Don Dodge had an interesting take on the recent acquisition of open-source based company JBoss by Red Hat. He compared the acquisition to the incident in "Tom Sawyer" when Tom suckers a bunch of kids to paint a fence.
Here's what I wrote in response.
I tend to think OSS contributers as amateur sports-men and women. People who play sports on an amateur level are play because they love the game. They know that they'll never have the same recognition like the people who play sports professionally. Just participating is good enough for us.I think OSS developers feel the same way. I think what drives them is the hunch that may be, just may be they can write that great algorithm, or routine, or application that's better than the one developed in a traditional development environment.