The same thing could be said about innovation within organizations. Yes, even at eBay there are features or innovations which are launched and don't meet their targets. eBay actually tends to put a ton of foresight into what targets to go after, reducing that risk. But ultimately eBay falls to what I'll call the law of slinging mud on a wall.
Most mud (i.e. innovative ideas) will fall away and what sticks often isn't what's expected.
Hence when I read about companies whose seeming goal is to pursue innovation lauded for each and every launch as successful, I have to chuckle. It just doesn't work that way. Take VOIP as an example. Does anyone really understand the LUCK and effort it took for Skype to reach its position of leadership in this space? Yahoo or MSN or Google launching their own VOIP feature will take similar if not more LUCK and effort to even get close to what Skype currently manages. Compare Skype with more than 4million concurrent users of its voice technology vs thousands (maybe hundreds of thousands) on any of the other IM providers. This isn't to say the IM providers couldn't throw money at the situation, lower price or bundle products and ultimately be successful. But just introducing functionality (which btw ALREADY existed in most cases) means little. If these companies DIDN'T introduce this functionality, that would actually be a surprise.
The same could be said for any of the myriad of new innovations which supposedly will conquer the Internet as we know it. Believe me, I'm all for innovation. In fact, my job and my enjoyment of my job is centered around discovering and supporting it. But we need to put the hype aside and stop prognosticating that this or that new technology ultimately will be the winner or grand disruptor. Until that mud sticks, I'm waiting to see what shakes out as truly paradigm shifting (and what's really a threat). Meanwhile I'll be continuing to hurl as much up there as quicky as possible for eBay.