you and i may own a nano business

So I was perusing the Sunday papers after lunch today and came across one of those local community business event ads where they sign your business up to participate and compete in something called “fitness fun”. As I don’t find fitness fun at all, I doubt I’ll participate unless there is a buffet afterward (j/k).

They evidently want you to sign up in categories according to business size so the competition is even. You can register as a jumbo business (1,000+ employees), a XX-Large business (401-999 employees and you do not have to work in the porn industry to be in this category) – all the way down to a small business (21-50 employees) and a micro business (10-20 employees). And then it stops.

Now I don’t mean to nit pick but I know a heck of a lot of businesses that fall into that 1-9 employee category, mine being one of them (there’s just me in my biz – all the other voice talents are independent contractors).

As I thought about it further, this list of business size categories is kinda indicative of how banks, state and federal governments look at the 1-9ers of the world…we believe they act (manage, loan money, govern) as if we are not worth noting. We are not invited to the party and maybe we’ll get a crumb of a business incentive and like it! Sheesh.

But back to my point. So what named category do we fall under? We 1-9’ers need a name, a brand (and then of course a splashy new logo).

Well as best as my non-scientific brain can determine, the next level down from micro is nano. In fact, I found a chart the accuracy of which can not be proven by me because beyond these terms, this stuff makes my eyes glaze over…but here it is anyway:

Prefix Symbol Multiplier Exponent
yotta Y 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 10^24
zetta Z 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 10^21
exa E 1,000,000,000,000,000,000 10^18
peta P 1,000,000,000,000,000 10^15
tera T 1,000,000,000,000 10^12
giga G 1,000,000,000 10^9
mega M 1,000,000 10^6
kilo k 1,000 10^3
hecto h 100 10^2
deca da 10 10^1
1 10^0
deci d 0.1 10^¯1
centi c 0.01 10^¯2
milli m 0.001 10^¯3
micro µ 0.000001 10^¯6
nano n 0.000000001 10^¯9
pico p 0.000000000001 10^¯12
femto f 0.000000000000001 10^¯15
atto a 0.000000000000000001 10^¯18
zepto z 0.000000000000000000001 10^¯21
yocto y 0.000000000000000000000001 10^¯24

So, in the world of science, there are 5 spots smaller than a nano. Hmm. So if we see than a micro business has 10 employees then maybe it works this way:

milli –> 10-20 employees
nano –> 8-9 employees
pico –> 6-7 employees
femto –> 4-5 employees
atto –> 3 employees
zepto –> 2 employees
yocto –> 1 employee

So maybe I’m a yocto sized business owner.

Now as of 2009, yocto is the smallest confirmed SI prefix (International System of Units). That sounds reeeaaaallllly small…and kinda cool.

But, what about those folks than have just one employee in their business and work at it part time?!

That sound smaller than a yocto size business to me. Sounds like those prefix folks better get working on some more Greek words, I’m just sayin’.

No wait, we’re a creative community…what do YOU THINK we should name a one person business who does it part time? And no, Avon and Mary Kay have already been trade marked :).

Let’s hear YOUR IDEA! And should we have our own events?

You’d only need a six pack and a bag of pretzels to call it catered!

4 Responses to “you and i may own a nano business”

  1. they left off a few near the bottom of the “nano, vecto, yuckto” list, peter.

    i kept looking for “zeppo”, “chico”, “harpo”, “gummo”, etc.

    myself, i tend to think i’m more in the “groucho” catagory…creatively at least.

    but what they hey…i guess we have to tell people we’re “too small to fail”, right?


  2. Hey Rowell,

    Long time no breakfast! 🙂

    I think maybe Zeppo and Chico would be cool names to add to the list. I really like those suggestions – the underrated Marx Brothers should get some infamy too!

    Best always,
    – Peter

  3. There’s always:

    Yakov – a one Russian employee company
    Tito – a one Slavic employee, or the fifth and most forgotten employee
    Yoyo – a one man cello band
    Topo or Gigo – a one mouse company
    Gaga – one woman pretending to be many exotic employees company
    Juju – a one bee hive
    Nanu² – a one alien company (legality not known)
    Dodo – an extinct one person company
    Vovo – a one Swedish employee company

    The mind boggles, but then I don’t get paid for that, so I’m going back into my hole now.


  4. Rise from your…er….hole and be proud, Bruce.

    I nominate either Topo or Gigo as excellent choices.

    Best always,
    – Peter