How much of this creative period was due to Frontier itself and how much to Dave?
I think it works like this: Dave was creative and productive, and he had built for himself an environment where he could move very quickly and try lots of things. Each layer built on top of other layers, and he was able to work at a very high level.
The tech was his invention too: he built the thing he needed to be able to build other things.
Great tools don't make people great, but they sure do amplify their abilities.