yourself these 3 questions:

    1. How can the order of events or objects be changed in your system?
    2. Do I believe that this component is still useful for the function that my system is performing?
    3. How can I include the opposite of what I am trying to achieve in this system?

These alone should give you very powerful ideas, because they question the fundamental basis!

Basic requirement is a box or a system for this method to work.

Have fun!

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