Machine Learning for Creativity: Using Similarity Networks to Design Better Crowdfunding Projects

Journal of Marketing, Forthcoming. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/00222429211005481

Posted: 7 Apr 2021

See all articles by Yanhao 'Max' Wei

Yanhao 'Max' Wei

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business

Jihoon Hong

University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business, Marketing Department, Students

Gerard J. Tellis

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business, Department of Marketing

Date Written: February 20, 2021

Abstract

A fundamental tension exists in creativity between novelty and similarity. This paper exploits this tension to help creators craft successful projects in crowdfunding. To do so, we apply the concept of combinatorial creativity, analyzing each new project in connection to prior similar projects. By using machine learning techniques (Word2vec and Word Mover’s Distance), we measure the degrees of similarity between crowdfunding projects on Kickstarter. We analyze how this similarity pattern relates to a project's funding performance. We find: (i) the prior level of success of similar projects strongly predicts a new project's funding performance, (ii) the funding performance increases with a balance between being novel and imitative, (iii) the optimal level for funding goal is close to the funds raised by prior similar projects, and (iv) the funding performance increases with a balance between atypical and conventional imitation. We use these findings to generate actionable recommendations for project creators and crowdfunding platforms.

Keywords: crowdfunding, combinatorial creativity, networks, Word2vec, Word Mover's Distance, funding goal, novelty, imitation

Suggested Citation

Wei, Yanhao and Hong, Jihoon and Tellis, Gerard J., Machine Learning for Creativity: Using Similarity Networks to Design Better Crowdfunding Projects (February 20, 2021). Journal of Marketing, Forthcoming. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/10.1177/00222429211005481, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3810903

Yanhao Wei

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business ( email )

701 Exposition Blvd
Los Angeles, CA California 90089
United States

Jihoon Hong (Contact Author)

University of Southern California, Marshall School of Business, Marketing Department, Students ( email )

Hoffman Hall 701
Los Angeles, CA 90089-1427
United States

Gerard J. Tellis

University of Southern California - Marshall School of Business, Department of Marketing ( email )

Hoffman Hall 701
Los Angeles, CA 90089-0443
United States
213-740-5031 (Phone)
213-740-7828 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://gtellis.net

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