I like your line of thoughts. Unfortunately, we are not there yet. The western economy (whichever the sector) still dictates the direction of global developments. Even when the need for a product or service becomes extremely evident based on our geographical needs, it is almost impossible to seek the approval of current investors. Only a company that has an unlimited pool of funds and/or resources would think about building a parallel product whilst still trying to build its current product. @mark spots.ng isn't exactly a parallel product. HotelOga hospitality startup would have been an ideal example in this case. Besides, not focusing on a primary product might send bad signals about the current state of a business.
Also, the amazon web services which you made reference to was developed as part of the long-term strategic plan to avoid tax, achieved by re-investment. IMO, I think companies build parallel products when it feels the current product has reached a saturation point (diminishing returns) and there is a critical need to rejuvenate investors trust. Facebook, Google and Amazon are all good examples. These companies stay relevant by building (or acquiring) products that are sometimes not related to their core business. This is the only way they can constantly increase the value of the company.
My point is, parallel products don't just come as a result of a company needs. Rather, it is mostly fueled by the need to remain relevant within a sector. Personally, I feel what we need to do is to collaborate more with each other (i.e. open up APIs), create products that depend on other products without ulterior motives and most importantly DISRUPT.