Can competition of products, without collaboration, cause the whole product space to not become as widely accepted? I was thinking about this as it applies to internet services. For example, in the comment tracking space there is coComment, co.mments, myComments, and Commentful. Each of these will track your comments across various sites, as well as let you view others comments on the posts that you are interested in.
For tracking your own comments, each of these work equally well, as you click a bookmarklet when you add a comment. But if you want to view other's comments, they would have to use the same comment tracking service as you are. Otherwise, you would have to look for comments on all of the sites. I think that this would frustrate users so much that they wouldn't use any of the services.
One way to solve this would for each of these services to work together and share data. In some ways this is what the IM services have started to do. Now people on Yahoo's and MSN's IM networks can talk to each other. Prior to that you would have to log into each service to talk to your contacts