Troness Innovations
  • Consulting
  • Teaching
  • Product Development
  • Solution Development
  • Systematic Innovation

David Troness, Principal

With enough money, time and technology; any fool can solve a tough problem. But it takes more than experience and/or luck to create a solution that is simple, inexpensive and still satisfies all requirements. 

Innovation, without the B.S. (Brain Storming) 
Research has shown that groups brainstorming together produce fewer ideas than individuals working separately and the ideas are generally of lower quality. The conclusions were based on a review of 22 other studies, 18 of which corroborated their findings.
                         "Productivity Loss in Brainstorming Groups: Toward the Solution of a Riddle". Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 53: 497–509. 1987. 

Conclusions from research discussed in Larry Keeley’s new book: Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs.
  • Innovation mostly fails. It doesn’t need to. 
  • Innovation almost never fails due to lack of creativity. It is almost always due to a lack of discipline. 
  • The most certain way to fail is to focus only on products. 
  • Innovations can be built up systematically 
You know how some solutions are so simple, inexpensive and completely eliminate the problem? Those kinds of solutions can appear “obvious in hindsight”:

How many years did we have to hit the bottom of the ketchup bottle to get ketchup out? At some point, it dawned on someone that they could just design the bottle to stand “upside down” so that all the ketchup would already be at the bottom. It was apparently a random stroke of luck.

If someone had carefully defined the problem and identified the many “knobs” that could be turned to eliminate the problem, and then made use of approaches other inventors have used in the past to solve similar problems such as “change direction of flow” or “do it the opposite way”... and this idea could have been introduced decades ago.

The moral of the story is that we don’t have to wait for luck or inspiration or random thoughts to discover an elegant solution. Whatever the problem is; when you can define it very carefully, you can use the appropriate methods used by past inventors to solve that very same type of problem. No matter how you look at it, this represents a “game-changing” competitive advantage for those that are willing to use discipline instead of random brainstorming to solve their toughest problems.

This systematic, rigorous approach to solving tough problems with solutions that are simple, inexpensive and still satisfies all requirements, i.e. without compromising; is not “rocket science”, but it does require discipline as well as the desire to set a high bar in their work.

Amazingly, there are perhaps only 100 people in the US (my own estimate), that have studied, learned, practiced and continue to use TRIZ routinely in their jobs. As one of those people, I continue to be amazed at the slow acceptance of this game-changing approach. But this represents a real competitive advantage, i.e. if your company doesn’t utilize it, but your competition does, you are at a disadvantage.


Competitive Advantage for You 
AND Your Kids

Definition: when you know  something or have something of value that other people don’t know about.

Unfair/Illegal Advantages, e.g.

Steroids for Athletes
Student stealing tests
Using “insider information” to beat the stock market.

Fair Advantages:

Don’t last forever
Motivate competitors
Require constant search for new advantages.

Regardless of your education or experience, what if you could use a proven method to apply strategies of the best inventors to:

Understand causes of the toughest problems?
Develop better solutions to tough problems, faster?
Go beyond “Six-Sigma” and “incremental improvement”?
Have a real reason to learn as much as you can?

For Now

Students & Teachers don’t know about it

Peers & Competitors don’t know about it

Quietly used by Intel, Samsung and more

Here is how you can get the advantage now:

1.Host an introductory seminar at your company.
2.You pick the evening - 6pm to 9pm
3.Bring your son or daughter


David Troness


I taught a variety of courses within the Technological Entrepreneurship and Management program, but there is a common theme that runs through every course that I teach, i.e. "We can do much better than the status quo. There is an opportunity to create a large competitive advantage for yourself by learning to solve problems better and faster than your peers and even better than the people who will hire you someday."

TRIZ: Taking Six-Sigma to Another Level 
This two-day class is held periodically at the University of Akron’s Polymer Training Center.

Inventive Problem Solving with TRIZ

Engineering Projects in Community Service EPICS originated at Purdue University and is now an exciting new endeavor at Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering. As the “Corporate Innovation Mentor of the Year”, I routinely speak to the classes and provide individual mentoring to some of the teams. 

Working with my friend and colleague, Larry Ball, I have had the opportunity to learn a even more focused way of applying of the TRIZ tools and methods. At the same time, I am providing minor contributions to Larry’s book, “TRIZ Power Tools: How to Systematically Tackle Tough Problems”. You can download a free e-version of the series of books at