Mickey McManus is a pioneer in the field of collaborative innovation, pervasive computing, human-centered design and education. He is a principal of MAYA Design and the chairman of the board.
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
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.