Southbeach Notation is inspired by TRIZ, the Russian Theory of Inventive Problem Solving created by Genrich Altshuller. As it has been developed it has found important roles in business and engineering problem solving and innovation. 

Here is the story: 

"We were learning to apply TRIZ in a management consulting and business process change context. We dubbed this P-TRIZ. This was in 2003. Looking through the diverse literature on TRIZ, we noted many notational variations. There were also certain styles of diagrams expected by TRIZ practitioners that all looked superficially similar, but which in fact had no formal definition."

"As we sought to develop a method and tool to apply TRIZ in our work, and because we needed to share the approach with colleagues, we had to develop a common approach. We therefore set about developing ideas for a unified notation. This was originally called P-TRIZ notation. Later it became known simply as Southbeach, mainly for marketing reasons."

"We felt we could not use the term TRIZ notation. At the time, and still today, there are many TRIZ camps who fiercely defend their different approaches. We judged that any attempt to create a single TRIZ notation was doomed and that the TRIZ communities had no appetite for unifying the field."

"After playing around with our P-TRIZ ideas for some time, we eventually coined the term "Southbeach Notation" in 2005. The specification is still developing today. As we applied Southbeach in our work we found that TRIZ diagrams omitted certain concepts we felt were important to management consulting and business process change. Later, we found that these were also important in innovation projects in many other industries.  As a result of these additional requirements, a Southbeach 0.8 specification was published by BPTrends in 2008. Later, Southbeach 0.9 rationalized certain concepts and added a small number of new elements. This new specification was published in 2011, also by BPTrends."

The image below is a photograph of early ideas for the notation as drawn in the sand by Howard Smith and Mark Burnett on South Beach, Miami, Florida. This story later became a marketing theme.