6 Super Successful Business That Were Started by College Kids
For the most of us going to college isn’t really a period normally associated with wealth or major success. It’s pretty much about struggling to meet your obligations and fighting hangovers. However, there are those who use this, formative time to become entrepreneurs. In fact, some of the largest and most famous businesses were started by 20-somethings, still in school. Facebook is what comes to everyone’s mind, but it definitely isn’t the only example.
WordPress is an open source web creation tool, which is a fancy way of saying it’s a blogging platform. It’s used by more than 26 percent of the top 10 million websites in the world. It’s used by both professionals and amateurs alike and it’s safe to say it has revolutionized blogging, by making it available to anyone with basic computer skills. The platform was founded by two college freshmen because the blogging platform they used has discontinued its services. WordPress had many updates after that, but the most important came a year later when customizing themes became (an extremely popular) feature.
College kids from Santa Barbara needed to quickly copy some of his reading materials but didn’t have the time to wait in line at the university copy center. So, he took out a 5000$ loan and started his own printing business. It took off and after a couple decades of hard work later – it was a two billion dollars business. As the founder, Paul Orfalea said: “wherever there’s a line – there’s an opportunity”.
Time magazine is a publishing juggernaut with 26 million copies sold weekly. It fosters a professional and elevated journalism style and covers a wide range of issues. The Time was founded by two Yale students in 1923, using the contacts they’ve made among distinguished Yale alumni. It was called Facts at that point and it was focused on short and quick information. The slogan “Take the time – it’s brief” was an inspiration for the name the magazine later adopted.
It’s apparently true that the best way to start a business is the make a service you need and no one provides. Adam Fasullo created Thinkswap, because he had decided to get a double degree and therefore had no one to study with. Thinkswap became a place where students could exchange and compare notes online. It soon took off and started providing detailed notes on a variety of subjects. The notes go through a serious peer review system, but can be uploaded and available within 48 hours.
Dropbox is a file sharing system, designed to allow users to store and send large files. It has millions of users and it’s most popular feature is the ability to upload files from different devices and have the ability to access them on each one without data loss or classification confusion. It was started in 2007 by a group of MIT students, who grew frustrated with losing their USB devices. At first, it was intended as a program for personal use, but the founders soon realized the potential of their product.
The Onion is probably the best known popular satirical publication in the world. It was founded in 1988 by two Madison Wisconsin students, with the intent to make fun of all the media companies. It was printed in distributed on campus for a little over a year and then it took off and spread to a number of universities. The publication has grown constantly and now it consists of numerous websites and offers sharp political commentary in the form of satire. The irony is that it’s now as much a media corporation as those it mocks.
The most important part of founding a business is having the idea for one. And there’s no age limit on great ideas. Actually, creating and running a business is a bit harder, but all of these stories are proof that it can be done.
You may also be interested in: 6 Steps to Finding Investors for Your Startup
Writer: Tracey Clayton
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