The new economy is a situation where each new idea creates new opportunities and the only real scarcity is that of attention. Attention is largely an intangible asset, certainly not ownable or protectable and the only real moats you can build with regard to attention are that of network effect.
A 'software startup' is a generally a data mining operation of some form, data (the raw form of information) goes into the sluices, and out comes some post processed data as information that has some value. So perhaps the name, address, and daily rates of every Hotel goes in as data, the sluices take your input on where you are going to be and provides a report of just those hotels and their rates where you are and voila, distilled data as valuable information.
Unlike the goods economy, the ore for our information products can be re-used again and again to make a variety of products. Further all of our ore can be 'stolen' by a competitor and we're still able to make our information products out of it. Thus this new information economy values the richness of the derived information, that richness is defined by relevance, precision, and timeliness.