The reason why I consider this my perfect software universe is that this balance is not right in either open source or proprietary companies. Proprietary companies shift too much of the profit towards themselves without appropriately empowering the user. This leverage translates to the high margins that these companies get today, but it's not sustainable. On the OSS end, end-users too often consider OSS products as free and neither participate with nor fund the provider of the software. They too often don't consider the fact that software production is hard and costly (in time, dollars, and human capital) and that without some form of return for the developer the software won't be around for long.
Astor: I actually think we're watching it unfold right now: motivated, independent open source developers in coexistence with capitalists, where the developers are reaping the rewards of doing great work that they want to do, alongside business people who want to create capital rewards for that work and share those rewards with the people who created them. The models for how that works are maturing, and are getting better all the time.
Founder and CTO
Spencer: It would be a software development model and world where people who built and used software all benefited from -- and contributed to -- open source. Everyone who commercially utilized the code would in principle have to contribute directly (through code contribution under GPL) or indirectly (through funding open source development through license fees). This is something I attempted to do with Digium. Some companies have found what they believe to be loopholes that allow them to exploit the system to neither contribute directly nor indirectly, but in fact to detract from our ability to contribute to the project. Given the chance in the future, I would try to find a model that made this airtight.
Vice president of open source and standards