Microsoft uses personas

"Stan is a hands-on sort of guy. The entrepreneur's day starts at 7:30 a.m., when he gets into work and checks his e-mail. At 8:30, Stan starts preparing for the daily 9 o'clock sales meeting. The rest of the day is a blur of calls and meetings: Stan's banker, his accountant, his suppliers. The chubby, graying 41-year-old usually leaves work at 5:30 with a briefcase full of reports to read that night. Sometimes Stan goes straight home to his wife and two children. But often he goes out to dinner with a client and doesn't get home until late.

Stan may sound like you, or many hardworking small-business owners you know. But there's one important difference: Stan doesn't really exist. He's a fictional character dreamed up by researchers at Microsoft to help them develop Office Small Business Accounting 2006, a new financial-management application that will hit stores in September. "

Read more about Microsoft's application of personas in Getting to Know You.

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.


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