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. Built SpeakEasy. Constantly tinkering on my 🛻. Occasionally writing poor takes on product strategy and technology.

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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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April 12, 2022

Why Patient Engagement Isn't a Field of Dreams

“If you build it they will come”… Turns out this is true for farmers building baseball diamonds in fields to attract ghosts. But sadly it is not true for providers trying to get patients into their practice. Patient engagement is a case where simply setting up shop isn’t enough. You have to put in lots of work, at every phase of the jo...
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March 24, 2022

10… or 20 Steps to a Vision

Being new to product you want to dive right in and solve everything now. An enthusiastic mindset is definitely a good thing, but it needs to be tempered with realism and thoroughness. One of my product mentors gave me some advice for how to approach product management with this balance in mind. They said “See step 10 (the vision), focu...
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March 23, 2022

Assumptions and Risks in Product Trios

I had originally put this together after reading both Inspired and Continuous Discovery Habits. The intent being to highlight that we have the ability to de-risk an idea, starting from the moment it is conceived. In the discovery phase we do that through assumptions testing. And then assuming something is selected to be worked, we do s...
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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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March 19, 2022

Lead Like Barry McCarthy

Netflix. Spotify. And maybe Peloton? What do these 3 companies have in common aside from having industry shifting business models? It’s the man behind those models. He helped Netflix figure out subscriptions. He developed Spotify’s ad business and oversaw their direct listing. And now Peloton hopes he can lead them to long-term success...
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March 17, 2022

Breakfast with Cheech

Can you learn any useful career lessons while eating breakfast at an airport Burger King? Turns out you can if you mix luck with awareness. In 2009 I left home on a service mission for my church. This story isn’t about how I spent the two years of that mission. It is about one odd event that started it off. I was at the Salt Lake airpo...
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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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January 23, 2022

Shape Up

I’ve been off for awhile with a new baby, but slowly getting back into the swing of things. Look for some new content coming in the next weeks focused on: vendor management, build vs buy, product prioritization and advocacy in product management. But the big thing to talk about today is Shape Up. I just finished re-reading the book and...
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October 11, 2021

Prioritization Methods

Prioritization Methods have been something that I have had a hard time nailing down. It seems like everyone has a different approach and they are all touted as being the standard. Through lots of trial and error, I’ve come to land on Value vs Effort being the best approach. It let’s you quickly determine what to build and how to priori...
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October 6, 2021

Metrics and Ceilings

Two interesting ideas to deep dive on as you grow your product and customer base: 1. What are the North Star metrics and actions you should be tracking in your product? There are nearly limitless things you can track but what you should be tracking are the things that make you sticky. What takes a user to a super user? What makes your ...
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October 6, 2021

Assumptions and Risks

Marty Cagan recently posted about the right "getting started" package of books for those interested in product. And those wanting to become stronger product people. The lineup was two of his books Inspired and Empowered, along with Teresa Torres' Continuous Discovery Habits. I have read the first two and am working through the 3rd righ...
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October 6, 2021

Career Learnings

"Today is August 17, 2021, which marks exactly 40 years since I began my career in tech, as a new software engineer on August 17, 1981. At a milestone like this, it’s hard not to reflect a little on your career, and the broader tech industry... I believe I can recall major learnings from every one of those 40 years." Marty Cagan recent...
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October 6, 2021

More Working Backwards

I wrote about Working Backwards awhile ago. Just recently I heard a great podcast about this concept from Rocketship.fm. Michael Sacca & Mike Belsito interview Amazon veterans/experts Bill Carr & Colin Bryar on what Working Backwards is and why it has made Amazon so successful. Well worth a listen to hear how the approach has worked at...
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October 6, 2021

Challenge Questions

I heard an incredible decision making framework today. Justin Jackson talked about it on the Build Your SaaS podcast. The idea is simple but powerful. You ground all of your decisions in your values and then have a predetermined set of "challenge questions" (my words) that you test your decisions against. These are things like how will...
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October 6, 2021

Watch The Bartender

"Watch the bartender" This was Jack Dorsey's way of explaining Square. They took all the things that interfered with the bartender interacting with the customer and built a product to remove those barriers. Ibrahim Bashir shares this real world example and numerous others related to customer feedback in a packed episode of the ProdPad ...
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October 6, 2021

Inventing On Principles

"If your guiding principle embodies a specific insight, it will guide you, and you'll always know if what you're doing is right... There are many ways to live your life. That's maybe the most important thing to realize in your life, that every aspect of your life is a choice. There are default choices. You can choose to sleepwalk throu...
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October 6, 2021

Working Backwards

“Working Backwards” This was a concept I had heard of before but hadn't studied much, until recently when a friend encouraged me to take a closer look. There are some great details on this approach in the annual Amazon shareholder letters: "'Working backward' from customer needs can be contrasted with a 'skills-forward' approach where ...
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October 5, 2021

Product Leaders

I was late to the world of tech & product compared to my peers; I didn't gain interest until I was halfway through grad school. So I felt like I had to play catchup, I dove in, reading books and taking courses. As I got in the real world I found myself discouraged... what I had been learning didn't match up with what I was seeing day t...
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October 5, 2021

Faith In Ourselves

"One of the greatest weaknesses in most of us is our lack of faith in ourselves." - L. Tom Perry I have this quote written on a whiteboard that hangs in front of my desk, so that I can read it every day. I need the reminder daily, if not multiple times a day, that I can do a lot more than I would let myself believe. It seems to be huma...
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October 5, 2021

My Favorite Customer Insight

My favorite customer insight of all time ⬇ As part of my deep dive into written narratives and Amazon, I have been reading through the yearly Amazon shareholder letters. This summary of the thought process behind the Kindle is mind-blowing. Where most of us would have hard-charged into doing all we could to highlight how high tech and ...
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October 5, 2021

Write Like Amazon

“Speed and scale are weapons and Amazon has already told everyone its secret… if only they have the discipline to implement it.” This was Bard Porter's parting shot in a discussion of how strong writing is the secret to Amazon's continued innovation and success. Since coming across this quote in Empowered I have been deep diving into t...
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