I really want to believe this is possible, but time and again The People (as in, users other than us tech geeks, and even many of us) have proven they don’t care about much else than convenience. And if there’s anything a well-funded business can provide, it’s convenience.
What would be required would be a foundation or other well-funded institution (could be a business, but then you’d need a solid business model to actually make money off of something that you have little control over) that can produce something that can compete with the slick UIs that centralised systems can provide. This shouldn’t even be all that hard; having the same quality sans advertisements should be plenty of reason to switch, but it does require UI designers and programmers who are willing to work on things that might not necessarily be “fun” or challenging.
To some extent, the corporate nature of centralized tools is a feature.
Facebook has thousands of people who get paid more if you like using Facebook more than you did yesterday. Open source tools have no incentives like that to motivate smart people to care about whether or not you’re going to enjoy chatting with your friends on a given platform.
How can decentralized tech possibly hope to compete without any incentive to do so?