Intangible Girl: The Origin Story
NetSuite’s Superheroes of Finance celebrates both the cape-less and the caped crusaders who battle not only the forces of evil but also the everyday challenges that growing businesses face. This series is an homage to the near-heroic work that members of the finance team perform every day, bringing various business functions together to understand the past AND see into the future, readying the business to pounce on new opportunities for growth.
Born into a wealthy family, Mei B. Worth grew up a middle child, often overlooked and rarely appreciated by her parents. They doted on the youngest daughter, Penny, showering her with presents, ski weekends, and polo training. One year, for the local soapbox derby, the family commissioned the building of a dedicated luxury car plant to hand-craft a prototype car made of pink ivory. Their initial plan — making falcon-wing doors from the talons of real falcons — met with mass protests outside the plant. The Worth parents poured their ambition into Mei’s older brother, Les, heir to the family fortune, sending him to the best schools, armed with a full staff, and instilled with the centuries-old family motto: boost profit margins.
Meanwhile, Mei received a gift card each birthday. Industriousness won her scholarships to the same schools her older brother attended. She would pack her own lunch.
The family constantly talked about the value of things. Each pet – purebred – was named after the price paid. The English Bulldog was named 2K, the Himalayan cat was Eight-Fifty, the Kentucky Derby favorite thoroughbred was 5 Bitcoin, although that name changed on a daily basis.
There were electronic stock tickers in every room, and gold-plated ledgers for each child held running tallies of every dime spent to clothe and feed and care for them. Mandatory Sunday family gatherings were breathless affairs, held to analyze the numbers. Future career aspirations were modeled into personal earnings forecasts and the subsequent contributions to the family wealth.
Even here, in these cherished assemblies, Mei was constantly overlooked and unfairly forecast. She was basically…invisible.
“Where’s that other child of ours,” her father, Wiley, would often ask.
“Dad, I’ve been across from you at the table for the past two hours,” Mei would often reply, as she indexed the family’s Italian vineyards by yield, quality, and profits or developed a solar-powered, self-cleaning stall for the family’s prized horse.
In Mei’s early years, she felt despair, but her coping mechanisms became her salvation. She came to prize her invisibility and while her friends played video games, she would memorize revenue recognition standards word-for-word, sending numerous grammatical corrections to FASB anonymously. Her early theories for a distributed ledger begat the first blockchain–an accomplishment for which she, true to form, never received credit.
Mei’s tendency to organize financial figures and tinker with technology reached a crescendo when her father brought her along on take-your-daughter-to-work day but forgot about her, leaving her alone in the accounting department overnight. While there, Mei coped as she always did: She started running the numbers.
It was then that she discovered her family’s hedge fund was caught in a short squeeze. The company had shorted GameStart, buying billions of futures in the near-worthless stock. Just recently, a band of TikTokers who loved GameStart had started buying up remaining shares. The family’s hedge fund would need to come up with tens of billions of dollars to cover the growing spread in GameStart’s value. Money it did not have.
Simultaneously, Mei also became fascinated with a small skunkworks owned by the family. The project had patented technology on invisibility and an AI-driven descrambling disk that could be used to reconcile any conflicting data. She realized it was the only thing of real value the family business owned. Acting quickly, she sold her vast Bitcoin holdings, formed a SPAC — called WorthIT — and bought the skunkworks division from her father’s company, all in one night.
The next day, her father returned to work to find a full report of the company’s future on his desk, complete with arcane statistical scenario models — the econometric, probabilistic, intuitive logic models, all pointing to one conclusion: the business was ruined. Above the shattered sounds of his own hubris, he didn’t even hear his daughter telling him about the part of the company she’d salvaged. Instead, he had the chauffeur take him home, where he sat in the family’s media room watching Citizen Kane over and over, mumbling something about Rosebud.
Her family’s downfall had shown Mei the perils of constantly placing faith in the worth of everything and yet failing to pay attention to any of the details. She vowed from that day forward to appreciate and learn the value of things not easily valued. The intangible things.
She also decided to keep the skunkworks division for herself. Mei invested further in the lab, where she was able to manufacture the invisibility belt and disks, to which she added a feature so that it didn’t just reconcile data, it could dematerialize formal business attire and reassemble it as a lightweight, stretchable fabric that was perfect for athleisure wear — or crimefighting. She launched them with inner glee to no fanfare.
During the day, she works at a small outsourced accounting firm she formed to lend her superhuman ability to assign value to anything and her expertise in data analysis to growing businesses. By night, she prowls the streets as Intangible Girl, armed with the latest prototype of her invisibility belt and data accuracy disks, bringing order to chaos, identifying errors in corporate tax filings before they become public, and saving executives from constantly restating earnings.
Learn more about Intangible Girl and hear from a real-life superhero of finance by tuning in to the NetSuite Podcast on Apple Podcasts, Spotify and YouTube.