Most people are lucky if they can change the world in one important way, but Steve Jobs, in multiple stages of his business career, changed global technology and media in multiple ways on multiple occasions, and that changed the way people live, says Wall Street Journal columnist Walt Mossberg.

For some of us, the notable measure of the Steve Jobs way was how different he was, as a CEO. It is well known that Jobs never managed to grow a stock price, or for quarterly returns, though on both scores he did a better job than most other CEOs in any business.

What was different, really different, was the way he approached product development. Most firms make significant use of market forecasts and research.

Most companies are comfortable asking potential or existing customers what they want, and building products and services to meet those expressed needs. Apple under Steve Jobs did something quite different.

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Apple tried to identify needs people didn’t know they had. Apple created markets, rather than taking share in markets. That’s really different. It’s really risky.

It’s really visionary or arrogant, depending on how you want to view matters. Jobs didn’t rely on surveys, focus groups and research. Instead, he tried to divine what brand new products end users would want, and then build those products. What leading company does that? What company is so relentless about killing its own highly-successful products with better products?

Jobs famously was meticulous about small product quality details. He also wasn’t afraid to leave out technologies most others believed were essential, such as floppy drives and removable batteries.

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