At my current gig, it is an outright chore to get a telephone number of an employee you want to call. There are actually two ways to go about doing this task. You can open Lotus Notes client, find an news-desk application, open that, locate address book document, open the document, open excel file and then search for a person. You can also install a 3rd party application that works or not (depends on your PC configuration), remember in which department that person is employed and then look through all numbers to find the person. Granted, second way is faster, but for some odd reason, the application does not work on my PC. At all. So every time I want to find a person to call (and that is a lot of time, as I forget phone numbers constantly), it takes about 2 minutes to get it done.
Finally, I had enough of that, and took some time to write a simple command line app that finds me all telephone numbers for a Active directory users whose names contain searched string. Got it done in an hour or so. Then, I thought: “Hmm, if I have this problem, then also some other IT guys must have too”. So, I distributed it and instantly got a moan about it being a command line application. So, it took me another 30 minutes of my spare time, to create a WPF based GUI application for Windows. Then, I also thought: “For years now, I have been looking for excuse to start an open source project, but I do not have the time to commit to an existing one. This would be a great opportunity!”