The Performance Impact of Experience in Creative Software Endeavors

Publication Type


Publication Date



We investigate the performance impact of experience in developing creative endeavors – creative products potentially accented with a functional element and/or motivated by profit. By definition, the functionality and production ‘method’ can vary from one creative endeavor to another. The traditional learning curve – originally derived from the manufacturing environment – should not hold in this context. Drawing from the literature in corporate acquisitions, improvising theatre and jazz, as well as from drawings in early Renaissance Italy, we hypothesize that the performance of creative endeavors as a function of successive creative endeavors at the individual level first experiences stagnation or decline, then an abrupt positive improvement, and perhaps followed in the longer run by more moderate improvement. Using a unique data set of user-developed Facebook applications, we show empirical support to our hypotheses.


Learning, exploration, creative innovations


Organizational Behavior and Theory | Technology and Innovation

Research Areas

Strategy and Organisation


Organization Science Winter Conference

City or Country

Steamboat Springs, CO, USA

This document is currently not available here.