Lisa DiCarlo: There is probably no quantifiable way to prove that Americans are an impatient breed. We want what we want, when we want it, and we’re willing to pay for the privilege. Today, companies rake in millions–sometimes billions–giving people the ability to have sex on demand, sleep on demand, television on demand and technology on demand.

We’ve taken a look at the companies that are creating these markets and the advancements being made.

TiVo is still a money-losing company, but it helped pioneer the concept of watching television on your terms rather than a network’s. So cult-like is its following that its brand name has become a verb, referring to the digital storing and playback of content.

Sanofi-Synthelabo has found a big hit in its sleep aid Ambien. That drug’s success has caused other pharmaceutical companies to develop their own remedies, one of which is time-released so the sleep-deprived can wake up on demand as well as fall asleep on demand.

Sometimes the law of supply and demand falls short, however. Pfizer had hoped to hit the equivalent of ten grand slams with Viagra, the drug designed to help millions of men (and their partners) enjoy sex when they want it. But Viagra had 2003 sales of only $1.8 billion, one-fifth the sales of Pfizer’s cholesterol drug, Liptor. Some observers think Viagra sales could reach $4 billion annually, but that’s a far cry from the $11 billion once projected.

Still, people demand–and often receive–other types of services that are meant to aid and enhance lifestyles. Botox has given what many say is the instant appearance of youth to millions of people. Busy career couples are scheduling Caesarian section deliveries of their children as readily as business meetings.

Would you expect anything less from the country that invented fast food?
More here.