tl;dr: I am a big fan of this effort, but have more business than technical concerns when it comes to sustainability of said effort.
I am a small business owner. Just sold my last business that was running WP4.9 and WooCommerce at time of sale. Now starting a new business and new site on WP 5.0. I have tried Gutenberg. It’s OK.
I have researched and tried dozens of plugins and themes in the last few weeks. From visual page builders to writing my own plugins. I am now testing it with the Stackable theme and blocks which do make Gutenberg more powerful. Been a steep learning curve getting back up to speed on all the latest trends. I could live with Gutenberg as a single person business, but I think it’s a bit too young yet. My final decision for v1 will be WordPress 5.0 with Classic Editor and Make theme.
And here is a short list of why I am not jumping on the ClassicPress wagon just yet…
At the risk of seeming pedantic - I have not seen anyone here clearly define why Gutenberg is bad for business. I think it’s important to get that out front. I see that people say it’s harder to use, and it has bugs. Well, that describes V1 of about any software. How about the fact that it turns every user with editor privileges into a site builder, which is probably not a good idea if you want to keep your site from looking like a pre-school art show. How about the importance of keeping some structure to your data? Seems CPT’s work better than a bunch of blocks in that use case. In short, why does WordPress with Gutenberg fail in professional/business use cases? Without noting these failures, and backing with a bit of data, you are just saying yours is better “because it’s the way we have always done it”. That is rarely a good answer for anyone other than management.
Democracy is messy. You still need structure. I know the project is young, but I don’t think you can figure this stuff out on the fly. I see in several posts where getting V1 out the door is more important than doing marketing or other admin tasks. I see that everyone on the core team is acknowledging up front that it will be a bunch of work. Concur. But I also do not see a roadmap that addresses anything but the technical aspects. I think we know that WP 4.9 was usable. So I would rather have seen a CP 1.0 without any changes from WP 4.9 - other than search and replace as required - so that energy could be focused on the CP organization itself. What is the mission and vision? Governance? Business structure? I need answers to those questions before I commit.
I don’t think ClassicPress can (or should) run on donations. If you are going to serve as a “Business CMS” I think it’s important you run the project as a business. I would recommend looking at the Coop business model. I am a fan. I think it’s a good match for Open Source projects that need to maintain a democratically controlled project for members who use it in their critical path. I would pay to be a member assuming the perks were value add. Who here does not pay for premium plug-ins already? Why not pay for premium support of core? I would pay 100 bucks a year to know that there is a well funded staff looking after my open source code base; one that I depend on to conduct business; yet maintain democratic control of the dev priorities/organization. Simple member perks could be: You get to vote, and get access to email support. Otherwise, hang out in the forums and still benefit from those who help pay the bills. Win-win.
In summary, my concerns are more about the projects sustainability from a governance and business perspective. I think there is social and technical merit in the fork. And many of the ideas being voted on are fantastic. But as I have found out over the last few decades - mostly the hard way - the tech is the easy part compared to managing and sustaining.