The 'Distro' world is simply overbuilt. In an 'investment segment' perspective it's very analogous to 'brick and mortar'. The 'cloud' is the same threat. Over in the Rant section I've said how I think there is to much ego out there, the kind that wants a corner store on every corner, with their name on it. My advice, buy Walmart, sell Amazon. That is my long view.
For those that don't follow analogies well, I try, but the important factor is called 'catalyst'. There isn't one. There is no viable path for the random distro to take to greatness. The path windows took to get to where it is not available and will never be. The last catalyst in the industry was the smart phone. That one is also over, still in play, but over. The current catalyst for tech is AI, and the developers will be paid via the products you buy. In the same way the windows grew, the smart phone, and now IOT pieces, and maybe your car, people buy products and the software is included.
The next important term is 'scale'. In order for a catalyst to take, it needs scale. The market for windows in the beginning was EVERYBODY. The market for the beginning of smartphones was EVERYBODY, IOT yep EVERYBODY. The potential scale for a distro is 'some of some', or a fraction of the market Linux occupies. The 'Destop' market then is a scale of a few percent, a distro is then a few percent of that. The scale of EVERYBODY is already saturated.
The flip side is the server market. There linux is doing well. Why, because it has paying customers in what is known as 'vertical' markets. The advances in then desktop, the 'horizontal' component, is simply a consequence of the vertical markets. This bleed through from the Red Hats of the world is what is sustaining the desktop. By those people, the desktop was long ago declared dead. That is not the same as not needed, irrelevant, or not worth development, it simply means the desktop is no longer capable of delivering a revenue stream. EVERYBODY already has one!
When I started, one bought software and were given the hardware. That flipped in the early 90's. M$ capitalized the change by bundling with the hardware. Apple followed, died, tried again, died, and eventually was saved by more hardware needs people didn't have, a smartphone. But the point is the same. The sustainable revenue stream is selling hardware. That pays for the software.
Since we are accustomed to this model, OS software in itself isn't so marketable. It needs to be attached to something like hardware, or a service contract.
There will be exceptions to this basic economics. Politics will help as governments buy into open source, I can't remember now, Suse or Slack or whatever that was sucked up into a hedge fund? Could be another Red Hat example, it will dribble goodness to the people. Low cost and recycled, or re-purposed hardware for China, India, Africa, and others could enable a Linux renaissance of sorts. It is happening now, but 'everybody' in the prior examples contributed $50 through purchase to the software side. These future 'everybody else' examples will be more like $2. A very different 'scale'.
So to sum up this gooblygook binocular view from the moon, there simply isn't NEED for hundreds of distro's. It's pure EGO. This is why I focus on Debian, not a 'distro' but a foundation. Arch, Gentoo, Fedora, and a few others are 'foundations', not distros. Ubuntus, MX, Manjaro, and a few others might be a distro. The next few hundred are ego spins. If they start dropping like flies I will consider it healthy. The resources of the Linux community are spread to thin. We need focus.
It seems Mint has momentum, I don't pay it any attention. Zorin is a commendable effort maybe. I say look deeper, middleware projects like XFCE seem to be at risk, they need some love. Many individual programs need the love. All things distro AGNOSTIC are worthy of support. I say let the 'foundations' survive on corporate sponsorship and give personal love and donations to the middleware developers. Let the distros die.