Eric Pheterson has been keeping a notebook of innovative ideas as long as he’s been in school.

With his startup company Good Ol’ Original Design Inc., Pheterson and his colleagues have developed innovative new products with one goal: to help solve the world’s problems.

They’ve published e-books, created license-plate-messaging technology and are the leading frozen banana distributors in the state of Florida, Pheterson said.

“I wanted to bring things out that I thought would add value to the world,” said Pheterson, a UF aerospace and mechanical engineering alumnus.

Though a young startup, Gainesville’s GOOD Inc. has a few projects underway.

An app called TXT TAG allows a user to send messages to a stranger, knowing only his or her license plate number. This comes in handy in lots of “annoying” traffic situations, Pheterson said.

Laura Johnson, a 19-year-old UF international studies sophomore, said she wished she knew about the technology a month ago.

“I got towed from my own parking complex at night and didn’t find out until the next morning when I had to drive my mom to the hospital,” she said.

With the company’s GOOD Pet Feeder, a dog can retrieve meals from an automated machine.

The pet feeder can tell owners whether a dog is eating or offer a dog a snack. Even when they’re away, owners of the pet feeder can interact with pets from a smartphone or tablet, Pheterson said.

As for the frozen bananas, Pheterson said the dessert brings good to the world by offering a delicious treat that’s also healthy and affordable.

He and GOOD Inc. will take on a project as long as it answers yes to the following: Does it add value to the world? Is it going to be viable? And will it improve lives?

A version of this story ran on page 4 on 11/18/2013 under the headline "Gainesville startup’s projects vary"