Best Gifts for Innovators in 2020

Best Gifts for Innovators in 2020

Gifts for Innovators

Gifts for new innovators and entrepreneurs is always tricky. They’re often the quirky, early-adopter types with out-of-the-ordinary needs and wants. We made a shortlist of our favorites this year to add to your wish and gift lists.

Gifts for Innovators in 2020

M1 Mac

Working from home and having our kids on virtual school, for almost a year now, has pushed our technology to its limits.  After a charger failed on an old MacBook Air, we investigated the new Apple MacBook Air with Apple M1 Chip. See The Verge’s review and Popular Science’s review.  We fell in love!  

The Apple-designed M1 chip is a giant leap in CPU, GPU, and machine learning performance.  With up to 18 hours of battery life, the 8-core CPU delivers up to 3.5x faster performance and gives you up to 5x faster graphics for apps and games. The huge SSD storage launches apps and opens files in an instant.  And no more listening to those fans!  The fan-less design offers a laptop with a silent operation.  And if you haven’t had enough Zoom Calls for a lifetime, the FaceTime HD camera with an advanced image signal processor provides for clearer, sharper video calls.  Check out the new Apple MacBook Air with Apple M1 Chip.

Oculus Quest 2

Oculus Quest 2 is an advanced all-in-one virtual reality headset. It offers next-level hardware, all-in-one gaming, and immersive entertainment.  Unfortunately, Quest 2 does require your Facebook account to log in, but with easy setup, you’ll be ready to explore in VR right out of the box.  One of our favorite games is Beat Saber.  While our 8-year old convinced us, with a 50-page slide show, that this was a must have, the Oculus Quest 2 has left an impression that VR is the future.  

Oura Ring

Oura combines advanced sensor technology and a minimal design with an easy-to-use mobile app to deliver precise, personalized health insights straight from your body. Day and night, Oura tracks three simple scores: Readiness, Sleep, and Activity. While you’re awake, Oura captures data that reflects your activity and movement. When you’re sleeping, Oura captures meaningful data as nighttime is the best opportunity to get an accurate read on overall health as your body is in a more consistent state. Check out The Oura Ring for a new way to track your health information. 


Readwise makes it easy to revisit and learn from your ebook, article highlights, and Twitter threads. It saves notes and resurfaces them daily and on demand.  Check ReadWise out here!

Books on Innovation

While dozens of great books on innovation came out in 2020, here are three must reads for 2021.

The Adaptation Advantage: Let Go, Learn Fast, and Thrive in the Future of Work by Chris Shipley is a practical guide to the future of work for leaders and employees.

The Serendipity Mindset: The Art and Science of Creating Good Luck by Christian Busch is about seeing links that others don’t, combining these observations in unexpected and strategic ways, and learning how to detect the moments when apparently random or unconnected ideas merge to form new opportunities. 

Pirates In The Navy: How Innovators Lead Transformation by Tendayai Viki is a step-by-step guide to innovating in companies and reshaping them in the process. The book is for anyone in corporate innovation and driving company change. 


While we’ve rarely left the house since March, when we do it is always in a mask. The Variant Malibu VL-M1 is a washable 3D knit mask that we use, with a stretchable, comfortable fit. The outer layer is tightly knit for comfort, while the inner layer creates a pocket for a replaceable filter. The mask is made of recycled water bottles, has elastic ear loops with adjustable stoppers and an adjustable nose bridge. The mask has a filter pocket and arrives with 8 filters that have been tested using a NaCl challenge aerosol with 0.3 micron particle size. The filters are rated as BFE 98. We don’t know if this is the most innovative or most effective mask, but it’s one we’ve been happy with.  Try it at Variant Malibu.

IO2020 – The New Innovators’ Summit – Video Package

Learn from the best and watch ALL the sessions from IO2020 – The New Innovators’ Summit. Now’s your chance for on-demand viewing of 30+ videos. From NoCode to Lean Startup, find out how companies are leveraging the latest tools, technologies, and trends in startup and enterprise innovation.  At $79, this gift is a steal!  Order Now!

Inside Outside Merch

Support IO’s innovation community through the purchase of an Inside Outside T-Shirt (short and long sleeve), Neoprene Backpack, IO Poster, and Innovation Notebook. These would make great gifts for innovators.  Check out the IO Merch.

More Innovation Resources

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Do you have ideas for great gifts for innovators?  Let us know at


This post contains affiliate links to gifts for innovators that may earn Inside Outside a small fee on purchases.  They do not influence editorial decisions to include mention of any products or services in this article or add any cost to the customer. 


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