Check out this great piece on the pace of innovation in China. It’s interesting to see how things change and realign when you remove all of the inherited legacy pieces of an industry.
In the US, where Internet business haven’t enjoyed the luxury of tech-commerce leapfroggery, we have seen an approach to consolidation that has, by necessity, been a kind of reverse engineering. Because of strong existing commercial infrastructure and advanced technology, companies have been allowed to grow vertically without being forced to confront problems in the ecosystem that might ultimately have forced them in different directions that, paradoxically, could have produced better solutions for consumers.
If you take his thinking one step further, you find a pretty interesting way of identifying new opportunities for successful companies. Take a look at existing inefficiencies in pretty successful industry verticals in a developed/mature market, imagine what success would look like without those issues, and then test to see if you can apply that model to another large international market. Similarly, you can check to see how other markets that have taken advantage of these leapfrog effects have solved problems (ex: cell phone banking in Africa) and then apply that back to more mature markets like the US.