I have had a few successes in the past, but mostly my NPCs come out a little flat. One in particular, though, stands out. Rixin the pixie is the one NPC whose fate my adult gamer friends actually cared about. In fact, when one of the PCs died, we decided to bring Rixin into the party so one of the players could run him as his own character.
By blind luck, when creating Rixin I seem to have followed nine of the ten steps the article prescribes. Take from that what you will. I know I'm looking forward to trying it on purpose.