Discourse is available as a fully open source project as of Feb 5th 2013, and that means anyone can install a Discourse instance for any reason. Which is perfectly fine and all 100% part of the plan, but...
Being a bleeding edge Discourse forum install might be a little ... unhealthy and dangerous for the first six months. We have strong warnings for the super early Discourse forum adopters, and you should consider carefully how you'll upgrade over the next few months. We expect there to be significant code churn as we work through post launch issues.
First of all, it is not really advisable to install a live Discourse forum in the first six months after launch. This is at best beta software, and very very early beta. We plan to make tons of changes after lauch in the process of hosting our "rule of three" white glove special friend forums here on our servers. See http://www.discourse.org/buy/
If you are installing it just to play around or test as a developer or enthusiast, that's probably fine. Great even! It's when your forum starts "accidentally" morphing into a stable real-live community that I'd be worried.
For the early adopters, we wanted at least one strong tie to the central hub: notification of new version releases. We can't control your third party Discourse install nor do we really want to, but we need you to upgrade aggressively particularly early on. We now have "ping the discourse hub for version update info" to make it easy(ish) for Discourse installs to stay up to date! Just check your
/admin/ panel for details.
Our "rule of three" hosted forums won't have these problems because they will be getting special white glove treatment from us. We will of course support third-party installs via http://meta.discourse.org topics, but people should know what they're getting into if they set up a forum on day zero of our release and expect everything to go smoothly -- this is brand new software, and although we've worked hard over the last 8 months to make it awesome, there are inevitably going to be a lot, and I mean a LOT LOT, of rough edges.. that we feverishly polish away for the first 6 months after release.
Bottom line: expect pain, and lots of it, if you actually deploy a forum on the current bleeding edge Discourse beta code.