Fribble Thursday, December 30, 1999

IPO Madness

By Lawrence Kutner (

Dear Investment Banker:

I apologize for not addressing you by name, but I am sending this letter to a lot of people and my time is precious. My partners and I would like to make you aware of our business, which is currently in the pre-seed capital stage, in the hope that you would be interested in helping us take it public.

The name of the business is Our goal is to become the world's primary supplier of periods and commas. As you might surmise, we will be using the Internet as our primary marketing/advertising/sales/fulfillment medium.

There is a profound and growing need for both periods (dots) and commas (coms), both in their original form and as apostrophes and decimal points. Our market research, which focused primarily on the U.S. market, indicates that the need will grow exponentially over the next century. (Exponents, however, were not included in our market estimates since they often replace one or more coms with a slightly smaller dot.)

Internationally, growth potential varies with the countries involved. Germany, Austria and Switzerland, with their extensive use of umlauts, would be a high priority target. France, with its multitude of accents, may offer the possibility of a separate division with its own tracking stock and a possible later spinoff. Much of Asia will be a problem, however.

One good measure of the burgeoning need for dots and coms is the growth of e-mail over the past decade. Surely you remember the crisis in the @ supply during the early days. Our business, if adequately funded, can prevent a similar shortage, which we predict will occur in April of 2003. A timeline is attached as Appendix A. In fact, our complete business plan is filled with appendices that have lots of graphs and charts. If you look closely, you'll also see that every single chart contains at least one dot or com, thereby validating our business model. And when it comes to ellipses, well...

Please let me know if you're interested in making a lot of money by taking our company public next year. I'll send you the complete business plan. Just let me know your FedEx number, since we've noticed problems when it's sent as an e-mail attachment.


M. B. Admin