At exactly 1:59 a.m. (CST) this early Thursday morning, Canonical’s attempt to raise US$32 million directly from end-users via a crowd-funding campaign for its Ubuntu Edge smartphone on Indiegogo came to an unsuccessful end.
The money was to have been used to build what has been dubbed a “superphone” that would have been able to run both Android and Ubuntu Mobile OS and also be capable of transforming into an Ubuntu PC. Canonical, the company behind the campaign, is also the commercial entity that sponsors the Ubuntu Linux distribution.
This screen shot shows how much was raised when the campaign ended.
So now, what’s next? The first step is the easy one. That is, the money raised will have to be returned to those it came from. What about the phone itself? Will it die with the campaign or is there life after Indiegogo?
From what Mark Shuttleworth as said, the effort to build this “superphone” will forge ahead. However, the route it takes to get into our hands will obviously be different. The Indiegogo campaign was overly ambitious and missed its target by more than US$19 million. However, it also set the record for the most money raised from a crowd-funding campaign.
There were mistakes made, but organizations, like individuals, learn from their mistakes. This campaign failed largely because the Big Boys in the industry were not interested, and Mark Shuttleworth could not move them to speak with their pocketbook. And this is what I’ve been saying about Mark Shuttleworth (and Canonical). He does not have the clout to line up major players in the field in any meaningful way behind any of his efforts, whether it is Ubuntu for TV or Ubuntu Mobile.
That’s why all his efforts to make Ubuntu a relevant player in the mobile arena have been an uphill struggle. It has not been easy. But like he told The Guardian, the task “is a challenging proposition. But I wasn’t made for the easy ones.”