DoGood: Encouraging Good Deeds at Scale
In 2009, mobile app development was just getting off the ground. That's when U-M students Jason Bornhurst, Mayank Garg, and Kunal Jham took Prof. Elliot Soloway's EECS 498 course, "Mobile and Web App Programming" class, which was offered for the first time that year.
Inspired by the class and the potential for mobile apps to impact society, the three envisioned a new app that would promote good deeds."We simply wanted to empower the 40 million iPhone and iPod Touch users to collectively do acts of kindness," said Jason Bornhorst, who in 2009 was a senior computer science and engineering student. "I can go smile at a stranger, but what if we could get 300,000 people to do that? … The world needs something like this."
The three formed a company, called Mobil33t, (pronounced "mobil-EET"), and developed their app, which they called DoGood. DoGood lets users leave stories about how they participated in a day's suggested good deed. It also integrates with Facebook and Twitter so participants can send a message to their friends when they've finished an act of kindness. The app was an immediate hit, and was downloaded more than 10,000 times in the two weeks following its June 8, 2009 release on the iTunes App Store.
In April 2010, DoGood was acquired by Tonic, a digital media company whose mission is to promote the good that happens around the world each day. Regarding the acquisition, Tonic President Will Weisman said, "We loved what Jason, Kunal and Mayank had created and thought it was a great fit with Tonic's efforts to share all the positive, hopeful and inspirational news that happens in the world."
Bornhorst and Jham graduated from Michigan with computer science degrees. Garg graduated from the the U-M School of Art & Design.
More About DoGood
Smartphone app by U-M students promotes good deeds (U-M News Service)
DoGood movement grows: Student iPhone app acquired by national company (U-M News Service)