More tangible, less “smart”

First came the prediction: “The whole ‘smart’ thing is about to get real.” Really? What made this apparent insider say so? The prediction, given in a forum where other predictions flew in the breeze, was on the record. Then two months later, it had gone off the record.

What happened? Apparently, there had been a corporate-wide retreat from “smart” — as explained to me, a retreat from the aspirational to the tangible.

That’s unlike conventional marketing, which blows by the tangible in its rush toward aspiration. Does this portend a wider retreat from the term “smart”? Is it a shift toward a market that prefers the tangible over the dream? Or is it just dumb?