The Role of Pre-Innovation Platform Activity for Diffusion Success: Evidence from Consumer Innovations on a 3D Printing Platform
39 Pages Posted: 23 Sep 2019 Last revised: 6 Feb 2020
Date Written: February 2020
Digital platforms are becoming increasingly important for household sector innovators that seek support for the innovation process and that want to make innovations available to large audiences. Innovation development and diffusion is especially challenging for first-time innovators as they cannot build on experiences from prior innovations. We argue that first-time innovators can increase the diffusion success of their innovations by engaging in pre-innovation platform activities. We use the context of the 3D printing platform Thingiverse to show that a consumer’s pre-innovation platform activity increases innovation diffusion success and that frequency, quality and relatedness of a consumer’s pre-innovation platform activity promotes this effect. We find support that innovation quality, the use of recombinant innovations, and innovation documentation are three mechanisms through which pre-innovation platform activities translate into higher diffusion success of consumers’ first innovation.
Keywords: household sector innovation, diffusion, platforms, 3D printing
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