Start a Business in Your Dorm Using the Facebook Business Model

by on September 23rd, 2010
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According to a NBC news affiliate’s report, 85% of college graduate will return home because they can’t find a job. So, should you pack your bags and head home – leave the college life for those who have the time and money to waste? No, use your time in college to start a business.

Just about everybody knows that Mark Zuckerberg launched his multi-billion dollar company, Facebook, from his dorm room. But he isn’t the only one to start a multi-million dollar business from his dorm. Matt Mullenweg started WordPress, Michael Dell started PC Limited (which later became Dell Computers), and Taylor Mingos started Shoeboxed from his Duke University dorm room.

Let’s take a look at some steps that Mark Zurkerberg or others used to start making millions from their dorm room:

Write down your plan. Ask yourself the basic: who, what, where, when, why, and how questions. Also, ask others for suggestions – but be careful about the details you give, you don’t want someone to rip off your idea, and they make the millions.

Use as many university resources as possible. Many universities have free computer labs, libraries, print shops, etc. – use these resources to your advantage. If you’re not good with technology, ask for help from your IT department. Find some art majors who can Photoshop your artwork, labels, or whatever you need. Look around and find as many free resources as possible.

Cut your start-up cost as much as possible. Mark started Facebook using open-source (FREE) software, while Michael Dell, Steve Jobs, and Bill Gates all started building their computers from cheap spare parts in their rooms and selling them one at a time to stores and consumers. The point is, start small and cheap – the goal is to make as much profit as soon as possible.

Gain as many users/consumers as possible. The best way to do this is word of mouth – this was Facebook’s only promotional tool in the beginning.

Have several revenue streams. Meaning, don’t just rely on the sale of one item in one manner. For example, if you start a t-shirt company from your dorm. Sell the shirts to students on campus, online, and even try to get them in a store or two around campus.


Simply Zesty – The Facebook Business Model Diagram – Are They Morphing In To A Media Company? By Hiall Harbison
Forbes – How to Start a Business From Your Dorm Room, By David K. Randall
NBC Channel 17 News – Some College graduates become ‘boomerangs,’ return home after graduation
Fast Up Front – 18 Famous college Dorm Room Businesses that Made Millions

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