the stack


It’s high time for another little status update in the wonderful world of thesis research. This time I am focusing on building my literature map and identifying reading materials. Of course, every new book or article leads to another set of sources this post will give an over view of what my process looks like.

When I knew I wanted to dive deep into startup communities, how they are cultivated, what are some of the key factors and the like, I knew I had to start somewhere. Luckily, I already had a bookcase full of relevant material, so at least there was that as a starting point. My first inclination was to pull from what I had direct access to: business, urban planning and placemaking, social innovation, and business model innovation. It’s a pretty nice diverse list to start with and gain traction.

At this point, it was necessary to start mapping and asking some questions. First and foremost before diving into the books (most of which I’ve already read) I needed to identify some primary and secondary categories to see where information was best to pull from. The first go around I wrote each book and author on a PostIt and began clustering them into three macro categories: Market and Economy, Space and Community, and Business Education. Then I began looking for the cross connections by looking for similarities in the literature through groups to identify subcategories.

After this first attempt at mapping out the literature I knew I needed to go at it again. Iteration always yields better results! This next try took the form of a mind map, where I applied the primary categories before but, this time framing the work under a singular macro category, Market and Economy. From there, many similar secondary categories arose; however, it was easier to also identify some tertiary themes as well.

This is where I am at currently. I’m always adding and revising and pushing forward. My next step will consist of diving into the insights that I’ve pulled from the reading material and start framing a lit review map. That may prove to take a while, but I’ll get there slowly but surely.

Cheers and more updates to come.