When Thomas Andrews, a Boston University alumnus, read his friend’s vast volume of diaries from years past, he said he was “so enthralled.” This inspired him with the idea of a new app that archives entries and answers to questions, much like a diary.
“I really wanted to find a way to have something like this for myself,” Andrews said. “Something that would archive [my thoughts] and something that I can hold onto for years to get to know myself better.
In October, Andrews launched OneQuesh, a social media app where users journal and write down their thoughts. He came up with the idea in 2013 while a student at the School of Hospitality Administration, and now it’s available for download in the App Store and Google Play Store.
Andrews said users answer a question daily and the app keeps track of their responses. Responses from other users are hidden until the users answer the question themselves to prevent others from affecting how people respond.
“Finally, I said, ‘How cool would it be to centralize a question and create it so that it can be used both online and offline?”, Said Andrews. “We could really merge and build a bridge between our online and offline worlds. “
While users may not like or comment on others’ responses on the app, they can connect through other social media platforms linked to other OneQuesh profiles.
“We’ve really created a safe space so that your answer to the question is not open to comment, so there is no appreciation or comment,” Andrews said. “There is only to be.”
Andrews said he aims for the app to also help businesses and charities tell better stories based on user responses.
“We really aim for transparency and we want to make sure that we bring together a diverse community in an audience so that everyone feels represented and their voice can be heard,” Andrews said. “Not just to create products, but to really change the world. “
OneQuesh, he said, hopes to work with companies, like Nike, and charities who want to be more aware of particular issues.
When Andrews worked at BU Orientation as a student advisor, he asked students one question per day. The idea accompanied him to the London campus of the BU, where he worked after graduation – Andrews said he practiced the same exercise with his resident assistants.
However, the app wasn’t in development until May 2020, when the Black Lives Matter movement inspired an “epiphany” in Andrews, he said, that it was time to launch OneQuesh.
“I looked at myself and said, ‘You know what I can do now that would or might have the capacity to change the world? ” “, did he declare.
Alana Ginnard, head of customer relations at OneQuesh and Andrews’ childhood friend, said Andrews came up with the idea for the app to her at the height of the pandemic.
Ginnard said she appreciates the lack of social pressure on OneQuesh that often comes with other social media apps, that no one is “trying to flaunt this or that.”
“It’s very pure,” Ginnard added. “When I write an answer to a question that is asked of us daily, I am not doing it for anyone else. I’m doing it for myself and I think it’s something that sets OneQuesh apart from its competition.
Andrews said OneQuesh is working with master’s students at Questrom School of Business on data analysis to find a way to “come up with the best questions.”
“Questions are a secret sauce,” Andrews said. “We always work with our content strategy team to create the best questions. “
Ryan Nickulas, award-winning hairstylist, public figure and OneQuesh brand ambassador, said the app can be used as a form of stress relief for those who are more introverted to process their thoughts and write down their feelings.
“We want to do it in a way where it’s not a selfie, it’s not a boomerang,” Nickulas said. “We really want to put our feelings or process our thoughts into words and release them into the universe because they might be helping someone as well as ourselves.”
At OneQuesh, Andrews said he believes “a question can start a conversation and a conversation could change the world.”
“We want our users to know that they are responding in a way that will change the world by being authentically them,” said Andrews. “When you use your authentic voice and speak your truth, you have the power. “