Saturday, February 28, 2015

100 Billion: February Income and Balance Sheet, and Upcoming Features in EveKit

February is almost in the books and the 100 Billion Corporation is still negative for income, and yet the balance sheet is better.  What gives?  Also, yours truly suffers two stupid ship losses and pays for it.  Interesting factoid: insurance payments don't show up in your wallet, they just magically get added to your balance.  So you won't see these payouts in the income statement this month.  Finally, I talk a little bit about some changes coming in EveKit.

February By The Numbers

Let's take a look at the balance sheet first.  Remember that a balance sheet is a record of a company's assets and liabilities at a given point in time.  Here's what things looked like in January:

and here's where we stand after February:

Overall, the 100 Billion corporation increased in value by about ISK 1.1 billion, but actual equity in the company decreased by about ISK 1.5 billion.  This is because the increase in company value is not keeping up with PLEX cost.  We've had to pay for 6 PLEX so far (two months worth of business for three accounts).  Remember that I'm trying to simulate a company where I have to pay for the PLEX for the employees of the company (I'm not actually buying PLEX to keep the company afloat).  At this rate, we're 70 months away in absolute terms from hitting 100 billion, and we'll never hit it if PLEX cost is counted.  So...we better get cracking on a better solution!  I didn't get around to modifying the balance sheet to single out fixed assets, versus investments, versus inventory.  Instead, I spent time working on changes to EveKit to make these kinds of changes easier.  Hopefully I'll have this ready for the next report.

Most of the increase this month came from equipment value which grew from ISK 16.4 billion in January to ISK 18.6 billion in February.  Let's take a look at our top asset values to see where the increase occurred.  Here's the top 20 from the end of January:

and here's the top 20 at the end of February:

Some assets moved up due to general appreciation (e.g. ships and implants).  The big winner was Toxic metals which increased in value by 25% (and our inventory increased as well).  Caldari Navy Admiral insignia also had a nice move up of about 13%.  Keep in mind that these are point in time snapshots, not trends, so I'm not getting too excited yet, but I WILL keep my eye on toxic metals.

What else does this balance sheet tell us?

  • We're carrying ISK 1 billion less in cash.  We'll see more detail about this below, but a good chunk of that cash was spent replacing ships.  The rest was spent buying data cores to support invention.  So while we're putting some of our large cash balance to work, most of it is still sitting idle.  We need to start looking for a good investment.
  • Toxic metals look a bit like a cash cow.  They cost little to produce (via Planetary Interaction) and seem to be going up in value.  It may be time to cash some of the inventory out in case we're at a local peak in value.
  • We'll be bankrupt in two years unless we stop counting PLEX costs or find a way to drive up company value.

Let's move on to the income statement.  Here's where we stood at the end of January:

and here's where we are at the end of February:

What changed?
  • We're still in the red in terms of cash flow.  That's not always a bad thing if you're buying materials for production, or burning money for investments.  Unfortunately, it IS mostly bad spending for February.
  • We sold about the same as last month as indicated by the "Market Transaction" row on the income side.  However, we bought more stuff as indicated by the "Market Escrow" row on the expense side.
  • Corporation account withdrawals have been removed from the sheet since they always balance out (because we include employee wallet when determining income).
  • We ran significantly more missions than last month, and our bounty prizes doubled.  Agent mission rewards tripled compared to the previous month.
  • All told, we had ISK 150 million more income this month.  Not a big increase but it's a start.
  • Planetary export tax doubled and planetary import tax tripled.  This isn't due to an increase in tax rate, it's because three more characters moved to participating in PI.  More about that in a follow up post.
  • We got fined for contraband because I wasn't paying attention while looting after a mission.  Sigh.

So much for the high level numbers.  Let's look at the top 20 transactions by value.  For January:

and for February:

The top income source was once again Small Armor Repairer II with higher volume than last time.  Drones also brought in decent income.  A small amount of money was made off of mission loot, for example 100MN micro warp drives.

The debit side of the ledger shows the pain of a few bad decisions, but also some future investment:

  • I lost the Tengu I bought in January by not getting out fast enough in a level 4 mission I didn't have a very good fit for.  Insurance paid back ISK 100 million, but the loss still hurt and I decided to buy another in February.  It will take another month or two of mission running to pay that off.
  • I lost a Crane during some low-sec trading experimentation where I ended up getting ganked.  This ship was NOT insured, so the default insurance paid out ISK 13 million.  I was insta-locked so I'm not sure if I could have gotten out of this one with a cloak activated.  Historically, the align speed of my Crane was fast enough that this wasn't a problem.  I'd owned this ship for a least a year, maybe longer, without any similar incident.
  • We spent quite a bit on data cores and production materials this month.  The changes a few releases ago to production mean that tech II blueprint copies end up being much more numerous.  In other words, it takes me a lot longer to finish building all the tech II blueprints I end up with after research.  This all means that data core purchases won't be as frequent, maybe every two to three months.  I'm able to fill some data core needs through research, but the rate of core generation is fairly low going that route.

Lot's of good takeaways from this month:

  • Stop losing ships!  This is costly unless I start losing much cheaper ships.  There's really no excuse for losing a ship in a level 4 mission.  I can't do much about ganking other than to minimize my exposure and think about using a better fit ship.
  • I should maybe dump some of the toxic metals after checking price trends.  The jump this month suggests a peak, might as well cash in a bit.
  • I'll need to run the numbers on tech II production.  I'm not sure I'm making great margins on everything I'm producing.

That's it for the 100 Billion corp, now some discussion about what's going on in EveKit.

Upcoming Changes to EveKit

One of my goals is to create all the tools I need to manage the 100 Billion corp using EveKit.  EveKit already has all the data and SDE, but so far I've been using Google Sheets to run the balance sheet and income statement.  Google Sheets doesn't actually add much here other than to provide a table based display.  That is, I'm not really using spreadsheet functions in any significant way.  Most of the hard work for the monthly reports is in the Google App Script supporting the sheet.

The upcoming release of EveKit is intended to make it much easier to integrate third party applications with EveKit.  The long term goal of EveKit is to be an EVE third party tool platform.  There's still lots of work to do here, but to make things a little easier, we'll be rolling out the concept of an EveKit Contributed App.

An EveKit Contributed App is just a third party web page that users can register with EveKit and either use themselves or share publicly with other EveKit users.  An EveKit user can instantiate a contributed app at which point EveKit storage is set aside for use by the app on behalf of the registering user.  This allows contributed applications to customize their behavior based on the user.  The per-app storage can also be used to provide access to EveKit data access keys.

The whole process works as follows:
  1. First, a user creates a contributed app.  A contributed app consists of:
    1. A name and description of the app.
    2. The URL of the web page which serves the app.
    3. The EveKit screen name of the user contributing the app.
    4. An indication of whether the app is public (public apps can be found and used by any EveKit user).
    5. One or more key-value pairs which can be used to initialize the app the first time it is created for a user.
  2. Second, another user (or the same user) decides to use a contributed app.  Contributed apps are searchable via EveKit on the name of the app.  When a user decides to use an app:
    1. The user names their instance of the app.
    2. The user specifies whether the app has access to their SDE access key.
    3. The user can choose one or more corporation or capsuleer access keys to make available to the app.
  3. Finally, when a user launches an app:
    1. A frame or new tab is opened using the URL specified in the contributed app.
    2. A "key" and "hash" query parameter are passed in the URL which gives the contributed app access to the state for this instance of the app.
    3. The contributed app instance can access the state of the app to retrieve any initial state specified when the contributed app was defined, as well as any keys the owning user has decided to make available to this app.
    4. The contributed app instance is free to change or set new key-value pairs to maintain state on the app instance.
It sounds confusing but it's actually pretty simple.  I'm hoping to release this feature around 2015-03-07 along with a demonstration video.