"I've been reading The Bee Keeper (also here in PDF), an
explanation of the relationship between professional open source
software (POSS) vendors and their communities, written by Pentaho's
CTO James Dixon. It is a very elegant explanation of the
development/business model employed by the POSS vendors such as
MySQL, Pentaho, JBoss and Alfresco.
"James uses the analogy of the Bee Keeper to explain the model.
It's worth reading the paper in its entirety to understand just how
appropriate this is but to put it very simply: the vendor is the
bee keeper; the community is the bees; the open source project is
the honey; and the customer is after processed honey (supported
open source software). In order to be successful the bee keeper
must satisfy the customers but also the bees, to ensure that they
do not leave the hive, or sting him..."