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Natalia Drozdova, Seidali Kurtmollaiev and Ingeborg Astrid Kleppe

Crowdfunding is an important part of the sharing economy, which involves products and services before they are created and brought to the market. This focus on the earliest stages of value creation makes crowdfunding and its participants unique compared with other forms of sharing activities in which actors exchange or obtain access to actual possessions. The role of crowdfunders is of particular interest, as they act not only as financial contributors to the development of new products but also as consumers who make the earliest decisions to adopt or reject innovations. In this chapter, the authors present crowdfunders as a separate adopter category and discuss their characteristics. They also suggest how the innovation-decision process of crowdfunders, given the unique nature of crowdfunding, differs from the way in which other adopter categories make their decision about the acceptance or rejection of innovations. Finally, they discuss how the heterogeneity of crowdfunders and the specifics of their decision making may influence the crowdfunding process. Through this, they indicate the areas that deserve the special attention of founders and platform organizations seeking to improve communication and build mutually beneficial relationships among crowdfunding participants.

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Tor W. Andreassen, Line Lervik-Olsen and Seidali Kurtmollaiev

Nothing happens until customers adopt an innovation. In the chapter the authors develop a new theory for measuring firms’ innovativeness as perceived by their customers. The approach follows the logic of a structural equation model with antecedents and consequences. Antecedents include four areas where customers can perceive changes: core service; service delivery; customer relationship management; and servicescape. Since firms innovate and customers perceive, we suggest that key informants with the firms are interviewees pertaining to innovation efforts. The outcome of perceived changes in any of the four innovation areas results in a cognitive and an emotional satisfaction which co-varies with perceived innovativeness. Perceived innovativeness co-varies with perceived relative attractiveness in the market place and, finally, customer loyalty which is a proxy variable for actual behavior. From these analyses, service managers can a priori estimate the effects of various innovation efforts before any investments have been done.