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Learn TRIZ through Movies - 1


The art of framing a problem in the form of a contradiction (or a conflict of interest) is the core of the methodology of ARIZ (from the toolkit of TRIZ). Often times, the people whom I work with (be it students or employees) have a problem with understanding the concept. This series of posts is meant to clarify this for them. I have decided to use specific movie scenes for the purpose. I draw this idea heavily from a friend of mine ( Today, we are going to use a scene from the movie “The Matrix”.

Some backstory, Neo is initially convinced by his mentor, Morpheus, that he is the ONE and that he’d free the other human beings in “The Matrix”. However, in his mind, he’s not so sure. After a session with the Oracle, he’s now certain that he’s not the ONE.

Now, the scene. When Morpheus is captured by the agents, Tank is about to kill Morpheus by pulling the plug. Trinity, although initially perturbed, realizes that it is necessary to kill Morpheus for the survival of Zion, the last human city. Neo, after taking in all that he’s seen and heard around him, stops Tank at the last possible moment. Tank, annoyed, tells him that he HAS to kill Morpheus.

Now, the contradiction:

  1. First identify the variable - to pull or not to pull the plug
  2. Let’s take one value of the variable - pull - If Tank pulled the plug, Morpheus is dead (bad thing), but Zion is saved (good thing)
  3. Let’s take the other value of the variable - not pull the plug - If Tank did not pull the plug, Morpheus remains alive (good thing), but Zion will be captured (bad thing)
  4. Now, formulate the desired result - Neo wants Morpheus alive (good thing) and Zion to be saved (good thing).


This is what heroes are made of :) They all know what their conflicts are, and always work towards the desired result or they know you will have a boring movie.

Enjoy the scene from YouTube (I am not responsible for any possible copyright violation on the uploader’s part :))

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