How can development be conceived? The answer, in our opinion, is anything but obvious. This text is intended to seek an answer to this question and to present a number of historical and contemporary examples underlining our views. In general, development apparently is conceived as the expansion of possibilities by a process of accumulating increasingly greater means to advance development. In other words, this is a perspective of mere quantitative growth. However, development is also characterised by qualitative jumps. Thus the question arises: When does a quantitative process transform into a qualitative process? What are the reasons and what are necessary conditions for this to happen? One of the most advanced models to answer these questions is the Five Step Model we present in the following.