Systematic Inventive Thinking Center

OutCompete LLC




Len Kaplan,Manager
of American Branch



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OutCompete LLC is the American Branch of Think-Tech Center company. It would be wrong on our side to pretend that the OutCompete Innovative Approach is totally unique and was developed from scratch. Not at all. This Approach is rather the collection of thoughts about the ways to deal with unsolvable challenges of our lives. A lot of techniques of OutCompete Approach had been learned from "TRIZ-IL" & "TRIZStorming", from colleagues, mentors and teachers. Research conducted by its manager Len Kaplan, finally, resulted in the natural thinking process.

Why Some Problems Are Unsolvable?

The difference between solvable and unsolvable problem is simple: while the satisfactory solution to the former one can be found easily, the latter cannot be solved satisfactory even after prolonged mental attempts. Henry Altshuller, the creator of TRIZ, discovered that all unsolvable problems fall into three distinct categories:
1. Wrong problems, i.e. ones that shouldnt be addressed;
2. Problems addressed with wrong tools;
3. Dilemmas, i.e. the problems that cannot be solved in the given boundaries.
One simply cannot resolve the problem-at-hand with conventional approaches, if this problem belongs to one of these categories.
Are these problems really unsolvable or they only seemed to be such?

Solving the Unsolvable

Wrong Problem

One can distinguish five types of wrong problems:
1. Circumventing the laws of Nature, e.g. develop the perpetual motion or provide 100% security;
2. Expanding the local problem, e.g. this particular sample of product failed, so lets make a product that cannot fail in this way, while this particular sample was designed for different purpose;
3. Somebodys problem, e.g. I dont like how this machine works, so lets find a better design, although we dont produce these machines;
4. Non-existent problems, e.g. I think, this outcome is bad to other people, lets eliminate it, while nobody cares of this outcome or it isnt bad at all; and
5. Wrong aspect of real problem, e.g. lets make our cars looking nicer, and thus improve their sales, while customers are looking for better reliability.
In real life, all these problems look very similar. More often than not it is difficult to distinguish them without a detailed analysis. Only the 5th type is worth solving, the rest should be discarded as useless waste of time.

Wrong Tools

A problem is a difference between what we want and what weve got, and people usually know how to make necessary corrections, i.e. resolve this problem. Knowledge, experience and expertise provide us with efficient conventional tools to solve various problems.
These tools work OK as long as we adequately apply them to the situation-at-hand. Adequately means that (a) real situation is very similar to the typical situations this tool is designed for; (b) real situation doesnt involve the conditions under which this tool cannot and should not be used; and (c) the tool is applied properly, exactly like it was intended to be used.
Sometimes, we cannot determine whether or not the situation meets requirements (a) and (b). It might happen that some conditions that we arent aware about render the situation inadequate for use of conventional tool. As a result, we use the tool to improve the situation, and get unexpected results. Problem becomes unsolvable.
Sometimes, we face a situation that is beyond our knowledge, experience and expertise, i.e. we dont know what tools should be used in such situation. Our attempts to use known tools dont produce satisfactory results. This problem, as well, falls in the category of unsolvables.
Thorough analysis, accompanied with new, non-conventional tools provide us with opportunity to address such unsolvable problems.


Dilemma is a specific type of problem. Problem is a substantial, intolerable difference between what we want and what weve got. Dilemma is a substantial, intolerable difference between what we believe we shouldve got and what weve actually got.
There are several types of dilemma, and multiple levels of its aggravation. The more aggravated the dilemma, the more discomfort and frustration it produces. Usually, dilemma occurs when the world around us changes so much that our beliefs that worked OK before become inadequate. We cannot notice these changes, because they usually take a long time. As a result, an inadequacy of our beliefs and assumptions, when it overcomes some threshold, takes us completely by surprise.
Since we cannot change the world around us, we have only one choice to really address the dilemma: change our beliefs and assumptions, render them more adequate to the real world. For this purpose, we need to thoroughly analyze which our assumptions became inadequate and what new assumptions are more adequate. Then, the dilemma is easily replaced with common-sense solution.

New Tools

To resolve the unsolvables, we need the new set of mental tools:
1. Analytical approach that:
a. Distinguishes the wrong problems from ones that must be addressed;
b. Determines why conventional tools are inadequate in the situation-at-hand and what tools are adequate; and
c. Discovers which old beliefs became wrong and what new beliefs would be right;
2. Hints that suggest how to modify the situation-at-hand into the new one that gives us what we really want; and
3. Synthetic approach that unites the weak raw ideas into the strong implementable solutions.
OutCompete Approach includes these tools; OutCompete Training teaches how you can master them.




Ours Publications

Author: Alex Chernobelsky
Price: $40 (postage not included), 220 p. Hebrew
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Author: Len Kaplan
Price: $24.92 (the postage not included),  English
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Author: Len Kaplan
Price: $32.50 (the postage not included),  English
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Author: Len Kaplan
Price: $32.84 (the postage not included), English
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Author: Len Kaplan
Price: $18.44 (the postage not included), English
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Author: Len Kaplan
Price: $16.36 (the postage not included), English
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