Mickey McManus

BCG Senior Advisor

Mickey McManus is a pioneer in the field of collaborative innovation, pervasive computing, human-centered design and education.

For over a decade, Mickey served as MAYA’s president, delivering above industry average profit margins—year over year—while consistently re-investing substantial funds back into MAYA’s R&D efforts. These investments form the core of a pool of intellectual property, trade secrets—and most importantly talent—that drives MAYA’s agility, adaptability, and success.

To explore this emerging value at the intersection of design, technology, and business, Mickey co-authored Trillions: Thriving in the Emerging Information Ecology (Wiley 2012). The book is a field guide to the future, where computing will cease to be confined to any particular “box,” but instead be freely accessible in the ambient environment. John C. Abell, former New York Bureau Chief of Wired and founding editor of Reuters.com noted that, “With Trillions authors Lucas, Ballay and McManus belly up to the bar alongside futurists Alvin Toffler, Kevin Kelly and Arthur C. Clark, offering a vision so compellingly argued you’ll only be surprised if it doesn’t happen.” David Brin, physicist, futurist, and author of Earth, The Postman, and The Transparent Society said, “Trillions is bold, unabashed, ingenious, and absolutely fizzing with insights about the new-modern process of blending design, high-tech, and commerce.”

Trillions was awarded the Axiom Gold Award in 2013 for best business book about technology and the 2013 Carnegie Science Award in the Science Communicator category.

Mickey’s work has been published in Bloomberg Businessweek, Fortune, Fast Company, the Wall Street Journal, and Harvard Business Review. Mickey is a frequent speaker on the topic of design, pervasive computing, and business innovation, most recently at the Aspen Ideas Festival, SXSW Interactive, Techonomy, the Blouin Creative Leadership Summit, the World Healthcare Innovation and Technology Congress, GridWeek, and AdWeek. Mickey has delivered two TEDx talks—one about design literacy and the other around pervasive computing—and has been a guest lecturer at Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Illinois, UCLA, UC Berkeley, MIT, and Princeton.

Before joining MAYA, Mickey was co-founder and senior vice president of creative vision and strategy at élan communications, an integrated communications consultancy for clients that included Bristol Myers Squibb, MasterCard, Samsung, Nortel Networks, TiVO, and Janssen Pharmaceutica. At élan, he built the creative team that managed the concept, design, and production of the Samsung Electronics pavilion at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia. The wireless telecommunications rendezvous became a destination for more than a million visitors and was listed as one of the top ten destinations during the games.

Mickey’s design awards include a Consumer Electronics Innovation Award, two Addy Awards for advertising and video production, the AIGA Communications Show Judge’s Choice Award, SuperComm Best of Show in Design, and the Exhibitor Award for Best Conceptual Design. In 2010, MAYA Design was named by Entrepreneur as one of the Great Places to Work in the Small & Medium Workplaces category, in addition to prior recognition from Inc. as a Top 20 Exceptional Workplace and Fortune Small Business for family-friendly work policies. Mickey also holds ten patents in the area of connected products, vehicles, and services.


BFA Industrial Design, University of Illinois, with extended studies in communication design and mathematics

My Superpower


Outside of MAYA

You can find me tinkering with my old Studebaker.

Quote That Inspires Me

“If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Books I Love

Pretty much all of them. Because reading is a way to explore lands you may never reach.

Earliest Memory of Using Something High-Tech

We had a Magnavox Odyssey. It was the future. White, curved, clean. It connected to the old black and white TV we had and had color acetate overlays so that we could play tennis on a green field.

First Thing I Built

In seventh grade I made a hovercraft powered by a vacuum cleaner. We rode it around the school gym with a really long extension cord, it was based on plans that I mailed away for from Popular Science.

Blog Posts

Throwback Trillions™ Thursday: The Internet of Things Isn’t About Things
Nov 03 2016 in Connected World

This Trillions™ Thursday we’re sharing some thoughts on IoT from the MAYA archives.

The Biggest Challenges of 2016
Jan 07 2016 in Notes from the Field

We predict that organizations will face two major challenges in 2016: preparing for an unknowable future, and innovating on their offerings to stay relevant in a changing environment.

Dynamic Product Equilibrium
Mar 12 2014 in Connected World

A MAYA Paper by CEO Mickey McManus explores the effect that feedback loops will have on product development in a connected world.

Speaking Engagements

Feb 24 2016

Mickey joined industrialists and academics in India to discuss the convergence of three big technology trends, and what they mean for educators.

Pune Design Festival
Feb 26 2016

Mickey attended one of India’s largest design festivals to explore the impact three technology mega-trends will have on education.

The MFG Meeting
Feb 11 2016

Mickey joins industry leaders to discuss the impact three mega-trends will have on Manufacturing in a connected world.


Mickey McManus Speaks at The Wall Street Journal’s WSJDLive Conference 2016
Oct 27 2016
Considering the Next Space Age
Mar 23 2016

Mickey McManus shares his ideas about space tourism with Wired while visiting Spaceport America in New Mexico.

The Man, the Myth, the Futurist
Feb 27 2015

TechRepublic talks to Mickey McManus, MAYA Principal and Autodesk research Fellow, about his passion for humanizing technology.


Mar 16 2016
Inventors: Lucas; Peter (Pittsburgh, PA), McManus; Michael (Oakdale, PA), Koempel; Jeremy (Pittsburgh, PA)
Nov 22 2011
Inventors: McManus; Michael (Oakdale, PA), Craig; Larry Vincent (Plymouth, MI), Senn; Jeff (Pittsburgh, PA), Koempel; Jeremy (Pittsburgh, PA)
Jul 13 2010
Inventors: Koempel; Jeremy (Pittsburgh, PA), McManus; Michael (Oakdale, PA), Lim; Seung Chan (Pittsburgh, PA)
Jun 23 2009
Inventors: McManus; Michael (Oakdale, PA); Piraneque; Javier (Cranberry Township, PA)
Mar 17 2009
Inventors: Luebke; Charles (Sussex, WI), Pereira; Luis (Milwaukee, WI), Murphy; William (Cranberry Township, PA), Schlotterer; John (Murrysville, PA), Piraneque; Javier (Cranberry Township, PA), McManus; Michael (Oakdale, PA), Senn; Jeffrey (Pittsburgh, PA)
Feb 03 2009
Inventors: Luebke, Charles (Sussex, WI); Sabo, Russ (Sewickley, PA); Sabram, William (Lynn, MA), Ballay; Joseph (Atlanta, GA), McManus; Michael (Oakdale, PA)
Oct 21 2008
Inventors: Ballay; Joseph (Pittsburgh, PA), McManus; Michael (Oakdale, PA)
Apr 01 2007
Inventors: Mickey McManus, Charles Luebke