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
Date Written: February 20, 2021
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
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