Guide to Understanding the Introverted
Create Your Badge
I'm Scott Paterson and I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my wife, Elle, and daughter, Lily Bee. I have six sisters and one brother. I grew up in Rochester NY and went to Dartmouth College in New Hampshire.
Who is this guy?
I was born in 1967 (the sixties) and my first name is Robert but I go by Scott. I was also given my grandmother's maiden name of Vrooman hence my initials are R.S.V.P. I had a great childhood and started playing hockey when I was 5 - I would later re-discover it in College and play through adulthood. I started running in middle school competitively and after spending a year living in France with my mom and going to public school (learning to speak in about 3 months), I started high school and began running seriously. As a senior, I ran 10 miles in 52:14 and the mile in 4:19. Later, as a freshman at Dartmouth College, I improved on my mile by running a 4:14. After that, I had a serious of injuries (back, 4 stress fractures at once in my legs, and my achilles blew out) and I didn't get much further. I tried running for a number of years, but the injuries mounted and the miles dwindled to zero. That's when I re-discovered my passion for ice hockey which I still play three times a week.
During college, I bought my first Saab - a 1985 900 Sedan. I was on the Internet (we had hardwired connections in our dorm rooms) looking for some advice on a leaking water pump and when I posted a question on rec.autos, the responses I got where along the lines of "you should have bought a BMW or a Ford or whatever". Since that was decidedly unhelpful, I decided to create a mailing list just for Saab owners and in the fall of 1988, I created The Saab Network.
In the first year there were about 100 users and the mailing list grew to about 3,000 when the web was born and I took the discussions and created Saabnet.com - the first Saab resource on the Internet. Since then, the site has had well over a million Saab visitors with, literally, billions of hits and millions of pages accessed every single month. The bandwidth was so demanding, I had to have a T1 (1.5mbps) installed at my house for something like $800 a month. Now it resides on a 20mbps connection that costs about $100 a month. I created The Saab Network on my Mac SE which had a 20MB hard drive (the first hard drive I ever owned - I actually started out with a Mac 512KE) and I've been producing The Saab Network site on Macs ever since although the server has always run on Linux (currently Red Hat Linux). I'm a certified Mac fanatic - our household of three also includes three iPhones, 4 Macs, an AppleTV, and a few iPods.
After college I went directly to work for Novell working on messaging software doing technical marketing. Mostly I wrote technical papers for end-users, gave demonstrations, worked trade shows, did quite a bit of public speaking and generally became a know it all on our products. Unfortunately, and sadly this became the story of my professional career, Novell was dominated by Microsoft and while gave up on the messaging, I stayed a couple years longer working on server-based TCP/IP (Internet) services like ftp, web, telnet and others. I generally had a good time at Novell and when I went to my exit interview after I resigned, I really didn't have anything to complain about other than the company going into a tail-spin.
After that stint, I joined Be, Inc in 1996. That was exciting. Be was working on a revolutionary new operating system designed for general user use on Macs and later PCs but also specialized in optimized media performance. The system was very impressive. I did product marketing and again wrote quite a bit, did a TON of public speaking mostly to user groups and any crowd that would gather for a demo - a lot of trips to college campuses - I even got to return to Dartmouth to give a demo. I think the thing that most impressed that audience was that an English major could be so technical. I eventually 'graduated' to Director of Marketing with a team of about 8 people reporting directly to me and I reported directly to the CEO, none other than Jean-Louis Gasee himself. After sadly declining a $200M offer to be bought by Apple (by the way, I love Mac OS X every day, so having them buy NeXT instead worked out in the end for me [not so financially, I admit]), I ran headlong into Microsoft again. We were selling a PC version of the OS, but we couldn't get any OEM deals because Microsoft threatened to revoke their licenses if they bundled any other operating system pre-installed. So, in 1999, with a bleak outlook, I resigned again, but the good news is that Saabnet.com was making a decent living for me so I got to take that up full time.
Jump ahead to 2008 and I discovered microlending. I was so enthralled by my ability, through Kiva.org, to make a $25 loan (as part of a larger amount that was crowd-sourced) to someone in the third world who was poor and didn't have access to traditional credit, but who wanted to life themselves out of poverty by starting or continuing a business. This was a way to give a help-out rather than a hand-out. I was so excited that I wanted to do more than just my own personal lending, so I went through the process to create an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization called, Poverty2Prosperity.org that allowed corporations or individuals who didn't want to have to manage a microlending account/portfolio on their own to donate funds to be lent out perpetually (we call it a perpetual fund). The great news is that repayment rates to date are over 99% and our lending team has made over $2M in loans (11/12).
Just after I started that effor, my daughter, Lily Bee, was born on June 28th. Kim Shu was our nanny for about two and half years and that gave Lily Bee some extra attention while Elle and I worked full-time, but since Lily Bee turned 2 1/2, and since I have a very flexible schedule, I've been primarily taking care of Lily before and after pre-school. It has been the most enjoyable few years and I get so much joy from all the time I get to spend with her. She's the most amazing girl and I write about her all the time on my Facebook timeline just like most parents do.
In 2012, after doing some volunteer work in the area of addiction, I created RandomScreening.com. This site provide a service, mostly aimed at home users, for those that want to schedule random drug tests and receive notifications daily if it is time to take a test or not. It allows families to take the bias out of determining when a drug test is to be taken. Nobody is telling anyone else that, today, they have to take a drug test for no reason or any reason. The software simply says whether today is a test day or not based on the variables (like percent chance for a test to happen on any given day) that the users set.
So, that's kind of who I am and what I do and in my last hockey game I had two goals and three assists (we won 8-5).
Random Scott Photo
Scott's Favorite Links
The Saab Network (I'm the Webmaster)
Scott Paterson | Create Your Badge
Scott's Total Time Spent on the Internet To Date...
Guide to Understanding the Introverted