Another example is lack of cash - governments are not doing things like going to space.
Moving cash into the hands of private people has allowed those people to start exploring space.
But where are the other examples? What other companies are doing similar things? This isn't just rhetorical. I'm sure plenty of companies are doing exciting things that don't get decent reporting. (I guess folding@home is one example.)
Computer aided engineering tools in the cloud might be the missing link between the internet and real life innovation.
They could extremely reduce the price of of a (simulated) first prototype , and enable entry to small or crazy ideas.
But the major tool vendors don't hurry to offer affordable tools in the cloud, because their revenue models works differently. There's probably a place for a few start-ups there.