When you live in a condo, you pay a monthly fee and the condo association decides what to spend the money on and who does the work. Having been part of a condo association, I know first-hand how groups make different decisions than individuals would. When you own a home, you have a lot more control over what gets fixed/enhanced and who you hire to do it.
Of course, the metaphor breaks down in the case of the community making a fix and you benefit without paying for it. House ownership is not like that - although I am holding out hope that someone will just show up and fix our garage door.
When you use open source software, there can be several ways to get a feature fixed or enhanced:
- Do it yourself
- Put a bounty out for the feature
- If you are working with a consulting firm to do the overall implementation, you can add this to the scope of the project
- Find a couple other organizations that want the feature and host a sprint
- Partner with a company that sells a commercial software style maintenance plan. There are several open source software companies that are built on this model. In my house metaphor, this is a little like hiring a management company to take care of everything. You pay a little more but you don't have to think about it.