Stepping Stones Co. New York branch office.
“These are all the participants who rose to the finale.”
Robert Chang handed me a thick pile of documents. They were the final individuals who would be supported by Stepping Stones Co.’s start-up support.
There were a total of ten people.
I casually took a look at the files.
To be honest, I didn’t know much even after looking at them. I had no reason to see it either. The best experts possible had already gone through the documents.
My job wasn’t to look through the files but to meet the people who would lead the companies. I would then use the Chaos Jewel if I found someone who sparked my interest.
“Please send them in one by one.”
Robert Chang motioned to someone who contacted the outside.
The door opened and a slender young blonde woman in her early twenties entered. She looked more like a model than a business woman.
“Hello. My name is Susan Erika.”
“Susan. Nice to meet you. We read through your business plan and there were some more things we wanted to check……”
Experts of many different fields were inside the meeting room. They were all looking through the same documents I was looking over to find any flaws in her plan.
I just quietly sat there and watched.
The business item wasn’t anything special. It wasn’t something that would cost a lot if it failed or would make a lot of money if it succeeded.
Of course, that was only speaking at my level. My view has gone up because of the Sodium-Ion batteries and slim meat. I keep only looking for those jackpot items.
However, the experts say that it is safer to have tens of these small companies rather than one or two large companies. It was also pretty easy to guess whether a small company would succeed or fail.
He wasn’t wrong.
But I wasn’t very interested. I guess you could say that there wasn’t enough appeal for me to use a Chaos Jewel on it?
I read through all ten documents.
They were all so-so items.
‘Are there no fancier items?’
The experts and the finalists’ Q & A continued.
But I stopped paying attention. The experts would take care of it anyway. I just needed to provide the money for it.
I started to look through some other documents. It was the information on the items of the candidates who didn’t make it to the final round.
They were very short descriptions at two to three pages. They just made it in order to show me that we had such applications.
My speed reading skill made it easy to read through each item in about 30 seconds.
However, there were no items that caught my attention there either.
I started to look through the applications that didn’t even make it through the preliminary round.
It was impossible to read through all of them because there were close to 5,000, but I just needed to read as far as I could go.
I skimmed through and quickly flipped through document after document. It took less than 3 seconds to read each document.
I could still get a general idea of what it was about.
There were some items related to food, computer programs, and even games.
Some items were just unbelievably shocking. One of them talked about controlling the neurons of living insects, fish, or birds to create military drones.
‘It’s at least interesting.’
I skimmed it over and flipped it over.
I then suddenly had a ‘what if!’ moment.
‘If this idea is really possible?’
The uses would be numerous if that was the case. Not just in the military aspect but in a business aspect.
“Department head-nim, who is the expert for this subject?”
“Let me check for you.”
Choi Dong Ook quietly looked for the person’s information. He then came back and shook his head.
“We have not procured an expert for this subject. We had an entomologist, but he didn’t know anything about insect brains.”
“Then how was this idea evaluated?”
Choi Dong Ook took the document and asked around again.
He came to a single conclusion.
It was so shocking that they didn’t look deeply into it. Logically speaking, they didn’t think it was possible.
The business plan also mentioned that it still required a lot of research as well. It would take at least 5 years to be able to use these insect drones even with enough financial support.
That was why they disregarded it.
The conclusion was simple.
They were not qualified to determine the value of this idea.
That meant that I just needed to determine it.
That was the good thing about Chaos Jewels. It tells me the chances of success in advance. It allows me to make large investments with certainty about the future.
“Please set a meeting with the people who came up with this idea.”
I continued to look through other documents. I was looking for a groundless but potentially extremely useful item if it succeeded.
My phone suddenly started to vibrate.
I looked to see who it was and it was none other than Chairman Jung Man Yong in Korea.
It was late afternoon here. That should mean that it was early morning in Korea.
I started to chuckle.
‘Calling me at such a time. His ass must finally be on fire.’
There was no need to urgently pick up the phone. I looked through more documents and spent some more time. I then stepped out and picked up the phone at around the third call.
“Chairman-nim, what might be the issue so early in the morning?”
– Aren’t you in New York right now? It should be the afternoon there.
“That is true.”
– I’ll get to the point since I know you are busy. I’ll sell you the electric car company’s Hwaseong factory.
‘I knew he would react like this.’
He should have sold it when I offered to buy it. Why take so long?
“I don’t need the Hwaseong factory anymore. I gathered some here and there and have quite a large building capacity now. I should be able to produce 5 million units a year by next year.”
– The Korean market isn’t small either. The Hwaseong factory should be enough to handle Korean demand.
“That is true, but Golden Dragon Auto’s image has gotten quite bad. There are rumors that the export vehicles are made well but the domestic ones are half-assed, so I don’t think getting that company will help me much.”
Jung Man Yong is probably regretting it now. He should be regretting how he considered the domestic customers as a given and sold them cheap vehicles for high prices.
The consumers knew everything now. It’s because they can get world news while sitting at home.
That was why some consumers purchased Golden Dragon vehicles exported to the US and had it delivered to Korea.
The cost was pretty similar even considering the taxes and delivery fee, but the performance would be much better.
– Image is something you can recreate.
“Changing an image is the most difficult thing in business. I’ll think about it if you really want to sell it, but you’re not planning on selling it for the full price I mentioned last time, are you?”
Chairman Jung Man Yong was suddenly quiet. He was probably planning on lowering the value, but he probably realized that it would have to be much less than earlier based on my tone.
“Please give me a call whenever you decide to sell, but you know how it goes, right? Value continues to go down as time goes on.”
I still didn’t hear anything on the other side of the call. All I could hear was Chairman Jung Man Yong’s breathing.
It was quite faint.
But I was able to confirm Chairman Jung Man Yong’s mental state through that quiet breathing. He was trying to hold it back, but he couldn’t just not breathe at all.
He’s probably going to see if any other auto companies are interested.
But he probably won’t be able to find a good buyer. The competitiveness will fall unless it uses Energy One’s Sodium-Ion batteries.
He’ll have no choice but to come back to me.
“I’m quite busy today. I’ll be hanging up now.”
I didn’t need to listen to his response. It wasn’t like I had to be subservient to Chairman Jung Man Yong anymore either.
I just said what I needed to say and ended the call.
I then looked through the documents again.
‘This one doesn’t sound bad either.’
It was a skill to mass-produce carbon fiber. However, the technology needed to develop further to put it to use as well, and it would require a lot of money even after the technology is developed.
However, it was something in the materials industry so it would become huge if it was successful. It might even be more successful than the Sodium-Ion batteries.
“Please call the person for this idea as well.”
I continued to look for ideas that caught my attention and someone arrived as I did that. It was the person who came up with the insect drone idea.
“My name is Victor Coleman. Thank you for taking an interest in my business plan.”
Proofreader: Borderline Masochist