Grayson’s fingers tapped a fast, irritating beat on the table. Thirty minutes spent locked in the glass meeting box called “GroupThink” with Nick was making him antsy. Not because it reminded him of what they were up to in a similar glass box all those years ago, but because Nick was sharing the shareholders’ feedback from last night’s meeting.
“I’m telling you, Grayson. They really did like your proposal.” Nick poured himself another glass of water from the pitcher. “I loved it too.”
“Then why bother listing so many impossible goals and requirements if they loved it so much?” Grayson sniped.
Nick shook his head and smiled. “That means they like it.”
“Great.” Deadpanning, Grayson leaned back in his chair. “I’d rather they dislike it.”
Nick chuckled. “You don’t really have a choice.”
Grayson resisted the urge to wipe that annoying little smile off Nick’s face. He massaged his forehead between his forefinger and thumb. What wouldn’t he give for a day off to relax with a good book. Despite Nick telling him to take time off, he simply couldn’t do that when he had so many things on his plate.
Their ConDuit engineering team was staggeringly small. He had been lucky to hire two capable engineers but they could only do so much with twenty-four hours in a day. Fortunately, they were young and passionate with few personal responsibilities.
“It’ll take a much longer time to implement what the shareholders mentioned, in addition to the features mentioned in the proposal,” Grayson said.
Nick nodded as he sipped his water. “Yes. It’s fine. Take the time you need.”
Grayson waited for the eventual ‘but’.
There it was.
“Try to deliver small, incremental features so the shareholders are pleased.”
Grunting, Grayson bit back a retort. “Right.”
“Moving on.” Nick shot him a wink.
“Why do I feel like you're enjoying this?”
Laughing, Nick lifted his hands up in defense. “Can you blame me for being excited?”
Grayson clicked his tongue. The man was incorrigible. “Fine. Go on. What did they say about the client testimonials?”
“Needless to say, they loved it. In fact, they want to push the idea of it further.” Nick tapped a key on his laptop. The projected image on the wall changed to a page filled with drawings and writing in red ink.
Before Nick could continue, Grayson had already pieced together what the shareholders wanted. “Video records?”
“Up and close personal testimonials from satisfied clients, yes.”
Nick lifted a finger, smiled, and stood up. He crossed over to the projected image and pointed to a paragraph in the proposal. “You’ve brought up a great point here that a major barrier to the incorporation of client testimonials is the reliance on the client to write a lengthy review.”
Nodding, Grayson propped his head on his hand. It was why he didn’t think client testimonials would be as helpful as the idea of introducing the app’s currency, RomPoints.
“So the shareholders had the idea of filming a client’s experience instead,” Nick tapped on the image of a doodle showing a video camera held by a ConCoct agent. “We’ll have our agents film the proceedings of the client’s scenario from their observation point-”
“Wait.” Grayson cut in with a pointed, accusing finger. “Are you saying you want our Bluetooth livestream capability to be extended to record, store, and publicize data?”
“Infringing on our client’s privacy?”
“Ah, no, of course not.” Nick waved his concern away like it was nothing. “It’ll all be in the contract that we’ll have them sign. They could opt out of it. We’re not forcing them to do anything.”
“And you’re expecting them to know they can opt out,” Grayson pointed out.
“Okay, we can do opt-in. They won’t be recorded unless they opt in for that service. And of course, they get to keep a copy of the recording. If we incentivize them by throwing in RomPoints, that would be amazing.”
Grayson scoffed, his concerns subsiding by a mite. “That’s better. Although I don’t foresee anyone would opt in for that.”
“You would be surprised.” Chuckling, Nick dropped back down in his chair. “People want to spread their happiness around.”
This time, it was Grayson who let out a sharp laugh. “More like to show off to the whole world that they’re having a perfect life.”
Nick’s lips curled up in a knowing smirk but he didn’t disagree. “Well, whatever rocks their boat. My point is, there will be people who opt in.”
Grayson conceded the point with a click of his tongue. He shifted in his seat. The whole idea made him uncomfortable. Nick was treading on thin ice with this proposition. Yet the business side of him knew that adding video testimonials could boost their exposure by a huge amount.
Imagine the views it could ratchet up on social media. All those people with their heads in the cloud would watch it, get all mushy, and then contact RomCon for their romantic fix. It was brilliant. Presuming, of course, that there were no legal problems or privacy issues.
“How about the romantic partner?” Grayson said. “They would need to know as well.”
“Yes, we can provide two options.”
Nick had obviously thought this through. Grayson had to give it to him. The man knew how to work an idea. He knew how to work a lot of things actually. Suppressing a smirk, Grayson cleared his throat. “I’m guessing one of the two options is telling the romantic partner.”
“Bingo.” Nick imitated shooting a gun with his index finger. “Of course, few clients would want that. After all, they want to take credit for the romantic setting.”
“Or they don’t want to let them know that it was all fake,” Grayson added with a sneer.
“So the second option,” Nick continued, “is to not let the partner know. But we blur out their image, modify their voice and other identifying information… the whole ten yards. The best solution is to edit it such that the client and partner aren’t exactly recognizable.”
Frowning, Grayson rubbed a hand over his smooth chin. “Who’s going to do all that work? You can’t possibly think that our engineers or agents have enough bandwidth to handle that.”
“Ah.” Nick ran a hand through his hair. “I’m sourcing for a sponsor at the moment for that. Someone to do the video editing and all that.”
Grayson sighed. He folded his arms across his chest and leaned back. To be honest, he was still on the fence about the whole idea on video testimonials. Maybe he could sit on it and let Nick do some groundwork first.
“I can’t say I’m completely on board, Nick.”
“That’s fine.” Nick held up his hands. “Ruminate on it for a while. If I can’t find a sponsor, it’s a moot point anyway.”
Nodding, Grayson let out a sharp breath. “Okay. Sounds like a plan.”
I can definitely see how this will help promote their product, but the thing about opting to record the partner without telling them is so shady... XD Imagine having your partner do something romantic for you and then, years later, coming across a video of that exact moment! I think this very idea will prove to be trouble in one way or another XD
Hopeless romantic Yu Junming is over the moon when he lands a job at the RomCon startup as a ConCoct agent. From meet-cutes to ultimate airport runs, he must re-enact surreal romantic scenes to fit a client’s dreams. Sadly, he botches his assignments and learns the hard way that romance needs a dash of practicality.
Despite his track record, he’s soon tasked to help his boss, Grayson Black - a die-hard cynic who dislikes him at first sight - to find love. Through disastrous dates, the two men grow closer and realize there’s more to each other than meets the eye.
Junming fantasizes of seeing even more of Grayson but he also finds himself drawn to Fernanda Morales, a spunky and eccentric undercover reporter who masquerades as a RomCon client. When Fernanda unexpectedly ends up heartbroken after an awful date, she falls for Junming. Pitiably ignorant of her mission to dig up dirt on RomCon, Junming is stuck between two people and a hard place called reality.
(Book cover done by Joanne Kwan: https://tapas.io/dashalutris
Banner done by Frappe7: https://www.instagram.com/frappitto/?hl=en)