s if Ves set out to ignore the wisdom of his advisors.
He simply wanted to do something new.
After all his work on the Caesar Augustus and its variants, Ves preferred to enhance his catalog with something lighter.

”There ’s nothing wrong with sticking to your own judgement on things.
That ’s why you ’re the boss.
You have no one else to blame but yourself if it turns out you ’re wrong. ”

A company ran on the whims of its boss.
Sure, larger corporations possessed a more refined corporate governance, with the board of directors overseeing its general directions while the various executives decided on the specifics.
The larger they grew, the more they resembled states.

Even with an annual revenue of over a billion credits, the Living Mech Corporation still remained stuck in its startup days.
Ves hoped to change that very soon after his grandfather sent him some retainers to beef up his administrative department.

”What ’s the other point you want to make about my mech? ”

Chief Cyril pointed at the rear of the design.
”That spade is an eccentric addition to your design.
I ’m not arguing the utility of including it, but it doesn ’t seem to fit with the concept of your mech.
You ’re selling a 60 million credit knight to the private market.
At that price, the mercenaries who buy your products will be putting them in leadership positions.
Digging is something that ’s done by grunts, not by officers. ”

”I think you ’re a little too optimistic about that statement.
According to my market research, mechs don ’t always have the right supplies on hand.
It ’s tough to carry adequate supplies around on a fluid battlefield.
The integrated spade should prove very useful against the Vesians with their penchant for missile bombardment. ”

”You won ’t convince anyone to purchase your mech on this feature alone.
It ’s not something you can brag about and expect to be taken seriously. ”

”Even if it sounds extravagant, I ’m willing to bet my customers will be thanking me for embedding that spade in my mechs. ”

His design resembled a work of art, but a robust internal architecture underneath its attractive exterior.
Combined that with a nucleus of high quality components, his design should be more than ready to tough it out in the field.

That said, Ves only drew up a superficial design so far.
It remained to be seen whether he ’d be able to realize the potential of his design by solving every engineering challenge in his way.

After wrapping up his conference with his confidants, he decided to solicit the opinion of his mech broker.
Gathering feedback and getting second opinions formed a very important part of the formal design process.
He called Marcella over the comm and showed off his draft.

”Looks like you have a very solid idea of what you want to design. ” Marcella commented.
”You ’d be surprised how many mech designers muddle through their design process without a clue of what they ’ll end up. ”

She began by asking a couple of obvious questions that Ves had already discussed with his employees.
Surprisingly, she expressed neither approval or disapproval at his visual design.

”I ’ve seen weirder things in my life.
Mechs come in all shapes and sizes.
I can work with any kind of design as long as it works. ” Her words reflected the attitude of a veteran mech trader.
”Rather than say the market is more receptive to certain designs, it ’s more accurate to say that most designs start off as a blank slate.
It ’s up to your marketing to drum up demand for your product. ”

”It ’s going to be my debut mech, so I ’m guaranteed to receive some free publicity. ”

”I ’m aware of that, but don ’t think you can sit back and rely on the press to market your mech in your stead.
There are many people who don ’t pay attention to this kind of news.
I highly recommend you set aside some funds for an ongoing advertising campaign. ”

”How much money are we talking about? ”

”A hundred million credits if you want to spend the absolute minimum. ”

That took out a very sizable chunk out of his cash.
Ves hated the thought of spending so much money on something that had no effect on the quality of his design.
Yet Marcella didn ’t lie to him about the necessity to have a marketing apparatus in place at the time of his design ’s introduction.
Ves risked missing out on a huge chunk of early sales if he couldn ’t get a message out.

Besides this comment, Marcella sounded very positive about his design.
The estimates specs ensured that it would be a good fit for his targeted price point.

”There ’s only one problem with releasing a design at this point in time.
The next generation of mechs is only nine years away.
Your currentgen design will be relegated to the bin of lastgen designs in less than a decade.
While you can take advantage of refined and discounted component licenses this late in the current generation of mechs, you ’ll also have to deal with early depreciation of your design.
It ’s an unfair trade-off. ”

”There ’s nothing I can do about the timing. ” Ves shrugged.
”If my design pans out, I ’ll have the capital to participate right at the start of the next generation of mechs. ”

After discussing more details, Ves ended the connection.
He considered asking his grandfather and some other people for advice, but called it off after considering they ’d hardly bring anything new to the table.

”I think it ’s time to spend my warchest. ”

Now that he completed a draft design, he should have a good idea on what kind of components fit with his mech.
With a budget of around a billion credits, Ves had to be prudent in his spending if he wanted to compliment his existing component licenses.
He sat down next to his terminal and visited the MTA ’s internal market.

With his design still fresh in his mind, Ves hoped to obtain everything he needed so that he could move on to the next phase of his design project.

”Let ’s see what I need. ”

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