Value Capture

Value Capture vs. Value Creation: The Impending Shift with AI

In the last decade, the digital economy has witnessed a significant tilt towards platforms and entities emphasizing value capture rather than genuine value creation. These platforms, which simply act as intermediaries, have flourished by connecting different parties and facilitating interactions. However, as we venture deeper into the era of Intelligent Assistants (IA), there’s an impending shift in this dynamic, with AI’s proficiency in handling vast amounts of data promising to alter the landscape profoundly.

Understanding Value Capture

Value capture involves entities that don’t produce new value but derive their significance by acting as intermediaries. For instance, ride-hailing services aggregate drivers and riders, earning significant revenues by merely facilitating connections between these groups. Such models have proliferated across sectors, from e-commerce to content streaming, marking the dominance of the aggregation strategy.

The Essence of Value Creation

On the other hand, value creation is about introducing something novel or refining existing offerings to provide added value. In the realm of ride-hailing, while the platform aggregates, it’s the driver who delivers tangible value by ensuring passengers reach their destinations safely.

How AI Achieves Value Redistribution

A fundamental divergence between human cognition and AI lies in their information processing capabilities. AI systems thrive on extensive datasets, with tables consisting of billions of rows and columns, allowing them to detect complex patterns. In such vast data terrains, AI can make highly accurate predictions.

Contrarily, humans, limited by their cognitive constructs, struggle with overly intricate datasets. For instance, a table of 100 rows by 100 columns is often overwhelming.

AI’s strength in parsing through these extensive databases efficiently means that, in scenarios like matching a driver with a passenger, AI can achieve this without platforms like Uber. Such platforms become superfluous, as AI, without any interference, directly bridges the gap between service providers and users. This evolution sidelines the traditional role of platforms, emphasizing the significance of direct value creation.


The rise of AI signals a transformation from the prevailing value capture model to a renewed emphasis on genuine value creation. With AI’s capability to process vast data and connect service providers with users directly, traditional aggregation platforms face redundancy. As this technological shift materializes, businesses and entrepreneurs must pivot, understanding that genuine value addition and innovation are more critical than ever.

Author: John Rector

John Rector is an AI Futurist who predicted the next word in business™, starting with his notable paper from 2015, "Mommy, What's a Cashier?" Drawing upon 40 years of experience in the practical applications of high technology, he assists clients in converting uncertainty into strategic advantages within a one-to-six-year framework. With leadership roles including IBM executive and co-founder of e2open, he has a diverse and impactful background. In the AI sector, he has set benchmarks through his contributions to Mind Media Group and Florrol, pioneering AI-based services and content generation. His investment initiative, Waterway Ventures, is committed to advancing promising AI startups. His creative ventures include founding Bodaro and graphic design studio Palm ❤️. In education, he has launched Nextyrn, which uses AI for personalized learning experiences, and in art, he leads Potyn, an initiative using AI to create bespoke pieces. His ever-expanding portfolio features companies like Nozeus, Infinia, Blacc Ink, and Maibly. Operating from Charleston, SC, his current focus involves partnering with individuals and enterprises to develop innovative business models and processes for the rapidly approaching age of AGI.

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