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Agreed, my examples were contrived, and there are better ones, but that doesn't mean one can't build a business off of them (and I know people who have).

All one needs to do is go to freshmeat or ohloh to see loads of stuff that could be leveraged to fulfill a need and ultimately build a business. You know that it fulfilled at least one person's need, because it was created to scratch an itch. Sure, maybe they aren't polished or sellable out of the box, and many of them are infrastructure (rather than end-user-product) related, but that's where the work of building a business comes in.

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