There's a short interview with the man behind Ubuntu Linux in LinuxFormat.
It's a quick read here, but here's a sniplet:
LXF: There are many Linux distributions already. Might it not have made more sense to try to steer one of those towards your vision?
MS: The only one that I thought was really compelling is not steerable! In a very real sense, what we do is the product of my having thought about that. I considered standing for Debian Project Leader, but I figured that there's another way to have the same effect really, and that is to create something that really executes the vision. Make those ideals freely available, and let other people take from that what they will take the best bits.