Fund of fund manager to be announced in two weeks, says Ed Condon;

April 20, 2004

The May Report: 4/20/2004: Northern Illinois Angels funded Supplemental;
Education late last year; Bret Johnson to be acting director of Evanston ITEC;
Fund of fund manager to be announced in two weeks, says Ed Condon; Brent
Donnell; Jim Charney resurfaces at DePaul (part-time)

Editor and publisher: Ron May, ron@,,

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The Scoop section:

— Misty Gruber is at Dykema Gossett Rooks Pitts PLLC

— Briefly noted, by Ron May

1a. Efoora mail (1 message)
1b. Liz Ryan: Don’t touch that dial!!
1c. John Stanton: Chicago Community Tech Day 4/24/04
1d. Robb Hendrickson: Responds to Jelly Fishy talker note
1e. Dan Limbach: Jellifish projections
1f. Abbott pumped up over heart drug from Reuters News Service
1g. Miscellaneous: (2 messages)

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The Scoop section:
Misty Gruber is at Dykema Gossett Rooks Pitts PLLC

Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 14:22:50 -0500
From: “Gruber, Misty”

The answer to your question:

Misty S. Gruber
Dykema Gossett Rooks Pitts PLLC
10 South Wacker Drive
Suite 2300
Chicago, IL 60606
312-627-2122 (tel)
312-876-1155 (fax)
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Briefly noted, by Ron May

* First of all, I would like to thank Field Harbor Parking and Mark Goodman and
Associates and ANET Internet Solutions for sponsoring the “Secrets of The May
Report revealed” event tonight at Costa’s from 6pm to 10pm. We have about sixty
people who have RSVPed so far and I expect that more will filter in throughout
the evening. I was advised to wear a tux and do it up big, but no time for
that. With the sponsorship of Field Harbor Parking, Goodman and ANET, we will
be able to provide food for the attendees. Oopah!!

* I met a very enthusiastic woman named Sheila Cull who is trying to get
published. She was a Honey Bear and a Luv-a-Bull, but had a life changing
accident which she wrote about very touchingly. I know her from the Pak Mail
down the street near Belmont and Broadway. She gave me several things she has
written and is trying to get published. I told her that it is not much, but I
would be happy to publish her writing in TMR. So, tomorrow she debuts here as a
published writer. Let Sheila know what you think.

* I decided that there was so much info that I would do sixty things to tell
your mother.

1. Bret Johnson will be the acting head of the Evanston ITEC. I attended Jeff
Coney’s farewell party on Friday in their offices, which are quite nice and the
artwork is impressive (on loan, Bob Lepkowski told me.) The event had people
flowing in and out, but I would estimate at least fifty people throughout the
two hour period that I was there. Jeff got a few signed photos, and a cake with
his picture on it, and a portable golf putter.

2. Among the attendees at the Coney farewell were Scott Glickson, who it turns
out, is on the board of the Evanston ITEC, Bob Lepkowski, who is their “VC in
residence” and who helps companies on a volunteer basis. Bob invested in
Perceptual Robotics, as you may recall and was their main angel investor early
on; Ira Uslander from NU, Nancy Sullivan, George Nelson who now works for NU in
alumni relations and development, and seemed a little concerned about my
talking to his new boss, (a very nice lady whose name, I believe, is Kate Igoe,
director of Corporate Relations); Ed Condon, with whom I had a great
conversation, a few of the companies the Evanston ITEC invested in were there,
including Ocularis represented by Al Meyer and Bob Lepkowski (who is both
investor and advisor), and Prith Banerjee who started AccelChip and who now
appears to be back to teaching at NU, but he still may have some affiliation.
The firm moved to California in early 2003. Robert Jacobi was there; Sarah
Sikora with her husband; Bret Johnson had his wife and eighteen month old son,
Alex, who opened part of Jeff’s present, but lost interest before it was open;
Brent Donnell, who is now working as a consultant to companies since leaving
Northern Illinois Angels, has a firm called Donnell & Company (venture
advisors) and he can be reached at 847-420-9172 or or

Ira Uslander reminded me that the event last week held by the Women Advancing
BioScience was also sponsored by the Technology Management Association (TMA),
and I pointed out to Ira that the speech was given after 8pm, after a long
dinner and many people had already left, including Darcy and Mary Dicig. They
should have had a shorter dinner and earlier speech. Nonetheless, Ira said he
would try to give me an update on what was said.

3. Brent Donnell told me that Northern Illinois Angels did two deals last year.
The second deal was in December and was with Supplemental Education and he did
not know the amount of the deal (Bart Carlson or Jim Mackey would know), and
the first was, of course, Adeptia. Jim Mackey does due diligence for NIA. Jim
is a staff member who does the work on the deals. It was Brent and Jim. The way
it was structured is that Brent and Jim were paid a salary and the company that
got funded paid a “success fee” to NIA and NIA also got paid a membership fee
from the members. They also got paid a carry like a regular fund because NIA
managed the investment after it was made.

4. The NIA deal with Integrated e-com did not materialize because they could
not raise the complete round. There were investors soft circled, but the
decision was made not to close on any of the money if they could not get the
full round. The full amount would have been $400K, but they had about $300K
raised. So the deal did not happen because that $100K would have made the
difference and the investors who were in on the deal did not want to get caught

5. Brent is working with Apex Performance Systems out of Madison, Wisconsin.
They provide sales training, They provide both
the e-learning system and the content. The trainees are working with real sales
prospects during the training program. It is a thirty step process. The company
works with sales managers. Brent is also working with Adeptia, a local software
firm. Of course, Adeptia is one of the two firms that NIA funded. Brent is
providing them with business development assistance, lining up tech partners,
but he told me that he is not fundraising for them. They were a client of
Brent’s going back to Silicon Valley Bank and he only started working with them
as a consultant after leaving NIA, he told me today in a follow-up conversation
on the phone.

Brent is looking for CRM software providers who will take the Adeptia
technology and either bundle it or integrate it so that fewer software services
are required and the implementation is faster and cheaper. Adeptia is a
Churchwell investment as well.

6. Scott Glickson is in Vegas this week playing golf. Bob Geras, by the way, is
also there for four days, but I believe at a show.

Forget sixty things. I just don’t have the time. Putting on an event takes a
lot more time than I thought. But the good news is that I have gotten in touch
with many people I haven’t talked to in a while and it’s all good, as Julia

But the report has taken a back seat to the planning of an event the last few
days. A lot of people travel and are out of town: Howard Solomon is in New York
for a bris, Hilary Marsh is in Philadelphia; Bruce Freud is in LA; Bob Geras is
in Vegas; Scott Glickson is in Vegas, but for golfing; Tom Churchwell is in
Peoria, and on it goes. But Gian Fulgoni of comScore Networks is flying in and
gets into O’Hare at 6pm and will come from the airport to the event.

Bob Geras just sent me a note about why he is in Vegas:

Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 07:37:58 -0700 (PDT)
From: Bob Geras
Subject: Re: I’d like to personally invite you to my “Secrets of The May
Report revealed” event at Costa’s on Tuesday night.
To: The May Report

It’s the Electronic Transaction Assn. show at the MGM April 20-22.
( I’m there for a Santa Ana company called
Exadigm. Check it out at . I’m the majority shareholder
and it’s really taking off. (Sales last year $600m…We booked
$6.5 mil so far in Q1 this year!

— The May Report wrote:
> At 07:21 PM 4/19/2004, you wrote:
> >Hi Ron,
> > I think it would be a hoot, and I’m sorry I’ll be out of town
> from
> >the 20th thru the 24th. Did you plan it that way??
> > Bob
May here again. Some people say I am a hyprocrite. You know what, I am and I am
proud of it. I am not going to allow tape recorders or note taking. Everyone
has to feel free to talk freely at this event. I have stories to tell, and I am
sure that Wally Cornett and Darcy and Dick Reck have a few of their own.

7. Here are news items I have picked up in the last few days:

ZuChem got another $500K in funding. I saw that in Michael Krauss’ column in
The Sun-Times.

This is not “news” but I did notice an unsubscribe request for Jurgen Stark at
Centerpost, so I asked about it at the Coney party and found out that he went
back to Motorola a year ago. News travels slowly in some parts. I have to watch
those subscribe/unsubscribe requests more carefully.

8. Ed Condon, who has been hired on a consulting basis to organize the
fund-of-funds program under State Treasurer Judy Barr Topinka’s office had a
long discussion with me at Jeff Coney’s farewell party. He told me that the
fund will be between $50MM and $60MM and in two weeks the fund manager will be
announced. The fund manager will be an experienced venture firm, I believe, if
I understood Ed correctly. He said it will be a package, and that we should be
pleased with it. What I understood that to mean is that it will not be an
individual, but rather a fund, that will have responsibility for deciding on
what funds will receive the money. So, a fund will decide on what other funds
get the money. Each fund that gets money can get as much as 10% of the size of
the fund. So, if Churchwell, for example, has a $50MM fund, he could get $5MM
from the Topinka money.

The funds will not be required to invest in Illinois but will be encouraged to
do so. The rules that govern the fund for the other LPs will also stand for
this money. If the fund is closed already, it would be possible to set up a
side-by-side fund of a few million, along the lines of the way money was
handled by Frontenac for the Platinum money back about fifteen years ago. As
Dick Reck explained to me, various funds like Marquette have set up these
side-by-side funds which get a few hundred grand from several business execs
like Casey or Flip and that side fund invests along with the main fund.

Another issue I discussed with Ed Condon is what is going on with the Illinois
Opportunity Fund, and we got into a complicated conversation about how our fund
may follow the Oklahoma model or the Indiana model, or whatever other model
there is.

Ed can be reached at 312-474-1901 and

I think I now get it, and that is because I finally got a clearer understanding
of the issue from Ed and then from Dick Reck. The model being used by Illinois,
supposedly, involves state backing and the investors in the fund get a tax
benefit if they incur a loss. That is somewhat controversial because in
economic theory terms it creates a distortion. The risk is not taken entirely
by the risk-takers and is shifted somewhat to the state. They are protected on
the down side and the state does not get the full benefit on the up-side, if I
understand this correctly.

But there is more. I did not understand why Churchwell would oppose that
because such a deal is good for the investors, right? Any investors should be
happy with such a deal because they get to reduce their risk somewhat. What is
the problem with that? Dick Reck explained to me, and this is a good example
of why Dick is a great person to talk to, that most venture funds get their
money from pension funds and insurance companies. Those investors get no tax
benefit if they lose money. Thus, the investors in the state backed fund, who
are taxpayers, if it is structured the way they are talking, would have an edge
because of the tax benefit and that could make the state backed fund more
competitive from the point of view of someone like Churchwell. If that is the
case, it could even effect valuation, Reck explained. That means that deals
done through the Opportunity Fund, if it turns out to be structured that way,
would be more competitive against a Churchwell, for example, and that could
explain why Tom is not overjoyed with the model. Now, I hope I have this right.
It is a bit complicated.

9. xwarx

10. Let me end on this bit of trivia. In thinking about my event this evening,
I decided to do some searching of the archives and came up with this list of
people who have been mentioned at least 100 times. That is as high as my search
engine goes, so I am sure it would be nice who is in the 200 and 300 club, but
we need better technology for that.

Below 100’s are also listed:

TMR 100 club

People whose names have appeared at LEAST 100 times in the archives:

No order since 100 is the largest number of items the search engine can find:

Neil Kane
Jerry Mitchell

Less than 100:

Spirisson and Spirrison: 89
Glennon: 82
Tebbe 81
Jarett: 80 (includes spelling Jarrett)
Rudberg: 73
McDonough: 71
Achler: 69
Andre: 68
Maxson: 67
Cooper: 65
Renwall: 64
Sawhney: 63 (Mohan: 67)
Tullman: 61
Pritzker: 61 (that is all references to any Pritzker, but it does not count
just saying JB)
Fulgoni: 55
Coney: 55
Wolinsky: 55
Ferro: 54
Steve Mitchell: 53
Cornett: 52
Roldan: 49
Figel: 45
Covall: 45
Batterson: 45
Rokop: 44
Charney: 44
ShipNow: 43
Rozner: 43
Nourie: 42
Dalton: 41
Sweis: 40
Farina: 39
Murdock: 39
Scott Kane: 38 (remember, there was a divine Scott Kane too)
Lynne Baker: 36
Carnahan: 37
Tomes: 35
Salvadore: 34
Bergstein: 31
Munaretto: 30
Okabe: 30
Dicig: 30
Darragh: 30
Hindman: 29
Ingersoll: 29
Nikolich: 29
Schabes: 28
Birck: 28
Ari: 28
Arora: 27
Grosky: 27
Newkirk: 27
Wasserberger: 26
Peter Fox: 25
John Kennedy: 25
Landman: 23
Mike Freud: 22
Cowell: 21
Hettwer: 21
Andrus: 19
Flint: 18
Zapata: 17
Samantha Borland: 15
Gulley: 10

And finally, as I was making up an invite list this morning for my “Secrets of
The May Report revealed” event Tuesday night, I did some searches on the list
and was surprised to find the large number of lawyers at various law firms. I
rarely see these guys at meetings, but they read TMR. Sachnoff & Weaver: 22
names; KMZR: 33 names; Sonnenschein: 24 names; Gardner Carton & Douglas (GCD):
26 names; Mayer Brown Rowe: 19 names; Gordon & Glickson (ggtech): 18 names;
HKlaw or MBC: 14 names; Baker McKenzie: 16 names; Sidley & Austin: 9 names;
Kirkland & Ellis: 9 names; Winston & Strawn: 7 names; Bell Boyd: 21 names;
Jenner & Block: 4 names; Brinks Hofer: 2 names (and now one of them, Bryan
Sugar has left); Wildman Harrold: 7 names (which now includes Bryan Sugar);
Schwartz Cooper: 4 names; Dancona: 5 names.

I find this list interesting because clearly the largest firms are not
necessarily the heaviest readers of TMR. The number of TMR readers at a firm
relative to the firm size might tell us just how oriented to the
entrepreneurial world or to IT the firm is. Someone might play with these
numbers based on the local office firm size as specified in Crain’s and it may
be very revealing, but basically this confirms what most of us probably
thought: the entrepreneurial world is serviced mostly by mid-sized law firms,
not the Kirklands or the Sidleys or the Winstons, but rather firms like KMZR,
Sachnoff, Gordon & Glickson, GCD, Bell Boyd, Sonnenschein, Baker McKenzie,
Mayer Brown Rowe and HK, although the last four are pretty big firms.
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1a. Efoora mail (1 message)
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 16:38:43 -0400
Subject: information, please
From: Name withheld upon request.

Please keep my name, e-mail, and all contact info. confidential.

Ron, please keep up with the Efoora story and publish all of the information
you have. As usual, there is nothing from the company. You are the only
1b. Liz Ryan: Don’t touch that dial!!
From: “” To: ron@
Subject: Don’t touch that dial!
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 01:56:18 -0400

Hello Ron,

I’m glad that you caught my interview on CNN the other day! WorldWIT has an
amazing PR chief, Kristi Hughes, who seems to keep us in front of the
media. We recently launched our 70th chapter and keep planning new ones –
as you know our goal is to connect all of the business and technology
women, worldwide! Your readers who haven’t already joined one of the free,
moderated WorldWIT discussion groups can find the nearest one at

Ron, thanks for your support over these years since ChicWIT launched in
July 1999. Coming up on our fifth anniversary, we’re thrilled that WorldWIT
has become not only the largest moderated discussion community anywhere but
a great source of knowledge about women, work, life and technology and a
subject of profiles in TIME magazine, Fortune, the Wall Street Journal, the
New York Times, and all over the place. It all started in Chicago! And you
were there at our very first gathering at Ann Sather’s! If I recall, you
were telling me about your trip to the Met to see “Hansel and Gretel” in
1968 and asking me if I knew the words to “Ebben, ne andro lontana” from
the opera “La Wally.” Time flies!

And while I’ve been over here in Boulder focusing on the global expansion
of WorldWIT, ChicWIT Executive Director Jeannie Walters (whose day job is
VP for Oak Park-based communications firm Vox Inc.) has quietly grown
ChicWIT, the mother ship, from 2000 to over 7000 subscribers, making it far
and away the largest networking organization for professional women in
Chicago. And Trish Gray of UserActive has launched PrairieWIT to bring the
connection to the women of Champaign-Urbana and beyond! The only downside
to all of this growth is that there is no Ann Sather’s in Boulder…

Cheers Ron –

Liz Ryan
1c. John Stanton: Chicago Community Tech Day 4/24/04
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 16:36:24 -0500
From: John Stanton
To: ron@
Subject: Chicago Community Tech Day 4/24/04

Hello Ron,

I just wanted to send you a note about Chicago Community Tech Day (CTD)
CTD will held on Saturday April 24, 2004 from Noon until 4:00 pm .

This event is the local complement to the downstate Tech Day Event event
alluded to by Layton Olsen in The May Report of 4/16/04.

More than a dozen local, regional and national
community-based technology groups have signed on to be part of this event
including PrairieNet, CTCNet, After School Matters, ICSTARS, The Center for
Neighborhood Technology, The Non Profit Open Source Initiative, NPOTechs,, Free Geeks, Teaming For Technology, and others.

Community Tech Day is designed to have something of interest and real-world
value for everyone from the hard-core tech, to community members walking in
off the street. The event is especially notable for its focus on Open Source
based technology. CTD will also feature a first of its kind public round table
focused on bringing a community driven, ubiquitous Wifi cloud to Chicago.
Speakers from four organizations,, The Center for Neighborhood Technology , Free The
Future and The Praire Net Commnity Network will conduct a public forum and talk-back at this

Other Community Tech Day highlights:

– booths and demonstrations by free tech training programs for young people in
– Free and Open Source based Software for your computer: if you ever wondered
what all the fuss was about regarding Open Source Software this is the place to
find out.
-Computer classes: web-design, photo-editing, Introduction to Linux, 3-D
animation, protecting your home computer from virus, “how to build a CanTenna”:
all participants take the software home at the end of the class
-A four hour non-stop LAN party using Free and Open Source based software
– a raffle of several refurbished computer systems for only $1.00
– FREE pizza and soda.

This is a free public event, and all are welcome.

The event is held in cooperation with NPOTechs , a group of
volunteers who
serve Chicago Area non-profit organizations and community members with pro-bono
computer implementation and professional development.

Check out for more information.

Ron. we would love to see you there.

Thanks, and please let people know that they are welcome to contact me with


John Stanton
Director of Commuity Technology Programs
Korean American Community Services
4300 North California Ave.
Chicago, IL 60618
773.583.5501 x247
1d. Robb Hendrickson: Responds to Jelly Fishy talker note
From: “Robb Hendrickson”
Subject: RE: Jelly fishy talker
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 16:51:57 -0500

—–Original Message—–
From: Name withheld upon request
Sent: Thursday, April 15, 2004 11:52 PM
To: Name withheld upon request.
Subject: Jelly fishy talker

>>> Wow, now that is a real professional BS’er. His invention is not stocked
by any area music dealers that I’ve asked
including the national chains here. <<<

As stated in the presentation, we began our push to the dealers on March
1st. We have over 80 dealers, all of whom are listed on the website: Your reader will find them on the “Find A Dealer” page.
We are *deliberately* NOT selling to the 2 chains (Sam Ash & Guitar Center).
In fact this is part of our value proposition to the independent guitar
dealers. Moreover, we enjoy higher margins by NOT selling to the chains,
and, when we do sell to the chains at some future date, it will be with a
differentiated product designed specifically for that sales channel.

>>> There used to be over 10,000 music dealers nationwide, now there are
about 5500 or so. <<<

In our presentation, we state that there are approximately 5,200 independent
guitar dealers, so our numbers are MORE, not LESS, conservative than this
source claims (“5500 or so”).

>>> Sales growth is not as he says it is. <<<

Following are the numbers from the trade association’s most recent annual
report. This publication is titled “Music USA, NAMM 2003, A Statistical
Review of the Music Products Industry”. It can be found at
(Additional information can be found in Music Trades magazine’s “The Annual
Census of the Music Industries”, available for purchase here:

“Music USA, NAMM 2003, A Statistical Review of the Music Products Industry”:

Page 7: “Industry sales inched up 1.5% to $6.97 billion.”
Page 8: “Sales of acoustic guitars advanced a brisk 14.8% to 973,522 units”
Page 8: “[e]lectric guitars increased 8.2% to 969,103 units.”
Page 8: “The reason for these enormous unit volumes is easy to explain.
First, despite the rise of hip-hop and techno music styles, the guitar
remains at the center of current popular music. A cursory scan of the
Billboard Hot 100 charts reveals that at least 80 percent of the
best-selling CDs prominently feature the guitar. Secondly, the guitar
appeals to the broadest demographic segment of any product within the
industry. From 10-year-old beginners to 60-year-olds who got hooked in the
folk boom of the ?50s, there are large numbers of guitarists in every age
Page 8: “Sales of guitar amplifiers closely mirrored guitar sales, with
units up nearly 8 percent and dollar volume virtually unchanged.”
Page 8: “Guitar strings posted a 10.4 percent sales gain,due in part to a
steady increase in the pool of guitarists.”

Essentially, $921 million worth of guitars ($443 million acoustic & $478
million electric); $359 million in guitar amps; $191 million worth of guitar
strings; $68 million in “stomp boxes”…and significant multiples of this in
multi-effects processors; picks, capos, slides & straps; and guitar-specific
sheet music were moved last year.

In other words, AT LEAST $1.539 BILLION (or 22% of the entire industry) in
guitar goods moved last year. AND, perhaps as much as $2 billion of the
roughly $7 billion of the total industry was made up of guitar products and
related accessories.

If you do the math, as I have, the CAGR is somewhere between 8% and 10% for
the past decade.

>>> This is his invention…what guitar player will pay 7-8 bucks for an
odd-ball pick? <<<

Actually, they’re paying $9.95 + shipping & handling…and over 14,000 of
them have moved over our website alone:

Included in this “early adopter” customer base are “odd balls” like all 3
guitarists from Pearl Jam, Richard Fortus — currently of Guns ‘N Roses, but
also a session guitarist for: The Psychedelic Furs, Love Spit Love, Ben
Folds, *NSYNC, Britney Spears, Deep Dish, Gravity Kills, Jesse Malin &
Enrique Iglesias (Richard writes, “I love my Jellifish®…used it recently
all over the score for the [Oscar®-winning] movie Monster. I also used it
on…” the rest of the testimonials are on our website:
See the Testimonials page), John McClain (Head of A&R for Dreamworks
Records…has ordered over 100 units to date), John Fogerty, Ben Harper,
Eric Johnson, Joe Satriani, Rick Nielsen, California Guitar Trio, Phil
Keaggy, Adrian Belew, Dave Pomeroy, Arthur Lee, The String Cheese
Incident…I’m sure I’m inadvertently forgetting a few notables…this is
just off the top of my head.

>>> <<<

I’m not sure why your source included the above link; it seems to undermine
his argument. The author/reviewer states, “the Jellifish unleashes a new
world of tones not possible using a conventional pick…probably the most
affordable toy we’ve ever enjoyed” No argument there from us!

>>> I thank you…I am not exposed to this sort of presentation….and if I
could not translate it…I would have been very impressed. <<<

This is somewhat obtuse…I have no response!

>>> My friend got a patent on a guitar strap 2 years ago and is still trying
to get it into production. I will send him this article. Thank you
again…Name withheld upon request. <<<

Ron, sorry your source’s friend wasn’t able to get any “bites” on his guitar
strap. We’ve done extensive analysis of EVERY guitar accessory, and don’t
feel guitar straps present any new opportunities. Quite frankly, I would
regard any new strap “idea” (patented or otherwise) nothing more than a
solution looking for a problem…not a market opportunity from a new product
development standpoint. If we had an interest in straps, it would most
likely be AFTER the Jellifish brand is built around the core platform of
accessories products discussed Monday…and, then, ONLY IF we could acquire
one of the top brands in that space: Jodi Head, LM Products (Ralph Marlin),
or Levy’s Leathers.

Thanks for bringing this “criticism” to my attention. I hope I’ve laid any
doubts to rest!

All the best,
Robb Hendrickson
Jellifish Inc.
1e. Dan Limbach: Jellifish projections
From: “Dan Limbach”
Subject: Jellifish Projections
Date: Fri, 16 Apr 2004 17:36:01 -0500

That was an interesting piece on Jellifish. The presentation
sounds like it was outstanding. To get a realistic read on what
their sales might be, they should perhaps look at the total
market for picks, and make an educated guess based on a those
figures. Here’s the logic.

A Jellifish is more durable than a regular pick.

Let’s pretend I am an avid guitar player. If I absolutely love
the Jellifish, I just might make it my pick of choice, and use it
most of the time. Their web site says of players use one on a
daily basis, they last 1 – 3 months. If we average that number,
as a heavy user I might need to buy six Jellifish a year.
However, I would need fewer regular picks, because I am using the
Jellifish more and the others less.

If I spend $50 a year on regular picks now, maybe I eventually
only buy half as many regular picks ($25/year) and six Jellifish
every year ($60).

This product depends on the retail channel if it is to succeed.
To the retailer, these calculations mean purchases by heavy
players for regular picks will decrease by $25/year, while
Jellifish purchases will add $60 in revenues, for a net gain of
$35 per player. Significant.

For someone who uses the Jellifish infrequently, such as only
when a specific sound is required, one unit could last an entire
year ($10/year). In this case, they may still buy $40 of regular
picks and only one Jellifish, for no net gain or loss in revenue
at the retail level. Perhaps if Jellifish came in different
stiffness grades, there would be more incentive for players to
buy several Jellifish at a time. There’s only one type for now.

I’m not sure beginners and young players will pony up for one
when regular picks go for as little as $0.35 each. Jellifish are
boutique items for the seasoned player.

Maybe if they got a mega rock star to use or endorse it sales
would rocket. If it were used in a popular song and seen on MTV,
every Eddie Van Halen wannabe would have to have one. An
aggressive sampling program may be necessary to put one in the
hands of every famous guitarist. If Jellifish doesn’t have a
great PR person, they should get one.

At $10 per unit, with a typical 100% markup, Jellifish is looking
to gross $5 per unit, before all other marketing costs,
manufacturing costs and overhead. Can they sell a million units a
year? Is it a fad, or will it have staying power? I don’t know
how many active guitar players there are at any moment, or how
many fit the seasoned player profile. Investors are probably
looking for at least $5 million in revenue potential, which is
what they would have if retailers pay $5 per unit to Jellifish,
and they sell a million units a year. Now, what multiple of
revenue would a Gibson or a Fender be willing to pay to own this
product/patent? That’s the most important question.

I am excited to hear how it plays out. Keep us posted, Ron. Go

Dan Limbach
Director of Marketing

Siren Interactive
1100 Lake Street Suite 140
Oak Park, IL 60301
Phone: (708)763-0763 x22

“We fix underachieving web sites”
1f. Abbott pumped up over heart drug from Reuters News Service
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 18:31:48 -0400 (EDT)
From: Mark Jablonski

Mark Jablonski thought you’d be interested in this news


I know your health is getting better, but thought you would be interested any
way in this potential new treatment for CHF.


Mark Jablonski
VP Business Development
Integrated Project Management Co., Inc.

President, National Alliance for Thrombosis and Thrombophilia

To have your own, personal access to news stories like this one or to register
for daily, weekly or custom news alerts from and Crain’s
Chicago Business, go to:

Abbott pumped up over heart drug
From the Reuters Newsroom
If U.S. trials go well, will seek FDA clearance in 2006
April 15 18:18:00, 2004
(Reuters) ? Abbott Laboratories Inc. Thursday said a $25 million-a-year heart
failure drug it sells in two dozen countries could achieve annual sales of $1
billion if it is approved in the United States.

Abbott hopes in early 2006 to seek U.S. approval of the medicine, if it
proves safe and effective in late-stage U.S. trials that are now under way.

”We think that with our aggressive clinical development plan, our drug
has the potential of (annual) sales over $1 billion,” a company spokeswoman
told Reuters.

The suburban Chicago drug licenses the medicine, called levosimendan, from
Finnish drug maker Orion Corp., and sells it under the brand name Simdax in
Europe and Latin America.

It is used to treat patients whose ability to breathe and function becomes
severely hampered by congestive heart failure, a condition in which the heart
is unable to adequately pump blood to the rest of the body.

Hundreds of thousands of U.S. heart failure patients each year become so
weakened ? a state called acutely decompensated heart failure ? that they are

They are then given intravenous infusions of so-called inotropic drugs,
including levosimendan and older generic medicines dobutamine and digitalis,
that help the heart muscle contract.

”At this stage of heart failure, many patients are so weakened they
cannot move, breathe or think without this kind of treatment,” said Eugene
Sun, a senior drug research official at Abbott.

Many patients quickly benefit from inotropic drugs and are released from
the hospital, although others can spend many months there.

An independent trial that began in Greece in 2002 was halted prematurely
last year after only 15 percent of patients taking levosimendan died in the
6-month study compared with 39 percent taking dobutamine and 25 percent taking

By halting the trial early, all patients were then able to begin taking
the Abbott drug.

”The trial in Greece affirmed our confidence in levosimendan,” said Sun,
who added that several earlier trials also had shown improved survival for
patients taking it.

Under an expansion of its licensing agreement with Orion announced earlier
Thursday, Abbott will assume responsibility for all clinical trials of the
medicine and now also has rights to develop an injectable form of the drug.

Peter Bacher, another senior Abbott research official, said future trials could
test whether levosimendan also prolongs the lives of patients at less-advanced
stages of heart failure, and whether the drug can delay progression of symptoms.

Bacher said an estimated 4 million Americans have heart failure that has
advanced to the point they would be candidates for the Abbott drug.

For news headlines throughout the business day, go to:
1g. Miscellaneous: (2 messages)
#1: From:
To: ron@,
Subject: FW: The May Report: 4/13/2004: Efoora board member Howard Lucas d
emanded bribe, sources say; Coney quits at Evanston ITEC; Robb Hendrickso n’s
Jellifish presentation; ShipNow sold; Slack’s three dozen; and “Secre ts of The
May Report” revealed at Costa’s on
Date: Mon, 19 Apr 2004 22:47:29 +0000

Please add this address to your distribution list. By the way, you are so much
more credible as a human being than you were before as the ‘pompous
pontificator’. Keep up the good (better) work!

From: Tom Siska
To: TSiska – Internet
Subject: FW: The May Report: 4/13/2004: Efoora board member Howard Lucas d
emanded bribe, sources say; Coney quits at Evanston ITEC; Robb Hendrickso n’s
Jellifish presentation; ShipNow sold; Slack’s three dozen; and “Secre ts of The
May Report” revealed at Costa’s on
Date: Thu, 15 Apr 2004 13:43:37 +0000

Thomas G. Siska
National Sales Manager
AmeriSOURCE Funding, Inc.
2121 Maple Avenue
Northbrook, IL 60062
(847) 498-9136
(847) 498-9236 Fax
(847) 417-9849 Cell
#2: From: “Bob Binder”
To: “‘The May Report'”
Subject: RE: I’d like to personally invite you to my
“Secrets of The May Report revealed” event at Costa’s on Tuesday
Date: Tue, 20 Apr 2004 07:42:54 -0500
Organization: mVerify Corporation


Thanks for the invitation. I’d like to attend, but this is crunch time at
mVerify (we’re very close to product release), so I’ll have to pass.

Best regards
Bob Binder
The May Report Ron May: editor, reporter, commentator,
and publisher. 773-525-3944. E-mails for Ron:
ron@ Unless otherwise requested by
the sender, all correspondence addressed to Ron May
and/or The May Report is subject to publication in the
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