From an interesting question on Quora –
“Why is Vodka so expensive?”
Because it is sold in expensive bottles. The “juice” in a bottle typically costs less than $.10 to make. The vast majority of vodkas in the US get their liquid from a few contract producers like ADM
Interpolate this into your average tech startup – The ‘value add’ for the majority of startups isn’t in using Ruby on Rails, or Cloud Storage, or a no-SQL database. It’s not in using the latest Agile techniques, or the best continuous deployment system (though all of these things help). It’s how you make your users feel – Design, User Experience, and that disgusting practice that techies love to hate – Marketing. Technology is a commodity*.
* There is still room for the disruptive technology innovations of your Google, but how many of those come along?