In Nov 1998 I broke up with my sambo and dated a girl in North Carolina after a conference. She had severe allergy, so I built her a wearable battery powered HEPA aircleaner with a transparent mask. She had been searching for such a device on the market for many years. Now she became able to be outside for longer periods of time (she has just, a few months ago, (Sept 2003) replaced it with a recently available (after 5 years) commercial variant). I didn't fell for her love wise, but she was extremely happy for the aircleaner. She was so happy so she sent me five of these . I didn't actually want any payment, because I was already in US and I was going to see her anyway, but I was actually in need for money at that time so I withdrew the first three checks.
The air cleaner is that type of everyday inventions we all make now and then, if we know what we want, and are handy, because we simple need something and needs makes us creative.
I made this air cleaner for her because she needed one.
She specified exactly what she wanted, that is:
Problem: We geeks very often have this problem. We know what we want, but due to the fact that the market is not providing us with what we want, we just become frustrated. There are tousend of products I would like to buy which are manufacturable with the current technology, if they were available and I could afford them.
When they finally arrive on the market they do not correspond to our requirements, they are often crappy in one or several ways. And when they finally arrive it is also too late, because then we are waiting for the next thing we need, which the technology could provide, but manufacturers don't provide.