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Applying the Bee Keeper model beyond captive open source projects

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 …

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