Application developers constitute an important part of a digital platformís ecosystem. Knowledge about psychological processes that drive developer behavior in platform ecosystems is scarce. We build on the lead userness construct which comprises two dimensions, trend leadership and high expected benefits from a solution, to explain how developersí innovative work behavior (IWB) is stimulated. We employ an efficiency oriented and a social-political perspective to investigate the relationship between lead userness and IWB. The efficiency-oriented view resonates well with the expected benefit dimension of lead userness, while the social-political view might be interpreted as a reflection of trend leadership. Using structural equation modeling, we test our model with a sample of over 400 developers from three platform ecosystems. We find that lead userness is indirectly associated with IWB and the performance-enhancing view to be the stronger predictor of IWB. Finally, we unravel differences between paid and unpaid app developers in platform ecosystems.