If Nick Jenkins had put all his efforts into his first business idea, rather than his third, Britain would have a far wider choice of exotic mushrooms. If he’d gone for his second, thousands more Japanese salarymen might today be speaking perfect English. But Jenkins went for his third, a website selling personalised greetings cards. And as a result, three million people last year opened an envelope to discover their face on the front of Oi! magazine or one of Moonpig’s thousands of other cards.
The idea was planted in the late 1990s: Jenkins had just quit his first job after university, working as a commodities trader for metals firm Glencore in Moscow. A brush with a shady Russian businessman had led to a death threat nailed ...