Behind the Screens: Meet Scott Nourse
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Scott Nourse recently joined PBS Digital as Vice President of Digital Product Deployment. Before jumping over to public media, Scott worked at Sony Pictures Interactive as Senior Vice President of Product Operations. Learn more about Scott's experience in the digital world, and the many talents he brings to the PBS Digital team.
1. Describe your role on the PBS Digital team.
My role as the Vice President of product development at PBS Digital involves leading a team of talented product managers, engineers and designers through the development, maintenance and support of a suite of digital products aimed at supporting PBS and PBS member stations. In addition to growing and evolving platform products like COVE, Merlin, Bento, and MVOD, I am also responsible for the management of PBS.org, mobile apps, and over-the-top portals for both general audience and PBS Kids.
I believe the PBS product team must think of itself as a support and service unit. If our platform tools are not successfully serving the stations’ needs, we have failed. If our websites, apps and OTT portals are not delivering a user-friendly experience to our viewers, we have failed. We have big changes in store. I am focusing all of my energy on the next generation of our products to improve the way PBS stations reach their viewers. We have a lot of work to do.
2. What’s the best lesson you’ve learned so far working in public media?
Perhaps the best lesson I’ve learned thus far is that most conflicting personal and business goals can be more easily resolved when we re-focus our energies on the overall PBS mission: “create content that educates, informs and inspires.” Our viewers should be our primary consideration in everything we do.
3. Sum up in a few sentences how working in public media differs from your previous positions.
My last job was at a major Hollywood movie studio. Apart from the fact that both Hollywood and PBS are developing content for public consumption, the similarities pretty much end there. Hollywood is driven by the bottom-line, or as they say “putting butts in seats.” For the first time in over 6 years I’m excited to get up for work in the morning. I’m excited that my children can be proud of the organization I work for, and that I am part of a mission-focused team committed to serving the American Public. That is not something I could say when I worked in Hollywood, at least not on most days. There is a whole host of new challenges that I’m facing for the first time in my professional career, and I’m excited to face those challenges because I deeply believe in what we are all trying to accomplish here at PBS.
4. What’s your favorite mobile app?
That’s a pretty tough question. I am constantly downloading apps across all the various categories. Its extremely important in my role to stay on top of what’s new, what’s popular, and what the latest trends are in mobile development. Having said that, I’m a big mobile photography buff, so my favorite app would probably be Camera + (not to be confused with Camera Plus). If you like taking photos with your iPhone or Android you really should give it a spin. I’ve tried ‘em all and I still think that Camera+ is the best app out there for pics on smart phones.
6. In your opinion, what are the upcoming digital trends?
Changes in the digital landscape are happening now at light speed, making it virtually impossible to know what the next big thing might be. 2014 has been the year of the collaborative economy, level-setting of social media, and of course the continued explosion of mobile. These trends will only continue to grow in 2015, along with cognitive computing, virtual currency, and life/environment-centric technologies. We can also look forward to the cloud finally reaching maturity, social collaboration becoming the norm, and the rise of the Chief Digital Officer. I’ve been working in digital for the past two decades. Each year things just seem to be moving faster and faster. Its one helluva ride if you can just relax a bit and enjoy it.
7. What’s one fact about you that would surprise most people?
I went to art school, majoring in fine art. I wanted to be a sculptor and a painter. It was during my time Otis Parsons that I discovered graphic design, and my first job out of college was as an Art Director for a publicity firm that wanted to launch a “website”. That was back in 1995 when I discovered such great stuff as email, Archie, the Mosaic web browser, Usenet groups, and FTP. These things were brand new. We’ve come a long way, baby.
8. What do you do when you aren’t working?
My non-digital obsessions include history, antique books, genealogy and heraldic illustration. I have illustrated over 2,500 coats of arms based on French blazons from 14th, 15th and 16th century manuscripts. You can see some of them at http://www.aspilogia.com . If you want to know more, come see me sometime and I’ll talk your ear off. Be forewarned it puts most people to sleep.
9. Describe PBS Digital in a word.