TechCrunch has an interesting article acknowledging how Web apps are getting started up in the United States but cloned by others in countries across the world and sometimes vice versa.
For example, Kevin Rose started the very popular Web site Digg in the United States. In Canada, they have Verydig.
How much of this could be avoided if the Web application were to design itself for a global audience from the beginning? I wonder how many more customers Flickr is picking up because they globalized the reach of their site.