1. Walt Disney
When Disney saw his drawings projected on the big screen, he realized animation's feature potential.
2. Dale Chihuly
The glass artist's loss of depth perception freed him to design asymmetrical forms.
3. Steve Jobs
TheCEO has succeeded by priming the dopamine systems of the young and novelty obsessed.
4. Florence Nightingale
It was believed that soldiers died from injuries, not disease, until the nurse saw the death rate drop when barracks' sewers were flushed.
5. Burt Rutan
The engineer has advanced aerospace by building strong but light aircraft, not bigger engines.
A version of this article appeared in the October 2008 issue of Fast Company magazine.