What if?

This question was a thought experiment when I was still in high school during history class. What if the Romans won? I am so fascinated by this question that my history teacher once gave and I still use this everyday in my design process. I try to understand how a system works and what the mechanics are. And after this I question myself, what if an element of a system would change?  Would that be more beneficial for others? Would this generate an amazing new insight or product that leads to more profit and consumer satisfaction or is it too novel ?