Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, SoftLayer, Azure and OpenStack are category leaders, but hundreds of smaller cloud providers are flourishing in the growing cloud computing industry. Linode is one example, highlighted recently at GigaOM Structure, where large and small companies comprise half of Linode’s customers and individuals comprise the other half. Cloud computing isn’t all about scale. Many applications and enterprises aren’t going to scale to millions of users. To this end, it might be time to introduce a new metaphor for cloud that’s more nuanced than the popular electric utility example. While large scale utilities displaced nearly all proprietary electricity generating facilities due to economies of scale, the same isn’t true for printing, which may be a more apt example. Printing is an $800 billion industry that has consolidated somewhat since the early days, with the world’s highest volume and lowest cost printers now in China. That said, there are still thousands of local offset printers located in light industrial districts worldwide. The metaphor breaks down because printers traffic millions of pounds of paper, decidedly not scalable. Also, designers, the analogue for IT managers, have to physically visit the print shop to conduct press checks. But printing, like cloud computing, has far more implementations than electricity, which is an extremely commoditized service. Color, embossing, die cuts, binding and other technical approaches require high touch engagement. Also, nearly all print jobs are small scale, less than 100,000 pieces, and don’t benefit from the economies of scale of sending the job out of market. The same may be true for many apps and enterprise deployments in the cloud, where scale is never really an issue. In these instances Linode and hundreds of other hosting providers can provide sufficient Linux virtual machines, high touch support and a single throat to choke that give developers and IT managers everything that they need, even if they give up some savings at the margins.