The design of crowd-funded products

Chaoyang Song, Jianxi Luo, Katja Hölttä-Otto*, Kevin Otto, Warren Seering

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionScientificpeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Crowdfunding is an emerging phenomenon where entrepreneurs publicize their product concepts to raise development funding and collect design feedback directly from potential supporters. Many innovative products have raised a significant amount of crowdfunding. This paper analyzes the crowd-funded products to develop design guidelines for crowdfunding success. A database of 127 samples is collected in two different product categories from two different crowdfunding websites. They are evaluated using a design project assessment scorecard, the Real-Win-Worth framework, which focuses on the state of maturity on various customer, technical and supply chain dimensions. Our analysis identified key RWW factors that characterize successful design for crowd-funded products. For example, success at crowdfunding is attained through clear explanation of how the design operates technically and meets customer needs. Another recommendation is to not emphasize patent protection, for which crowd-funders are less concerned. Also, evidence of a strong startup financial plan is not necessary for crowdfunding success. These key RWW factors provide guidelines for designers and engineers to improve their design and validate their concepts early to improve their chances for success on crowdfunding platforms.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication27th International Conference on Design Theory and Methodology
PublisherAmerican Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME)
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9780791857175
ISBN (Print)978-0-7918-5717-5
Publication statusPublished - 2016
MoE publication typeA4 Article in a conference publication
EventASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference - Boston, United States
Duration: 2 Aug 20155 Aug 2015


ConferenceASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences & Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
Abbreviated titleIDETC/CIE
Country/TerritoryUnited States


  • Crowdfunding
  • Design Process
  • Product Development


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