I was thinking over my entrepreneurial options. Interactive plush toys seem to have peaked. Collaborative filtering? Hmm. Needs too many programmers. So 1997.

After much pondering and a trip to my local Safeway late one night, I became convinced that the next big vertical portal is butter.com.

So I called up my virtual CTO (whom I met trading beanie babies on eBay) and we started planning.

It’s gonna be huge. Everybody knows butter. It’s ubiquitous. Everybody needs butter, loves butter. True, there’s a population that genuinely cares about cholesterol intake. Yes, our culture’s relationship with condiments is changing. But those thoughts just prove how many butter questions there are swirling around. So much information to sort through, to find. That’s the beauty of the vertical portal. Every reference, every possibility is organized for you. Especially ones you haven’t thought of.

How much butter was sold last year? How is the euro going to affect the price of butter? Where does Al Gore stand on butter? Butter.com is the place you can go to answer all of those burning questions.

Pluto Communications has found that over 92 percent of dinner recipes call for butter. Butter gets hundreds of millions of eyeballs, or (as we like to say) tongues per month. Butter has mindshare you just can’t buy.

The co-marketing opportunities are unparalleled. We have strategic alliances with asparagus and toast. Corn on the cob has promised us exclusive condiment placement for a mere $50,000. France has promised to make butter.com the nation’s default home page.

The URL will be on every package of Land O’ Lakes–every pat of butter that comes with your dinner roll. You might order a mashed potato but before you can dig in, you’ll see butter.com melting away into fluffy carbohydrate heaven. You order snacks at the movie theater; the woman behind the counter hands you your popcorn and asks: “you want some butter.com on that?”

We’re planning an affinity campaign, so that any site can become a butter partner. Churners™, we like to call them. If you recommend butter.com to a friend, you’ll get 10 butter pats. Send us a tongue that previously used margarine, or I-Can’t-Believe-it’s-not-Butter, you’ll get 15 pats of butter and a free butter.com dish.

Let me tell you, there’s a community crying out to interact with one another around butter. There’s no outlet for people’s butter experiences and they have a lot of feelings they want to share. And recipes. Butter.com’s Butterland ends that isolation and gives them a place to meet. We make honest connections easy with special chats that allow users to share their butter pain while protecting their privacy, courtesy of a Mrs. Butterworth or Aunt Jemima avatar.

To guarantee “stickiness,” we’ve developed a breakthrough technique. After a short 38 second download, a nifty little piece of technology turns your cursor into a pat of butter while you’re on our site. It even leaves a smear of oil behind it as you move your cursor across your screen. In fact, we’ve already had several inquiries from venture capitalists about spinning off this technology into its own licensing business. Butter.com has had a lot of interest from investors. They seem to like the fact that we’ve pinpointed a market in which Microsoft has no interest.

Show me the money you say? Juliachild.com will give us 75 cents for every basting brush our butter.com users buy. Sponsorship opportunities abound. We’ve got lick through you can’t beat! Pluto found that 100 percent of new car buyers also use butter! But, why worry about generating revenues? We’ll go public and gain a market cap that will let us buy some humdrum company to take care of that boring stuff.

Even with those challenges licked, you may still harbor some doubts. How could something as basic as butter be ready for the technological challenge of the broadband era?

I’ve got one word for you: hollandaise.com.