Just recently I purchased a Topfield PVR (Personal Video Recorder). One reason I went for a Topfield was the TAPs. TAPs are C++ applications that run on the PVR to do ... well, whatever you like. The thing that makes the TAPs exciting is that Topfield has made the PVR's operating system kinda 'open' so that anybody can write TAPs, and yep the community jumped in a many free innovative TAPs are now available. I can now download TAPs to change PVR skins, display EPGs (Electronic Program Guides), change how the PVR responds to the remote keys, and even change how the box 7 segment display works!
The thing is that the community comes up with more ideas than the original manufacturer could ever do and provides them for free. The manufacturer ends up with a more valuable product due to community support and the community ends up with more choice and functionality due to collaboration.
What a great example of the 'win win' of collaboration and open system design. Hey, it sold me the product.