An Ubuntu Edge message from Mark Shuttleworth

Thanks in large part to all of you, the Ubuntu Edge campaign response has been incredible. In just over three weeks more than 20,000 people have backed the project, from individuals giving a single dollar right up to Bloomberg’s fantastic $80,000 contribution. Along the way we’ve broken crowdfunding records, including the fastest project to hit $2 million (7hrs 59mins), and the highest ever 24-hour total ($3.45 million). We’re now on the verge of an even bigger milestone as we approach the all-time crowdfunding record of $10.27 million.

Speaking both personally and for the team, the more time we spend on this project, the more excited we get about the possibilities of this new class of device. And as the news has spread we’ve seen industry thought leaders coming round to the idea that convergence can be a real force, and that this project represents a new way to underwrite innovation.

That led to some significant engagements with suppliers that enabled us to drop the price below $700, without compromising the specification. And now that we’ve seen next-generation phones from other major names, we think the price-performance of the Edge is off the charts — it offers real value. We’re even more convinced that it will take a new approach to unlock the next wave of mobile innovation.

Whatever happens in the next nine days, the Ubuntu Edge is already making a difference. This campaign lets enthusiast consumers signal their interest to a mobile industry that caters overwhelmingly to the mainstream. It’s making it clear that we’re no longer satisfied with minor updates; we’re looking for true innovation and we’re ready to pay for it. And that message is getting through.

So in a sense, we can be proud of what’s been achieved already — but we really want to hit that $32 million! We’re going to need a huge push, a surge in awareness that builds momentum to carry us over the line. No one here is giving up while the goal remains achievable, and you’ve all gone out of your way to add your voice to the chorus. So I’m writing to ask you to take to the Twitterverse and other social networks to encourage like-minded types to join you, and me, and companies large and small, in backing the Ubuntu Edge.

As they say, the future is already here, it’s just not widely distributed. We’re working to put it in the hands of 40,000 people, to start a revolution. And you’re there at the start.

Mark Shuttleworth


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