Did you know that some of the most popular businesses today started as ideas of students who didn’t allow youth and inexperience to stop them? If you are a student who has an idea but isn’t sure you can make it work, reading about the experiences of others may help. You can find out how they navigated coursework and business and learn from their example. In this article, we will tell you the story of how some of your favorite companies started in the dormitory.
From A College Campus to a Global Stage
Below is a list of popular companies that started in college.
It would be difficult to find a single person in today’s digital age who hasn’t heard of Facebook (Meta). However, did you know that the company started out when founder, Mark Zuckerberg, and his friends were in college in 2004? Right in their Harvard University dormitory, these young entrepreneurs came up with a platform that revolutionized global communications.
Facebook was not the first social media platform but it quickly became the most popular one because it offered unique features. When it started, it was limited to students within Zuckerberg’s cycle of friends. Eventually, it gained traction in the entire school. Other schools started using it as well, contributing to the exponential growth that made it the platform it is today.
What We Learn From Facebook
Facebook succeeded because it focused on a niche, perfected its technology, and started scaling to meet the demands of a wider audience. As a young entrepreneur, you don’t always have to start with a large audience. You can start small and attend to the needs of students in your local environment.
Finding a place to stay and paying rent isn’t always easy, especially for struggling students. This was the experience of three college students: Brian Chesky, Nathan Blecharczyk, and Joe Gebbia. The high cost of rent was too much for them, so they decided to make money by renting out air mattresses in their house during a conference.
After seeing how lucrative it was, they decided to create AirBedandBreakfast, a platform that allowed homeowners to rent out rooms or entire homes for short and long stays. While similar arrangements happened in the past, Airbnb made it easier to build trust between homeowners and renters. Today, it has grown into a globally successful business with more than 6000 employees.
What We Learn From Airbnb
Your business idea can stem from a need to solve a personal problem. If you find something challenging or inadequate, chances are you can monetize it since others may suffer similar issues. You can use the services of companies like https://mypaperdone.com/nursing-papers-for-sale to get help with schoolwork while you build your brand.
After Facebook became a huge success, many companies tried to replicate it but failed to gain the traction required to compete with the tech giant. Years later, two Stanford University students decided to try something different and developed Snapchat. It started as a social app that allowed people to upload self-deleting photos and videos.
Snapchat was a massive success because it thoroughly examined the industry before launch. It offered users new features not available on Facebook or any of the trending social media platforms at the time. Most importantly, Snapchat targets millennials and remains one of the most used apps by that demographic to date.
What We Learn From Snapchat
Your idea does not need to be the first of its kind to become a hit. You can examine the shortcomings of an existing niche and come up with innovative solutions or features to make things better.
You may not have had issues with file management because Dropbox and other similar platforms exist. In 2007, things weren’t so easy. An MIT student named Drew Houston got tired of trying to access different files from different computers during time-sensitive school work. He devised a solution that allowed people to keep all their files in a single cloud-based storage they could access anywhere and at any time.
Houston solved his problem and shared an innovative solution that remains one of the most popular cloud-based storage systems. Dropbox has been facing much competition from industry giants like Microsoft and Google. Despite this, it still holds a significant market share because it provides simple but unique features that aren’t available on other cloud-based storage.
What We Learn From Dropbox
The founder of Dropbox didn’t give up due to market pressure from more prominent companies. Instead, he maintained his customer base by providing unique solutions to a common problem. Even if bigger companies are in your niche, focus on making your brand, product, or services unique and irreplaceable.
Warby Parker (2010)
Getting prescription eyeglasses wasn’t always easy. There were a lot of monopolies in the industry that made it difficult for the average customer to obtain their glasses quickly and at an affordable price. In 2010, Neil Blumenthal, Andrew Hunt, David Gilboa, and Jeffrey Raider, students from the University of Pennsylvania, created a business model that changed everything.
Their business bypassed retailers, providing products directly to the customers. This didn’t just make eyewear more accessible but also made it affordable since it cut out the intermediaries. While the initial business model was online, Warby Parker adapted to the needs of their customers and started selling in brick-and-mortar stores as well.
What We Learn From Warby Parker
If you look closely enough, you will find an outdated system or services you can improve with innovative ideas. Also, you should be willing to adjust your business model and strategies to suit the ever-changing business climes and satisfy your customers.
All the students mentioned above could take their ideas to the next level by putting in effort and seeing their products to completion. Of course, this doesn’t mean they did not face any challenges. The most important lesson is that they found a way to make their dream a reality and did not give up.
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