Welcome to the inaugural issue of the revised and revisited Chicago
Brain Trust. As you may recall, our tag line is "A humorous look at the
Chicago-area's e-business community." And we'll be bringing that at you
in a weekly e-mail commencing, well, right now.
If you're looking for our signature cartoons, boogie on over to
<http://chicagobraintrust.com/retinalimages.htm<, and while you're at
it, check out our fine selection of daily comic strips at
And as long as you're clicking, make sure you get acquainted with our
new Head of Investor Relations at
And now, on with the show...
Chief Executive Smart-Ass
The Chicago Brain Trust
WARNING: There is no truth in any of the materials in this newsletter,
except by satirical inference.
Flip Resigns From divine Post, Starts Band
(Buzzed M.S.P. - For Immediate Release) divine, Inc. CEO, Andrew "Flip"
Filopowski, has resigned from the organization and will soon begin
touring with his blues band, in support of his new album,
"divine is in sound financial shape," Filiposwki said in a press
conference earlier today. "I'm comfortable leaving divine to fend for
itself as I move on to greater opportunities. When I came to the
realization that divine, and to a lesser extent, Chicago's Internet
presence, could exist without my constant presence and supervision, I
began searching for another field I could put my stamp on and
Filipowski decided his next venture would be in the field of music.
Specifically, the music of the Blues. Filipowski, formed a back-up
band, "The Cronies," consisting, as is his custom, of former Platinum
"I realized that divine was not sufficiently about promoting myself,"
Filipowski continued. "As such, I consulted the Reverend Jesse Jackson,
as Rev. Jackson is the only person I could think of that might be
qualified to advise me on self-promotion. Eventually we determined,
much as Rev. Jackson had become much-beloved for reading Doctor Seuss on
television, that were I to record an album, perhaps the general public
could come to hold the sound of my voice in the same high esteem that I
Filipowski says his decision to take up the Blues was because of the
musical genre's strong association with Chicago and under-performing
record sales. "People say I don't know what the Blues are about,"
Filipowski commented. "To me, anything that's not performing up to its
potential has the Blues, be it a company, somebody who bothered to get
an MBA from Harvard, or even entire musical style. From where I'm
sitting, the Blues has the Blues."
Filipowski is on record as intending "to single-handedly save the
Chicago Blues industry."
Filipowski's signature tune, "I Sold a Company For $200 Million and I
Can't Get No Respect," appears to have a hit a popular chord with
Silicon Valley executives, generating enough buzz for Filipowski to
predict a platinum record for the single.
Other tunes on the album include: "The IPO Blues," "I Can't Remember
Which Residence I Left My Baby In," and a remake of "Careless Whispers"
dedicated to Chicago Internet watchdog, Ron May.
When asked for comment, Chicago Blues legend Buddy Guy could only stare
blankly and repeat the words of author Joseph Conrad: "The horror. The
For more information, contact Buzzed M.S.P.*
(M.S.P. = Mechanism for SEC Placation)
Find your dream job on OpportunityNOCs.org
Dispelling the Myth - The Universe Does Not Revolve Around Technology
By The Big Head
Much like the medieval myth that the Sun and the entire universe
revolving around the Earth, for the last 5 years, our economy has been
guided by a similar myth. The myth that technology was and would drive
In the last 12 months, however, those of us in the technology field have
felt like our entire world has collapsed around us. With layoffs,
closing of dot coms, the nosedive of the Nasdaq, the disappearance of
angel investors, and the barricading of the doors to funding, it seems
like our entire world has fallen on dark times.
To our mind, and the minds of all of the financial community, the entire
universe revolved around the failings of our technology sector, and if
so, then the economy was surely doomed. I, being at the epicenter of
technology for over 5 years, tended to agree with these sentiments.
But miraculously, something strange has happened. In a strange twist of
revelation, people are beginning to point out that the universe, indeed,
does not revolve around the planet of technology; it instead revolves
around the economy as a whole.
Key planetary indicators like: housing, consumer spending, large ticket
items, and automobiles are all holding strong. Indeed, it is
increasingly clear that technology was merely one planet in the entire
economic universe. And as we now know, all planets revolve around the
Sun, not around the Earth. The universal economy as a whole is more like
our solar system and is made up of many factors, all microcosms in and
of themselves - much like moons and asteroids revolving around a single
planet, but yet all truly still revolving around Sol, the core of our
So instead of a revolutionary idea driving our economy, the economic
philosophers of old are coming back into vogue. As they have always
said: it was always about the Sun. Technology is a part of our economic
universe - a planet perhaps, maybe only a moon, but certainly not the
Here are some interesting statistics gathered from a recent study: The
study from the Pew Internet & American Life Project serves up a heaping
dose of reality to those who were wearing new-economy blinders. Pew
estimates only one in six Americans has been
touched by dot-com death - either knowing someone who was laid off,
missing a favorite site or losing money invested in the Net.
? Just 7 percent say they've lost money on a dot-com-related investment;
? Only 8 percent lost one of their favorite sites because of the dot-com
? And while TheStandard.com's Layoff Tracker has tallied nearly 65,000
lost jobs among Internet-related businesses, just 9 percent of those
surveyed by Pew knew someone let go from an Internet Economy position.
? More than two-thirds of the respondents said they hadn't closely
followed the dot-com devastation, and one out of three said they didn't
know anything about the cratering of the Internet Economy.
And this recently from Crains in Chicago: "Despite economic slowing, the
Chicago region added nearly 56,000 jobs in the 12 month period ended
March 2000, hitting a record total and the highest total employment in a
How can that be?
The tech world is collapsing! Life will cease to exist! The world will
come to a stop!
This can't be! Everything revolves around my planet of technology!
No, more likely, we will look back on this "collapse," years from now
and consider it nothing more than a celestial eclipse. Though we in the
technology world feel like we are in a total eclipse of the sun, the
other planets (economic indicators for those not
following the astronomy analogy) are in a partial eclipse, if they are
in one at all.
So think of the technology sector as being in a brief time when all in
the world seems bathed in darkness. But what was our "light" based upon?
Tech values were non-sensible and out of line, consumer spending was
higher than cost of living increases, a false sense of wealth and
prosperity had set in, 20-something's were spending more cash in a year
than they will ever see in their lifetime, companies focused on hiring
and expansion as opposed to prudent management of funds, and the list
goes on and on.
Yes, as we approached the eclipse, we thought the sun revolved around
our planet and as we were the center of the economic universe, we felt
we could do no wrong. However, the Sun, that great epicenter of the
entire economy, has cast a shadow on our lowly planet of technology.
Thus reminding us once again that all is in order in the universe. Will
the Sun shine again? Of course it will. Will we be the center of the
economic universe, no, and we should never expect to be - no planet is
So, right now, the ones panicking from an absence of sunlight are the
youngsters who have never seen or experienced an eclipse before. If you
are still not following, I am referring to an economic downturn, a slow
down, a correction, or at worst, a recession.
Yes, if you talk to wise old sages (those over 35 who at least felt the
pinch of the 87 crash and those of the 50's, 60's and 70's), they will
tell you it was always like this. Sometimes the sun shines on you, and
sometimes you are left in the dark.
With my brief history in technology, Sunshine and prosperity is all I
have known. But I should have known, history doth have a way of
repeating itself. I often used to hear, "Son, you weren't around when
the bio tech's were going crazy". The reference being, that all
explosively absurd events go through a correction, an eclipse if you
will. History is fraught with such examples: biotech, oil, gold,
automobiles, railroads, gold again, tulips, and once even, spices like
pepper and cumin, the list goes on.
What will the next planet be that thinks the Sun doth revolve around it?
Yes, history doth have a way of repeating itself, however in the long
run; no matter what planet you are on, you will be in the light more
often than the dark.
Buy palm and handheld software
HEADLINES OF THE WEEK - 5/16/00
Eppraisals.com Appraises Self, Finds Out It's Worthless
(Evanston, IL) Eppraisals.com, who had received $15.5 million in venture
capital from angel investors, including Casey Cowell and venture capital
firms New World Ventures, Tribune Ventures, BlueStar Ventures and Plum
Capital, decided to test it's software on itself last week, and in a
stunning surprise, found that it was only worth $15 bucks. A devastated
Leslie Hindman was cited as saying: "I just can't believe it, we were
spending money hand over fist assuming we would easily be worth $400
million, and our software told us otherwise."
Hindman also indicated that their corporate checkbook contained $1.34,
which she took as another indication that their valuation may have been
off a little. It is rumored that appraisals of all of the staff by the
software, indicated lower values than expected as well.
Tom Thornton Rumored to be Newest Internet Billionaire
(Chicago, IL) Tom Thornton, former divine Interventures executive, has
finally revealed the ugly truth - he profited from the Internet!
Contrary to popular public opinion, Mr. Thornton did not leave divine
because of the company's shift in direction from "incubator" to
"software developer". Rumors indicated that Mr. Thornton actually left
because he was too wealthy!
May Report Editor, Ron May has offered up proof to this effect by
publishing a secret purchase by Thornton of a $17 million dollar
sailboat. The boat easily proves that Thornton profited heavily from
his involvement at divine. Inside information says that Thornton was
granted 600 million shares of divine stock for a loan of only 2 cents,
so even if divine stock has plummeted from over $9.00 to its current
$1.80, Tom is still in the pink.
MarchFIRST Files to change Name to AprilFIRST
(Chicago, IL) Internet consulting firm MarchFIRST filed in U.S.
District Court to change the name of the company. More in keeping with
its current business model, which is, of course, to be out of business.
Bob Bernard, MarchFirst's former president and spokesperson was quoted
as saying, "Answering the phone with AprilFIRST is much more appropriate
than our current greeting."
In a related story, the Company also took time while at court to file
for Chapter 7. Bernard was cited as saying that this paperwork was far
less significant than the name change.
Internet Executives Club Ltd. Holds Meeting, No One Attends.
(Evanston, IL) The IEC 's recent meeting at the Evanston Hilton finds no
attendees. Alex Jarett, spokesperson for the club, responded to our
queries with a puzzled retort. I just don't get it, I sent invitations
out like I always do and no one showed up." Asked who normally
attended, he responded, "Here, look at our list; Under "B", there's
Bernard, Bob; under "D" there's Doyle, Paul; under "L" Lederer, William
. . . "
When we left, he was still reciting names and mumbling. The last one we
heard him say was "under "W" there's Weinstein, David".
Deloitee & Touche "Tech Fast 50" Gets Speeding Ticket.
(Chicago, IL) Deloitee & Touche was having trouble getting nominees for
their annual 50 hottest high tech companies in the Chicago area. Reason
seemed to be that the companies were speeding on their way out of town.
Among the current nominees are: divine Interventures, AprilFirst,
Xpedior, and Blue Meteor. D&T spokesperson H. R. Gabble said: These
companies are moving so fast that we just can't seem to get a hold of
KNOCKNOW sent packing from SpringBoard 2001
(Chicago, IL) Members of the famous Internet networking association
were sent packing by ushers at the Springboard 2001 event. It seems
that in a typographical error, the nametags of Mr. Stephen Meade and Bob
Gerometta inadvertently had their organization's name misspelled as
Springboard spokesperson Merrill Lieberman was overheard to have said:
"Those two VIPs think they can get away with anything. Just because
Meade has cornered the market on Chicago blondes and Gerometta has a 19
year-old wife is no excuse to start a company with a name so offensive
to women!" When explained about the misspelling, and the current impact
of KNOCKNOW on the local tech community, Ms. Lieberman was cited as
retorting, "Oh, and I suppose they let women attend their exclusive
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This has been a production of the Chicago Brain Trust. All materials
are copyright 2001, The Chicago Brain Trust, all rights reserved.
For more mayhem, visit the Chicago Brain Trust at
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