Brayden Haws

Healthcare guy turned tech wannabe. Doing product and AI stuff. Building Utah Product Guild⚒️. Constantly tinkering on my 🛻. Occasionally writing poor takes on product, AI, and technology.

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June 22, 2024

When AI Draws the Owl

If you have worked in tech for any period of time, you have probably seen this image: It is also likely that you have been asked to do this in one form or another. At some point, we all have to draw the owl. We start with a vague idea or set of instructions and have to get to a complete, compelling outcome. It can be hard. It's uncomfo...
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March 20, 2024

Uncovering Opportunities in AI

The contents of the most important library in the world are unreadable. Not because you lost your library card three years ago. They’re locked in ash and carbon. Nineteen hundred years ago, Mount Vesuvius erupted. We all know what it did to Pompeii, but what it did in Herculaneum is as important. The mud and ash spewing from the volcan...
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March 6, 2024

The AI Treadmill

I was recently poking around with some of my old code. It is a daily newsletter that is AI-generated. It reads the news for the day and then emails me a newsletter of things I should care about as a PM. Even though it wasn’t that long ago that I built this, it is crazy how things have changed. GPT-4 wasn’t out yet, and the OpenAI API d...
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February 18, 2024

Build For Everything Else

As technologists, we spend our lives looking at screens. We go to work and look at screens. We come home and watch other screens. We carry screens with us everywhere. We strap screens to our wrists for the times we can't look at the screens in our pockets. We are surrounded by tech and products, and when we're not it feels foreign. Wor...
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February 5, 2024

AI: Automated Intelligence

I am too controlling of most things to hand them off to AI. For instance, writing this article or writing code. I want my writing to be in my voice and I am still learning to code, so no taking shortcuts there. But, I have found AI to be helpful and practical in automating lots of things. I wanted to share some of these in case they sp...
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January 3, 2024

How I Do Product

This is an attempt to distill down the set of principles that guide my approach to product. I'll be the first to admit that I am skeptical of product frameworks. There is not a one-size-fits-all approach to product management. Everyone would have their unique take on product management. So take what I say here with a grain of salt, but...
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November 9, 2023

The Rise of the AI Product Manager

In the 1980s, AT&T commissioned McKinsey to estimate the size of the cellular telephone market. Their report estimated that at the peak there would be 900,000 cellphone subscribers. That is a far cry from reality, today it is estimated that 85-90% of the world owns a phone. People love to bring up this example to poke fun at McKinsey a...
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September 22, 2023

What Can Product Managers Learn from a Levi’s Salesman?

Jeff Bezos once said that the reason Amazon worked was that customers have an "endless supply of wants." As product managers, we live this reality every day. Customer requests come hard and fast. And they never stop. Amid this overwhelming flood, the instinct may be to build whatever they ask for. But the secret to long-term success li...
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August 16, 2023

I Taught a Robot to Read the News So I Don’t Have To

Newsletters are dead! AI is now the first and last word in the daily news. If you are a journalist or a content creator, it is time to find a new line of work. By now, you have probably heard a declaration like this in the context of every field and every job. Maybe one day, AI optimists will be correct, and computers will do everythin...
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June 20, 2023

A Convict's Guide to Mastering Product Management Communication

You're about to get a masterclass in writing from a guy who spent some time in the slammer. Sounds a bit wild, right? But hold up – this isn't just any ex-con. We're talking about Gary Halbert, a true legend in the world of copywriting. Yeah, his past had its rough spots, but that didn't stop him from creating some of the most killer s...
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May 26, 2023

The Anti-Frameworks Framework

What if I told you that product management frameworks were useless? That none of them works any better than any of the rest. Product management frameworks seem to multiply by the second, there are too many to keep track of. I found all of these in about 20 minutes of searching. (Admittedly, some were taken from my blog, where I advocat...
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May 23, 2023

Why Didn't Jira Have Dark Mode

Right off the bat, we have to talk about the title of this post. Up until I was about to hit publish, it was called “Why Doesn’t Jira Have Dark Mode?”. But as I was doing some last-minute research, I came across an update that they were finally adding a dark theme. Despite them finally doing what seemed obvious, there are still valuabl...
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May 22, 2023

All Smoke, No Fire: The Failure of the Amazon Fire Phone

I have wanted to write this post ever since I found this picture of Jeff Bezos announcing the Fire Phone. As a fan of Amazon’s approach to Product, I've spent lots of time diving into their various products. Their strategy is anchored in the customer. And for each product (successful or failed), you can see the customer at the core of ...
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May 12, 2023

Don't Miss the Boat on AI

Like most of the world, I have gotten swept up in the ChatGPT hype. I was using it a ton when it launched. Using it on personal projects, at work, and looking for ways to incorporate it into products. But as time went on the shine faded. It gave wrong answers, made things up, or I often felt I could do higher quality work without it. B...
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February 1, 2023

Amazon's 3️⃣ Big Questions

Recently the case was made that Amazon has one of the best venture portfolios of all time. It takes VC level swings on projects it self funds. And when they pay off - they pay off big time. Ben Gilbert encapsulated this idea by saying, “AWS is a venture bet in their portfolio that they own 100% of.” In another world, AWS would have bee...
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January 20, 2023

Power, Large Systems, and Data: Product Lessons from an Unlikely Source

Two caveats here (always a fun way to start an article): • I’m not trying to make any type of statement with this one. People can and should each do their research on Ed Snowden. The same thing goes for Joe Rogan. I’m not sharing my opinion on either person just some things I found interesting. More than anything sharing some tangentia...
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January 15, 2023

Beg, Steal or Borrow: The Making of Apple Freeform

In 2006 Creative Technologies sued Apple.The reason for the suit? Apple allegedly stole ideas and designs that led to the iPod. The case was eventually settled for $100 million. In another act of borrowing, Apple added a mouse to their computers after Steve Jobs saw one at Xerox PARC. To be fair Apple did change the mouse up, theirs ha...
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November 12, 2022

How to Compete with YouTube (or Die Trying)

When a market looks homogenous and saturated, how can you stand out? How do you differentiate your product to carve out market share? These were the questions asked by companies trying to get into video hosting in the early 2000's. At the time YouTube had begun to assert its dominance in the space. It was the first video platform to al...
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October 21, 2022

Apple's Music Strategy

I enjoyed this breakdown of Apple’s audio strategy from Aakash Gupta. The level of long-term product strategy and execution at Apple is hard to match. What struck me was the amount of added value Apple drove for consumers by combining products. Any of the products in its music ecosystem (Beats, AirPods, iPhone, Apple Music) would have ...
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October 21, 2022

Executioner vs Caretaker: Amazon’s Opposing and Successful Strategies

In the last two years I have written 46 blog posts. 20% are about Amazon or reference them. I’m more obsessed with Amazon than I ever thought I would be. (My bank account and mailman can verify this). Considering how they have shaped multiple industries, they deserve to have a lot written about them. Experimentation has been core to bo...
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October 11, 2022

Product Lessons from Kevin Weil

Kevin Weil is my newest product hero. He came from outside of product and technology. But hard work, focus, and determination led him to success. At a rapid pace he landed leadership roles at Twitter, Instagram, and now Planet. I had somehow missed his career and product leadership until recently. But once I heard him on 20VC, I had to...
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October 10, 2022

An Algorithm for Career Success

What if there was an algorithm for success in your career? Navigating your career can often feel like wandering through a maze. There are countless paths and options you could take. It's hard to know where to turn and when to choose a different path. With the acceleration in AI, you may soon be able to have an algorithm that can tell y...
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July 12, 2022

Comprehensiveness vs Continuity

Hulu and YouTube are great case studies in why having a clear strategy matters. They are an even more interesting example because they chose opposite strategies. Despite both being streaming platforms, they chose strategies that fit their unique needs and constraints. In the early days of Hulu you were likely to discover that more show...
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July 11, 2022

How Do You Think About Thinking About Product?

This past week I was working through a product problem with a few other people. I knew little about the space. And the problem was a bit abstract. When we started talking I kinda felt like this guy: Starting from scratch and with only a few data points to go on, we spent some time talking it out. After 30 minutes or so it felt like we ...
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May 31, 2022

Business Is War!?

BUSINESS IS WAR! Or is it? This topic causes me to feel a lot of dissonance. On one hand Snowflake and its leader who I admire, Frank Slootman, attest that business is war. It is what drives their success and what has made them a leader in the world of data and SaaS. But, I am also a huge fan of Basecamp (aka 37signals) and their leade...
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May 30, 2022

Why Healthcare Is So Hard

I was doom scrolling Twitter when this tweet stopped my thumb in its tracks. This one story encapsulates the struggle of healthcare better than I ever could. This is why healthcare is so hard. During undergrad, my focus (and the focus of many others) was engaging and empowering patients. We were looking for the key to unlock patient pa...
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May 30, 2022

Just Send It!

"You're not succinct..." "You don't communicate clearly..." "You rambled on and didn't get your point across.." (I know what you are thinking, this is exactly the type of feedback you would want to hear after a job interview.) A few years ago this was what I was hearing. It was hard to hear, but I thrive on feedback like that. When I k...
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May 5, 2022

Feel It Down To Your Bones

When I was 6 I tried jumping my bike off a homemade ramp and hurt my hand… When I was 15 I got hit in the face and my chin split open to the bone… When I was 27 I was at the gym when my bicep ruptured… When I was 31 I fell off a ladder and hurt both of my legs… This isn’t about how clumsy I am (that post would be much longer)… When I w...
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April 16, 2022

Product Lessons from Tony Fadell

There are a lot of product people that I admire and aspire to be like: friends, coworkers, and big names in the space. But for me, the best model for a career in product is Tony Fadell. Among his accomplishments are: the iPod, the iPhone, Nest, and 300+ patents. Having just one of those on your resume would be enough to declare victory...
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April 13, 2022

Do the Hard, Boring Stuff (or How to Build a Platform)

A few weeks ago I wrote about thinking like a brewer, if you want to build a strong product company. But what should you do if you want to build a platform company. You should think like someone providing electricity to brewers. This concept was one of the inspirations for Jeff Bezos and Amazon when they launched AWS. He saw brewers in...
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