Examine How Machine Learning Can be Used to Show Why Visually Ambiguous Product Have Higher Odds of Crowdfunding Success


讲座时间:2018年1214日 下午1:30 - 3:00


讲座嘉宾Simon J. BlanchardGeorgetown University



The current research examines how the visual ambiguity in the design of a new product can predict the success of a crowdfunding venture. Results from two field studies on Kickstarter and Indiegogo show that a computer vision algorithm, which mirrors the human capacity to efficiently categorize visual objects, can be used to predict project success. Specifically, the more ambiguous the product looks—i.e., the inability of the algorithm to confidently categorize a new product venture based on visual appearance alone—predicts the number of backers, dollars pledged, and whether the project will achieve its funding target. This work demonstrates how visual ambiguity in product design can effectively forecast the response to new product ventures and serve as a strategic tool to elicit interest.

Keywords: Crowdfunding, visual processing, design ambiguity, categorization, new ventures, innovation.



Simon Blanchard is an Associate Professor of Marketing and Graham Family Faculty Fellow at the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University. Simon holds a Ph.D. in marketing from the Pennsylvania State University, and an M.Sc. in “applied data mining” from the Université de Montréal - HEC Montréal. At Georgetown, he currently teaches Digital Advertising, and Analytical Problem Solving to MBA and acts as the director of the MBA Certificate for Consumer Analytics & Insights.


Simon’s research interests are in the development of new models and methods to better understand the consumer decision making process. He has been published in academic publications such as the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Consumer Research, Psychometrika, and Psychological Science. He was the recipient of the 2017 Faculty Research Award for the McDonough School of Business and was recognizedas a Marketing Science Institute Young Scholar. He serves on the editorial review board of the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Consumer Research, and the International Journal of Marketing Research.


He (and his research) is frequently featured in the media in outlets such as C|Net, CBS News, Forbes, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, Huffington Post, and Psychology Today. He is an amateur options trader, a serious hockey fan, and an elite Yelper.