The most powerful three words since ‘I love you’

British entrepreneur’s bid to revolutionise addresses arrives in Denmark

Nothing annoys the British entrepreneur Chris Sheldrick more than the question “Could you please repeat that address?”, although “Could you wait while I find a pen?” probably comes a close second. 

Sheldrick is the CEO and co-founder of What3Words (W3W), a company with a plan to revolutionise the way we give out our addresses. They’re busy spreading the news across the world, and the next stop on the global tour is Denmark. 

Born from frustration
Sheldrick recalls how the idea came from the frustration of working in event logistics. 

“I worked for ten years,” he revealed. “My frustration was caused by suppliers often struggling to find the precise location of the relevant parts of our event sites. That is why I came up with W3W.” 

W3W is based on an algorithm that has divided the entire world into 57 million squares, three metres by three metres. Each square has its own unique three-word address. 

For example, the address of Danish Royal Library, the Black Diamond, is topic.human.recently. If you were to search for those three words on, you would be taken, via satellite, to the corresponding location. 
You can also purchase, for a couple of euros per year, a OneWord address that can be personalised (eg: Jognoffice). 

Cross-platform technology
“I found that there were issues with postal addresses, map links, and GPS co-ordinates as not one of them was able to work well over the phone, in an email, text message, or even on paper,” contended Sheldrick. 

“W3W was founded so that there is a system that works equally well across all forms of communication.”

W3W is easier to say, type, send via mail, translate and search for. You can find a W3W address via any browser on a computer, tablet or phone. 

Hitting the bull’s-eye
If a person is trying to meet you at a large location like the park, it can take time for them to track you down. “I’m at the beach … next to the water,” just doesn’t cut it. 

“That answer is not precise at all, but if you gave the specific W3W, then the person you are meeting will not be wandering around aimlessly forever,” promises Sheldrick. 

Viral campaign
To publicise the launch in Denmark, Sheldrick intends to run a viral campaign amongst students and festival-goers.
He will introduce them to the Pebble watch app ‘Watch3Words’ that enables users to establish their location, in three words and within three metres of course, any time they look at their wrist.

Sheldrick is optimistic the platform can really take off in Denmark. 

“Personally I have friends who live in Copenhagen, and no matter how many different pronunciations I try, no taxi driver ever understands me,” he said. 

“I’m very keen to see the mass adoption of W3W in Denmark!”

  • How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    How internationals can benefit from joining trade unions

    Being part of a trade union is a long-established norm for Danes. But many internationals do not join unions – instead enduring workers’ rights violations. Find out how joining a union could benefit you, and how to go about it.

  • Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals in Denmark rarely join a trade union

    Internationals are overrepresented in the lowest-paid fields of agriculture, transport, cleaning, hotels and restaurants, and construction – industries that classically lack collective agreements. A new analysis from the Workers’ Union’s Business Council suggests that internationals rarely join trade unions – but if they did, it would generate better industry standards.

  • Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    Novo Nordisk overtakes LEGO as the most desirable future workplace amongst university students

    The numbers are especially striking amongst the 3,477 business and economics students polled, of whom 31 percent elected Novo Nordisk as their favorite, compared with 20 percent last year.