Imagine if the college course selection process wasn't so frustrating. What if there was a service that alleviated some of the stress and aided students in creating an ideal class lineup?
Tim Arnold, a senior at the University of Central Florida studying marketing, set out to do exactly that. In early June, he promoted his creation "U Could Finish" on Reddit. The program was designed to send a short message to students' phones as soon as a seat became available in their desired class. Within six days, it received over 500 visitors.
The program was quickly shut down, since the university, it seems, was not much of a fan.
Arnold is now being penalized for "U Could Finish," facing three semesters of academic probation, as well as smaller punishments like writing an essay on why launching the program was wrong.
UCF insisted "U Could Finish" was disrupting normal technology use. They were also unhappy with the small fee Arnold required.
Arnold explained he didn't go to the university to get the program sanctioned because he had found them unhelpful in promoting his projects in the past.
He also said he would be willing to work on "U Could Finish" with UCF, and he would have shut down the program had UCF simply asked him.
“I just feel that the actions they did were very extreme, considering my intent was to help students and not to intentionally subvert the rules,” Arnold told The Chronicle of Higher Education.
Arnold has created a petition on Change.org asking the school to first articulate its reason for the block and to remove it.
Google, Stanford University
While computer science grad students at Stanford University in 1996, Larry Page and Sergey Brin kept busy working on their Ph.D project, a search engine called "BackRub." After running the site on Stanford servers for a year, Page and Brin renamed it "Google."
TIME Magazine, Yale University
Henry Luce and Briton Hadden first conceived of the newsweekly while seniors at Yale. They founded the magazine when they were 23.
reddit.com, University Of Virginia
In 2005, 22-year old Alexis Ohanian was <a href="http://reddit.blogspot.com/2008/02/reddit-nostalgia-whence-came-name.html" target="_hplink">at the Alderman Library</a> at the University of Virginia when the phrase "reddit" came to mind. This became the name of a startup that evolved into a leading <a href="http://www.reddit.com/" target="_hplink">social news website.</a> Ohanian teamed up with fellow student Steve Huffman, and in 2006, <a href="http://techcrunch.com/2006/10/31/breaking-news-conde-nastwired-acquires-reddit/" target="_hplink">the company was bought by CondeNast. </a>
Insomnia Cookies, University Of Pennsylvania
As a University of Pennsylvania junior in 2002, Seth Berkowitz decided to bake cookies to cope with hunger attacks resulting from late-night cram sessions. Soon, word got out about his cookie operation and he decided to turn his extracurricular activity into a business. Insomnia Cookies now exists at campuses around the country. (The Philadelphia City Paper published a <a href="http://citypaper.net/articles/2004-04-15/food.shtml" target="_hplink">great story</a> in 2004 about the evolution of the operation, including its repeated late-night calls for "special" cookies.)
Tripod.com, Williams College
In 1992, Williams College classmates Bo Peabody and Brett Hershey knew there had to be some business in the newfangled place called the worldwide web, so they joined up with their economics professor, Dick Sabot, to sell web server space through a company called <a href="http://tripod.com" target="_hplink">tripod.com</a>. It became one of the first big dot-com companies before the mid-90s boom. In 1998, the site was <a href="http://www.internetnews.com/bus-news/article.php/19381/Lycos-Buys-Tripod-in-58-Million-Deal.htm" target="_hplink">bought by search engine company Lycos for $58 million.</a>
Napster, Northeastern University
Shawn Fanning was a Northeastern University student who wanted to share music with friends. So in 1999, he created a file-sharing service he called Napster, sharing the business responsibilities with his uncle and forever changing how music is sold and consumed (not to mention <a href="http://www.wired.com/politics/law/news/2000/04/35670" target="_hplink">irking Lars Ulrich</a>).
FedEx, Yale University
While Frederick W. Smith was at Yale University, he wrote a term paper on how he dreamed of an overnight delivery service. Legend has it Smith received a 'C' for the paper (though he <a href="http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/04_38/b3900032_mz072.htm" target="_hplink" target="_hplink">claims otherwise</a>). Regardless, the service blossomed into a business with upwards of $37 billion in revenue.
Microsoft, Harvard University
In 1973, Bill Gates persuaded his friend Paul Allen drop out of Harvard with him to launch their own computer software company, otherwise known as Microsoft. Not too long after, Gates's Harvard pal Steve Ballmer joined them.
Dell Inc., University of Texas
Michael Dell didn't waste time fretting about finding a job after college while a student at the University of Texas-Austin. Instead he launched his own company out of his dorm room in 1984, selling IBM PC computers. In as a little as a year, Dell created its own computer called the "Turbo PC." By 1992, Dell was the youngest CEO of a Fortune 500 company.
Facebook, Harvard University
Before Facebook became a $3.75 billion-plus social networking corporation, founder Mark Zuckerberg was blogging about girls in his college dorm room as a Harvard sophomore. Evidently, he redirected his energies to starting Facebook -- again, from his dorm room -- in 2004.