Today I have come to a post in Jono Bacon's blog. The post is not actually about the topic of this posts. But it certainly have the text that inspired this post.
Ubuntu is not a consensus-based community. Consensus communities rarely work, and I am not aware of any Open Source project that bases their work on wider consensus in the community. It would be impossible and impractical to notify our community of every decision we make, let alone try to base a decision on a majority view, but we do try to ensure that major changes are communicated to our leaders first (this is something we have been driving improvements in recently). We always need to find the right balance between transparency and JFDI, and sometimes the balance isn't quite there, but that does not mean there is some kind of illuminati-ish scheme going on behind the scenes.
There is a lot of people who does not like the road Ubuntu decided to follow, but for me is actually the road that is leading it to the success where a lot of others failed.
When there is a visionary leader in front of a company or project, and there are resources to accomplish the vision, then this leader should become a benevolent dictator. There is no real need in following everyone's opinion. Actually there is usually no need to even hear someone's opinion. When everybody should be heard, and every opinion should be considered before making decisions, the time is wasted.
Of course I am not saying that this dictator, or dictators, should never listen, because in such a case they will just be losing important ideas. But some decisions should be taken quickly and in a dictatorial way.
Some people wants Ubuntu to follow what they consider is the real path to success, or in a selfish way, they just want Ubuntu to be what they need or like.
Usually there is a lot of noise around decisions that are not really important, and too much people lose time discussing and writing about it instead of helping the project. One of the biggest examples is Unity it is so easy to install Mate or KDE or Fluxbox in Ubuntu, that I really do not understand those complaining guys.
To finish this aloud thinking, I really think that Ubuntu is doing something right. And that is, taking the important decisions fast, and sticking to a plan. I do not know if the path they are following will give them the final success, but I am sure that if the start listening everyone who disagree with that said path, they are never going to succeed.