Doc Searls does a short write-up on the volunteer economy and how it related to parsing out what an eventual Yahoo-Microsoft combination would be worth (less than Microsoft would hope) if Microsoft sticks to past behavior patterns:
The Volunteer Economy | Linux Journal
While the number of real examples of the volunteer economy (or social production as Dr. Benkler likes to call it) are most prevalent in IT, it’s not just an IT phenomena. I would echo Dave Winder’s quote to say that any manufacturer that can embrace the 21st century of DIY will rule the world. Who’s it gonna be?