Jay, it strikes me that the
Once those examples are in place, a lot of people have a much easier time replicating them in some ways pattern is related to the common “let a thousand flowers bloom” period in the development of internet standards.
Thinking about the (great) piece that Hugh points to, the sticking points are features where there really is no web standard way to do something. EG pay for your app. It takes a long time for standards to develop, and in the meantime an experienced capitalist will usually pretend that their proprietary approach is going to be durable.