Wantrepreneur vs. Entrepreneur with Michael McCrary | Ep. 107

We’re excited to welcome Michael McCrary, the CEO, and Founder of PureSpectrum, as our guest for the podcast.

Michael helps to solve business, economic, and even social issues with the valuable data and insights that he provides for companies and organizations. He is joining us today to talk about his choice to take the risk of becoming an entrepreneur, rather than remaining a wantrepreneur.

Michael’s bio

PureSpectrum is a modern-day sample automation platform based in Los Angeles, California.

In 2003, Michael joined Greenfield Online, where he became the company’s SVP of North America Sales. He played an instrumental role in Greenfield’s public offering and eventual sale to Microsoft. From 2008 to 2014, Michael helped pioneer Cint as Managing Director, and Lucid as President.

In 2015 Michael went full time as an entrepreneur and founded PureSpectrum, which is one of the fastest-growing consumer insight tech firms.

Michael’s background

Michael started with market research and data collection about seventeen or eighteen years ago, and since then, he has had a wonderful journey within the market research industry.

The last jump he took just before that was working for the Meredith Corporation in their Direct Response to Advertising group, where he had the pleasure of representing the Mid-West Living magazine. It was not an easy sell to the agencies, however, and Michael had to use a lot of data to support the magazine’s claims about its readers.

Taking the leap

In the early days of Greenfield Online, Keith Price was looking for salespeople, and he contacted Michael, who decided to take the leap. Ever since then, Michael has very much enjoyed working in the industry.

A stimulating industry

The umbrella of the insight industry, in general, is filled with great and intelligent people, and Michael finds it intellectually stimulating to know that the work he is participating in helps solve business, economic, or even social issues.

An entrepreneur, versus a wantrepreneur

Michael spent much of his life as a wantrepreneur, which is somebody who talks about wanting to be an entrepreneur. Later on, he had to decide whether he wanted to remain a wantrepreneur or become an entrepreneur, who is someone who attempts to do it.

Making a tough decision

Deciding to become an entrepreneur is risky. It was a big choice for Michael to make because he is married with three children and a mortgage, so he spent about six months thinking about it before deciding to become an entrepreneur.

A supportive ecosystem

Having a supportive ecosystem is vital for entrepreneurs. Michael’s wife encouraged him to go for it, and he also had the support of his investors, yet he still felt he needed some support from someone who was exclusively in his corner.

A mentor

Michael very much appreciated getting the support of his late mentor, who did not expect getting anything in return for his mentorship.

The dark years

Michael’s first years as an entrepreneur were so tough that he refers to that time as ‘the dark years’.

Online sample and data collection

Michael has spent his time in the industry on the online sample and data collection side of things.


PureSpectrum is a programmatic platform that provides a lot of value to several agencies. It is very nuanced and complicated because it involves many different and exacting technology connections to suppliers. The focus of the platform is on being simple and easy for anyone to use, and on improving the efficiency automation of the data collection process.

An automated sampling platform

PureSpectrum has an automated sampling platform that brings all the different pieces together to change the trajectory of the speed and time in which everything gets done. It saves business owners a lot of time and money.

The future of survey data collection

The survey research process provides data that doesn’t already exist, so Michael feels confident that survey data collection will find a space in the future, as the industry evolves.

The biggest takeaway

The biggest takeaway for Michael in his career so far is to be humble and genuine.

The best thing about PureSpectrum 

For Michael, the most valuable thing about PureSpectrum is the people who work there and their passion.



PureSpectrum website


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Sima is passionate about data and loves to share, learn, and help others that share that passion. If you love data as much as she does, subscribe on iTunes and don’t forget to leave a rating and review!

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