The Book of Everyone (even ants)

There are ants all over The Book of Everyone. Ants in our books, ants on our Twitter, a digital ant farm on our site, a real ant farm or two in our old office, and the occasional ant infestation in the kitchen of our new office (not that we’re messy)…

And while we’d rather not have them in our sugar bowl, ants seem to have become an integral part of our company.

So I thought I’d take some time to find out what exactly it is about ants that makes them such a good fit with us.

Ant facts that inspire us in the office

Forget books by Silicon Valley whizzkids and forget “must see” video talks about “how to achieve business success by using the secret philosophy of the ancient world”. Whenever we need to find a good example of how to get things done, we go straight to our six-legged friends.

There are around 10 quadrillion ants alive at any one time.

That’s an awful lot of ants. It makes our ambition to help create personalised books for everyone in the world – a mere 7.4 billion people – look totally reasonable. It’s also got me thinking about how we could get all those ants working together to form a super efficient, very environmentally friendly delivery option…

Ants are super strong. Depending on which of the 10,000 species we’re talking about, an individual ant can lift between 10 and 100 times its own bodyweight.

Anyone who’s worked in a small company will know that the only thing bigger than your ambition is your to do list. Sometimes it can be a bit intimidating to arrive at your desk and discover the great long list of tasks you’ve got isn’t any shorter despite all the work you did yesterday. From now on, whenever admin nausea threatens to overwhelm me, I’ll keep in mind that ants do a lot more heavy lifting than I’ll ever have to.

They were mates with the dinosaurs. Ants first appeared 130 million years ago during the Cretaceous period.

That means ants are survivors. Proper survivors too, none of that I’m a celebrity bush tucker trial nonsense. To make it through the catastrophic events that killed off big beasts like Triceratops and Velociraptors, ants must have been pretty tough. Yeah, T-Rex was massive, loud, and seemed to dominate, but it was the hardworking little ants that came out on top in the end.

All very inspiring stuff for people working in a startup.

Every ant has their day

There’s one other thing about ants that feels like a perfect fit with what we do.

Sure these days you can pay companies a bit like ours to name planets, stars, and even gigantic zoo animals after the people you love. And that’s brilliant. But why not name an ant in their honour instead? Think about it…

If you’re an ant, you must sometimes feel fairly insignificant (no pun intended, genuinely). There you are going about your business in the nest, getting on with things and living your best ant life. Unless you’re the queen though, you don’t get a lot of attention.

Whether your an ant or a human being, it can be easy to think that you don’t really matter. But, you don’t have to be a footballer or a politician to be a hero to the people (or ants) in your life.

Our books exist because we truly believe that everyone should be celebrated and that everyone deserves a book with their name on it.

So maybe when we’re finished with helping to create a book for every person on earth, we’ll get started on the ants.

All 10 quadrillion of them.

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