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.
Nanodust - Text by Anders Sandberg Layers of dead nanomachinery sedimenting in the dust, on the bottom of lakes and elsewhere. Ideally nanodust should self-destruct, but there are always bugs in that. Micro- and biotech scavengers collect them, but there are always places they miss. So the puddles on a roof collect diamond dust which blows away when they dry out, which can both erode shiny facades, irritate people and catch fire.
Nanoengineer - Text by M. Alan Kazlev One who designs or programs assemblers or nano-devices, or designs functional structures on the atomic scale. Nanoengineering is based on applications from quantum mechanics, applied thermodynamics, chemistry, MEMS, mesotech, robotics, and swarm theory. Most nanoengineers are cyborgs or vecs who incorporate extensive pragmatic nanoborg augmentations, and generally work in a specific field of application, or as dedicated sophonts for a higher toposophic. Contrast with nanohacker.
Nanofacture - Text by Geoff Dale in Anders Sandberg's Transhuman Terminology The fabrication of goods, especially but not necessarily macroscale items, using nanotechnology. Fabrication may occur on a large industrial scale, or from a small personal autofab unit.