Mickey McManus

Chairman & Principal

As chairman and principal of MAYA Design, Mickey McManus articulates a strategic vision for the future of the company. In addition, he collaborates with our clients to kick-start innovation around business challenges in a vastly connected world, where even now computing devices outnumber people.

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.

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.


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.

Speaking Engagements

VA Tech Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology
Apr 09 2014

MAYA CEO Mickey McManus presents the ArtsFusion lecture on opportunities at the intersection of technology, business and design.

Mondelez Digital Summit in Singapore
Apr 01 2014

CEO Mickey McManus will be talking about when factories join the social network at the Mondelez Digital Summit in Singapore.

Gathering for Gardner
Mar 23 2014

At the Gathering 4 Gardner, a celebration of math and science, MAYA CEO Mickey McManus will talk about about complexity, design and innovation from apples to Apples in his talk Who invented the McIntosh Apple?


Jul 01 2010
Inventors: Koempel; Jeremy (Pittsburgh, PA);McManus; Michael L (Oakdale, PA); Seung Chan Lim (Pittsburgh, PA)
Jun 01 2009
Inventors: McManus; Michael L (Oakdale, PA); Piraneque; Javier E. (Cranberry Township, PA);
Feb 01 2009
Inventors: Joseph Ballay (Atlanta, GA); Mickey McManus (Oakdale, PA); Luebke, Charles J. (Sussex, WI); Sabo, Russ C. (Sewickley, PA); Sabram, William C. (Lynn, MA); Ballay, Joseph M. (Atlanta, GA);
Oct 01 2008
Inventors: Joseph Ballay; Joseph Milan (Pittsburgh, PA), Mickey McManus; Michael Lawrence (Oakdale, PA)
Apr 01 2007
Inventors: Mickey McManus, Charles Luebke