Genrikh Saulovich Altshuller was a unique person.
He was unique not just because he developed an amazing science.
He was unique because he never asked for anything in return.
He never said, "Give to me."
He always said, "Take this."
My first introduction to his science was in 1961. In a remote construction site, the Bratsk Hydropower station in Siberia, I read his first book, "How to Learn to Invent." My first encounter with Altshuller was 27 seven years later, in 1988, when I sent him a letter asking for his permission to translate his book, "Algorithm of Innovation." In return, he sent me a package of six books published over the last 15 years. Among these books was "And Suddenly the Inventor Appeared," published in 1987 under his pen name, G. Altov. This book made a tremendous impression on me, and I decided that it would be the best book for Westerners to read. I asked Altshuller for his permission to translate it into English.
Within a year, in 1989, one of Altshuller's disciples and followers, Isac Bukhman, from Riga Latvia, USSR brought to me a paper from Altshuller. This paper was supposed to permit me to translate and publish this book. The surprise was that there was nothing written on the paper except his signature and the stamp of the TRIZ Association. I asked Isac, "What does this mean?" He answered, "Altshuller said that I can write on this paper whatever I feel is right."
He trusted me. Even though he didn't know me, he did not think about himself. He blindly gave his permission, believing that I would do it honestly, that I would treat him fairly. I have never forgotten, nor will I ever forget, this act of selflessness.
Two days before his passing, we spoke about his Institute, here in America. I told him that people from all over the world have expressed a desire to participate in its formation and to become active members. He was very excited and pleased with its progress, and asked me to keep him informed.
In tribute to his memory and to his contribution to mankind, I promise to work diligently to insure that the Altshuller Institute is a success. We will carry out the mandate of making the Altshuller Institute for TRIZ Studies the recognized focal point and standard bearer of technical creativity. We will strive to insure that TRIZ is accepted as a science, and that Genrikh Altshuller is globally recognized as its founder. -- by Lev Shulyak, TRIZ Master and a Founder of Altshuller Institute