You can read about and listen to a musician for years but until you see them live, you really don't get it.
You can read about the beatuty of Rio or Cape Town but until you go there, you don't really appreciate it.
And so it is with open source. I've been reading about open source for about ten years. I've pushed all my companies to move from microsoft to linux, from Oracle to MySQL, etc. I thought I got it.
Using Firefox has cracked open my mind to this open source ecosystem. You don't like something about the product, you create an extension that fixes it. And publish it for the rest of the world to use.
As Kim Polese said at Web 2.0 today, "The rules of open source: nobody owns it, everybody can use it, and anybody can improve it."
I am selling all my microsoft stock tomorrow. They can't comepete with this tidal wave of community based software. It's too powerful.