The 40 Inventive Principles are the clever ways the world has found (so far) to solve contradictions. For example, one kind of contradiction is that you want something big and small – you might want something small at one time, but then big at another time, such as a ship in a bottle which has to be small to get into the bottle but then big when it is inside. This is typically done using Inventive Principle No.15, Dynamism (the boat folds down small to get through the narrow bottle neck, and then can be unfolded when it is inside the bottle).
Another example is an umbrella, which you want big when it is raining and small at all other times. Contradictions have always existed, and people have always found clever solutions to them. However, what TRIZ has done has catalogued all the ways of solving contradictions and distilled them down into a list of simple but clever concepts – the 40 Inventive Principles! If you want to read more about contradictions and the 40 Inventive Principles, check out Chapter 3.
Each of the 40 Inventive Principles has a number of flavours or suggestions; for example, Inventive Principle No. 1 suggests three ways your system can be segmented. This appendix includes all the Inventive Principles with technical, management and general examples of these principles put into practice.