What's the best...?

What's the best pizza sauce? There isn't one. Best coffee? Nope. Turns out that there isn't a best anything because people are not the same. Tipping Point author Malcolm Gladwell gets inside the food industry's pursuit of the perfect spaghetti sauce -- and makes a larger argument about the nature of choice and happiness.

Without mentioning the term, he's talking about personas.

A persona is a representative buyer or user of a product--an archetype. But most product categories--like pizza and spaghetti--have multiple personas. Not everyone needs the same generic thing; turns out, people aren't generic after all.

What's the ideal phone? Depends on who uses the phone: your sales people want one set of features; your grandma wants another set; your daughter another.

Watch Gladwell's video on TedTalks and then read more in my article, Buyer and User Personas. If you need help incorporating personas into your product management, attend one of our seminars to learn how to use this powerful tool.

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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