The behaviour of "Linux" (all the distributions and kernels) as a whole is exactly the same behaviour you see in companies with poor management. Everyone is working on stuff, and maybe even working hard, but all those things don't add up to the whole. There's no 1 person over-seeing it all to ensure everyone is working smart, and in the same direction.
And the outcome is pretty good as Linux runs on every computer available to this day, be it embedded or phones or HPC. So I don't understand what you mean by poor management, are they able to do that in poor management companies?
To me, this is what is happening with Linux. Everyone has ideas, and some of those ideas are great, but when everyone can fork and create and merge without an overall management process, you end up with a bit of a mess and mass confusion for those on the "outside."
You're just new to this: Free Software is like that since it started, what you say is laughable to people used to FOSS. You talk like you just discovered FOSS.
This is both the advantage (choice) and disadvantage (lack of alignment) with Linux. Should I use Gnome or KDE or Unity? Do I even know what those are as a end-user? Should I?
What I get OSX, I know what I get. When I get Windows, it's the same.
Should you use Windows or OSX? Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, Windows Server 2008?
When you get Ubuntu, you know what you get just as much as when you get OSX, you even can test it without installing anything.
You're juste spewing fallacies here.
Everything (mostly) from the previous version will work with this version, the interface isn't some massive surprise, etc (which is partially why Windows 8 was such a fiasco; things WEREN'T compatible and the UI was totally different).
You must be young as what you say is patently false, especially in Windows. Nearly everything I learned in Windows 98 was made useless when Windows XP came, including most of my work environment. I can say the same with Windows NT to Windows Server 2003. While nearly everything I learned in school on Unix 20 years ago is still usable today on Linux which is not even Unix.
At the end of the day, what needs to happen is exactly what most Linux devs hate the most: a large corporation with 1 vision needs to come in and create a clean, uniform experience that allows consistency and compatibility for years/decades, and reduces "choice" to a degree in order to provide consistency.
To some degree, you can argue RedHat did this a bit, especially with packages, but everyone hates on them too now..
This is what distro do, it's nothing new, it's just you discovering it now, but everything you're saying has already been done and evolved since then.