Keith Patterson

contemplating world domination

A right-brain on the loose in a left-brain world

Hi. I’m Keith Patterson. I’ve had the good fortune to collaborate with Susan Scrupski in a wide range of creative and strategic endeavors. Recently, the planets aligned and presented the opportunity to work together again—this time starting a creative services boutique firm.

Writing to engage, inform, and entertain techies and other humans has been my beat since undergraduate days, when I wrote stories and served as editor of Voodoo, the MIT monthly humor magazine.

Like many MIT graduates, my first jobs were in the computer industry—product management at Digital Equipment, and then Four Phase Systems in Silicon Valley. I gained a solid footing in B2B technology marketing, but my creative side needed nurturing. Fortunately, tech-savvy individuals with a creative bent were in demand, and I made the leap into the world of high tech marketing agencies as a copywriter at Regis McKenna.

I learned the craft by creating advertising—mostly for tech accounts—at ad agency gigs, including Creative Director for Ketchum’s San Francisco technology shop. Working on all those startup businesses was contagious, so I co-founded the Patterson & Glen agency with a college friend. We rode the video game wave into a quick acquisition by Madison Avenue agency DMB&B, and suddenly I was back working for “the man.”

I soon returned to entrepreneurial life, starting KPA Advertising in Silicon Valley, later adding an office in Santa Monica. Our clients included Kao, TRW, Lucasfilm Games, Pioneer, Xerox, many startups, and CMP Publications—which is where I first met Susan. We were placing a lot of ads in CMP’s Computer Systems News, where Susan was heading up marketing. Apparently she liked our our work, because we were soon invited to join their agency roster.

When the Internet arrived, I saw an opportunity for a new agency model—web design and marketing. I teamed with an outstanding designer and a genius kid programmer to start AdScience. We built and promoted websites for B2B and consumer clients, our flagship being the Microsoft Windows CE business. We obtained a steady flow of desirable clients by trading creative concept ideas to a leading public relations firm and a popular technology conference in return for business referrals—a partnership model that never gets old.

Along the way, the AdScience team created and marketed an innovative product of our own. Forrester Research described our ‘wikis on workflow’ software as “moving the goalposts for business process management vendors,” and Gartner named us a “cool vendor in the high performance workspace.” We licensed our creation to an enterprise software firm that was acquired by Oracle, and to other B2B firms for integration in their branded products.

Prospects are convinced of a vendor’s expertise by their ability to make complex topics understandable.

Return to About Us page