There are many different definitions and used forms of open source in practice.
The shortest definition we use is: release the source code to everyone.
To start working this way as software vendor, a whole philosophy is needed in order to make this technical simple step. The paradigm of an iceberg applies to it. What you see is a little link that leads you to the source code, but underneath is the most: the philosophy that you are going to make money with activities around the creation of software and not only by making software.
Examples can be:
- Stabilizing an open source version and deliver continuity by selling SLA's.
- Helping customers by realizing their requirements and passing it back to the community.
- Hosting services.
- Inventing concepts and products for niche markets.
For the philosophy behind open source we use the term: open source paradigm.