Augie MacCurrach is CEO and founder of Customer Portfolios, a marketing and engagement company that has grown to 40 employees since it was founded in Boston in 2001.
I grew up in New York, I went to college in New York, but I had some family connections and friends in the Boston area. A bunch of my colleagues went to Wall Street because that's what people were doing in the '80s, but Boston just seemed like more fun to me.
I arrived in Boston in April of 1987 and mutual funds were the biggest thing going in Boston at that time. So I became a fund accountant in The Boston Company working on mutual funds.
I had double majored in math and economics in college, so I was always kind of a quant person, I guess. But I got myself a couple of suits and decided I was going to get into financial services.
As a fund accountant, I was pretty much the consumer of certain reports that I would do my books with. Some of those occasionally didn't seem right, and I seemed to have a knack for catching those problems. So then when I finished my regular work my colleagues would ask me to follow up and work with a couple of the programmers to see if we could figure out what was wrong with the reports.
I only lasted at the company for three months before the V.P. of operations approached me and said, “You really seem to have an aptitude for how this system works.” So they asked me to switch to become a business systems analyst and I was back on this computer path again.
That was the whole mainframe world. This was '87, so we had some mini-computers with green screens around for word processing and we had one PC that basically ran Lotus 1-2-3 on it and that's what you used for spreadsheets. But the rest of it was all mainframes.
It's almost 30 years ago, but I learned a lot about software development. Still, I was never totally comfortable there. … When I finally ended up leaving that big company environment I landed at Dialogos as that company's fifth employee. So that's when I kind of caught the bug for entrepreneurial companies.