It's not too late to start a dot-com, is it?

Some have advised us that this week is not the best week -- they may have said "the worst godforsaken week possible" -- to launch our new company,

ModernHumorist.com

. They think our timing is atrocious, in light of the recent stock market meltdown. And the one after that. Indeed, for such former highfliers as

drkoop.com

(KOOP)

,

CDNow

(CDNW)

and

iVillage

(IVIL)

, the wolf is no longer at the door; the wolf is running loose in the conference room wearing people's clothes. But we have a saying around here: The glass used to be half full.

After all, we have a lot going for us besides an unselfconscious, easily remembered name. We have a young, photogenic staff and a relaxed workplace environment, with mandatory Ping-Pong at 2 and enforced Tae-Bo at 3:30. We're offering the Web's most cutting-edge entertainment content, including a column about pop culture with a cynical, take-no-prisoners attitude and frequent references to

The Sopranos

. We'll also sell imported gelato.

(Admittedly, the market downturn has had some unfortunate consequences. Two years ago, we could have expected to attract $180 million in first-round financing; in today's climate, we have to make do with $174 million. In fact, the Town Car that comes with our $2 million salaries has a TV but no VCR, and its champagne flutes have pewter stems, not silver.)

More important, our business strategy exploits every innovation we've read about in

TheStreet.com

and

O: The Oprah Magazine

. Forget portals -- they're so second-quarter '98. The business-to-business market is hot now, so we'll sell our parodies directly to the corporations we're satirizing, bypassing the public entirely. For the consumer market, we have poached bike messengers from

kozmo.com

to deliver comedy to your home within one hour, guaranteed. Our delivery system currently services Bozeman, Montana and the hallway outside our office.

"Broadband" is another buzzword we saw in a magazine, so we're developing many high-bandwidth videos you won't be able to view. Only 623 people in the country are currently wired for broadband access, but those are 623 very important people, including Oscar-winning actress

Hillary Swank

. Plus, users who subscribe to our premium service (just $12.95 a month) can download digital versions of the latest pop hits. Where else can college kids find MP3s at such a low price?

Partnerships are crucial in today's crowded e-marketplace, so we've formed investment affiliate relationships with the following entities:

eBay

(EBAY) - Get Report

,

atomfilms

,

priceline.com

(PCLN)

,

Steven Brill

,

Louis J. Pearlman

,

Flatiron Partners

, the

Dixie Chicks

,

Lou Dobbs

and the developing African nation of Chad. Through our association with

Nokia

(NOK) - Get Report

, you'll be able to access our

Hillary Clinton

jokes via your cell phone. (Limit one joke per hairstyle.)

So far, our marketing has been effective. The $14 million launch party last week aboard the

QE2

was a success, even if

Whitney

canceled. And our $2 million Super Bowl ad -- featuring a hamster vomiting on a computer-generated chimpanzee, with a voice-over by

Christopher Reeve

-- helped get our brand in front of the public.

Things look bright for us. Our IPO is scheduled for July, so we're about to enter our "quiet period," when we have to keep the stereo down. And we're excited about the $24 million warehouse we're building in New Jersey. That's where we'll keep the gelato.

John Aboud and Michael Colton are the co-founders of

Modern Humorist, which launches Monday.