For many young entrepreneurs, starting out on their road to success can take many turns, adjustments in focus, and varying personal and professional missteps. Many of us don’t associate names such as Walt Disney, Abraham Lincoln, Colonel Sanders, Thomas Edison, Bill Gates or Michael Jordan with those having less than a smooth transition to success. But, if you Google those names, you’ll find they all stumbled before they reached the pinnacle of success in their lives.
You could say that Tyler Parrish, owner of Marco Island Computers, was born into the home computer era due to his dad’s employment within the tech industry as an educator. Parrish says that they had one of the first Commodore 64 Computers in their home in Rochester, NY, where his dad had moved his family after leaving Burlington, VT. Parrish jokes that he grew up on “Ben and Jerry’s Ice Cream” as a child prior to moving to upstate New York.
A graduate of Columbia University, his father was an educator in the emerging tech industry. That facilitated a job prospect, and subsequent move by Tyler and his family, from Burlington to Rochester, where his dad and mom lived until they eventually moved permanently south to Marco Island to a condo they had purchased in 1999.
Tyler attended Roberts Wesleyan College in Rochester, where he received his undergraduate degree. While at Wesleyan, he worked part time developing programs that enabled students to register online for their class work, track their progress and other requirements. This demonstrated his interest in and attraction to how to make computers work to accomplish these tasks and requirements.
After completion of his work at Roberts Wesleyan, Parrish moved to Boston. He lived near his grandfather and went to work. He also earned his Master’s Degree in Education and another in Information Technology, ending up teaching for a short time at ITT Tech. He also worked at Prosper IT Consulting, and credits that time with the advancements in his IT skills. “They paid for a lot of training with Microsoft, which allowed me to do more consulting with larger business customers, therefore expanding my knowledge and understanding of the IT world,” said Parrish.
Parrish left Boston behind to join his parents in Marco Island. His father’s long battle with Multiple Sclerosis had begun to take an increasing toll on his health and that of his mother, and Tyler felt he had a responsibility to fulfill.
It was only about four years ago that Parrish truly began concentrating on creating a solid business plan for his own future. Although he had created Marco Island Computers a few years before, it has been over the last four years that he has thrown his heart and soul into it.
Parrish has since built Marco Island Computers to the company it is today. The demographic seems right for his business style: Reaching out and servicing his customers where they live, making house calls, teaching us how easy technology can be, and removing our fears of technology are the main focus of Parrish’s business plan.
Early on in the last four years, some became fond of labeling Tyler Parrish as the “Marco Computer Doctor.” Parrish has taken it a step further by labeling himself as the “Tech Concierge” for islanders. “We relish the idea of taking the fear out of our customers’ minds regarding their tech devices – things like setting up a new printer, showing them how to work their tablets, or linking them up with grandchildren via online video chatting during these challenging COVID days that restrict travel and seeing their loved ones.
“Yes, we fix computers, help individuals to learn their way around the keyboards and guide them in purchasing the right equipment to accomplish the tasks they most want to do. And we assist small businesses with meeting their IT needs and helping to network an office. We do it all,” said Parrish.
Parrish is also about to burst out of the cramped space they presently occupy in the Island Tower at 606 Bald Eagle Drive, and move to a storefront in the Town Center Mall, almost across from Dunkin Donuts, not far from their present location.
The other exciting news is that they are finalizing the paperwork and plans to become a full sales and service outlet for Apple Products. Computers, watches, tablets and phones, as well as service, will all be under one roof in the new store, an exciting improvement for islanders. Training will also be available as part of their responsibility.
It seems as though Tyler Parrish is about to make his mark in a world that not even his dad might have envisioned over 35 years ago when he moved his family to New York.