Tim O’Reilly, the guy from the company that makes those books for computer nerds, has discovered the concept of value transference, except he calls it “value capture.”
[I]t is important to realize that even in the world of discovery and intellectual innovation, there are those who create value, and those who merely extract it.
Consider this: when John von Neumann and his team at the Institute for Advanced Studies at Princeton developed the fundamental architectural approach of modern computing, they put their work into the public domain. When Paul Baran developed the fundamental concepts of packet networking that underlie the internet, he did the same thing. So too did Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn with the TCP/IP protocol, and Tim Berners-Lee with HTTP and HTML, the technologies that underly the World Wide Web.
These pioneers created enormous value, yet they didn't capture very much of it for themselves. That was left for others who built on what they gave to the world for free.
On the other side of the ledger, consider the Wall Street mavens who created new instruments to suck value out of the financial system while damaging the economy as a whole, culminating in the 2008 financial crisis that the world is so painfully digging itself out of today.
Consider the patent trolls who invent nothing, but file patents in legal language so broad that they constitute a drift net in which real inventors who later come up with actual new inventions successfully put into practice can conveniently be caught and shaken down.
Either he has been reading my blog, or he discovered the concept himself. Either is possible.