How it started
One day, I was watching a science program on television where they were describing an imaginative new use for the latest wonder of modern science, the electronic computer. The application being described was an experiment in computer dating which was being carried out at Harvard University (this was at a time when the only computers in existence were at government research establishments, universities and a few very large companies).
As I'd been involved in computer research (at a government research and development establishment as part of my student training) I could easily understand how such a system could be programmed and immediately recognized the commercial possibilities. In those days, computers were designed with thermionic tubes and low level programs were fed in via punched cards. It was all very primitive but quite capable of reading in the results of questionnaires, then comparing and matching the answers.
I designed an appropriate questionnaire and created a suitable program to match people together. This did not lead to creating a successful dating agency, but an experiment on a local scale provided me with a simple concept that has continued to fascinate and interest me till this present day: people can be represented as a series of holes punched into a card.