WELCOME TO THE HOME OF... ME:
Patrick Lee Scott
Want to hear about my journeys in entrepreneuering and engineering?
Hi I'm         
Jeremy Jackson
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HELLO THERE, HUMAN
Are you looking to expand your brain or build your legacy?
Here are some ways I can help you:
Around the Web
HackerNoon  |  Medium    Twitter  |  Facebook  |  LinkedIn    YouTube
Thanks to you all, I know have over 300,000 views on my content across the web! Thank you all!

I frequently publish material on Hackernoon. My more niche material gets published mostly to Medium. Make sure to subscribe to get my latest stories!

I've also been recording some videos on YouTube but I'm still shy and haven't been promoting them!
My Training
GDD (Free at Bottom)  |  DevOps Bliss  |  Microservice Driven
The same education I give my own engineers to get them delivering Cloud Native microservices, fast.

Over 1,000 engineers have subscribed to my free "Getting Dangerous With DevOps (GDD)" email-based daily training.
Upcoming Events
You can catch me at NYC Node Meetups (I'm an organizer), along with our 6,200+ members, or at live workshops and training events! 

Subscribe to my newsletter above to hear about special events so you don't accidentally miss out.
Work With Me
All the ways a top-tier, marketing savvy, technical co-founder can help your business succeed without needing to give away the equity (though you can if you want). 

Check out my Agency for everything from digital marketing to distributed systems.
LET ME TELL YOU MY STORY
tl;dr; I make things for the internet that scale, look nice, and make money.
PART ONE
THE EARLY YEARS
I've been lucky enough to have a computer for as long as I cam remember. It belonged to my parents. My mom used it for her job as a freelance typist, which I loved because it meant I got to spend my extra time with her and see what she does. It allowed her to stay home with us while we were kids as my Dad headed out to work. I saw her on her computer hours a day and naturally, I became fascinated with it. I also was pretty sure going to an office was way less fun than staying at home to play with me!

👶

When my mom got an upgrade several years later, I inherited the old computer full time. As if I weren't on it enough already. And it was slooowwww. In response, I learned to take it apart, to upgrade memory, and to take apart as much as the software as I could. As the internet came around and Malware became prevalent, I learned how to fix those issues too (and everyone else's). I explored registry settings, changed the wrong ones, and reinstalled from floppy disks.

Still, this was the 90's and people still communicated with each other by meeting in person. So I decided to take up playing music as a hobby, too. I just had to figure out which instrument. My best friend Chris who lived on my block played guitar, and his buddies played drums and sang. Bass guitar it was.

There was also something very interesting happening at this time. This thing called the internet was starting to get pretty popular — and I knew my band needed to be on it.

So began my entrepreneurial, marketing, and programming journeys. I admit, as a 5th grader, I didn't see it this way. I just wanted to be famous, and this path was something that anyone with a computer could do. Luckily, I just so happened to have one. Within a few months, we had a website, and the word got out around the pre-teen bands in my small beach town in Massachusetts. I made so many websites that year that when sixth grade computers class came around, I was teaching the teacher about HTML and CSS. 

🤓
PART TWO
THE FORMATIVE YEARS
Unfortunately, life happened, and my parents went through an ugly divorce. It left both of them in very bad places and in dire financial situations. Forgive me for getting a bit personal, but things got bad enough that my mother applied for foodstamps, though she didn't want me to know. I was given the "poor card" that I could present publically in line in front of all the other kids to show I qualified for the cheap lunch price: $0.40.

As an adult I know there is no shame in that, but as a middle schoool teenage boy I was quite embarrassed. This is when I knew I needed to make some money. I'd do everything I could to scrounge up $2.00 so I could pay full price. Mowing yards or any small jobs that I could find.

That's when my friend Keith and I decided we'd start a website agency called "Kult Design". Keith would do the sales and design, and I'd build it with HTML and CSS. We only ever got one customer though, his uncle. We probably should have pushed harded, but people didn't really take two children selling websites very seriously. So, a few years later, I followed my dad's advice and got a job at the local McDonalds as soon as I was legally allowed to work.

My high school had Computer Science classes. I started with Basic in my freshman year, and then C++ the next, and I was in AP Java by my junior year. I didn't fully appreciate how lucky I was, at the time. As I've grown older I truly feel very fortunate that I was able to spend time learning these valuable skills. Many children were, and still are, not able to have this blessing. I'm truly fortunate and grateful for this.

Beyond the opportunity itself, Mr. Montminy was our Computer Science teacher and he was transformative in my life. A true legend amongst men.

During my days at school, any study I had was spent in the computer lab. When I went home, I'd pop in my floppy disk that I carried around and continued. Not only was I amazed at the idea of building tools that would do my work for me, it was also my escape.

You know, that and screaming into a microphone and making a bunch of noise.

🎤👨‍🎤

My junior year of high school is where I was really able to first spread my wings in Computer Science. For our AP Project we were allowed to come up with something we really wanted to make, and then actually make it! I chose to make a copycat version of the game "Brick Break". Brick Break had a special place in my heart as one the earliest games I loved, and I set out to recreate is using Java Swing.

And recreate it I did. I even added an infinite level generator so you could play forever. I backed it all up to my super reliable floppy disk. I managed to keep that floppy disk long enough that computers no longer read floppy disks, and have since lost it, much to my dismay.

So it goes.
PART THREE
COLLEGE
From there, I went on to take Computer Science as a Major, and attended Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston.  

"I'm already pretty good at this computer stuff" I thought, "I guess I'll keep doing that."

I made many good friends and found a new love for buffalo chicken thanks to Il Mundo's in Mission Hill. 

I worked with talented classmates on various projects, classmates who've gone off to build many more amazing things for many different amazing companies such as Google, Microsoft, and more. One of them, my good friend Matt Tschiegg, shared a particular interest with me in highly scalable software systems and design patterns. As such, we did some deep nerding out in a lot of areas that were outside of our classes' curriculums.

Pretty much all of our projects doubled as startup ideas. We could build products, no problem - we just sucked at the rest of the parts back then. To be honest, I thought product was pretty much the whole game. It wasn't until several years and one failed startup later that I learned that product is probably only 25% of a successful business.

Some of our ideas were "Instant Circle" a social network where you could group your friends into circles and a map-based rip-off of Pokemon. Execution is the toughest part of any idea — so despite thinking of similar ideas before Google+, and Pokemon Go, respectively, I was not ready for the opportunities yet at this stage of my journey.

I had a few awesome professors — special shout out to Durga Suresh for helping me out in some tough times. She was tough and effective and every lecture with her produced a mountain of notes. Thanks to her I know Assembly well enough to pass a class, though she couldn't get it into my head easily!

Also during college, I got suspended from housing for riding on top of the elevators, but that's a story for another time!
PART FOUR
MY FIRST STARTUP EXPERIENCES
My first gig out of college was a startup. A marketing startup, to be precise. I was the 8th employee and my job role was "UX Engineer."

For a fun story about my time with Conversen, check out My Journey to Achieving DevOps Bliss, Without Useless AWS certifications on HackerNoon!

I didn't realize it at the time, but I kinda loved marketing. It was my first job, and I was willing to do basically anything involving tech, which is well, basically anything. As a result, it took me several more roles to realize that the first one was such a gosh darn good time because I actually was enjoying my work!

Kevin, Sergey, John, Andrew, and Philip all taught me a ton! I really enjoyed working there and only left once they were acquired and I went from one of 15 to one of 15,000. Around that time a company in New York called and they were willing to pay me almost double!

It looked like it was time to move to NYC — all I had to do first was to pass the interview!

📲

I failed the interview.

But, I was determined. I wrote a long email to the interviewer explaining all of the things I stumbled through in detail and asked to be given another shot. After talking some more, Jason — being the kind and wonderful man he is — gave me that shot.

If you aren't getting the results you want, maybe you don't want them bad enough?

During my time at LiquidNet I worked for a literal billionaire. Want to hear some of his advice? Check out this video below! (Sorry about the background noise for the first couple minutes!)
PART FIVE
MY FAILED STARTUP
TL;DR; It failed.

The reason my company failed? 

I sucked at marketing.

Sure, I was the CTO, and when you think of a CTO’s role, you probably aren't thinking marketing. If you’re gonna start a company, you need to be prepared to wear all of the hats, though. I was not. (Speaking of which, ask me about the innovation technique called "The Six Hats" some time.)

So, I took a pay cut and started building custom marketing funnels.

What better to learn than by doing?

Here's one of the biggest lessons learned from my time at PlusMore: You haven’t mastered the internet until you’ve also mastered traffic.
PART SIX
REBIRTH
I spent the of winter of 2016 in Cape Town South Africa in a beautiful mansion carved out of the side of the mountain. I was retreating from the cold of New York. I was also retreating from life, if I’m being honest.

My company had just failed. $450k of VC money, gone. Lots of credit card debt in its place.

We had a good run. A long one. We spent a lot of time building some really cool things.

The other co-founders got really good at ping-pong. 😝 (I tease - they were amazing! I'm just jealous cause I suck at ping pong)

At least we had an office with a ping-pong table… Emphasis on had. 

Now, we had nothing.

I was the CTO of the project. I was responsible for building some awesome technology. And I did. It was my baby. It had CSS animations so smooth you’d literally think it was a native app. I was good at that.

I was good at technology. One of the best I knew, even.

It was around that time that I sat down with a friend of mine from college named Matt. He was complaining to me about his Google golden handcuffs and how he’d like to quit, but he really wanted his retention bonus so he’d make $500k that year.

“Boo-hoo” I thought, and instead said “How long do you have left?”

“384 days - but who’s counting!”

Obviously, he was. He literally had made a countdown calendar.

We parted ways a few hours later, but that stuck with me.

On one hand, I wondered if I had chosen the wrong path. Google has reached out to me at least a dozen times. They even told me I could skip the phone screen. Now I was nearly broke, having been living on savings for the past few months as I tried to push the boulder that was my startup. I could easily just go work for Google, Facebook, or some other large company like that. 

On the other hand, Matt. Sure, he was making half a million dollars a year. He didn’t seem happy, though. I mean, he made a countdown calendar checking off day by day until he could quit. 

Our company’s designer, Manny — who’s parents paid his rent, and college, and food, and everything else — offered to let me sleep on his couch. “People need to make sacrifices like this to get what they want,” he told me. 🙄

I knew I was very skilled. I knew I could go get some high paying consulting gig. Hell, I even got him TWO different jobs. I’d be damned before I went back to sleeping on couches. I spent far too many days in college doing that already because I couldn’t afford housing! Also, as I mentioned before, I may or may not have been kicked out of housing for riding on top of the dorm room elevator... 

I became lost in my thoughts about how this came to be my reality.

How could I, a skilled systems architect and engineer, have failed to build a tech company?

I eventually came to the conclusion that, “if you build it they will come” is a lie.

The reason we failed was that no one on our team understood marketing and sales, and the fact that they are actually MORE important than the product.

The reason my company failed is that I sucked at marketing.

Sure, I was the CTO. You probably don't associate the CTO with marketing. Again, though, if you’re gonna start a company, you should be prepared to wear all of the hats.

I thought I was, but didn’t know what I didn’t know. I was not ready. And so, it was time to figure out what came next. 

I had just finished reading a book that told me: “If you want to be rich, don’t work for money." The idea was that instead, you should work for new skills. Jobs are for learning skills to use in your own ventures.

Two friends in my network in the digital marketing space happened to be looking for an engineer to build custom marketing funnels for their video training courses. 

I didn’t even know what a marketing funnel was, but I was sure as hell I could build one. AND, when I spoke with them on the phone, they told me they travel about 90% of the time. They met up every few months in different locations, and they had just reserved a $16k/month mansion in Cape Town, South Africa, which I was invited to with my girlfriend if I joined. Oh, and between the two of them, they said, they were making over a million dollars per year selling information videos.

Let me ask you a question… Would you have told them no?

So, I accepted the position. I’d made more money when I was 23 a few years back, but like the book said - “if you want to be rich, don’t work for money." I was more interested in learning how the hell they were making millions of dollars selling information videos.

The trip was not for another couple of months, so in the meantime, they had some websites that were wired up to all sorts of tools: Some custom PHP sites, a Wordpress, some shopping cart software, a merchant/card processor. Some stupid cheap looking tools that put ugly countdown timers on their website, SaaS services that verified email addresses, and more. All of them wired together by purchasing software solely based on whether or not it wired up together easily through some sort of provided integration.

Eventually, the months passed, and I had rebuilt a few of their websites in that time, and a couple of new ones. I built custom analytics, and advanced custom split testing that enabled them to tweak and optimize their website conversions more and more.

Once working with them more closely, I quickly learned their company was much more marketing and sales than product.

I knew exactly what they were doing, and I was amazed it worked.

It felt to me like some spammy email trap that I would stay away from at all costs, except the design was top notch, and there was a video of the CEO at the top called a "VSL." And yet, thousands and thousands of people poured through their site, from one step, to the next, in this carefully crafted sequence of video sales letters. 

AND THEY WOULD MAKE IT RAIN.

So I started to understand, when they say “funnel” they just mean a few different sequenced web pages that lead customers down a specific path. Kinda like a helpful sales associate in a store guiding you through the purchase.  

After a few months getting acquainted with them and their product, I was looking forward to the Cape Town trip. One, because it’s freakin Cape Town and it’s basically the most beautiful place on Earth. Full or mountains and beaches (with penguins!). Two of my favorite things! And Two, because I wanted to use the opportunity to figure how everything actually worked behind the scenes.

And so, eventually, the months passed, and Angelly and I packed our bags and took the 36 hour trip to Africa, and let me tell you, that was a brutally long flight. From NYC to Ghana, to Johannesburg, and finally to Cape Town. 36 hours door to door.

When we landed in Ghana we weren’t even allowed to leave the runway. We were told they also needed to search the plane, as armed military dressed guards boarded the plane and took the cushion off of every individual seat to search under it. Once they left, they fumigated the plane with something they assured us was safe to breathe. 

Finally, after another layover in Johannesburg, we arrived in Cape Town.

The mansion they rented was breathtaking (and not in the same way I feared whatever they used to fumigate the plane was). It was carved out of the side of a rocky hillside overlooking a private beach that only the gated community, LLandudno, had access too. There was an infinity pool and even a cave area under a giant boulder that went through multiple floors of the house and ended as the wall of our bedroom. 

After settling in, I eventually had a conversation with the founder of the company.

I remember thinking: I’m a systems architect. I build complicated systems all day long. If he can sell millions of dollars worth of information products, I should be able to do it for something I know about!

That’s why when I asked “What inspired you to build your company in the first place” and he replied “I just really like building systems.” 

...

My mind kind of exploded.

“Great” I, the systems architect, thought “Systems...“ How incredibly vague. 

Obviously we had a different understanding of the word “system." I was building incredibly complex systems daily. I had built systems that allowed transactions of private equity in dark pools for institutional investors. I was pretty sure that whatever system he was talking about, I should be able to understand and recreate it. 

Turns out, there are a lot of different types of systems. Systems like I was used to, for building and scaling technical solutions, but there are also systems that are designed specfically to make money!

I had been learning the wrong systems.

This is the point that I began searching for marketing podcasts, blogs, experts, courses and anything else I could find that could help me learn how to build these systems — the systems that are designed to make money.

It was time to start my own company again. I wasn't sure exactly what we'd do, so back to the bread winner: consulting.
PART SEVEN
THE ACCELERATOR
 
"Although I've never had a drop of beer in my life, I know more about beer than every other person this room," Eric said. 

Eric Zhao was on stage presenting our project that'd we'd been working on tirelessly for the past three-and-a-half months. He was our "intern" / machine learning wizard from CalTech. I put intern in quotes because although he was only 17 and was officially hired as an intern, he was a core member of the team. I was a great distributed systems architect, but I didn't know anything about machine learning, which the core of our entire company was based on.

We were part of an innovation accelerator funded by Anheuser Busch at $50k per team, which included an additional $25k budget and covered the cost of the different consultants and coaches they hired for the program, including the author of "Lean Analytics" from the Lean Startup series, Ben Yoskovitz. As a consultant for ABI at the time, I knew the co-founder Conrad. He was familiar with my work, so he pulled me on as CTO to build the product, and I wasn't about to pass up the opportunity of being through a real accelerator.

This wasn't my first encounter with Lean Startup processes. I had read the book many years earlier, as well as attended a Lean Startup Machine where my team, before Uber ever existed, came up with the idea of "CabPool." It still within the era of standing at the side of the street and shouting down a taxi, and I lived in the Upper East Side of Manhattan and all the fun things to do were downtown. Others in the group shared my dismay at the cost of a cab all the way across the city and thought it would be pretty great if there was an app that let you share a ride.

Here's the story from my time at the Lean Startup Machine if you're interested – The Importance of Letting Customers Vote With Their Wallets:

The presentation Eric was giving he'd practiced over and over again the past few days. Everyone thought we were crazy for letting our intern do the most critical presentation: The pitch on demo day to a room full of investors, but we had faith. He had actually won the national public speaking competition while in high school, from which he graduated early. I'd heard the speech so many times I could mouth along with each word.

Long story short, he did good enough to successfully raise a follow on round. Then, several months later, also developing a real-time inventory system that could be used on external sites that advertised ABI beers to show when they were available in stock, our project was merged into Anheuser Busch's e-commerce division.

Although it was a successful exit, I still wasn't satisfied. As cool as the process was, it still hadn't really been mine. Something that really bothered me was that I really love my freedom, and compared to the two partners of the information business I'd worked with before, this was not it. That was "mansion in Cape Town free" — this had been going to an office everyday.

The innovation accelerator cemented my understanding on Lean Startup processes, but there was still something missing... 

We were successful, but in my opinion, it wasn't on the same level of what I knew was possible. I'd seen it, I'd lived it, I'd built their marketing funnels even! I knew there was another level to this game, and I wanted it bad. True freedom is creating a company WITHOUT VCs.

But did I want it bad enough?
PART EIGHT
UNBOUNDED
Boundaries.

A lot of the boundaries we have in our lives are not real. They are the results of the stories we tell ourselves. They are chains of false belief that sometimes we can not even see.

It is said that to train elephants, the trainers will tie chains around their legs when they are small, while they can not break the chains. The baby elephants try to run and get stuck as they reach the end and get yanked back. After trying and trying, they eventually learn that they can not break the chains. They live with this belief into adulthood even as they grow strong enough to break the chains. It is no longer their size holding them back. It is their minds.

As humans, we have similar false beliefs.

I think back to when I was a kid driving around in my Dad's car. It had a musty scent from cigarettes that he used to smoke back then. He believed in stability and security, a belief that was passed on to him by his parents who had come of age during the depression. For that reason, he was pretty adamant about me getting a job and himself always having one. He also believed "it's not what you know, it's who you know."

Part of it was rebellion. Part of it was not seeing the proof, but as a nerd I really questioned some of that advice. Although he lived decently enough, he lost his home and his family as part of a divorce and was still getting back on his feet. I knew I needed a job, but it seemed to me that the really successful people didn't have one. They had businesses. This employee thing wasn't for me: I was trying to get rich.

I hated to see my mom and dad struggle. How could I possibly take care of both of them and my future family if I just had a job? He just had a job and that didn't seem to be enough! I knew if I ever really truly wanted to be free, a job wasn't gonna do it. I still believe this, and he still thinks I'm crazy everytime I start some new venture and leave a high paying software job behind.

On the other hand, "it's not what you know, it's who you know" is advice I didn't much care for. Sure, knowing people helps, but if you're a genius I'm pretty sure that will work too! So I set out to know everything, to learn it all. Every time I came across a problem I asked "How can I solve this?" Very characteristic of many other engineers, I'm sure.

This turned out to be a chain holding me back in my life.

I resisted the networking and social growth because it didn't come as easy to me as putting my head in a book, but as they say: "Team work makes the dream work."

I eventually learned that a better question to ask when I came across a problem was "Who?" not "How?"

As in, who can solve this for me, rather than how can I solve it myself?

I already had my superpowers, and I am most effective when I get to really execute on the things that I am great at. For other problems it makes much more sense to find the person who's already solved my problem and let them do it! So turns out my dad was right! Who you know is very important. If you know the right people, you can execute on much larger goals.

This is something all effective CEO's must learn. A CEO's number one goal is to replace himself. Having the right people in place allow you to figure out the pieces that move the needle the most, instead of having to personally solve every problem that arises.

In your life, you'd be wise to think about the false beliefs that you have and ask if they are holding you back from your true potential. Maybe for you it's trying to solve all of the problems as well.

For me, discovering the power of delegation allowed me to remove so many boundaries I previously had. Need graphic design? Not gonna open photoshop, I got a guy for that? Need Facebook advertising? I got a girl for that.

And if you need your startup to succeed, I've got a team for that. Additionally, I have decades of experimenting and figuring out what it actually takes to build companies and systems that scale from a technical and a monetary standpoint.

If you want me and my team to help to build your legacy, head on over to my agency, Unbounded, to check out our services and set up a Discovery Call.
DON'T JUST LISTEN TO ME...
Hear The Word On The Street
"I keep mumbling 'we need Pat Scott' in meetings."
Andrew Grenier
VP of Engineering
"Patrick is the 10x unicorn you've been looking for."
Matt Walters
Multi-time CTO, Technology Consultant
"Patrick is always ready and willing to take on the next challenge thrown his way. "
Maria Lees
IT Director
"One of the best UI developers I have ever worked with."
Mangesh Rane
Senior Technical Program Manager
"Any company who hires Patrick will be very fortunate."
Sudha Valett
Senior Technical Architect
"Patrick's systems are the most automated I've ever used."
Alex Tween
Lead Engineer
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