This is an interesting article with several great anecdotes on business successes that came from seeing the world differently: The Key to Design Insights: See the World Differently.

We can observe the world around us. But it is the insights that empower us.

"Observations are raw data, the gradual accumulation of information that you have consciously and carefully recorded—exactly the way you saw or heard it, with no interpretation. Insights are the sudden realizations in which you interpret the observations and discover patterns."

Instead of running from a fire, a person survives by starting another fire.

Pure Digital released a camera called the Flip Ultra which only had an on/off switch, a zoom toggle, and a USB connector.

Pfizer discovered Viagra during a failed angina drug test.

rocter & Gamble created a whole series of waterless cleaning products when they realised the difference "between what people thought a mop was doing and what, in fact, it was doing [spreading the dirt around]."

"Generating insights like this is really a pattern-recognition skill. In other words, you aren't just reporting what you observe as you observe it. Rather, based on everything you know and have experienced, you're making connections and interpreting the patterns you see."

Thanks to Tanneke for the link.