I'm in Sapporo, Japan, at the New Industry Leader's Summit. While paneling with Scott Dietzen of Zimbra and Mark Tolliver of Palamida, I had time between translation to think of some ways of describing open source phenomena.
The Elephant's Dilemma is when two or more large incumbents face disruption and need to cooperate to get out of the door, one at a time. But their instinct is to fight with each other, while little guys run through their legs (some get squashed).
The analogy proved tough to translate.
It also dawned on me that when Tim O'Reilly talks about how many people use open source if they use Google, that's using open source infrastructure. Firefox is an example of using open source applications, of course. But the interesting thing is how simply using open source infastructure or application contributes value. Although at a lesser scale on the power law of participation, each new user to a given platform is an attactor for developers to contribute to it. Much more virtuous than dancing with elephants.