Ever since the conception of GNU software and the Linux operating system, now a long time ago, free and open source software in general and GNU/Linux in particular have become more and more popular with users. We can safely assume that there has never been a decline in the number of GNU/Linux installations, even though there is no hard data on the exact number of downloads, individual users or other entities using GNU/Linux.
Predictions are that many closed source and not-so-open source software products will be using open source software to some extent in the near future, and the majority of commercial entities will (again to some extent) use free and open source software. Ergo, currently, Open Source is profitable –in many senses of the word 'profitable'– even though relatively few of the participants in the free and open source software world who give it the value get a piece of the returns.
The Ergo Project aims to solidify existing business opportunities answering customer turning the existing human & intellectual capital value in free and open source software into actual revenue, only to then return control over that revenue back into the hands of the individuals that created the value to begin with.