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Problem Solved

Think fast to be more innovative in your branding.

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This story appears in the March 2007 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »

Would you be surprised to learn that the solution to your innovation problem has already been discovered? Welcome to TRIZ--a Russian acronym for "theory of inventive problem-solving"--a scientific methodology that trains you to search out the ways in which your problems have been solved in the past and modify those classic solutions for your current problems.

According to Jack Hipple, principal of Innovation-TRIZ, an innovation consulting firm in Tampa, Florida, entrepreneurs who want to embrace the innovative potential of TRIZ must rid themselves of ego and the belief that their problem is so unique that no one has ever faced something like it before. "Think about solving an algebraic equation," Hipple says. "If you generalized the problem you were trying to solve, a standard equation would solve it all the time." TRIZ is a science that works in much the same way.

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