Nannies, The

Image from Anders Sandberg

Nanotech startup companies, early Interplanetary Age.

The Nannies were the brash new fad of their day, and investors threw money at them. The mood was not unlike Silicon Valley during the late Atomic / early Information Age computer revolution in the late 20th century c.e. although in this case it might be more properly called "diamond orbital" since most were located on the space habitats, with a few on the Moon and Mars and the remainder on Earth.

Most companies were fairly small and relied on automated engineering expert systems. Designs were constructed and first tested virtually by nanotechnologists and their software, then built physically (usually the designs had to return to a virtual version several time before the bugs were fixed). Entire nanotech labs could be housed in a suitcase, although the extra equipment tended to require well-stocked macroscale lab space.

Companies like NanoAssemblage Holdings, Mymach, Mechanosynthetic Systems Inc, DrexTech and TRI Supermolecular Chemistry Department Inc. scrambled to explore what could be done with nanotechnology when the main limitations had been overcome. They were not so much competing as co-evolving (being first with something is more important than being the only one with it after a few weeks). Many experts moved freely between the companies.
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Development Notes
Text by Anders Sandberg, from Big Ideas Grand Vision
Initially published on 08 December 2001.