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Featured on Mar 10, 2011

Scott Carleton

"Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss. - Douglas Adams"


I'm a former nuclear engineer turned full stack web developer. A New Yorker by birth and currently the CTO of Artsicle. After graduating from Carnegie Mellon harboring an obsession with fluid mechanics, I moved into working with atoms. After a good dose of FORTRAN, I discovered ruby and the opportunity to build awesome products for customers. I'm fascinated by how my left brain and right brain interact and with disrupting old markets with today's technology.

  • Title: CTO, Artsicle
  • Age: 25
  • Location: Union Square
  • Contact: @ScotterC

What did you want to be when you were growing up?

I wanted to be a fighter pilot!  Completely serious. I dedicated my life to it.  From age 4 until I was 18, I planned on flying fighter planes for the Navy.  I worked hard, took flying lessons and planned much of my life around getting into the Naval Academy.  It was my absolute dream and I have to say I felt rather empty when I gave it up.  I realized that I was committing a decade of my life to one thing and that I wouldn't have a chance to take over the world until I was in my late 20s.  I had too much to do in that decade besides flying.

We asked a similar question to your co-founder, Alexis Tryon, back in December - What were the chain of events that lead you to quitting your job and founding a startup based on art?

Last summer, I knew absolutely nothing about art.  I had just left my life in nuclear engineering and joined an awesome startup, SpeakerText, as their intern.  Alex had this fantastic idea of a micro-financing site for Fine Art and by August, I was hooked.  In the last 6 months I have seen more art then the average human being and can testify to its power.  It's just like music, without the massive distribution.  There's art that's amazing, but I simply don't like it.  There's art that's fairly forgettable.  But then there's the work that you can't get out of your head.

You leave a lot of answers on Quora on questions revolving around nuclear waste and power. Do you ever miss being a nuclear engineer and do you ever see yourself going back to that profession in the future?

Nuclear power is the greatest discovery since fire.  Hands down.  I'm fascinated by it and love it, but at this current juncture, there is nothing I can do to fix its predicament.  The nuclear industry is in sore need of being disrupted and I fully intend to return when I am in a position to create that disruption.  Long bet: Thorium power is going to be huge in 30 years.

What does Scott Carleton do when he’s not knee deep in code or Artsicle related work?

Two choices. I'm either knee-deep in snow, racing down a mountain or ice cube-deep into a perfect Manhattan.

Ruby Developer, Technical Lead, CTO