Accentuating lead user entrepreneur characteristics in crowdfunding campaigns – The role of personal affection and the capitalization of positive events

Christian Hopp, Jermain Kaminski, Frank Piller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


This paper investigates how potential backers' perception of user entrepreneur characteristics influences the success of a crowdfunding campaign. We hypothesize that the accentuation of user entrepreneur characteristics is associated with higher crowdfunding success, i.e. with the chance to reach a campaign goal successfully. Data from 963 Kickstarter campaigns provides an ambiguous picture: while trend leadership shows the hypothesized effect, a high benefit expected accentuated in a product campaign is actually detrimental for its performance. Extending the reasoning of affection based models to predict crowdfunding success, we draw on capitalization theory for an explanation. While a high benefit expected may prompt personal positive emotional responses, it may fail to trigger consumer's word of mouth reactions, the sharing of positive events with significant others. Our data reveals that the perception of user entrepreneurship characteristics leads to significantly lower rates of sharing a campaign on Facebook and to fewer user comments on Kickstarter. By highlighting the differential effects that user entrepreneur characteristics exhibit on crowdfunding campaign success, our results have important implications for crowdfunding theory and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere00106
JournalJournal of Business Venturing Insights
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • User entrepreneurship
  • Lead user
  • Crowdfunding
  • Capitalization theory

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