A study of systematic innovation based on an analysis of "Big Hits"

Manabu Sawaguchi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


I conducted a questionnaire survey based on the "10 biggest hits in recent years in Japan" as part of my research into features in innovative product design. The results of this survey show that innovative products offer customers "latent functions" that might otherwise escape their notice, and that some of them even solve "technical contradictions" that could crop up in the near future, and hence have a "great impact on society". I think these features offer a direction in which TRIZ could proceed. However, detailed analysis indicates that assigning appropriate weight to the three features selected in this study of "big hits" is productspecific. This leads me to propose in this paper an "Innovation- oriented TRIZ approach", which combines the TRIZ method, marketing techniques and functional analysis in VE to plan and develop innovative products systematically. To apply this approach effectively, I would like to define "the best type of product" from the standpoint of its affinity with this innovative approach. Based on these selection criteria, I surveyed the top 10 hits selected by "Nikkei TRENDY (a magazine specializing in top hits)" from the "30 biggest hits" released in Japan in the last 9 years (2000 to 2008). A "big hit" is defined as a commercial product recognized by many customers for its "new value". " Innovation" is defined as creating "new things" (by Schumpeter). My theory, explored here, is based on the hypothesis that big hits, especially big hits in hardware, carry a high degree of probability to become innovative products.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)183-198
Number of pages16
JournalUnknown Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2011


  • Big impact on society
  • Latent function
  • Systematic innovation
  • Technical contradiction
  • TRIZ

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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