Infected with ROI

An inventor invests time for a return. An investor contributes wealth for a rate of return. The same formula, R=rt, except the investor has time t in the denominator and that makes all the difference.

Inventors: R = rt Investors: r = R/t

A venture capital firm assembles wealth into a fund with a promise of a good rate of return to the wealthy. The venture capitalist is then a consultant, selecting investments that will return quickly, on behalf of the investors. Capital markets erase any sense of human value in the return beyond monetization by any means.

The investor's numerical interpretation of value, independent of human value, had a positive organizing influence with the first chemical conglomerates of the industrial era. However, with the apparent success of venture funding in the Silicon Valley, the misinterpretation of the time required for return has created an intellectual churn that substitutes activity for progress. This confusion has spread throughout the valley such that even inventors find it near impossible to devote more than passing attention to an unproven idea.

Ironically the valley's success comes not from venture funding, but from huge defense funding throughout the cold war. See Valley's Secrets.