Brayden Haws

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

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Pinned post from 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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Pinned post from 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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Pinned post from March 15, 2022

A Path to Value

Before we go down the rabbit hole of value, one thing to consider, value delivery is key to product development, it is not everything. In fact we can sometimes go too far in our quest for value. As a foil to my thoughts below, go read this article on another way to think about value in product. My friend Eric wrote it, and it is one of...
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Pinned post from March 21, 2022

Think Like A Brewer

“Does it make the beer taste better?” A helpful analogy for knowing when to build or buy… In the past starting a brewery in Europe was a from scratch proposition. You had to do all the activities you’d expect like sourcing ingredients and hiring help. But you also had to do everything else, up to and including generating your own power...
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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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March 7, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Staring Into The Dip

I've been thinking a lot about the dip lately. I've known that I am there with both learning python and writing. And so fa,r I have been telling myself that it is worth getting through the dip on both. But I've changed my mind today. When I think about learning python, I have big plans in mind. I have projects I want to build. And plan...
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March 6, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Broken Streaks

Streaks get broken. In theory they never have to be broken. But by nature they are often broken, intentionally or unintentionally. It doesn't matter when it was broken or why it was broken. What matters is what happens after the streak is broken. Do you close up shop and go home? Or do you start tomorrow and put the first tally on the ...
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March 4, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Partnerships

Life is full of partnerships. In business. At work. In Sports. In personal relationships. But sadly most partnerships don't work or fail altogether. Why is that? Because most of us focus on what we need out of a partnership, rather than what our partner needs. This week I heard the best advice on how to make partnerships work. Make it ...
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March 4, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Soak Up The Small Stuff

6 months ago, we had an idea. That idea has turned into 200 people. And today, 20 of those people met up. 20 people may not be a lot in the grand scheme of things. But to me, it is a huge deal. In a few years it may not seem like it's a huge deal. But for today, it is. And so I am going to enjoy it. Everyone else should do the same. We...
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March 3, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Quality and Virtue in Ourselves

Another winner from Steven Pressfield today: “In my experience, when we project a quality or virtue onto another human being, we ourselves almost always already possess that quality, but we're afraid to embrace (and to live) that truth.” Great advice for anyone. Something that I definitely need to take to heart. I'm guilty of looking f...
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March 2, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Why Are You Running?

Why are we running? Is it out of fear or love? I came across this quote from Steven Pressfield that talked about the ways to train horses: “Horses understand the whip, but I don't want a racer that runs that way. A horse that loves to run will beat a horse that's compelled, every day of the week.” This is something we should consider f...
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March 1, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: In The Dip

“Over the next few days and weeks, the rapid learning you experience keeps you going. Whatever your new thing is, it's easy to stay engaged in it. And then the Dip happens. The Dip is the long slog between starting and mastery. A long slog that's actually a shortcut, because it gets you where you want to go faster than any other path.”...
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February 28, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Build Some Streaks

Ever since I came across the idea of streaks I have been obsessed. I have been looking for more and more ways to implement them in my life. I have taken most of my daily habits and moved them from a to-do list to a streak tracker. The tracker is simply a table, that I fill out in my daily journal. But making that switch has added weigh...
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February 27, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Keep Going

There are some things I am doing right now that I couldn't be happier with. There are others where I feel let down and even embarrassed with myself. But for the good or the bad, the answer is the same. Keep going. It's the answer to everything. The good stuff will turn into great, and then one day it may become excellent. The bad will ...
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February 26, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Chop Wood, Carry Water

Chop Wood, Carry Water. I first heard this while reading Ryan Holiday's "Stillness is the Key." As soon as I heard it, I wanted it to guide my life. There are several explanations for the origin of the phrase and several possible meanings. The simplest way I have seen it explained is as a Zen mantra. The idea is that you reach enlighte...
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February 25, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: What I Need?

Am I Trading Something That I Need for Something That I Want? I heard David Rosenthal ask this on a podcast, it has stuck with me. Too often, we trade things we want (career success) for things we need (family). It's not that we shouldn't strive for both. But we need to put needs first. Putting wants first might feel good in the short ...
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February 24, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: What Matters Most?

What matters most to you? Whatever that thing is, go do something about it. Prove to yourself that it matters. If it's your family, stop what you are doing. Go give your wife a kiss. And then, go play with your kids. If it's work, create one thing that will take your company and career to the next level. If it's your health, go to the ...
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February 23, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Drive and Protect

I love to push myself. I might even have a problem with it. I push myself to do as much as possible for as long as possible. I know a lot of people who are the same way. To me being driven as hell is something to admire. But if you are going to be that driven, you also have the responsibility to protect yourself. Lately, I have been fe...
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February 22, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Challenge Your Thinking

One thing that has benefitted me as of late is challenging my thinking. Holding up the things I think and believe to an intense light. In some places, I have found that I have maintained my original views. In others, my mind has been changed. But either way, I am better for it. Society today is focused on insulating us from things that...
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February 21, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Give Yourself Some Leeway

Every night I write at the same time. But after spending too much time staring at screens today, I couldn't do it. So I gave myself a break. Went for a drive and then walked around instead. I let myself break the rule of "I always write now." But I still held myself to a standard that I would write everyday. That's what I am doing now....
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February 20, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Every Product Should Be Like a Sound Machine

When I was younger, I had terrible sleeping problems. Despite my best efforts, I couldn't go to sleep. It would be three...four...five in the morning, and I would still be awake, despite desperately wanting to be asleep. I thought this would never change. But then we had a baby. And my wife bought her something called a sound machine. ...
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February 19, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Start a Group

Most things in life are a lot easier with a group of peers. People who you can rely on, bounce ideas off of, and rally together to do big things. But how do you find a group? You could try networking (whatever that means). Look online. Or just hope that somehow the group finds you. But I have found a better way... Make a group. Start t...
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February 18, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Work Hard and Don't Worry

I had to make a tough call at work. My mind was reeling with all the possible bad outcomes. I was hesitant to pull the trigger. So many things could go wrong. But it was the right call. So I did it. And guess what? Nothing bad happened. All the things I spent time worrying about didn't come to pass. Things went as smoothly as possible....
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February 17, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: More on Personal Brand

I said before that the unlock for me in creating a personal brand, wasn’t to create at all. But rather to just be me. And find those who liked me for me. Seth Godin said this better than I ever could in his book, The Practice: ““Ultimately, the goal is to become the best in the world at being you. To bring useful idiosyncrasy to the pe...
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February 16, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: A Middle Ground

I love content. Sometimes I surprise myself with the amount of stuff I listen to and read. And even more, I love to share the things I find. If I get value from it, then I assume others will too. But one issue I run into is I sometimes can remember an idea but not the source. Or I found it online and the sourcing is suspect at best. An...
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February 15, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Beauty in the Ordinary

Every day I take my dog on a walk (usually many walks). It’s supposed to be a break from work and everything else in life. But carrying a computer in your pocket makes it hard to escape. Or rather a lack of willpower makes that hard. So I have been challenging myself to go without using my phone or using my headphones. It has been an e...
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February 14, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: The Practice

I finished reading The Practice today. It was one of the best books I've ever read. And a great follow-on to The War of Art. But before I can tell you why it's so good, I have to make a confession. I used to dislike its author, Seth Godin. Years ago I bought one of his books and started listening to his podcast. I wanted to like him. B...
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February 13, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: We're Going Streaking

I have been streaking a lot lately. On several projects. But I hadn't been calling it that or even thinking of it in those terms. I was just working on them every day, no matter what. But then I read something in The Practice by Seth Godin, that captured what I was after. It seems obvious that the more you do something the better you w...
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February 12, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: What the Hell is a Personal Brand?

When I was getting started, everyone wanted to give me advice on building a "personal brand". I didn’t understand what this was. I worked at a large academic medical center and was in grad school. Both were places with tons of politics. Both were places where everyone cared about how they presented to others. So everyone told me it was...
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February 11, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Wishers, Askers, Builders

I like to think about people in 3 categories: wishers, askers, and builders. Wishers want things and hope they will somehow appear or happen. Askers also want things and are happy to ask others to make it happen. Builders want things and go create them or make them happen. Wishers are often content with dreaming about what they want. T...
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February 10, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Life's One-Way Doors

I hear so much talk of one-way and two-way doors in business. I use these terms every day at work. But today I realized I never think about them applied to life. This is the place where they are more applicable. In business, even if you go through a one-way door and things go bad you still have choices. Start a new company, launch a ne...
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February 9, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: More About Mentoring

I started the year by deciding I wanted to do more for others. One of the easiest ways I have found to do that is mentorship. It doesn’t take much to be a mentor besides willingness and a little bit of time. You might not think you have much to share. But to someone who is getting started, you are a wealth of knowledge. You have seen w...
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