Friday, June 1, 2012

May monthly financial report

"Yes I forgot to change the name of the month on my spreadsheet again" edition.

This is a weird one.

  •  The triumph of my "when to hold" plan can be seen in run 67, in which I made 4.3 billion in profit on 5.0 billion worth of minerals. It would be more visible other places aside from 66 and 68, but some things didn't work out quite the way I'd hoped.
  • 59, 62, and 64 I reprocessed the phoenixes because fuck phoenixes. This took 7 billion off my net worth figure, which will reappear at some point in the distant future.
  • ...which means that my net worth and change in net worth are both reading low, and that I made 12 billion this month despite higher than average off-spreadsheet expenses (shinies and researched blueprints).
  • 12 billion is less than the 18 which is showing under monthly profits. That figure is reading substantially high because many ships (18, to be precise) which actually sold last month fell over to this month on the spreadsheet.
  • Runs 71 and 72 we expect lower than average profit because they were bought near the peak of the mineral speculation and mineral prices, and ship prices, fell before all the ships could be sold. Special 72 is just doing its own thing, though, because rorquals are awesome.


  1. Thanks for the interesting an informative blog.
    It even inspired me to give capital construction a go myself, and in doing so discovered something you already know: it is not efficient to do it on a small scale.

    It is a pain (and expensive) to use BP copies, but you need to be making 4-8 ships at once before most of the component BPs will be fully utilised.

    Unfortunately I do not have the capital to go all the way and get 20+ BPs. So I have started with just 3, 2 ships, 1 component and a bunch of purchased copies.

    Research has started, most of the details are spreadsheeted. I'll let you know in a few months how it turns out when the research is done and the first ships roll of the production line.

    1. Absolutely. Actually getting to a position where you're able to build one ship is a fair bit of work, but once that's done the additional effort required to build two, or twenty, is almost zero.

      I hope your planning leads to success. Curiosity: Which ships are you building?

    2. The main issues for me are capital, prep/planning and blueprint utilisation.
      There is a limit to how much I can do until I have capital for the added investment.
      A lot of research, spreadsheeting, queue timing, training, buying requisites (like freighter, blockade runner) and planning is required. But once this is done, as you point out, expanding it is only a small amount of extra effort.
      Your ROI on the BPs depends on whether you run them full time or not. This is the main part where my economy falls down. Running a 1bil BP at 1/8 capacity is just not economic, hence my initial reliance on BPCs unless/until I can scale it up.

      I really wanted to build Rorquals as they have good margin and demand. But they have more BP utilisation issues than a carrier as for carriers drone bays account for a large fraction of the build, so obviously that was the one component BPO I bought. In the end I decided on the archon.

    3. I was hoping you would say pretty much exactly what you just said.

      If you happened to write down things like what decisions you made and why, what challenges you encountered and how you solved them, and how things worked out, I would love to post them here.

      "Bootstrapping capital production without silly amounts of isk: A case study" sort of thing. I have a high degree of confidence that people would find it interesting.

    4. The blog does not accept more than 4000 characters, so some preamble here and the detail in the next post.

      You are welcome to compile, edit and republish anything I post here, but I doubt there will be much new and interesting content given that what little I know of cap construction I have read on this site and a few other blogs and forums.

      Fortunately I have been doing a bit of T2 and component manufacture before this so I am comfortable with spreadsheets and have programs to extract prices from cache data so I can keep my prices up to date and minimise the effort.

      I'll get back to you with some more stuff once the research is finished and the actual building begins, but for now here are a few things I learned while doing my prep...

    5. The main difference I envisage with building caps is I will have to keep careful and accurate shopping lists and maintain a history of outgoings and incomings as the volumes are much larger and the margins a little slimmer than I am used to with T2.

      For anyone thinking of getting into cap construction, even at my budget level, there are whole bunch of prerequisites. It is important not to make any expensive mistakes and it is also important not to overextend yourself or your budget. As Parasoja's articles have clearly shown you cannot be sure of selling a ship quickly, or even making a profit on a given ship so you will need enough working capital for at least the 2 cycles of minerals that will be in build at any one time and preferably a bit more so you can keep the build going even if sales are delayed.

      But I am getting ahead of myself. Prerequisites:
      * The desire to build caps and the persistence to see it through. #1
      * Some experience with industry and the spreadsheeting required. #2
      * The science and industry skills to reasearch the BPs and build the components and ships.
      * A freighter and a blockade runner or jump freighter. #3
      * A POS or access to good (i.e. not busy) station to do research. #4
      * Ability to safely navigate losec. #5
      * 4-7 billion isk. This is on top of whatever your POS, freighters etc cost, this is enough for some blueprints and minerals to get your first two runs underway. After which you will hopefully be selling the ships to allow you to afford the minerals for subsequent runs.

      That 4 to 7 is for 2 BPs (carrier, drone bay) plus minerals for 2 runs, or 3 BPs (2 carriers, drone bay) plus minerals for 2 runs of 2 ships.

      Other guides have already covered all of what you need to do in detail.
      In a nutshell: research, buy minerals, compress, ship to losec, reprocess, build components, build ship, sell, profit.

      The main difference with my process is I do not have the funds to buy all the component BPs, so the majority of the components (except the drone bay which will be half or fully utilised and therefore makes economic sense #6) will be built from BPCs purchased off contracts.

      This adds a bit of a complication as the BPCs are a maximum of 5 runs, which often does not well align with the numbers you need to produce. For example instead of one simple run of 7 capital construction parts you have to build 5 + 2. Next time 5 + 2 again, but the third time you have 1 run left on the BPC, so you have to build 5 + 1 + 1 to use it up. This extra management of limited BPC build queues and remainders is not particularly difficult, but it is extra work and you do have to plan for it.

    6. Footnotes
      #1 Here is where I will probably fail, I may well get bored or sick of the effort before it really pays off, but if you organise well the work is not that bad, certainly less time intensive than T2 production with its endless BP copying and invention.

      #2 Really. Truly. If you can't tally up exactly the minerals you will need, work out profit margins, schedule jobs and track where you are in the build process you are asking for trouble.

      #3 This has already been detailed elsewhere. You will need to move bulk minerals. This takes a freighter, mineral compression a blockade runner and scrapmetal processing or a jump freighter to ge the minerals to losec.

      #4 Research takes 2 months in a POS, more in a station and if the station is busy you may have to queue for weeks too. You have billions invested in BPs, you really want to get them producing ASAP.

      #5 A scout alt helps, as does some PvP experience or at least practice dodging gate camps.

      #6 A carrier builds in 12 days and uses 45-57 drone bays, which takes 5-7 days to build, so the drone day blueprint will be well used building one carrier and maxed with 2. Conversely you need 3 capital computer systems, building in 9 hours, you would have to be building 32 carriers to make full use of that blueprint. If you look at it from the cost of buying the BPO vs buying copies, the BPO is 1 billion, a 5 run BPC is 3-5 million, or approximately 1 mil each. So 1000 / 1 / 3 / * 12 / 30 = 133 months before you break even buying the BPO if you are only building one carrier at a time. That is 11 years. Only when you scale up to 8-10 or more ships in build does this become economic. Obviously more used comonents like armour plates become economic much sooner at around 4 ships.

    7. Saved. We'd probably best wait until results happen to publish.

      To avoid difficulties with comments, future updates could be sent to

  2. Do I understand that chart correctly that the "margin" field means profit/invested money. So 0.69 means you bought 1000M minerals and sold a ship for 1690?

  3. You have 20-60% profit on a ship, but your net worth increased only by 2%. What is the limiting factor? Ships take months to build? People don't buy them fast enough?

    1. Various.

      Manufacturing slots -- I can only run so many jobs at once. This does not affect me right now.
      Blueprints -- Take a long time to get into production, so a manufacturing process ramps up slowly. I have a lot of manufacturing capacity going to waste because the blueprints are still in research.
      Station limitations -- Each station has only 50 manufacturing slots, so there's a limit to how much you can produce at each station.
      Manufacturing time -- Ships take 10-14 days to build. I try to calibrate the number of component blueprints I own to make sure the components take less than that.
      Sales -- Yep, sometimes product just doesn't want to sell.

      Also, as mentioned there is 7 billion going missing from that figure, so the actual number should be closer to 5%. That's pretty much gold standard for highly passive income sources. As for the rest, I'm working on it -- working on increasing capacity in the process that's running, and starting up a second process in a different station. Right now a large proportion of my net worth (more than half) is in blueprints that are in research and not earning me anything.

    2. Is there a way to contract out BP research? I mean lot of people research nothing (or like me, nothing worth mentioning) and would welcome passive income in the form of receiving BPs, researching them and giving back. Of course collateral shall be paid and so on but it still has potential.

    3. That would be doable, but it would also increase complexity, which is something I'm not real fond of, and also still entail a substantial wait before the blueprints actually got into production.

      One solution would be to buy researched component blueprints off contracts, which would make them available instantly and actually decrease complexity, but at the cost of isk.