in the news

Brett Dikeman brett at
Tue Apr 1 00:54:23 EST 2003

Posted early this morning.
The Ultimate in Unbiased Reporting goes IPO!

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, NY has announced it is in the final
steps of an Intial Public Offering.  CEO Dan Simoes explained the
logic behind the move: "One day, we woke up and realized, 'Shit, we'd
been loosing money for years, why haven't we gone IPO?'.  We've been
around for almost 15 years, and we haven't turned a profit during
that entire time.  Our record is unmatched in the business world;
Worldcom may have lost a couple billion, but did they do it over 15
years?  Nope, just a few years.  How old school...they relied heavily
on fraud.  That's what you get for having 'Grey Hairs' in your
management team."

   The numbers back up Mr. Simoes's comments; since its inception, The
Quattro List, renamed to, has lost money every single
year, according to their L/P reports. staff bristle at
the suggestion that the company name was changed to take advantage of
the "dot bomb" craze.  "We were loosing money well before we changed
our name," stated CTO Brett Dikeman.

   Under the symbol AUDI, 10,000,000 shares are to be offered at an
initial price of $50.  A company employee, who didn't wish to be
quoted, said "we're all very excited- many of us got great options
packages.  Management got the best deals, rumor has it around $60 to
70 per share- we didn't get quite as good a deal, $40 or so.  Still,
everyone's hoping it'll drop like a rock on the first day.  We may
even set a record drop!" hasn't rested on their laurels, as VP of Development
Mark Chang explains: "We came to the conclusion that we just weren't
using up enough bandwidth, so we switched to a mailing list
management program with at least half a dozen extraneous headers.
The new software boosted productivity- it made the lists easier to
subscribe to, which increased the number of WebTV, AOL and Prodigy
users.  That alone boosted the noise on-lists by a healthy 20%.  That
wasn't enough- among other things, the sophisticated automatic
bounce-handling worked really well, and cut down on extraneous
bounces, negating the overhead of the extra headers.  So we added
some web-based features whereby people could upload insanely large
images of their cars.  It's working great- we get a return rate of
about 10-50x on uploaded content."  There have been successes in
hidden areas: "The Marketplace worked out better than we could have
dreamed.  Not only do people post for-sale items in the Marketplace,
but they post about them on-list, which has the added benefit of
causing flame wars, and those eat up bandwidth like crazy", Chang
says, beaming.  "I'll admit, that one was a surprise."

   Not that the journey has been easy, according to Brett.  "A few
years back, we moved off our ISDN line to a slightly higher capacity
DSL line.  It was great, our burn rate shot through the roof.
Unfortunately, now we're in tough times- we've got free hosting now."

   Dewey, of Dewey, Cheatem, & Howe,'s accounting and
auditing firm, echoed the concern: "It used to be we could show a
loss like that", he says, snapping his fingers.  "Now, we really have
to work the books to show a loss each quarter.  Our reduced IT
spending is killing us."

   The worries have been compounded by a rock-solid IT infrastructure,
according to Brett.  "We're using ancient technology- a single, 10
year old Sun Sparc clone- not even a real Sun- and we had forecast
having much more trouble with it.  While it's been slow as molasses,
doing wonders to boost expenditures in consulting costs while people
simply wait for it to do something- it's been dead reliable.  We're
even using a single old hard drive for maximum unreliability.  Every
once in a while, the drive makes a funny noise, but it just won't
give up the ship.  We've also had some employee sabotage recently-
during a recent server move, someone cleaned out all the dust
bunnies.  We're still investigating that one."

   "We're currently searching for a less reliable vendor to better
meet our 99.9998% downtime goal.  We had some guys in from Microsoft,
and they sold us in a heartbeat.  Difficult to manage, scales poorly,
everything is proprietary, enormous resource requirements, none of
the software is free, and the OS is unreliable and insecure.  It is a
dream come true for us.  The only issue we haven't worked out is
which will loose more money- making staff keep up to date with all
the system and security updates, or leaving the system(s)vulnerable
for people to hack."

   We aren't entirely convinced- there are some glaring issues.  For
example, a downed server consumes no bandwidth, lowering costs.  But,
their management team shows ineptitude, and in the current market,
loosing money is hardly challenging.

   What's in store for the future?   Simoes lets the cat out of the
bag: "We're investigating some breakthrough technologies to help
lower our Total Profit from Ownership on our equipment.  We'll soon
have unbeatable losses; our competitors won't know what hit us."
"They that give up essential liberty to obtain temporary
safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." - Ben Franklin

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