Handbook of the Sharing Economy
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Handbook of the Sharing Economy

Edited by Russell W. Belk, Giana M. Eckhardt and Fleura Bardhi

With the radical growth in the ubiquity of digital platforms, the sharing economy is here to stay. This Handbook explores the nature and direction of the sharing economy, interrogating its key dynamics and evolution over the past decade and critiquing its effect on society.
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Chapter 13: Crowdfunding the development of new products and services

Natalia Drozdova, Seidali Kurtmollaiev and Ingeborg Astrid Kleppe

Abstract

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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