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Confused

Business Plan for Monetizing Breaths

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SUMMARY BUSINESS PLAN

(As Founder Brandon Sanderson Predicts Endowment Wants)

Presented to the Nalthis Breath Council by the Confused Consulting Group

Introduction

Thank you, Nalthis Breath Council (NBC), for this opportunity to present to you CCG’s ideas on how best to monetize Breaths. Nalthians are wise to have created this elected council to unify their interests in an organized Breath Market. The Breath market now is highly fragmented and dis-integrated. CCG believes all Nalthians will benefit from the enhanced value an organized market will bring them.

Our proposed Business Plan focuses on the cosmere-wide sale of Breaths. We think now is the time to implement this plan while most Breaths remain on Nalthis. Our advice is to make NBC the sole cosmere source for buying and selling Breaths – a real-world monopolistic cartel like “earth’s OPEC.” (“OPEC” is a group mentioned in the famous fantasy novel Twentieth Century Earth). This Business Plan shows how NBC can accomplish that goal.

Breath Benefits That Affect Value

Breaths may be the cosmere’s most valuable freely-transferable asset – same-sized quanta of Endowment’s Investiture. Each Breath enhances its holder’s lifeforce. Breaths come only from Nalthis but can be transferred to anyone anywhere. New supply is limited to Nalthian births. Nalthians must give their Breaths willingly. That lessens the risk of Breath theft. Breaths enable their holder to animate (Awaken) objects. 2,000 Breaths make their holder functionally immortal. 50,000 Breaths make their holder the equivalent of a Hallendren God King.

NBC Breath Exchange

We recommend you form the NBC Breath Exchange to let the market price Breaths rather than set an arbitrary price. The Exchange should be the sole cosmere market for Breaths. The NBC should require buyers and sellers to conduct all Breath transfers through the Exchange. The NBC may choose to exempt intra-family transfers, inheritances, and at-the-moment-of-death transfers. NBC should ban all private Breath sales that fall outside these exemptions.

The Breath Black Market

To ensure the Exchange works as intended, the NBC must take steps to eliminate smuggling and the black market in Breaths. Currently, the Tears of Edgli are the only way to enter Nalthis, but future technologies may change that. We recommend for now NBC monitor visitor traffic through the Tears. Each person must leave Nalthis with the same number of Breaths they held on entry or account for the discrepancy with NBC-certified papers. We recommend you station strong Awakeners at the Tears to count the Breaths and enforce anti-smuggling laws.

We urge the NBC to capture the bandit and murderer Vasher and his cohort the former Princess Vivenna of Idris. This notorious pair has eluded all previous efforts to find and restrain them. Together they hold many thousands of Breaths. They are criminals, but our concern is the potential market disruption if they choose to dump their Breaths onto the market.

NBC Revenue Streams

CCG foresees NBC generating revenue from commissions and other fees on each Breath transfer. CCG anticipates NBC’s efforts will have increased Breath value enough that buyers and sellers won’t mind paying these commissions and fees.

Spinoff Business Revenues

CCG recommends NBC expand its business model to augment its Breath marketing business and generate substantial additional revenues. Some examples:

Breath storage devices. CCG anticipates NBC will hold very large Breath reserves. It may be unfeasible for NBC officials to hold and carry these Breaths personally. These Breaths don’t belong to them in any event. If something unexpectedly happens to an NBC Breath holder, NBC could lose those Breaths. Developing Breath storage technology mitigates this risk. Such technology should allow for multiple NBC officials to retrieve these Breaths, perhaps through an Awakening password created and shared by the person who stores the Breaths.

Awakening Training. NBC should sell Awakening training services to Breath purchasers.

Breath Financing. As Breaths increase in value, individuals may lack sufficient capital to purchase them. We recommend NBC form the NBC Investment Bank to develop financing options for individual purchases. These options may include purchases on margin, installment contracts, and other payment plans.

Security Consulting. NBC has unique expertise it could package and market to Breath holders to ensure Breath safety and security.

Exclusive Transportation Rights. NBC should retain the right to transport Breaths to the buyer. While this is a sensible security feature, NBC’s transportation monopoly provides it an additional, independent revenue stream.

Other Issues

Private Equity Breath Purchases

We anticipate promoters will form business entities to consolidate Breath investor capital. These private equity firms could accumulate huge numbers of Breaths. These firms’ buy/sell strategies could adversely affect market efficiencies or otherwise compete with NBC’s financing business. To avoid this, we recommend NBC bar corporate ownership of Breaths or limit the number of Breaths such entities can own.

Ethical Issues

Some may question the propriety of establishing an organized market in human souls. They may see Breath transfers as immoral, taking part of a human life, or even soul slavery. CCG recommends NBC develop strategies to combat these perceptions including in-school education programs and massive advertising campaigns. The latter might highlight the enormous financial benefits that enhanced Breath values yield to Nalthian society.

Legal Issues

As the price for Breaths increases, Nalthians may choose to have more children and harvest their Breaths. This will lead to more drabs in society. From their Breath sale, each drab should have enough wealth not to burden society, but the NBC should monitor this situation closely. If necessary, the NBC should enact laws that prescribe the minimum age a person may sell their Breaths; ensure payment benefits the child and not the parent; and otherwise preclude child abuse through Breath deprivation.

Effect of Mass Murder, War, and Other Catastrophes

Some unscrupulous investors may try to inflate Breath values through the mass murder of Nalthians. The villains Vasher and Vivenna use this tactic with the Awakened sword Nightblood. Terrorist attacks can occur too swiftly to collect the Breaths of the murdered Nalthians. Nightblood reportedly destroys every part of those it kills including their Breaths. War, disease, and natural disasters can also materially reduce the Breath supply.

We recommend the NBC maintain a large Breath reserve at all times. If any of these events occur, the NBC can stabilize pricing by putting part of the reserved Breaths back on the market. (In the fantasy novel Twentieth Century Earth, a fictional country called the U.S.A. kept a strategic carbon-based fuel reserve to guard against OPEC disruption of the fuel supply.)

Conclusion

NBC contacted us when founder Brandon Sanderson concluded Endowment wishes to encourage the growth of the Nalthian Breath market. We believe this NBC Business Plan offers the best means of accomplishing that goal with the least friction to the existing Breath market. CCG designed the NBC Business Plan to maximize NBC revenues. We did so on the assumption NBC will re-distribute the bulk of its operating profits to native Nalthians. Getting buy-in from native Nalthians through this unity of interest is essential for the Plan’s ultimate success.

Edited by Confused
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@Confused, this is a great first step, but eventually the market for complicated breath based derivatives will have to be regulated as well, and the cartel structure outlined above lacks the flexibility to adequately deal with breath endowed consumer items such as awakened boxer shorts (commanded to "breathe better"), fake mustaches ("make me look older"), hairnets ("protect foodstuffs"), sporks ("feed safely"), Tupperware ("keep food fresh"), etc. etc.

Like any finite commodity of strategic importance, the path forward to controlling the market for said commodity should be an agreeable balance of government oversight and private sector initiative. Our best bet is to keep the court of the gods as far away from the regulation of this nascent market as possible, or in other words, to maximize the return on investment we should keep the Returned away from the investments.

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Another concern the NBC should be aware of is the accumulation of Breath by other functionally immortal entities from other Cosmere aware persons. Hoid, Frost, the Heralds of Roshar, the Kandra and Steel Inquisition of Scadrial, even various Shard Vessels of Adonalasium. The record keeping must be extensive to prevent other entities from disruptive actions to the system for any concievable purpose or no purpose at all. To this end, Ms. Edgli should be encouraged to involve herself in the management of her Investiture and to enforce policy in cases of emergency. Her involvement should not be day to day, yet she should be available on an on call basis.

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