Learning to fail: Experiencing public failure online through crowdfunding

Michael D. Greenberg, Elizabeth M. Gerber

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

39 Scopus citations

Abstract

Online crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter are gaining attention among novice creatives as an effective platform for funding their ventures and engaging in creative work with others. However, a focus on financial success of crowdfunding has obscured the fact that over 58% of crowdfunding projects fail to achieve their funding goals. This population of failed creatives however, gives us an audience to study public creative failure in an online environment. We draw inspiration from work in organizational behavior on failure, and work in Human Computer Interaction (HCI) on online behavior, to study online public failure. Using a mixed-methods approach with data scraped from Kickstarter and interview data with failed crowdfunding project creators, we answer the following question: What do project creators on crowdfunding platforms learn and change through the process of failing? We find that creators who relaunch their projects succeed 43% of the time, and that most individuals find failure to be a positive experience. We conclude the paper with a series of design implications for future creative platforms where public failure is part of the creative process.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2014
Subtitle of host publicationOne of a CHInd - Conference Proceedings, 32nd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Pages581-590
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9781450324731
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014
Event32nd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2014 - Toronto, ON, Canada
Duration: Apr 26 2014May 1 2014

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings

Other

Other32nd Annual ACM Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2014
CountryCanada
CityToronto, ON
Period4/26/145/1/14

Keywords

  • Crowdfunding
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Failure
  • Feedback

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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