That's somewhat disingenuous. Parts of Ubuntu are already developed in secret - integrated webapps or the HUD weren't announced until there was already a functioning prototype. This shopping lens was kept pretty quiet until it was ready to land. As Shuttleworth points out, criticism happens whenever you reveal it.
Shuttleworth's blog post says that they're going to invite trusted members of the community to work on some of those features before they're announced. I see that as an improvement - it will no longer be just Canonical employees working on these 'skunk works' features.