As we come to the end of the wild ride that has been 2020, perhaps it’s time to treat someone (or yourself) to an awesome gift. We’ve gathered a selection of gifts that are perfect for product people. Some of these are great for those of us who need a little technical upgrade for their home office, and some of these are great for eternal students who can’t get enough learning in their lives.
Of course, everyone needs to unplug and switch off, and that balance is more crucial than ever while our home and work environments are often blended. For that, we heartily recommend some great games to unwind with, or just simple creature comforts that speak to the deep, essential human needs in all of us.
Home Office Upgrades
With so many of us collaborating via screens, the gift of A/V improvements is something everyone can benefit from! If you want a comprehensive walkthrough of how to improve your remote working situation, I can wholeheartedly recommend Joe Leech’s walkthrough of his pro-level setup.
One of the easiest ways to help someone look great on video is to give them better lighting options. If you’re looking for a little stocking-filler, a “gooseneck” ring-light is a very cheap way to level-up your lighting. Of course, if you’re looking for something that gives a little more professional polish, you can’t go wrong with Elgato kit (used by our very own #mtpcon MCs!)
Good audio is probably the most important thing you can upgrade for the product person in your life. Virtual rapport is so much easier with rich, clear audio, and there are great microphones to match pretty much any budget. I personally use the Blue Yeti (no, because the sound quality is great – what do you mean the name is ridiculous?), but Blue have got fantastic gear whether you’re getting started, or upgrading to pro-level audio.
Logitech HD Pro Webcam
A non-mover from our 2019 gift guide – the Logitech HD Pro Webcam is more of a winner than ever before! It offers crisp and detailed Full HD video (1080p at 30fps) and bright images (even if you’re in dim surroundings) as well as two microphones for clear, stereo sound. Of course, it’s now in high demand, but it’s a fantastic gift if you can get your hands on it!
We’ve all spent more time indoors this year than we might have liked, but this has meant a rummage through the games stash for some! If you’re yet to turn to old school entertainment, but like the idea of being prepared, We’ve got some two-person suggestions to get your collection started:
Of course, if you’re feeling the itch to make something, and want a holiday project, build your own game! And learning how no-code platforms can help you to rapidly prototype and launch, is a useful investment in your 2021 product plans 😉.
The classic, the OG, the game that’s easy to learn and hard to master. It’s never a bad time to make like fans of Queen’s Gambit fans and reignite your passion for this classic, universal game of strategy. Even better, a basic chess set won’t break the royal treasury, but it’s pretty easy to find a board fit for a queen if you’re looking for a stand-out gift.
At the other end of the spectrum, we have something that’s equal parts dexterity and tactical timing. Described as hectic, fast-thinking, and highly competitive, String Puck is for those looking for a game played at a faster pace.
This is one of my personal favourites – a quick, lightweight trading that is easy to learn, and blends tactics, luck and subtle bluffing. Jaipur is particularly appealing to product people because success hinges on understanding relative market value and arbitrage (it’s the best way I know of to teach an eight-year old the basics of market economics!)
For Lovers of Learning
The library of a passionate product person is never “complete”. No matter what product management topic you’re trying to learn about, there’s almost guaranteed to be a book on the subject already available, or currently being written. Our own book recommendation page is far from exhaustive, but it’s a solid starting point if you’re looking for some rock-solid options, or just fishing for inspiration.
Mind the Product Membership
Give a product person the gift of community, learning, and inspiration with a subscription to Mind the Product membership. We’re all looking for ways to connect and learn in a time when getting together is harder than ever. While events and communities have had to evolve, we’re still coming together to share and learn.
As a member, they’ll gain access to premium content packed with fresh insights from product pros across the globe, access to exclusive events, conference discounts and more!
Product people are, almost by our very nature, intellectually inquisitive creatures – but everyone appreciates simple, human thoughtfulness. Creature comforts are often overlooked when we think about gifts, but sometimes the most meaningful gestures are those that simply appeal to the senses, or that make someone’s life a little easier and more enjoyable.
Send some beautiful blooms to someone stuck at home – something to brighten their home, and delight their senses. As with so many things, you can now get Flowers As A Service in the form of various subscriptions, and here are just a few that we know of:
Not everyone loves to cook, but most people enjoy a little variety in their meals. When our routines and schedules are all being up-ended, and some of us are trying to look after children, it is – at best – a challenge to come up with interesting and delicious meals every day of the week.
For those of us lacking time or inspiration, there are several services that send ingredients and instructions to make healthy, delicious meals with a minimum of fuss – the two we like the most are HelloFresh and Mindful Chef, but there are several other meal subscription services for you to choose from! Of course, what you’re actually gifting is a hassle-free evening, and maybe an interesting new culinary experience.
No matter whether you’re treating yourself or someone else, this year has been spectacularly challenging for everyone, and social distancing has left many of us feeling isolated. Let’s take this opportunity to prioritise consideration and compassion – whether that’s as simple as our time and a phone call, or a gift to act as a reminder that we’re a community, and that there’s a lot we can be hopeful for in the new year.