Friday, April 3, 2015

100 Billion: March Income and Balance Sheet, shrinking to two accounts, and (finally) a description of what the 100 Billion Corp actually does!

March has come and gone and the 100 Billion Corporation actually made some money, but not enough to overcome the PLEX load we're charging ourselves.  It turns out we can't fill up three full EVE accounts with activity yet, so we're shrinking to two accounts to reduce the PLEX load.  More on that below.  I went to FanFest, saw some Icelandic nature, and gave a talk about development on Google App Engine.  Check out the link if you're interested, and the numerous FanFest recaps others have posted.  We finish off this entry with a description of what the six characters which make up the 100 Billion Corp actually do to make ISK.

March 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 at the end of February:


and here's where we stand after March:


This is pretty much flat month to month except that staff equity decreased by ISK 2 billion as we continue to struggle overcoming the PLEX tax.  There's one new liability here labelled "Historical".  This is how we're recording the fact that we had three PLEX'd accounts for the first three months of the company, and the sum here is exactly the cost of buying three PLEX for one account at the beginning of the first three months of the year.  For now, we'll just keep two accounts for the corporation, to the tune of about ISK 1.5 billion per month.  So that's what we need to bring in to stay even.  Staff equity wise, we would have done better if we'd never paid for that third account.  Due to company income and asset appreciation, we would have been flat across the board.  As it stands, however, our investors lost another ISK 2 billion this month.

FanFest and other real life duties kept me from finishing some of the tools I had planned to make some of this tracking easier.  However, I am planning a significant EveKit release in about two weeks (mid-cycle for EVE Online releases) which will have some changes I need to support these tools.  I'll be posting a blog entry in a few days describing the changes.

Let's now look at the asset valuation for March.  Here's the top 20 from the end of February:


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


It's worth mentioning at this point that I had to switch asset valuation sources early in March.  Previously, I had used EVE Marketdata to retrieve asset prices in The Forge.  However, the site had a major several day outage during which I decided to switch to EVE Central.  There are some clear differences in prices which are cause for concern.  A significant "to do" is to switch to the new CREST market endpoint instead, but I haven't got around to that yet.

The most notable differences month to month are the massive increase in value of the Genolution Core Augmentation CA-3, and the complete disappearance of the Genolution Core Augmentation CA-4.  The former moved up about 20%, and the latter didn't even make the top 20.  The price of the CA-4 at the end of the month was ISK 39 million.  That's likely an anomaly due to someone making a very foolish sale of a high value item.  Since the balance sheet is a snapshot in time, it's bound to be affected by anomalies like this.  It's also notable that Toxic Metals continue to rise significantly.  We actually dumped some of our stock in March to generate some cash flow, we may do more of the same this month to lock in some profit.

Overall, the message from this balance sheet is basically the same as for the last few months:

  • We're carrying too much of a cash balance.  A goal for April is to invest at least ISK 1 billion in a long term play of some sort.  It's probably too early to buy PLEX.  Toxic metals is an interesting play, however.  Also, there was a change announced on the O7 show last night in which major materials changes were discussed.  I still need to digest, but this is another possible play although one in which many others will participate.
  • We did better this month, but we're still not making enough to keep the company afloat.

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


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



What changed?
  • We're in the green from an income point of view.  With this income, we essentially paid for one of the three PLEX we were carrying into the month.
  • The vast majority of our income was from selling produced goods on the market.  More on that below.
  • We had less time for mission running this month, so that part of our income suffered a bit.
  • PI taxes were again a significant part of our expenses, which is not surprising given how much we rely on PI for our production business.
Let's look at the top 20 transactions by value.  For February:


and for March:


For March, we diversified a bit in what we sell and ended up making most of our income from tech II drones.  Our stock in Small Armor Repairer II is lower, hence less money from those sales.  Competition also picked up around the Small Armor Repairer II for reasons I don't yet understand.  When this happens, the 0.01 ISK botters show up and it takes significantly longer to sell my stock (remember: I promised not to use any bots, not only is it not legal, it's not cool for my experiment).  Tech II drones are extremely reliable income, they sell very quickly in the hub I sell them in.  Random mission loot rounded out the bottom of the list as usual.

The debit side of the ledger is dominated by pre-production items.  That is, raw materials for items used in tech II production.  The one exception was Electronic Engineering data cores, which are used for tech II blueprint invention.  Overall, the margins here were very nice although you can't see the mineral or other material costs that went into the tech II production. I'll need to post a separate spreadsheet to show that.

You'll note on the income side that I dumped some of my Toxic Metals stock this month.  The price trend around Toxic Metals suggest I should do some more of that again to lock in some profit.  We have more than enough stock for our current needs, I can easily dump half the stock and not miss it.

That's it for the 100 Billion corp financial update, now let's talk about what the company actually does.

The Business of the 100 Billion Corp


The 100 Billion Corp is (now) composed of six characters, all dedicated solely to the corporation.  The company generates income from the following activities:
  • Mission Running: Two of the characters are used in a multi-box setup to blitz level 4 missions.  Typically, one character runs the mission (in a Tengu), while the other follows up behind to collect salvage.  A small set of tougher missions require both characters to run, then we bookmark and collect the salvage later.
  • Tech II Production: The main income source of the company at the moment is tech II production of the following items: Adaptive Nano Plating II, Small Armor Repairer II, Small Capacitor Booster II, Hammerhead II, Hobgoblin II, Damage Control II, 150mm Railgun II, Light Ion Blaster II, Light Neutron Blaster II, 1MN Afterburner II, Warp Scrambler II.  I generated this list from a not very scientific scan of items which are often used for PvP fits and which have reasonable volume.
  • Planetary Interaction (PI): We use PI mainly to produce materials needed for tech II production.  We currently produce: Construction Blocks, Mechanical Parts, Miniature Electronics, Rocket Fuel, Superconductors, Transmitters, Guidance Systems, and Robotics.  Any other materials we produce by buying raw materials and running production jobs.  The list here was chosen largely to support tech II production, although the company made its first billion almost solely on the back of selling robotics on the market.
  • Market: we sell the vast majority of our tech II production on the market, as well as any "valuable" mission loot or rewards (e.g. implants given as mission rewards).  We occasionally dump some of our mineral stock as well.
  • Investments: we have a small collection of items we're holding as investments, usually awards or gifts from CCP in the past which we aren't using (e.g. certain implants).  We haven't sold any of these yet to generate cash.
Most of the six characters in the corporation are multi-taskers (meaning: they trained skills for multiple roles), but generally the characters get used as follows:
  • Character 1 (C1): mission running, mining, PI, invention, production, market
  • Character 2 (C2): mission running, mining, PI, production
  • Character 3 (C3): PI, market, production
  • Character 4 (C4): mining, PI
  • Character 5 (C5): PI
  • Character 6 (C6): PI
One thing I almost never do is mine!  I still do this occasionally, but usually as a background task while I'm doing something else (like hacking on EveKit).  Instead of mining, we salvage or re-process a fair amount of mission loot.  A typical session of mission running goes as follows:
  1. Run one or more missions with the primary character, use the secondary character to follow the primary and loot/salvage.
  2. For all mission loot:
    1. Salvage items which can be used in production are saved;
    2. Ammo we use is saved (mostly missiles);
    3. Drones we use for production are saved (e.g. Hammerheads or Hobgoblins);
    4. Items which can not be re-processed are either saved (if they are worth at least ISK 400000), or are immediately discarded or sold;
    5. Items which can be re-processed but which are worth at least ISK 400000 are saved to be sold on the market;
    6. Everything else is reprocessed into minerals and used for production.

We use the EVE client estimated value of an item when deciding what to do with mission loot.  This is the value shown in the client when hovering over an item in your inventory.  It's not perfect, but it's a reasonable estimate for quickly sifting through mission loot.  The ISK 400000 threshold is also a bit arbitrary.  It's my estimate of large enough value to justify carrying an item to a market hub for sale.

Generally speaking, we sell all production or loot items at a hub using limit orders (a sell order with a specific price).  We occasionally sell with market orders instead (meaning, an order which immediately sells at the current best bid price) when the spread (the difference between the best bid order and best ask order) is very small.  This most often happens with mission loot, where the volume is so low it's simply not worth the time to periodically reset the order to deal with competition.

The activities above consume a fair amount of my time.  A typical week looks like this:
  • Daily: log in at least once to reset competitive market orders, complete any finished production jobs, and start new production jobs.  This takes about 30 minutes a day.
  • Twice a week: reset PI jobs.  We typically run four day resource extractions, with transport of some resources to drive PI production jobs.  I've honed this down to a fairly tight procedure which I can get done in 30 minutes if there are no distractions.
  • Weekends: usually at least one mission running session lasting two hours or so.  I have to sacrifice this for vacations, family time, etc.
  • Every other month or so: invention of tech II blueprints.  I normally produce 200 run blueprint copies (or whatever the maximum is for a given blueprint original), then gather enough data cores so that I can run large batch invention jobs.  A typical invention run takes around two weeks to complete and generates enough stock to allow production for a month or two.
It's very easy to get into a rut with the above schedule, so I tend to use the mission running time to experiment or try some new things, like look for possible new production targets.  Very rarely, I'll mine instead of mission run, and use this time to hack on EveKit, write blogs, catch up on EVE news, etc.

Hacking on EveKit and keeping up with EVE news is another major time sink, but I'll leave that for another entry.

That's all for this month's income report.  Expect another entry in a few days describing the upcoming EveKit release.


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