If we weren’t running this company, we would be its No 1 customers,’ say Michael Smith and Tom Boardman, who founded the gadget retailer Firebox.com in 1998. The website initially sold their popular invention – the shot-glass chess set. It now claims to be the trendiest destination for those seeking an unusual gift, whether a retro Atari joystick with 10 preloaded games, a portable DVD player or a futuristic flying car at £324,000. Firebox has received £500,000 of investment from New Media Spark, with further funding from private investors. Sales have grown 156% a year from £262,000 in 2000 to £4.4m in 2003. The company is planning to introduce concessions in high-street stores.
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