Michael Barry

Michael Barry is a Consulting Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Stanford University (d.School), teaching Needfinding and Cross Cultural Design. A guest lecturer at the Harvard School of Business and the University of California Haas School of Business, Michael teaches the nation’s top students how to connect innovation to new understandings of customers. A founder of Point Forward, Michael has over two decades of experience providing strategic innovation at the critical early stages of the product development process. With a wide range of expertise—from engineering to design to cultural studies— he has restructured research and innovation processes, provided strategic project management, and designed over 80 products, from mainframes to disposable diapers. Known for his infectious energy and enthusiasm, Michael consistently inspires individuals and companies to create new ideas—from abstract theories of consumer behavior to tangible product designs. He believes in the power of “learning by doing,” spending hundreds of hours each year interviewing consumers and experiencing the environments where they live and work. His clients include Sony, IBM, Kimberly-Clark, HP, Merck, Shure, Johnson Diversey, Ericsson, Nestlé, Wells Fargo Bank, Wrigley, and several divisions of Unilever. His teams have received numerous awards from ID Magazine, IDSA, and Business Week, and have been featured in Product Design and International Design yearbooks. In addition, Michael has been a featured speaker at leading business forums including the Industrial Designers Society of America, the Management Roundtable, and the Product Development and Management Association. Michael received his BS in Mechanical Engineering and his MS in Product Design from Stanford University School of Engineering.