When the going gets tough: Exploring changes in the startup landscape due to the challenges of 2020

Tobias Mahan, Pratima Saravanan, Sandeep Krishnakumar, Hannah Nolte, Christopher McComb, Jessica Menold

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

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter provide new product developers with a novel and readily accessible platform to interact with potential customers, seek funding, and gain valuable feedback from target users. Successful startup design processes are often praised due to startups’ agility and ability to adapt to changing markets under extreme resource constraints. The COVID-19 pandemic changed the market in a number of significant ways, and publicly available data on Kickstarter provides valuable insight into the fundamental ways that product developers adapt to volatiles markets created by a global crisis. Leveraging linguistic analysis, topic modelling, k-means clustering, and principal component analysis, startup data was analyzed to identify overarching trends in startup launch campaigns across years. Specifically, this work identifies emerging trends in the Kickstarter market in 2020 to understand how external factors affect launch practices. Subtle yet significant changes in Kickstarter campaigns show that new clusters of campaigns emerged during 2020, not present in prior years, indicating that product developers adapted language to meet the needs of a changing market. Findings motivate a more thorough investigation of the relationships between startup market trends and external events to build a deeper understanding of the fundamental ways developers adapt design processes due to external stimuli.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication33rd International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology (DTM)
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
ISBN (Electronic)9780791885420
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021
Event33rd International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology, DTM 2021, Held as Part of the ASME 2021 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC-CIE 2021 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Aug 17 2021Aug 19 2021

Publication series

NameProceedings of the ASME Design Engineering Technical Conference
Volume6

Conference

Conference33rd International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology, DTM 2021, Held as Part of the ASME 2021 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, IDETC-CIE 2021
CityVirtual, Online
Period8/17/218/19/21

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Modeling and Simulation

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