I think you touch on an interesting point...
The underlying theme it seems would be greed. If a small inventor was concerned only with servicing a particular need, than they shouldn't have much issue. Thier motivation to be a basement company one night, and something the size of Google the next seems to cloud their judgement.
Many people these days just want to 'get rich and quick'. This mentality is in direct conflict with the mindset of small business. Small business is all about community and the network of clientele and respect you build up by servicing your clients with respect and expectation. (do what you say, it goes farther than most people think!)
When you hold the 'rights' to your idea too high, they inflate in proportion with one's ego and the rise / fall of the almighty ruler (the dollar).
Didn't the dot com bust teach people about the devaluation of an idea?