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Personas & Product Vision

Week of September 9, 2019
Monday, 3:30-5:00 PM
Wednesday, 3:30-5:00 PM

Required Readings

  1. How Many Customers Should You Interview? by Customer Development Labs

  2. Know Your Customers’ “Jobs To Be Done” by Clayton Christensen et. al., HBR

  3. Design Personas vs. Marketing Personas by Stephanie Owens

  4. Product Vision (a classic) by Joel on Software

Recommended Reading 

  1. Lean Customer Development by Cindy Alvarez 

  2. Survey Monkey White Paper on Survey Design

  3. Jobs to be Done by Wunker, Wattman & Farber

  4. Inspired - How to Create Products Customers Love by Marty Cagen

Major Deliverable: Due Friday, 5pm, September 13: First Draft of Customer Research Plan.


  • Persona Warm-up: Choose a product you love - ANY product (digital or otherwise) and using this template, consider the design persona the PM/Founder for that product had in mind. Include the research you think they may have done about that target persona. By 10am on Monday, September 9, post a link to the G-doc with this persona outline in the Assignment Master tab labeled “Sep 9 - Persona”. Be prepared to discuss in class.

  • Read this vision statement and hypotheses about unmet customer needs developed in PM101 in 2017 for Trellis by Osipow, Spalding & Agarwal. Consider how the Trellis team could test these hypotheses BEFORE they build any software. Be prepared to discuss in class.

  • Review our outline for the MRD. Bring to class any questions you have about its topic areas. 


For our lab on Wednesday, September 11, each student should prepare the following:

  • Using the persona template , 1-2 primary personas for your product. 

  • Please complete this exercise individually, not as a team. If your team has already met to discuss target personas and interview questions, it's fine to build on that work.

  • Bring a printed copy of your persona to the lab, or be prepared to display your work to classmates on a laptop/tablet.

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