This study provides a theoretical framework and empirical evidence regarding the impact of the online community on platform performance. It is theorized that online platforms, such as Kickstarter, consist not of a single community but rather a hierarchy of multiple, partially competing communities. The proposed framework allows to identify such communities’ changes and, consequently, to better identify pivotal members of online communities and predict their lifetime value as potential backers.
The document demonstrates the growth of the different community types and estimates their different impacts on crowdfunding performance over time. Interestingly, it is found that some communities, despite high participation rates, had negative impacts on crowdfunding campaign success. It is discussed managerial and practical implications of our theory and findings.