Shuttleworth won't lose any sleep over it. He told CNet that "Tripling the crowdfunding record is always a super-ambitious goal." But, "It's also clear that this work is ancillary to the broader mission of bringing Ubuntu to the market."
Ubuntu may be the biggest fish in the Linux desktop pond, but it's a minnow in the smartphone and general technology world. The Ubuntu Edge project did capture the imagination of companies, such as Bloomberg, that otherwise would barely notice Canonical.
Shuttleworth also said This is not about an Ubuntu phone. This is about changing the innovation dynamic." That's also true, and it's a key point.
I think that's exactly where our technology is going. Even if the Ubuntu Edge doesn't happen, Canonical has positioned itself as a visionary company in this new form of computing.
Someone, and soon, will start building these all-in-one devices. I strongly suspect Canonical will be involved in these projects even if they don't lead them. Then, as the mashup of smartphone/PC hybrids starts to take hold in both consumer and IT computing, Canonical will reap the benefits of its early moves.
So win, lose, or draw on Ubuntu Edge, Canonical is now positioned with the Linux community, the larger public, and potential partners as the company that thinks big about computing's future. That's a good place to be.