A bit of maths proved it was possible.
‘With 40,000 recognisable dictionary words you have 64tn combinations and there are 57tn squares’.
The algorithm behind what3words took six months to write.
After the initial mapping was complete they incorporated an error-correction algorithm which places similar-sounding combinations a very long way apart.
And then there was the question of language: using a team of linguists – what3words is now available in a couple of dozen tongues from Arabic to Zulu.
It has also grown from a company of three to now around 70 full-time employees after two multimillion-dollar rounds of venture capital.
The challenge now is educating the world in their system.