Steve Burge

Ecosystems vs Platforms

Stratechery does a good job of distinguishing between a platform (often very closed) and an ecosystem (open source software):

I think there is an important distinction between platforms and ecosystems. While these words are often used interchangeably, I think of a platform as, well, a platform: something that is built upon. In the case of the iPhone, iOS is the platform on which apps are built. An ecosystem, on the other hand, suggests a more equitable relationship: different pieces that work together to mutual benefits.

This is why I love working with open source software, rather than app stores.

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Blues documentary: You See Me Laughin’

From England originally, I’ve lived in the Deep South for the last 10 years.

The South has forced me to change my mind about a lot of things, blues music being one of them.

I couldn’t have cared less for the blues before arriving here. It took a while, but the music has turned my mind around 180 degrees.

Here’s a brilliant documentary called “You See Me Laughin’”, filmed in 2002, just before I arrived here. It’s about the blues players on Fat Possum Records in Mississippi. All four parts are on YouTube: Continue reading “Blues documentary: You See Me Laughin’”

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Never be seen working on the weekend

I’ve always thought of myself as teacher.

But, as OSTraining has grown in the last several years, I’ve found myself moving into the role of a manager rather than a teacher. 

Still, the two roles have a lot in common.

One of the biggest similarities is that you really need to be careful about the behavior you model. For example, I often used to work weekends. Some Saturdays and Sundays, I’d send emails, make site changes and be noticeably busy.

Continue reading “Never be seen working on the weekend”

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A card from Chiara

This year, I had the pleasure of doing some work with Chiara from

Chiara helped redesign our logo and brand at OSTraining.

At the end of the year, we got a card from Chiara. If you’ve ever met Chiara, you know that she has a unique and artistic flair. She put all of that talent into one of the most unique cards we’ve ever receieved.

I apologize if my photos don’t do the quality of the card justice, but I thought it was worth sharing: Continue reading “A card from Chiara”

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Todd Marrone: There’s Not One Correct Answer

One of my wife’s high school friends, Todd Marrone, passed during Christmas.

Todd worked as an art teacher in Philadelphia schools for 15 years.

I never met him, but after hearing the news, my wife was telling me about him. She was showing me some of his YouTube videos, including a TED talk from 2011. It’s a beautiful talk, and from the sounds of it, a fitting introduction to Todd and his ideas about being a great teacher:

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