"As many others have said, much of what people are building today is 'features' not products. As long as that is the case, raw economics is the real problem with the software business. Competition strengthens the platform builders while eviscerating the component builders... The rich get richer and the builders of innovative features must be satisfied with the 'personal rewards' of doing a job well unless they get lucky in the buy-out lottery game."
With the various cloud computing efforts well underway, and with each providing a different approach as a 'platform', it would be good for developers and entrepreneurs to think about which road to travel.