Brayden Haws

Healthcare guy turned tech wannabe. Doing product stuff at Grow. Building Utah Product Guild⚒️. Created the PM A.M. Newsletter. Curated the Patchwork PM Bible. Constantly tinkering on my 🛻. Occasionally writing poor takes on product strategy and technology.

Website | LinkedIn | GitHub
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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February 8, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Don't Wait

Don’t wait. Don’t wait for yourself to be ready. Or for the idea to be polished. Don’t wait for someone more qualified. Or for someone who can do it better. You might not know everything right now. The idea may not be perfectly laid out. But you can figure all that out as you go. So, don’t wait. If you have an idea, then you are ready....
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February 7, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Reset

Life has a great built-in feature. Every night you go to sleep and let everything reset. Each day is new. Each day is a chance to start things fresh. To make a change. To become something different. But these resets can also be a bug. If you reset too often things will never change. You’ll always be at square one. You can’t build habit...
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February 6, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: What If I Didn't Hit Send?

On long days I sometimes wonder what would happen if I didn’t write anything? Would anyone notice if I didn’t send something out? Definitely not. But at this point, I’m not doing this for anyone. It’s all for me. Daily writing has raised my desire to create. And has forced consistency on me. So even on long days, when I’m exhausted and...
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February 5, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Go Build Something

Go build something. Use your hands to create something new. Whether you have tons of experience or none, give it a try. Saw some lumber. Bend some metal. Join some boards together. Get crazy and weld something. Whatever it is, give it a try. There is a joy that comes from creating. It doesn't have to be something incredible it can be s...
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February 4, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Indulge

What do you do after a 3-day fast? Eat a jar of peanut butter for breakfast. And then eat 6 eggs with specialty cheese. Then get a chicken caesar salad with flatbread. Drink some energy drinks and non-alcoholic beer (I had to draw the line somewhere). Then eat some pasta. Then more peanut butter. Top it all off with some ice cream and ...
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February 3, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Clarity

I am finishing a three-day fast. Going in I was seeking clarity. I thought by now I would be seeing the mysteries of the universe. But in fact, I am most thinking about and looking up pictures of french onion soup. While I didn’t find a state of nirvana, I did find another type of clarity. Clarity on what I am capable of. Of what the h...
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February 2, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: A Jar of Stuff

Things don't have to be extraordinary to be inspiring. I recently got a jar and filled it up with rocks from the ocean, sea glass, and pebbles. I keep it on a shelf in my office. Once in a while, I pick it up and look at it. I rotate it in my hands and look at the different contrasts of the materials. It’s soothing and meditative. It a...
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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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February 1, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Tattoos

Why do we tattoo our skin? It doesn't make logical sense. We pay someone to poke us with needles. We inflict pain on ourselves and damage our skin. Why? Because we want to etch life on our skin. We want to carry memories with us. The tattooing process is a snapshot of all things in life worth anything. We have an idea for something ins...
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January 31, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Leave Room For Surprise

We live in a time where you can know anything at any time. I’m one who is guilty of wanting to know everything there is to know about a subject. When I come across a new topic, I will spend hours going down every path, and learning every piece of history. In some things, like work, it serves me well. But it can also lead to some boring...
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January 29, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: They Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

My grandpa had a life devoted to quality work. He spent his career working with his hands and demanded a high standard from himself. When he needed something he would as often as possible make it himself. This ensured it would be durable and up to standards. Sadly, this is not the case for most individuals or companies. The mandate tod...
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January 28, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Chores You'll Miss

It is hard to get excited about chores. The name sounds boring. But they are another form of habit. Habits build us, make us better, and enrich our lives. I try to reframe chores through this lens. In the moment they may seem dull or a pain. But would life really be better without them? An example, every week I have to brush my dog. Sh...
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January 28, 2023

ScratchPad Scribbles: Let's Keep It Rolling

I just wrapped a week of writing a daily blog post. I was inspired to do this after reading that Seth Godin has been doing a daily blog for over 20 years. I first planned to write them daily in my journal, and then if they got good enough, I’d show them to others. But sharing is what it is all about. Sharing brings accountability and c...
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January 27, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Don’t Speak (I Can Read What You Are Thinking)

I didn’t see a No Doubt reference coming in the first week of writing daily, but here we are. (Big shoutout to Gwen Stefani and crew for the Tragic Kingdom album). Much has already been written about Amazon’s writing culture (including a few posts by me). But I heard a fresh take on its origins this week. This entire podcast with Edwar...
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January 26, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Explain it like We Are All 5

During a math class in high school, I found a shortcut to solve a certain type of equation. I told the teacher and he asked me to explain it to him. I muttered and talked in circles, explaining it as unclearly as possible. He said I must have gotten lucky because what I explained shouldn’t work. But no matter how many equations he gave...
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January 25, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: The Process is Enough

I have been thinking a lot about accomplishments lately. Like most people, I have a list of things I would like to do in my life. But if you stop and think about it, how much do the accomplishments actually matter? Not a whole hell of a lot. If I could wake up tomorrow and call myself a best-selling author, or a record holder, would I ...
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January 24, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Mentoring (by any Other Name)

When I started grad school there was a huge push for me to get a mentor. But whenever it was mentioned all I could think of was the Seinfeld episode. I didn’t see how a mentor could help me. Or help anyone. It was a few years before I realized that mentors had been helping me my whole life. My first real mentor was my dad. He coached m...
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January 23, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: Work Smarter (at Your Own Risk)

When people say “work smarter, not harder” they may be leading you into a trap. The smarter version of the work does not always have the same output as the harder version. Working “smarter” can be a way to avoid doing the hard stuff that needs to be done. Sometimes working harder is the only option. If you want to lay a brick wall, you...
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January 22, 2023

Scratchpad Scribbles: When Shit Hits the Fan

When shit hits the fan (and it will) we get to decide how we respond. We don’t get to decide what happens to us. Or the outcomes of events. But we do get to decide how we respond. We can panic. Or be complacent and let life wash over us. Or we can take charge. Make a plan and make deliberate choices. We may not like how things turn out...
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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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