Your vision. Our pleasure.
Making a living ship? Curing cancer? Building a sentient robot race? Compared to running a corptown, all the R&D is the easy part of the job.
One of the business elements that truly distinguishes a megacorp…or one of the next generation of megacorps… is that the big companies have citizens. A strong base of brand-loyal Vectors is the basis for a stable company. Well, the Vectors, and their ledgers.
But how do you, a busy CEO, leverage that powerful base, serve those growing millions of shareholders, and still meet your deliverables? That’s where we’ve got your back. Cynosure helps growing corporations build brand equity, citizen equity, and that most difficult commodity: trust. We’re here to help.
Lumen isn’t the only corporation to monetize the concept of “time.” Cynosure, a formally independent marketing group, had been selling growing corporations time for 80 years… That, and the golden dream of becoming a megacorp.
Cynosure is a constellation of consulting groups and services. They dabble in brand makeovers, HR restructurings, and other corporate abstractions, and have one of the best-developed real estate networks on Sol. But their primary service is helping corporations develop corptowns.
Most startups…and in fact most established corporations… Lack the skills to manage a corptown, let alone acquire the land and service a clientele. Cynosure manages and develops corptowns on behalf of growing corps (and companies who just can’t be bothered.)
In an ideal situation, or if the money’s right, Cynosure can procure land and build up and out in their client’s image, building brand and population together. More often though they fold their client’s interests into a region Cynosure already manages, a million ledger transactions nudged toward the new client’s interests.
Surprisingly, Cynosure’s rates are not ruinius. Of course they skim a little off the top, of course stock in Cynosure is unusually popular in their distributed client development regions. Where their real power and income came from was in tweaking billions of ledger purchases toward their own investments, carefully shaping the meta-economics to favor themselves and their preferred clients. They were on a seemingly inevitable track to becoming the kingmaker megacorp, until something unexpected happened: Lumen.
The distruptive wild card corporation bought out half of Cynosure’s board of directors, and their delicate and subtle economic play was placed under new management. Cynosure still serves its clients, first and foremost. There are contracts, after all. But the padding and margins they used to tweak the economy in their favor has been turned toward Cogsune-led research, development, and experimentation.
The other corps breathed a sigh of relief, but what Cynosure could become just might be worse than what it was.
Allies and Enemies
Of the establishment Megacorps, Spyglass and Progenitus have positive things to say about Cynosure, there’s a certain similarly in their methods, and the generally positive, “they did it, you can too!” advertising copy fits with Progenitus’s bright tone. And they’ve done a lot to build strong support networks for lots of vectors. TTI has worked with Cynosure over the years, as a citizen-light corp TTI has invested in Cynosure’s distributed ledger plan, and is one of their big customers. MarsCo frequently encourages “future Megacorps” to use Cynosure. Frankly, it’s easier than working with an unknown quantity.
ASR has sparred on and off with Cynosure in the realm of finances. The predictive computer wizardry ASR brings is just about matched with Cynosure’s ability to tilt the field in its favor, at least until ASR plays the “MegaCorp Financial Dominance” card. Philosophically, Pulse doesn’t particularly care for Cynosure. The way they treat Vectors as mere numbers grates against Pulse’s “Individuality First!” battle call, and Cynosure’s so much more transparent about it than MarsCo.
Ultimately, Cynosure doesn’t make enemies, not really. They’ve built an infrastructure over a century, like twining rhizomorphs under a rotting tree. It’s only with the protection and resources of Lumen that they seem like a bigger threat.
Lumen views Cynosure like one more laboratory, one that mixes finances, social networks, and individuals like colorful chemicals in a flask. They’re happy to have access to the vast network of minicorporations, rising stars, startups, and one-hit wonders that make up Cynosure’s client base. They haven’t taken their new toy out of the box yet, not really, but the threat of the Great Disruption of 700AE really getting to work with some of the more sophisticated financial instruments in Sol has made even MarsCo a little nervous. But right now, Lumen’s strictly hands off, giving Cynosure a better bankroll and better technology and waiting to see what bursts into flame.
Understated. With a few exceptions, their offices are models of client-focused marketing, and Cynosure employees tend to be soft-spoken and even a bit obsequious.
It’s possible to live in a Cynosure corptown without ever seeing the groups’ logo. Corptowns sponsored by a well-funded client will be built to reflect that corp’s image and ideal (as interpreted by Cynosure). In their more general areas, the marketing campaigns and favored products shift continually based on who the Corp is serving locally, who’s on the rise, who’s taking the fall. Change is one constant. Another is that their towns tend to be visually attractive and inhabited by attractive and happy people, as if at any moment they might be about to film a commercial. Undesirable or troublesome citizens tend to be very gently, over months, moved off the prime real estate. Lately, Cynosure-held corptowns tend to have much more business diversity than a town invested in a single corporate overlord, with a particularly strong representation of startups and smaller independent Corp subsidiaries.
At least, that’s the case on the surface. Deep down, they’re as sinister as TTI and cynical as IRPF, they just express their dark side through applied sociology. The rumors of arcologies exponentially denser than MarsCo’s slum apartments, where Vectors barely cling to subsistence as their ledgers tick away for some distant empire’s gain, walls of sham corporations standing between them and any sort of justice, are probably exaggerated. So are the blips “born” into a life of fiscal servitude. It’s highly unlikely that MarsCo would let anything like that happen under its watch…right? It’s definitely true that there’s a startling lack of visibly poor, old, or otherwise unattractive Vectors in any major Cynosure holding, but most people chalk that off to good marketing and a high cost of living.
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