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10 Famous Companies That Were Founded By College Students

10 Famous Companies That Were Founded By College Students

Did you know that three of the world class websites were all started by college students? Yes, indeed. That is the power that college students have in the global arena.

However, success does not come cheap. For all these college success stories, a heavy price has been paid whether it’s at the expense of them dropping out of college or facing a number of hurdles along the way. As a college student, if you are looking to take on that path and start your own start-up, you should be prepared to face any challenges that may come your way.

It is not hard to find an idea that you can easily actualize. Do not look for a big idea, instead, concentrate on finding a big problem which you can then go ahead and solve. It might take you a while, but you need to be passionate and dedicated to what you are doing if indeed you dream of launching a successful start-up while still in college.

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This piece will look at the infographic by Essaymama titled “10 most valuable startups launched by students” and dig into some of the challenges founders faced as they attempted to realize their dreams and the results they eventually got.

1. Microsoft, Bill Gates and Paul Allen

They were both co-founders of the billion dollar Microsoft enterprise. It all started while in middle and high school when the two programming geniuses met. Bill joined Harvard University, but, after a year, Paul convinced him to drop out, to which he obliged. After struggling during the first few years, they realized success when they licensed MS-DOS to IBM in 1981.

2. Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg

As a Harvard undergrad, Zuckerberg started Facebook as a sophomore to help connect with fellow college students. From what started as a sophomore dating site back in 2004, seven years later became a site with over 1.39 billion active users.

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3. Yahoo, Jerry Yang and David Filo

These two Stanford Graduate Students founded Yahoo in 1995. They did it three years before Google was launched. They started Yahoo as a directory of their favorite websites. In as much as the platform struggled for a number of years, it remains one of the largest websites.

4. Reddit, Steve Huffman and Alexis Ohanian

The two grads from the University of Virginia started reddit as a social news site in 2005. After struggling for a few months, they were funded by Y Combinator. It wasn’t until 2006 that Conde Nast Publications acquired the entity.

5. WordPress, Matt Mullenweg

In 2003, the undergrad student of Houston University teamed up with Mike Little and Michel Valdrigh to create this awesome Content Management System. Today, the platform hosts more than 130,000 websites out of the top 1 million websites.

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6. Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin

They were both graduates of Stanford University and founders of Google in 1998. They had a hard time juggling between their start-up and their studies and even opted to sell it to Excite for $1 million. Fortunately, Excite declined the offer.

7. Time Magazine, Britton Hadden and Henry Luce

You may not believe it, but these grads from Yale launched Time in 1923, and at that time it was the first weekly news magazine in the United States. The magazine has grown to become one of the world’s largest circulated weekly news magazine.

8. Napster, Shawn Fanning

The grad student from Northeastern University started Napster as a peer-to-peer file sharing network. After just 2 years, the platform was temporarily shut down due to copyright issues. However,  Napster became an online music store and eventually was acquired by Rhapsody.

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9. Dell, Michael Dell

The undergrad student of Texas University created Dell in 1984. After struggling at first, he received a $300,000 investment from his family and decided to drop out of college. Now Dell is the #1 shipper of PC monitors in the world and is the sixth largest company in Texas by total revenue.

10. Tripod, Bo Peabody and Brett Hershey

The web hosting service was started by two Williams College students in 1992. The website was initially created for college students and provided such resources and services as resume-writing help and tools for website building. However, later Tripod was bought by Lycos.

Most of these individuals encountered different challenges during their journey but they did not give up on their dream. As college students wishing to pursue their dream, always keep faith and never give up!

10 Most Valuable Startups Launched By Students

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    Jessica Millis

    An experienced writer, editor and educator who shares about tips on effective learning.

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    Last Updated on July 17, 2019

    The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

    The Science of Setting Goals (And How It Affects Your Brain)

    What happens in our heads when we set goals?

    Apparently a lot more than you’d think.

    Goal setting isn’t quite so simple as deciding on the things you’d like to accomplish and working towards them.

    According to the research of psychologists, neurologists, and other scientists, setting a goal invests ourselves into the target as if we’d already accomplished it. That is, by setting something as a goal, however small or large, however near or far in the future, a part of our brain believes that desired outcome is an essential part of who we are – setting up the conditions that drive us to work towards the goals to fulfill the brain’s self-image.

    Apparently, the brain cannot distinguish between things we want and things we have. Neurologically, then, our brains treat the failure to achieve our goal the same way as it treats the loss of a valued possession. And up until the moment, the goal is achieved, we have failed to achieve it, setting up a constant tension that the brain seeks to resolve.

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    Ideally, this tension is resolved by driving us towards accomplishment. In many cases, though, the brain simply responds to the loss, causing us to feel fear, anxiety, even anguish, depending on the value of the as-yet-unattained goal.

    Love, Loss, Dopamine, and Our Dreams

    The brains functions are carried out by a stew of chemicals called neurotransmitters. You’ve probably heard of serotonin, which plays a key role in our emotional life – most of the effective anti-depressant medications on the market are serotonin reuptake inhibitors, meaning they regulate serotonin levels in the brain leading to more stable moods.

    Somewhat less well-known is another neurotransmitter, dopamine. Among other things, dopamine acts as a motivator, creating a sensation of pleasure when the brain is stimulated by achievement. Dopamine is also involved in maintaining attention – some forms of ADHD are linked to irregular responses to dopamine.[1]

    So dopamine plays a key role in keeping us focused on our goals and motivating us to attain them, rewarding our attention and achievement by elevating our mood. That is, we feel good when we work towards our goals.

    Dopamine is related to wanting – to desire. The attainment of the object of our desire releases dopamine into our brains and we feel good. Conversely, the frustration of our desires starves us of dopamine, causing anxiety and fear.

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    One of the greatest desires is romantic love – the long-lasting, “till death do us part” kind. It’s no surprise, then, that romantic love is sustained, at least in part, through the constant flow of dopamine released in the presence – real or imagined – of our true love. Loss of romantic love cuts off that supply of dopamine, which is why it feels like you’re dying – your brain responds by triggering all sorts of anxiety-related responses.

    Herein lies obsession, as we go to ever-increasing lengths in search of that dopamine reward. Stalking specialists warn against any kind of contact with a stalker, positive or negative, because any response at all triggers that reward mechanism. If you let the phone ring 50 times and finally pick up on the 51st ring to tell your stalker off, your stalker gets his or her reward, and learns that all s/he has to do is wait for the phone to ring 51 times.

    Romantic love isn’t the only kind of desire that can create this kind of dopamine addiction, though – as Captain Ahab (from Moby Dick) knew well, any suitably important goal can become an obsession once the mind has established ownership.

    The Neurology of Ownership

    Ownership turns out to be about a lot more than just legal rights. When we own something, we invest a part of ourselves into it – it becomes an extension of ourselves.

    In a famous experiment at Cornell University, researchers gave students school logo coffee mugs, and then offered to trade them chocolate bars for the mugs. Very few were willing to make the trade, no matter how much they professed to like chocolate. Big deal, right? Maybe they just really liked those mugs![2]

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    But when they reversed the experiment, handing out chocolate and then offering to trade mugs for the candy, they found that now, few students were all that interested in the mugs. Apparently the key thing about the mugs or the chocolate wasn’t whether students valued whatever they had in their possession, but simply that they had it in their possession.

    This phenomenon is called the “endowment effect”. In a nutshell, the endowment effect occurs when we take ownership of an object (or idea, or person); in becoming “ours” it becomes integrated with our sense of identity, making us reluctant to part with it (losing it is seen as a loss, which triggers that dopamine shut-off I discussed above).

    Interestingly, researchers have found that the endowment effect doesn’t require actual ownership or even possession to come into play. In fact, it’s enough to have a reasonable expectation of future possession for us to start thinking of something as a part of us – as jilted lovers, gambling losers, and 7-year olds denied a toy at the store have all experienced.

    The Upshot for Goal-Setters

    So what does all this mean for would-be achievers?

    On one hand, it’s a warning against setting unreasonable goals. The bigger the potential for positive growth a goal has, the more anxiety and stress your brain is going to create around it’s non-achievement.

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    It also suggests that the common wisdom to limit your goals to a small number of reasonable, attainable objectives is good advice. The more goals you have, the more ends your brain thinks it “owns” and therefore the more grief and fear the absence of those ends is going to cause you.

    On a more positive note, the fact that the brain rewards our attentiveness by releasing dopamine means that our brain is working with us to direct us to achievement. Paying attention to your goals feels good, encouraging us to spend more time doing it. This may be why outcome visualization — a favorite technique of self-help gurus involving imagining yourself having completed your objectives — has such a poor track record in clinical studies. It effectively tricks our brain into rewarding us for achieving our goals even though we haven’t done it yet!

    But ultimately, our brain wants us to achieve our goals, so that it’s a sense of who we are that can be fulfilled. And that’s pretty good news!

    More About Goals Setting

    Featured photo credit: Alexa Williams via unsplash.com

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