In 2001, I was a one-man band, earning $10,000 a year with a small start-up called Vertical Horizons Computer Services. Not bad, considering I was a 15-year-old kid. I didn’t have a driver’s license yet so one of the prerequisites of hiring me was that you had to come pick me up. That was kind of inconvenient.
I took on my first employee in 2003 and by 2005 we moved into a new office and were making a decent living. By this time we were calling ourselves Valley ComputerWorks. I had a license and we even had a customized car, so things were looking up. By 2010, we had 17 employees and billings over one million. That was a pretty big turning point. We knew we were on our way.
That’s when Paragus was born. Valley ComputerWorks was too long a name and it didn’t really reflect the personality of the company. Paragus, then and now, is a fun, exciting place to work. Valley Computer Works sounded square. It also made us seem like a local, small potatoes shop. We were looking for something that reflected where we came from but didn’t limit our expansion. We also wanted something that sounded cool. After a series of rejected names (including Butter and, um, S.H. IT), we settled on Paragus.
Operating out of Hadley, Massachusetts (with techs spread out over Massachusetts and Connecticut), Paragus provides business computer service, computer consulting, information technology support and other proactive services to companies from Brattleboro, Vermont to Windsor Locks, Connecticut. Our service area includes the knowledge corridor communities of Amherst, Northampton, Holyoke and Springfield, Massachusetts. We have a fleet of customized Mini Coopers and Prii (yes, that’s the plural of Prius) that can be seen all over the Valley, a real triumph for a guy who started out with no car at all.
In the past couple of years, Paragus has become the leading IT firm in the region, with a wide roster of business clients and the best tech talent in the area on our team. We have 50+ employees and counting. The key to Paragus’s success is giving our clients a small business feel with big company resources. We also believe in having fun.
It’s too much of a cliché to say that we work hard and play hard at Paragus. We do work hard, sure. But it’s more accurate to say that we try to infuse genuine fun and excitement into every aspect of our work culture.
“Take Fun Seriously” is one of the company values we have prominently displayed on our walls and it’s one of the most important. We believe that having fun and enjoying what you do every day builds community and brings a stronger sense of dedication and purpose to your work.
Basically it all comes down to making stuff happen. A big part of the work we do for our clients involves thinking creatively, making decisions and providing solutions. We take the same approach to everything we do. Somebody has a crazy idea to bring in “Nature Boy” Ric Flair for an event? Sure, let’s do it. Rent out the MassMutual Center and teach people the fine art of curling? Build a giant weathervane of our logo and put it on top of our office building? Let’s make it happen.
The culture we’ve developed at Paragus is why we enjoy working together so much. And we think it has a big effect on clients wanting to work with us.
Take a look at our office. We wanted to create an environment that our staff and clients looked forward to coming to every day. And it’s not just about our pub with craft beer on tap or the dogs running around or Delcie’s glasses. The entire space is designed for maximum productivity, inspiration and fun.