There are some who claim there are too many distros created for silly reasons. Today, one died young, SolusOS. It was created in February:
“SolusOS is a beginner-friendly desktop Linux distribution based on the latest stable release of Debian GNU/Linux. It features the GNOME 2 desktop, a good selection of default applications for everyday tasks, updated software applications from Debian “backports” and the project’s own repositories, a complete set of multimedia plugins, a custom GNOME menu, and an intuitive graphical installer.”
So, someone had a better idea for a default user-interface and installer… They found it’s hard to beat an original (Debian has ~1K developers) and gave up. It’s too big a job to do alone or even in small numbers and one could get a similar result just by publishing a package list. Oh, there is the GNOME 2 thing. I use XFCE4 and I don’t miss GNOME. Some multimedia plugins cannot legally be distributed so that would eventually kill the project if software patents are not killed and it ever rose to prominence. SolusOS was fairly well received on Distrowatch but it takes more than some interest to make a project thrive.
That distros come and go is not a problem for most of us, because there are other distros to which we can migrate. No one weeps that startup businesses fail at a very high rate for similar reasons: too little capital, manpower, niche product, minimal advertising etc. That’s just the way things are. It’s healthy that people make the attempt. It’s a learning experience for them and the world will benefit from better ideas.
Debian has the right idea. Instead of dictating to the user, the distro attempts to be universal, giving everyone what they want.