Meet Dave Schools - Founder of questions app Party Q's, author of Runaway Millionaire, and creator of viral Medium publication, 'The Entrepreneur's Handbook'.
Tell us about Party Q's. How did you come up with the idea?
Party Qs is a questions app with a mission to help people with social anxiety replace awkward silences with interesting conversations. It has 930 questions and a sleek, minimalistic design. It's popular for date nights, family gatherings, and friend outings. My cofounder and I built Party Qs after an experience I had where every Wednesday, my wife and I would lead a small group in our living room. The group always started with an ice breaker, to rally everyone. The group would think of one and everyone would go around and answer it. The questions were fun or deep or zany, etc. and resulted in everyone feeling connected, united, and open. Over time, I recorded these questions in a note on my phone. This note evolved into Party Qs today. We just passed 4.3k monthly active users around the world. It's growing fast, has fantastic ratings, and will probably pass 5k MAU this month!
You are the author of Runaway Millionaire and a former columnist for Inc.. What do you enjoy writing about, and why should readers pick up your book?
I have a mild case of multiple personality disorder in my writing. I write mostly nonfiction but I also wrote a novel (Runaway Millionaire) and my poetry has been published in magazines. Runaway Millionaire is a story about a restless son who steals $10 million from his blue collar father, runs away to the city, and re-creates himself as a successful businessman / venture capitalist. The veneer of success only lasts so long and everything comes crashing down, including his personal love life. He hits rock bottom. The story is about the consequences of selfish ambition, success, and betrayal, and also a father's transformation and a family's restoration. If you struggle with controlling your ambition or feeling loved and accepted (including by yourself), Runaway Millionaire might be for you.
For nonfiction, I love writing about how to turn ideas into income. Entrepreneur's Handbook is dedicated to this mysterious, amorphous process.
The reason I write is to find deeper freedom through curiosity. Tim Urban (writer from Wait But Why) said to write for a million 'Tims' -- when I write about the struggles and problems I'm facing, I aim to help the million 'Daves' out there who are facing the same thing.
Tell us about how the Entrepreneur's Handbook went viral on Medium.
One Saturday morning at the community table in Starbucks, I wrote a post with a long title, 'I sat down with a millionaire who operates 10 businesses while sailing around the world with his family'. I hit publish and forgot about it. The next day it was #3 in Medium's Top Stories. It received 84,000 views that month. Over time, it got into the top stories again and again. Michael Hyatt, founder of Thomas Nelson publishers, commented on it. Fortune, Business Insider, Quartz, and other main publications re-published it. It's been one of my most successful blog posts ever and has helped Entrepreneur's Handbook become a top 50 Medium publication with 63k followers and growing at over 100 new followers a day.