Case in point: I am building a device which will have a number of connections to other electronic bits, some of them permanent and some not. I'm trying to cut down on the number of connectors in this device as connectors are a source of unreliability, so the thing I'm building will have some cords dangling off it. I want these to be springy cords, so that they get in the way less. But I also need 6 conductors in one of them, which is hard to find. The only retail source I've seen prices them at $90 -- absurd, when you can get a ham radio microphone containing the cord in question for $40. So I hunted around and quickly found that most of these cords are made by a company called Philatron. The plastic coating is called Philathane. In case you hadn't figured it out, the company is run by a guy named Phil, who's been doing this for about 30 years.
That's why I love mankind.
(Update: actually there's a second source which meets my requirements. The company in question has been around for 50 years; the founder has presumably kicked off as their web site has the lack of funkiness and personal touch that comes from being run by committee.)