This is an obvious analogy, but here goes:
In the network, we grow things. We seed them with a DNA of sorts (the framework of how they work) and then we unleash them in the wild. Wind, rain, sun…we get all those things in the form of trolls, criticism, and fans. We need those things…they each help us grow in different ways. Become hardier.
For example, Digg has grown despite the myriad of attempts of mean-spirited people who try to game the system (some are just curious, too). But in combatting those people, Digg is emerging stronger than they were. I for one really like Digg’s Apple feed.
In the network, we don’t build things fully-formed. We don’t plant huge trees and watch them gain another 10% of their final size. We watch them grow a thousand-fold instead. We can’t predict which way the branches will go, but that’s OK. They’re growing up.
So, while the original ideas are important (the seed), the way you care for the tree and shelter it from the elements might be more so. This might explain why some projects which are just as good as others (like the open source clone of Del.icio.us – De.lirio.us) don’t catch on like the original. They were there first, of course, but they also had someone watering it daily.