Drupal, D7UX, and the 80% minority.
I started writing a comment for this great post Then I thought there are enough comments in there already so I'd rather write my own post.
And also because this is kind of a mission statement about the question: How would you define success for the Drupal project?
The best summary of what happened this last year with Drupal is Leisa Reichelt's blog post: Designing for the wrong target audience (or why Drupal should be a developer tool and not a consumer product), which is a very well written and balanced one.
They say 'We designed for the wrong target audience'. Still that was, or intended to be, '80% of Drupal users', which by any means would be a good target audience to choose. Other people, including Dries say 'The D7UX improvements benefit a ton of people'. And I think all of them are right.
Does it make sense that we are not happy with UI improvements, designed with 80% of Drupal users in mind, that benefited a ton of people?
Yes, it does. But maybe because they are the 'wrong' ton of people. I can guess there's that 80% of users that just download Drupal and set up their blog.
But there's the other 20% that are the ones that build bigger and greater web sites, and guess what: they are the ones that work hard every day to make Drupal. So this was mostly an example of a badly targeted effort on which we were asking the 20% to forget their needs and work for the other 80%. No surprise it didn't really work out.
At the end this comes down to two different ideas of 'success'. For some people success is 'more people using Drupal to build their sites' (more smaller sites). While for some others it is 'building greater things, which may be sites or products with Drupal' (better bigger sites).
I'd say success is 'More people using sites built with Drupal'
And success is also 'More people being able to make a living out of Drupal'
And just in case, here's one for failure too. Failure isn't 'Not achieving your goals'. Failure is 'Not achieving your goals and not learning anything in the process'.