Like so many things, it was born of frustration and stiff cocktails. It was a Saturday, and the two young men were once again stuck without a date for the night. As they sat pouring drinks and sharing laments, the two Harvard freshmen began to flesh out an idea. What if, instead of relying on random chance to meet the right girl, they could use a computer algorithm?
The key to matching people up, they felt, would be to create a set of questions that provided the sort of information everyone is really looking for on those first awkward dates. By matching people using these questionnaires, you could eliminate dates that could best be avoided. The process would be super efficient.
The idea was to market their new service to college students in Boston and around the country. And in short order, that's exactly what they did.
Soon after, the digital...