IT-based innovation contests are making use of distributed knowledge of users and other external stakeholders to collect ideas or to let them develop innovations for new products and services. In addition, IT-based innovation contests increasingly offer functionalities to evaluate and comment the submissions of other participants. Whether this feedback proves to be useful to enhance the quality of submissions is examined in a field experiment. We use the theoretical perspective of absorptive capacity for a cluster analysis to identify relevance of feedback in form of comments, in comparison to relevance of participants‟ individual knowledge. The most important result indicates that listening to comments by other users can even overcome a lack of individual knowledge. The study strengthens first assumptions that the design element „community functionality‟ needs to be carefully designed and implemented when setting up an IT-based innovation contest.