Open source projects come in two flavors: community project or just an individual project. The binary pattern of individual or collective applies here. But make no mistake: just because an open source project is being maintained by an individual doesn’t mean it’s of low quality or low value. More often than not, it’s quite the contrary. The thousands of packages in deb or rpm format can attest to the high quality of open source projects!
However, to consider its sustainability, there are two main factors to consider:
1. Community – the Linux kernel, Apache, Ubuntu, Fedora, etc
Sponsor – with corporate backing (Red Hat, Canonical) or non-profit foundation (Linux Foundation)
Donors (Financial, Hosting, Infrastructure) – like with the case of Linux Mint, Wikipedia, etc
Without the vibrant community and sponsors/donors to back it up, open source projects are doomed to become dormant. Unless it turns around, of course…