12 Holiday Gifts for Product Managers & Makers in 2016 - Design Your Thinking

12 Holiday Gifts for Product Managers & Makers in 2016

Holiday gifts!!

The holiday season has finally arrived and the holiday gifts have started to trickle in! As Product Managers and makers, we are a unique breed – we make products and also love to receive products as gifts. So, do you have a Product Manager friend or colleague to whom you wish to say ‘Thank You’ and wish well this holiday season?

I’ve put together 12 ideas for you to go ahead and pick the best holiday gifts for your Product Manager friend, colleague or partner!

12 Holiday Gifts for Product Managers

I know the person you want to gift could be of different genders, taste and interests. So I tried to put together this list after speaking to more than 3 dozen product makers, of both genders, ethnicities and interests. Take a look!

2016 Holiday Gifts for Product Managers & Makers


1. Amazon Kindle

Product Managers and makers read a lot of books and travel a lot. What better can you gift than an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite to your Product Manager partner or friend? Well, here is what I like about the Kindle – I also get to see interesting portions of the book that are highlighted by other readers.

If you are picking a holiday gifts for someone who loves to read, this is the one. During this Black Friday sale, you can pick up the Kindle Paperwhite at a price point of $99.99!


2. Amazon Echo

Talking about reading and books, the second gift I’d like to talk about is Amazon Echo. This is Amazon’s bluetooth speakers and they are just awesome. If you are looking to get holiday gifts for someone who loves not just listening to music, but also to podcasts and radio, you’ve found the perfect gift in Amazon Echo.

The Black Friday sale gives you $40 less on the Amazon Echo ($139.99) and if you want to pick the smaller Amazon Echo Dot, you could do that for $39.99 ($10 less)!

2016 Gift Guide Tim Ferris 4 Hour Chef

3. Books

Talking about books, the first one was recommended by many product managers. Books make great holiday gifts! The second and third are my recommendations – I can guarantee these will be the best books you’ve ever read as a Product Manager. Here they are

1. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman

2. 4-Hour Chef by Timothy Ferris

3. ASK by Ryan Levesque

2016 Gift Guide Sony Digital Voice Recorder

4. Sony ICD PX333 Digital Voice Recorder

Many product managers in startups and design-led roles, recommended this one – a Digital Voice Recorder! I have used this in the past and they are super useful when doing user interviews.

If you are looking to pick one, here is one that will  do the job for $47.47 – Sony ICD PX333 Digital Voice Recorder. This fits nicely into your pocket and easy to carry with you when you are on the move.

2016 Gift Guide Bose Quietcontrol 30 Wireless Earbuds

5. Earphone

Earphones are another thing that was recommended by many. It’s my personal favorite too (read First 90 Days as a Product Manager to know why!) When we talk about earphones, the first thing that came to many people’s mind was to wait and get the AirPods (just joking! 🙂 ).

Here are two of the best earphones from Bose that you should definitely consider.

1. Bose QuietComfort 20 Acoustic Noise Cancelling Headphones comes at $199

2. Bose Quietcontrol 30 Wireless Headphones, Noise Cancelling is the newer one that comes at $299.99

2016 Gift Guide Muse Brain Sensing Head Band

6. Muse: The Brain Sensing Headband

I’ve found the best way to stay productive is to meditate in the mornings and many Product Managers have talked about getting apps that help do this. I’d like to recommend Muse. I’ve tried this and it does something that just gets you so focused and into the meditative state quiet effortlessly.

It comes at a price tag of $179 during this Black Friday sale. I recommend you buy this for your friend (or even yourself!) if the budget allows you!

2016 Gift Guide Headspace

7. Apps and Tools

Talking about Apps, like I just eluded to above, you should gift the Headspace app! It’s $94.99 for a year’s subscription. Like I said, many Product Managers recommended using this and I’ve used it too (not a lot).

The two other essential tools I’d like to recommend you gift are Evernote and Dropbox. If you don’t use Dropbox today, do signup for Dropbox now. Similarly, if you don’t have Evernote already, do signup for Evernote now.

2016 Gift Guide Amazon Gift Card

8. Gift Card

There are times when we get so overwhelmed with finding a gift. Thankfully there are Gift Cards 🙂 for such times. I’ve gifted these many many times. I sometimes find this to be a better gift than anything else as it gives the person receiving it full control on what to buy.

Anyway, here are two of the best Gift Cards you can think of buying for your friend or partner or colleague.

1. Amazon eGift Card

2. Apple Gift Cards (Apple has Gift Cards for iTunes, Apps and Music separately)

2016 Gift Guide Wacom Intuos Draw

9. Wacom Intuos Draw

If your friend is a Product Manager who does a lot of webinars or has a design background, consider gifting him or her the Wacom Intuos Draw. It’s the best interface one can use to draw or do a lot more things with a computer. It works with Mac and Windows and it’s a favorite for a lot of creative people like artists, cartoonists and visual designers.

It comes at a price point of $68.75 on Amazon.

2016 Gift Guide Mr. Beer Craft Beer Homebrew Kit

10. Home brewing Craft Beer Making Kit

Holidays is synonymous with fun and trying a lot of things with family. If your friend enjoys beer and also loves to make (which I’m sure they do!), I found this one the Mr. Beer Premium Gold Edition Homebrewing Craft Beer Making Kit to be an awesome gift option! Do check it out. It’s priced $43.01.

I know some of you are probably looking for something a little more expensive than the ones we just saw above. So, below are two options for you.

2016 Gift Guide Apple iPad Pro

11. Tablet

One of the most recommended gifts by Product Managers is the Apple iPad Pro! (Out of sheer curiosity) I tried asking them if they would exchange their iPad Pro to a Microsoft Surface, but they didn’t seem that happy with the trade-off.

That said, there were 2-3 of them who did recommend the Microsoft Surface. So, here you go with both of them. Pick one that your Product Manager friend or colleague or partner likes!

2016 Gift Guide LulzBot Mini Desktop 3D Printer

12. LulzBot Mini Desktop 3D Printer

This is the last one in the list, as it’s both, the priciest and the most preferred gift! No, not everyone thought of it at first, but their eyes were popping out when I asked if they’d like to get a 3D Printer as a gift! 🙂 After all this is one that I’ve been wanting to have for a long time 😉

So, if you are looking for one, pick the LulzBot Mini Desktop 3D Printer. This one comes with a high recommendation from the editors of PC Mag and many others. Check it out!

Hope you found the list above very useful – I took a lot of pains in putting this together, because I thought we Product Managers and Makers do deserve something good!

What gift did you pick for yourself or your Product Manager or Maker friend? Let us know what you picked and why, so we get more ideas and share with the community!

Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year!

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